[Congressional Record: July 25, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 5005, HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on
Rules, I call up House Resolution 502 and ask for its immediate
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:
H. Res. 502
Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this
resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule
XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the
Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of
the bill (H.R. 5005) to establish the Department of Homeland
Security, and for other purposes. The first reading of the
bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against
consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be
confined to the bill and shall not exceed 90 minutes equally
divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority
member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security. After
general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment
under the five-minute rule.
Sec. 2. (a) It shall be in order to consider as an original
bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule
the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by
the Select Committee on Homeland Security now printed in this
bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute
shall be considered as read. All points of order against the
committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived.
(b) No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature
of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the
report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution
and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this
(c) Except as specified in section 4 of this resolution,
each amendment printed in the report of the Committee on
Rules may be offered only in the order printed in the report,
may be offered only by a Member designated in the report,
shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time
specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the
proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment,
and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the
question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.
(d) All points of order against amendments printed in the
report of the Committee on Rules or amendments en bloc
described in section 3 of this resolution are waived.
Sec. 3. It shall be in order at any time for the chairman
of the Select Committee on Homeland Security or his designee
to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed
in the report of the Committee on Rules not earlier disposed
of or germane modifications of any such amendment. Amendments
en bloc offered pursuant to this section shall be considered
as read (except that modifications shall be reported), shall
be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by
the chairman and ranking minority member of the Select
Committee on Homeland Security or their designees, shall not
be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand
for division of the question in the House or in the Committee
of the Whole. For the purpose of inclusion in such amendments
en bloc, an amendment printed in the form of a motion to
strike may be modified to the form of a germane perfecting
amendment to the text originally proposed to be stricken. The
original proponent of an amendment included in such
amendments en bloc may insert a statement in the
Congressional Record immediately before the disposition of
the amendments en bloc.
Sec. 4. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may
recognize for consideration of any amendment printed in the
report of the Committee on Rules out of the order printed,
but not sooner than one hour after the chairman of the Select
Committee on Homeland Security or his designee announces from
the floor a request to that effect.
Sec. 5. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for
amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the
House with such amendments as may have been adopted. Any
Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any
amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill
or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.
The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the
bill and amendments thereto to final passage without
intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is, Will the House now consider
House Resolution 502.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds of those having voted in
favor thereof) the House agreed to consider House Resolution 502.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Pryce) is
recognized for 1 hour.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I
yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Frost),
the ranking member of the Committee on Rules and a member of the Select
Committee on Homeland Security, pending which I yield myself such time
as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time
yielded is for the purpose of debate only.
Mr. Speaker, H. Res. 502 is a structured rule providing for the
consideration of H.R. 5005, the Homeland Security Act. The rule
provides 90 minutes of general debate, equally divided and controlled
between the chairman and ranking minority member of the Select
Committee on Homeland Security. It provides an amendment in the nature
of a substitute recommended by the Select Committee on Homeland
Security now printed in the bill be considered as an original bill for
the purpose of amendment.
The rule also makes in order only those amendments printed in the
Committee on Rules report accompanying the resolution. Each amendment
may be offered only in the order printed, may be offered only by a
Member designated in the report, shall be debatable only for the time
specified, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an
opponent, and shall not be subject to amendment or demand for
division of the question, except as specified in section 4.
The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill
and waives all points of order against such amendments. The rule
provides the select committee chairman or his designee en bloc
authority. Finally, the rule provides one motion to recommit, with or
Mr. Speaker, America has awakened to a new era in global affairs. As
President Bush has noted, we are today a nation at risk to a new and
changing threat. We can no longer hold on to the belief that between
our shores we are free from the violence of the world. On September 11,
we learned all too well and at all too high a price that a stark new
reality confronts us as a Nation. We should not doubt that our freedom,
our liberty, our very way of life are under attack.
