[Congressional Record: June 18, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the
gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Souder) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Speaker, last week the hearings began on the new
Department of Homeland Security. Yesterday my Subcommittee on Criminal
Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources held a hearing titled
``Homeland Security Reorganization: What Impact on Federal Law
Enforcement and Drug Interdiction?'' Last week in the Committee on
Government Reform, our Subcommittees on Civil Service and on National
Security held a joint committee hearing, the first ones on homeland
security. I wanted to share a few of the things that we have already
learned through these hearings as well as in the media the last few
days, because we are starting these and we may be actually moving the
markup through committee next week. So we are on a fast track.
Many people are reacting, ``Aren't you moving awfully fast?'' The
answer is yes. The biggest problem we face in the government whenever
you tackle one of these things is bureaucratic inertia combined with
congressional committee inertia, and everybody can find many reasons
not to go ahead. Unless we put this on a fast track to get it out of
committee by the July break and out of the full House and Senate by the
August break, the likelihood is that this government reorganization
will die just like they have every other year. In fact, the class of
1994 came in committed to all sorts of reforms of government, and
anything we did not achieve that first year was very difficult to
achieve as the organization and the inertia kind of takes over. So I
strongly support moving ahead.
But it also means that we need to understand certain basic trade-offs
we are making and go into this with our eyes wide open. The witnesses
yesterday at our hearing were all nongovernmental, which meant that
they had the ability to speak out without any restrictions. They
included the former Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Kramek; Mr.
Donnie Marshall, the former Director of DEA; Mr. Peter Nunez, former
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement of the Treasury Department; Mr.
Doug Kruhm, former Assistant Commissioner for the U.S. Border Patrol in
INS; Mr. Sam Banks, former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs; and Dr.
Stephen Flynn from the Council on Foreign Relations, who had worked
with the Rudman-Hart Commission.
Among the things that they pointed out at the hearing, and I thought
Dr. Flynn made a terrific point that many in Congress and many in the
media simply do not understand, which has led to much of the confusion
about why is this agency not in, why is this agency not in, why is it
done this way, and that is if you look at this, and this is the way the
Rudman-Hart Commission looked at it and clearly was behind the
President's thought, is this really deals with catastrophic security.
It is our basic function of every department to provide for security,
and most of those are homeland security. We cannot have one Cabinet
agency have everybody in it. So you look at this as catastrophic.
Furthermore, the agencies that have been combined in the Department of
Homeland Security are basically the meet-and-greet, in Dr. Flynn's
words, basically; in other words, a border agency. So if you called
this the Department of Border Catastrophic Security, you would
understand why INS is there, why Border Patrol is there, why Customs is
there, why the Coast Guard is there, and the logic behind the system
that we are about to address. Because if you view it as homeland
security, you can have every policeman in, you can have every
enforcement division in, you can have every sort of organization in
FEMA is also in this. It deals with the catastrophic results. So
although it is not border, it also deals with catastrophic security. If
we broaden this too much, we will not have any agency that makes any
sense. But there are some things that possibly should go in it, and
there are some things we need to look at.
Number one, by putting Customs, Coast Guard, Border Patrol and INS
in, we have now multitasked a number of these agencies and changed
their primary mission to homeland security away from their previous
I would like to insert at this point an article from Newsday
newspaper that ran today by Thomas Frank that picks up a couple of the
difficulties on multitasking. I wanted to touch on a few of those, and
then I have another insertion at the end of my remarks.
[From Newsday, June 18, 2002]
Getting ``Lost in the Shuffle'', Concerns on Nonterror Duties
(By Thomas Frank)
Washington.--A group of former top federal officials warned
yesterday that President George W. Bush's proposed new
Department of Homeland Security could weaken other federal
law-enforcement activities, such as drug interdiction.
The concerns arise because the new department would take in
22 federal agencies that do every thing from investigating
counterfeiting and intercepting drugs to rescuing boaters and
providing immigrant benefits.
``A major concern in a reorganization like this is that
their nonterrorism duties are going to get lost in the
shuffle,'' Peter Nunez, a former assistant treasury secretary
for enforcement, told a congressional panel studying the
proposed department. Adm. Robert Kramek, a former Coast Guard
commandant, said the new department ``will be detrimental''
under the Bush administration's plan to give no additional
money to the agencies.
``We're talking about moving blocks around on a playing
board without increasing the number of blocks,'' Kramek said.
He noted that the proposed homeland security budget of $37.5
billion would be one-tenth of the $379-billion Bush has
requested for the Defense Department.
With 41,000 employees, the Coast Guard would be the largest
agency in the new department, followed by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service and the new Transportation Security
Administration, which will employ about 41,000 when it hires
security workers at all U.S. commercial airports. Kramek said
the Coast Guard is planning
next year to scale back functions not related to domestic
security, such as drug and migrant interdiction, maritime
safety and fisheries enforcement.
``We're going to have to put some money where our intention
is to make sure this is done right,'' Kramek said, echoing
members of Congress who have called for additional funding
for the agencies that would be moved into the new department.
White House officials have said more money could be added
after Congress adopts an initial 2003 budget for the new
The hearing yesterday marked the beginning of an intense
period of deliberations as Congress tries to create the new
department either by the year-end goal set by Bush, or by
Sept. 11, as proposed by House Minority Leader Richard
The hearing's topic--how the new department would affect
federal law enforcement--is one of many questions Congress
will debate as it decides what agencies should be included
and under what conditions.