Today we take bold and necessary steps to reshape our Government to
reflect the sad new reality. The process we will use to take these
steps is a fair and equitable one, and I would like to take a moment to
clarify for my colleagues that while this is a structured rule, this
rule reflects the negotiated recommendations of the House leadership,
both Republican and Democrat, and will allow for a spirited debate on
issues focused on homeland security and creation of the Department of
It is jointly recommended by the Speaker of the House and the
minority leader and their wisdom ensures that all opinions will be
considered and all issues pertaining to homeland security are aired
because, Mr. Speaker, the victims of terror do not care about political
differences. This nonpartisan process for consideration of H.R. 5005
illustrates that the security of our homeland simply cannot and must
not be a partisan issue. Of course, this does not mean that difficult
decisions have not been made during the process of crafting
legislation, and it does not mean that more difficult decisions have
yet to be made here tonight and tomorrow. I had the great honor to
serve on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, which just
last week considered and marked up the underlying legislation. Under
the fair and steady leadership of the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey),
Chairman and leader, the Select Committee heard from some of the
Nation's most selfless, accomplished, and dedicated public servants. We
also considered the expert recommendations made by the 12 committees of
jurisdiction in the House and incorporated the vast majority of their
recommendations. The Select Committee process was fair, open, and
inclusive. We continue that practice today with this rule, which was
crafted through joint effort by the majority and the minority.
The world we live in today is a very different place than it was in
1947 when the last major reorganization of our Government took place.
At that time, as noted by President Truman, the world was a place ``in
which strength on the part of peace-loving nations was still the
greatest deterrent to aggression.'' Today our military might, while
still vital to our national defense, is no longer sufficient in and of
itself to deter aggression and to ensure our national security.
The perpetrators of terrorism have recognized that our greatest
strength, the open society in which we live, also makes us vulnerable
to their attacks. They are shadowy and agile, and they target us like
predators without distinction between military target and ordinary
citizen. The war against terror is fought not just on battlefields
abroad but in our very own cities and towns. We must be able to respond
at home in a strong, informed, coordinated and agile way.
The creation of a new Cabinet-level Department is only one part of
our national response, but it is a very essential part. The new
Department will consolidate vital preparedness, intelligence analysis,
law enforcement, and emergency response functions that are currently
dangerously dispersed among numerous Federal departments and agencies.
And while no price is too high to ensure the long-term security of
our Nation, this Department will be created in a way that eliminates
redundancies and inefficiencies so that costs are minimized.
Specifically, this bill takes steps to protect our borders through
inclusion of the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and several
important functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and
the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. The bill ensures that the
new Department will engage and coordinate with State and local first
responders by including FEMA and the Secret Service. The bill promotes
world-class research and development in the public and private sectors.
And importantly, the bill preserves our essential freedoms and
liberties while ensuring that the Department is open and accountable to
Congress and the American people.
This legislation ensures that the new Department will have all the
tools it needs to successfully protect and defend America in the near
future and as the threat continues to evolve. An essential tool in the
new Department's arsenal will be its flexible and motivated work force
that can respond swiftly to this shifting threat.
The legislation maintains all the basic Federal employment
protections, including protections for whistleblowers and the right to
collectively bargain, while allowing additional agility in key selected
areas so that the new Department can attract and retain the best and
brightest and move personnel when national security requires. The
success of the new Department will be inexorably linked to the
abilities, motivation and hard work of its employees, and this bill
respects and protects their rights.
President Truman described the period following World War II as ``an
age when unforeseen attack could come with unprecedented speed.''
Fifty-five years later that description applies equally well. Once
again, Congress must heed the call of our President and take up an
Thus far the Government has shown immense resolve and dedication,
going to extraordinary lengths to respond to the terrorist threat. We
are safer than we were on September 10, but as the Government's efforts
reach the limits of their own bureaucracies, we have to rethink that
structure so that our Nation can be even stronger, smarter, and better
I urge all my colleagues to take the measure of the task very
seriously. In no uncertain terms, our work will protect the American
people. I hope that we will have an open, honest, and productive
discussion. While we may disagree on the minutia, at the end of the
day, Mr. Speaker, we must not let the safety and security of the
American people be a casualty of this debate.
I urge all my colleagues to support this fair rule and the underlying
bill, and I will now I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, creating the Department of Homeland Security is a
bipartisan idea and it remains a bipartisan priority, but building a
big new 170,000 person Federal bureaucracy is a difficult project.
After all, our goal is not just moving boxes around inside the
government. It is to increase the security of the American people in
the real world. To succeed, Democrats have reached out to work with the
administration. Indeed, the entire House of Representatives has worked
overtime to make sure we could get this bill to the President's desk by
On a bipartisan basis, Members have recommended a number of
important, good faith changes to the administration's original
proposal. Republican leaders on the Select Committee on Homeland
Security unfortunately rejected many of these bipartisan improvements,
and they snuck in several ideological and partisan side issues,
controversial riders that, in some cases, actually threaten the
effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security.
That is why I, along with so many others, have argued from the
beginning that the entire House needed the opportunity to vote on these
controversies on the floor. While this rule is not as open as I would
have liked, it does allow Members to address the most critical issues.
Several Democratic amendments would add to the underlying bill to
increase the effectiveness of new departments.
The Waxman amendment, for instance, would strengthen the White House
Office of Homeland Security. According to the General Accounting
Office, creating the new department will
take five to 10 years, and even after it is completed, much of the work
to prevent terrorist attacks would be done in other agencies like the
CIA and the FBI. The Waxman amendment would ensure that the White House
Homeland Security advisor has the authority and the clout to coordinate
all of these different governmental agencies to increase the security
of the American people.
Additionally, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez) has an
important amendment to ensure the new department shares information
with State and local first responders, the people on the front lines of
homeland defense, our local police and fire.
Other amendments address the controversial provisions in the
underlying bill. For instance, this bill would undercut the Freedom of
Information Act. And it would harm whistleblower protections. That
means that if an employee wanted to alert the public to wrongdoing in
the Department, the way Coleen Rowley blew the whistle on failures in
the FBI investigation on Zacarias Moussaoui, he or she might be subject
to retaliation from supervisors. That is not just wrong, it is bad for
effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security.
Fortunately, the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), the
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich) and the gentlewoman from Hawaii
(Mrs. Mink) have an amendment to fix this problem and I urge its
Additionally, this bill contains language that actually turns back
the clock on important civil service protections that may be crucial to
the ideology of some on the other side of the aisle. But it will harm
the effectiveness of the new department.
Mr. Speaker, the civil service system protects Americans against a
spoils system that would allow politicians to reward their friends and
supporters with important government jobs. It is crucial that the
Department of Homeland Security be staffed by professionals, not by
cronies of whichever party happens to hold the White House.
The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) and I have an amendment to
restore the Committee on Government Reform's bipartisan agreement to
preserve current civil service protections for the new department. And
the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. Morella) has an amendment to ensure
employees retain their collective bargaining rights unless their
responsibilities change. Both of these amendments will protect existing
workplace rights while preserving the national security flexibility the
So unless you want to unnecessarily weaken the current civil service
system, I urge you to support them and to oppose the two amendments
that the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman) has offered on the other
side of this issue. Additionally, Republican leaders have, hidden in
this bill, a provision that protects companies that sell harmful
products to the public. This language, which was not requested by the
President, goes well beyond current law and gives companies a get-out-
of-jail free card, no matter how malicious, wanton or reckless their
conduct may have been. Fortunately, the gentleman from Texas (Mr.
Turner) has an amendment to ensure companies have legal protection to
invest in security technology, but without leaving the public helpless
against every scam artist who claims to have a security-related
product. It deserves our support.
Also, the rule make in order an amendment by the gentleman from
Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) that would maintain the December 31, 2002
deadline for airline baggage screening. This is a controversial issue
that was added to the underlying bill by the Select Committee and was
not requested by the President and it deserves full consideration on
the House floor.
Mr. Speaker, I must note with disappointment, however, that
Republican leaders are blocking a common sense corporate responsibility
amendment by the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro), the
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett), the gentleman from Massachusetts
(Mr. Neal), the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney) and the
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Turner). Their amendment would make corporate
tax dodgers ineligible for government contracts at the new department
because if a corporation will not pay its own taxes, then it does not
deserve to be paid with other people's taxes, but Republican leaders
insist on protecting this loophole.
In the interest of time, I will leave it to others to discuss the
other important amendments. I do want to mention a couple of additional
ongoing issues surrounding the bill, however. First, we must ensure
that America's immigration adjudication functions, like family
reunification and adoption, operate effective, efficiently and fairly
regardless of which Homeland Security Department structure becomes law,
we must continue to welcome these law abiding immigrants who helped
build America even as we focus on protecting ourselves here at home.
Second, Congress must honestly address the question of how much it
will cost taxpayers to create this new department. The nonpartisan
Congressional Budget Office put the price tag at $4.5 billion and the
bipartisan leaders of Senate Budget Committee have warned that it could
add significantly to future spending. Nevertheless, Republican leaders
in the House cling to the fiction that they can create a 170,000 person
Federal bureaucracy without spending any additional money. It is no
small irony that the same Republicans who often campaign against the
government now want to create a bigger Federal bureaucracy but refuse
to pay for it.