``There will be a profound impact on federal law-
enforcement agencies unrelated to terrorism,'' said Rep. Mark
Souder (R-Ind.), chairman of the House criminal justice
subcommittee. Congress must ``determine how best to ensure
the continuation and preservation of these missions in the
new department,'' he added.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) pressed witnesses on whether a
heightened government focus on fighting terrorism would
signal a lessened emphasis on anti-drug efforts that might
embolden local drug dealers who intimidate neighborhoods.
``We're fighting terror every day,'' Cummings said of his
inner-city Baltimore neighborhood.
Donnie Marshall, a former Drug Enforcement Administration
chief, said authorities need to continue fighting dealers and
recognize that terrorists will increasingly look to illegal
activities such as drug dealing to finance their operations.
One clear example is the Coast Guard. How does the Coast Guard make a
trade-off when their primary mission before had been search and rescue?
A sailboat tips over. They are now down watching, say, a midlevel
warning, we do not have a hard warning, whether we are going to get
attacked on a chemical plant on the water, and for practical purposes
these warnings could be any water anywhere in the United States.
But let us say we have a boat that is watching along the Ontario side
north of Detroit. A sailboat tips over in Huron, there is only one boat
there, where do they go? Do they go for the possibility that somebody
may be drowning, versus protecting from a catastrophic terrorism
question? If we do not put adequate resources in this Department, this
will be the daily trade-off, because we are going from a mission of 2
percent on catastrophic terrorism of the Coast Guard to it now being
their primary concern.
What does this mean for drug interdiction, because the primary
intercepts in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific, the western side
of Mexico have been the Coast Guard, but the boats cannot
simultaneously be off California and down off Mexico.
Furthermore, what does it mean for fisheries in Alaska? When the
salmon circulate through, if you see these 3-mile-long nets and things
coming out of Japan or Russians and other groups that are trying to
pirate the salmon in the oceans, if we do not have Coast Guard there to
protect that, they could capture the salmon, and there will not be any
spawning the next year.
Clearly if you have a boat out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
protecting the salmon runs and the salmon's circular patterns, that
boat is not off of Washington State.
So there are many trade-offs, and over the next couple days I would
like to talk about those. I include my opening statement from June 17
for the Record.
Today's hearing is the first we have held since President
Bush announced his proposal to create a new cabinet
Department of Homeland Security. In that respect, we will be
breaking new ground as we begin to consider how best to
implement such an ambitious and important reform proposal
prior to considering it in the full Government Reform
Committee in the coming weeks.
This is not, however, the first time we have considered the
important issues of federal law enforcement organization,
drug interdiction, border security, or their
interrelationship with the increased demands of homeland
security. We have held six field hearings on border
enforcement along the northern and southern borders of the
United States, I have personally visited several other ports
of entry, and we have had two Washington hearings on the
implications of homeland security requirements on other
federal law enforcement activities. This is in addition to
our ongoing oversight of America's drug interdiction efforts.
Our work as a Subcommittee has made very clear that the
U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization
Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard, which are among the most
prominent agencies in the proposed reorganization, have
critical missions unrelated to terrorism which cannot be
allowed to wane and must be fully maintained. The House has
to carefully consider the interrelationship of these law
enforcement missions with the demands of homeland security.
The Administration has defined the mission of the proposed
new Department solely as one of preventing and responding to
acts of terrorism. The concept of ``homeland security'' has
to be defined more broadly to include the many other diverse
threats to our nation which are handled on a daily basis by
these agencies, as well as other law enforcement activities.
It is clear that there is simply too much else at stake for
our nation to define the issues solely as ones of terrorism.
Let me illustrate my point with a brief but very clear
example of the risks which could be posed when resources are
allocated singlemindedly. This map illustrates the deployment
of Coast Guard assets prior to the September 11th attacks.
They are balanced and allocated to a number of important
missions, such as drug interdiction, illegal migrant
interdiction, and fisheries enforcement. I believe it is
apparent here that a vigorous forward American presence had
been maintained in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific for
counterdrug missions and law enforcement.
A second map shows how the resources were temporarily (and
correctly I should emphasize) deployed after the attacks to
respond to the terrorist attacks. It is evident here that the
enhancement of immediate homeland security had to come at the
price of the customary missions of the Coast Guard. The chart
also shows the redeployment of our assets from the front
lines to a ``goal-line'' defense centered on the east and
west coasts of the United States itself. In the critical
transit zone of the Eastern Pacific, for example, the
deployment went from four cutters and two aircraft to a lone
This is not a criticism of the tremendous response by the
Coast Guard or, by extension, any other agency. Most would
agree that the approach taken was wholly appropriate over all
the short term, and redeployments have subsequently moved the
picture much closer to an equilibrium today. However, I
believe that these charts are a clear illustration that an
intensive focus on homeland security cannot be maintained
over the long run without coming at the expense of other
tasks. This lesson is equally applicable to every other
mission of every other agency that will potentially be
affected by the reorganization plan.
However this reform emerges, it is inevitable that there
will be a profound impact on federal law enforcement
activities unrelated to terrorism, on our nation's drug
interdiction and border control efforts, and on operations at
several federal departments within the Subcommittee's
jurisdiction. Our challenge as we move through this process
will be to determine how best to ensure the continuation and
preservation of these missions within the new Department. We
also must optimize the organization of other agencies, such
as the DEA, the FBI, and law enforcement in the Treasury
Department, which share tasks with agencies destined for the
new department. And finally, we must consider the many
incidental benefits and synergies which will arise from the
President's proposal. These include increased operational
coordination of narcotics and migrant interdiction efforts
among agencies that will now be united, as well as a
significantly improved focus on the links between the drug
trade and international terrorism.
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