Mr. Speaker, let us be honest with the American people. Our national
security is not cheap and neither is homeland security. Cooking the
books will only drag us deeper into debt and hurt the credibility of
the new department we are creating. Make no mistake, Mr. Speaker,
creating the Department of Homeland Security is a bipartisan priority,
so I urge my Republican colleagues to join us in cleaning up this bill
so that we can pass it with the overwhelming bipartisan majority of
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to repeat something I have
said on several occasions in another context. The creation of this new
department is something that I personally feel very strongly about. On
September 11 the plane that crashed into the Pentagon struck the office
of my wife's boss. My wife is an Army officer. Fortunately, she was not
in his office on that day. Her office is several miles from the
Pentagon. But two people who work for my wife and her boss were killed
on September 11; and I want to make sure that nothing like that can
ever happen again in this country.
This country deserves the strongest possible protection against
terrorist attacks. And I hope that on a bipartisan basis we will rise
to the occasion and create a strong, effective new department in the
next two days.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the
distinguished gentleman from the great State of Florida (Mr. Diaz-
Balart) and fellow member of the Committee on Rules.
Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on this fair and
balanced rule that has been crafted to facilitate that historic act.
For weeks now the House has been working its will through committee
after committee markup. The House further worked its will by agreeing
to the creation of a Select Committee on Homeland Security to review
the recommendations of all the committees of jurisdiction. And now the
Committee on Rules has been given the task to preserve the efforts that
have been made to keep this a fair and open process, and that is
exactly what we have done.
The terrorists and dictators of the world who seek the demise of the
United States thought that September 11 would change America, but
Americans have not changed. This Nation is full of true heros. Brave
men and women who love freedom and will not tolerate those who wish to
destroy the freedoms we hold dear. But there has been a change the
terrorists did not expect. We are reorganizing. Just as this country
has done after previous disasters, we are meeting the challenges before
This Act reforms our response to threats at home just as we reformed
the military following World War II to meet threats abroad. I am very
pleased to see that a strong intelligence analysis component is
included in the underlying bill so that the information
generated by the intelligence community will best serve our national
security. Additionally, given the enormous flow of goods and services
that we see coming through our community in South Florida, I have long
been a proponent of strengthening the resources of Customs agents to
support the enormous task they are entrusted with. I am pleased to see
the steps taken to strengthen this role, and I will continue to work to
ensure that all of our Nation's airports and ports of entry have the
resources to keep America safe.
Mr. Speaker, we are meeting the challenge. I urge strong support for
the rule and the underlying bill.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and in
opposition to the underlying bill.
We do not need another Federal department. Real homeland security
means economic security for our workers and our families here at home.
It means good jobs. It means pensions they can depend on and it means
health benefits that are there for all.
It is really interesting that the administration has put this glossy
report together on this new department, which would be the third
largest bureaucracy in the government of the United States, over
170,000 people, and how do we know how many billions of dollars and
Basically, this is political cover over an operational problem. We
know that the CIA and the FBI did not do their job completely. We knew
Osama bin Laden was the number one enemy. We did not know where he was.
Right after 9-11, what did the FBI and the CIA do? They start
advertising in The Washington Post for people who could speak Arabic
and Pashtun because we were not properly staffed inside the departments
and agencies that should have been functioning. So now we will create
another department. Does that mean they will have people who can
translate? Will we have people who can do the job? Will they get the
computers so they can communicate?
The FBI and CIA are not in the Homeland Security Agency where we have
the problem. They are not even part of the solution. What we will get
from a new department, when we most need coordination in this country
at every level, we will get chaos.
I bet the people here on the floor of today have never been about
setting up a new Federal department. We set up the Department of
Energy. Are we energy self-sufficient today? No, we are not. We set up
the Department of Education. Are our kids reading scores going up? No,
they are not.
So now at a time when we need really refined targeted efforts across
this world to deal with the problem that we have not faced before, we
are setting up the Department, and will it have the staffing that is
necessary. Just on one agency that they will try to roll in here APHIS,
the Animal, Plant Health Inspection Service from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. The problem is we do not have enough inspectors at the
border. Are you going to give us more money for inspectors or are you
just going to ship the box over to another department?
The problem is not a new department. The problem is making the
agencies that exist function. I am proud of the people in New York
We could have had 50,000 die. We had 3,000 dead. They did their job.
We saved 47,000 lives in this country. Our local law enforcement
people, they need training at the local level. They do not need a new
Federal Department to do that. They need training moneys to go down to
the locality. We do not need to cut the law enforcement budget, what
this administration is doing in terms of cops on the beat.
In terms of FEMA, I do not want to put FEMA in this Department. FEMA
works. It took us 10 years to fix FEMA up. So why do we want to stick
it in this big agency of 170,000 people and we cannot even get direct
communication to the top? We fought World War II, we did not need this
Department. We defeated the Communists and the Soviet Union. We did not
need this Department to do it. We fought the Persian Gulf War. Why do
we need this now?
This is political cover for operational problems the administration
does not want to solve. Vote against the rule and the bill.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 3 minutes
to the distinguished gentleman from Texas (Mr. Thornberry), who has
worked so hard on this issue over the years before it became something
that the Nation was riveted upon.
(Mr. THORNBERRY asked and was given permission to revise and extend
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me
the time and for her considerable contributions as a member of the
select committee, as a member of leadership and as a member of the
Committee on Rules.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this rule. We will have a number of
issues to go through, a number of amendments. I hope my colleagues can
remember that what we are trying to do is create an integrated
Department of Homeland Security to make us safer. This is no place for
political agendas. This is no place for conspiracy theories. This is no
place to be pointing fingers of blame. This is a place to work on a
bipartisan basis to make this country safer. That is the only reason to
create this Department and that must be its goal.
Mr. Speaker, this is an unusual procedure. It seems to be coming
rapidly; but in fact, a lot of work has gone into getting this proposal
together, and I want to take just a second to acknowledge some of the
people who have made this possible, starting with the bipartisan Hart-
Rudman Commission, co-chaired by Senators Hart and Rudman, including
our former colleagues Speaker Gingrich and Lee Hamilton, who took 3
years to look over the next 25 years at the security threats we face
and said number one is homeland security and what we ought to do is
create a new Department of Homeland Security. We are doing that.
Secondly, I want to thank my staff who has spent many, many hours on
this, particularly Kim Kotlar, who has spent probably more hours
working on this issue than any other person inside or outside Congress.
I also want to thank the sponsors of the proposal, the gentlewoman
from California (Ms. Harman), the gentlewoman from California (Mrs.
Tauscher), and the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons), who worked on a
nonpartisan basis and a bicameral basis, along with Senator Lieberman
and his colleagues, to get this proposal here; and it is an example of
where we have come together, many of us in the Congress, to make us
Other colleagues have worked on this: the gentleman from Connecticut
(Mr. Shays), the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Portman), the gentleman from
Georgia (Mr. Chambliss), and of course, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr.
Portman) in a variety of capacities has been invaluable.
I think we all ought to thank the Select Committee on Homeland
Security under the gentleman from Texas' (Mr. Armey) leadership for the
work that they have done; but, Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank the
President of the United States because he could have tinkered around
the edges and just offered a few token changes, but he took on a tough
job. He said we want to do this right and that is leadership. That is
the kind of leadership we expect from a President, and it is the kind
of leadership we are going to have from this House over the next 2 days
if we are going to develop this Department with the tools it needs to
keep us safer.
I think we can do it, but I think it is going to be a challenge, and
I hope that as a body we are up to it.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule. A number of amendments
will be made in order as the Speaker promised. As we go through them
one-by-one, it will be important for us to remember that we must have a
coherent, integrated department that works. I urge our colleagues to
keep the bigger objectives foremost in our minds and considerations.
At the beginning of the debate on this bill, however, I think that it
is important for me to acknowledge some of the people who brought us to
this day--who, in addition to the Rules Committee, have helped prepare
this proposal before us.
My colleagues have been very generous about me introducing a bill to
create a Department of Homeland Security in March 2001. But, of course,
I simply borrowed the idea from the Commission on National Security/
21st Century, more commonly known as the Hart-Rudman Commission. Under
the leadership of its chairmen, Senators Hart and Rudman, and with the
diligent work of an outstanding group of preeminent Americans as
commissioners, including our former colleagues Lee Hamilton and Speaker
Gingrich, who initially created the Commission, this Commission took
three years to study American's national security challenges of the
next 25 years. Aided by a first-rate staff that was directed by General
Chuck Boyd, they concluded that our most important challenge has
homeland security and unanimously recommended that Congress create a
new department out of the dozens of existing agencies with some
homeland security mission. It was their vision, courage, and
persistence in pushing the idea which earns them the first accolades.
Going somewhat in chronological order, I want to thank my staff and
especially Kim Kotlar. I suspect they thought that I was ``tilting at
windmills'' when I told them a year and a half ago that I wanted to
introduce a bill to create a new Department of Homeland Security. But,
they swallowed their doubts and in the subsequent months have put many
hours into brining that idea to reality. Ms. Kotlar, a retired Naval
intelligence officer, has probably done more work on this proposal than
any other person. This Congress and our entire Nation join me in owing
her an enormous debt of gratitude.
Next, I want to thank the primary sponsors of the proposal in the
House, Ms. Harman, Ms. Tauscher and Mr. Gibbons. My already
considerable respect for each of them has only grown during the past
several months that we have worked together on this measure. I am
especially grateful to my two colleagues from California that during
all of the hours they refused to succumb to the temptations of
partisanship. This has truly been a non-partisan cause. They have kept
true to that higher calling of serving our Nation. And to them and to
all of the cosponsors of H.R. 1185 and H.R. 4660, I am grateful.
I must point out that a number of our other colleagues have worked on
organizational reform to fight the war on terror and have made
invaluable contributions to this effort, among them are Mr. Shays, Mr.
Watts, and Mr. Chambliss. And, of course, this effort has not only been
non-partisan, it has been bicameral. I want to acknowledge and thank
Senator Lieberman, who has also worked on this idea for months, and his
colleagues, Senators Specter and Graham.
We should all thank and commend the Speaker for recognizing the
daunting challenge before us and establishing the unique procedures to
consider this bill. We should also thank Leader Gephardt for helping
give us the sense of urgency with which we must act.
The Select Committee, under Leader Armey's direction, has done an
outstanding job, improving the President's proposal and my original
proposal in a number of important ways. I want to especially thank Mr.
Armey and Mr. Portman for their outstanding efforts to do this right
and to do it fairly with a chance for all to have input.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank and commend the President of
the United States and Governor Tom Ridge. They recognized the problems
we face with dozens of different agencies having homeland security
responsibility. They did not try to tinker around the edges or take a
poll to see what was politically possible to do. Their approach was to
try to do it right--that's leadership.
And now it is up to the House to follow the President's example of
leadership. I trust that we will not be found wanting.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from
Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).
Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the
Never again. Never again will the United States be caught unawares
and lay herself open to terrorist attack. That is certainly a principle
that every Member of this House and Senate should take to mind as we
move to plug the holes in our security.
Since last fall, I have supported the concept of a Cabinet-level
status for the Director of Homeland Security so that he or she can get
the funds, can compel the cooperation and coordination necessary among
the Federal agencies, but now we are rushing through a bill to create
the largest Federal bureaucracy in 50 years. Is that the proper
response and answer, 170,000 employees who will ultimately some day be
merged together into one joint building that will be built somewhere in
the Washington, D.C., area? How will it work in the interim? Big
It does not deal with the two agencies most culpable and most
problematic in the attacks, the FBI and the CIA, the failures of
intelligence, the failures that were so much in the headlines before
this Department was proposed by the White House that they changed their
Now it will plug the leaks that made us aware of the failings of the
CIA and FBI by repealing whistleblower protections and FOIA efforts for
this agency. It is going to take other effective agencies like the
Coast Guard, who are doing a tremendous job with not enough resources,
protecting this country and our coastline and also providing life
saving and other services and merge them in. Will the Coast Guard still
be able to function in that place?
This last week we heard of the failings of the Transportation
Security Administration created by Congress to defend our traveling
public and all modes of transportation last fall. The President fired
his appointee, John Magaw, belatedly; but he did recognize his failings
and fired him. They are behind schedule, over budget, and they are
failing to put in place many critical aviation security measures and
have even failed to begin to deal with other issues, port security and
the like. They have a new head who I think is tremendous, the former
commandant of the Coast Guard. He may do well, but let us give him some
time there to bring it together and bring proposals to Congress.
The reaction in this bill to the failings of the Transportation
Security Administration under Mr. Magaw is to waive the deadlines to
provide critical explosives detection technology. Most Americans are
amazed today that their baggage is not screened and the things that go
in the hold of the planes are not screened. We set a deadline of the
first of next year. Under this bill, there will not be a hard deadline.
It will be delayed a minimum of 1 year. That means we can expect it
will be 2 or more years before we can be sure there is not a bomb on
the plane we are on board of. I think explosives are a bigger threat
than a takeover of an airliner.
It will also waive contractor liability. Those people who failed to
screen passengers adequately will be waived of liability.
If we want to commemorate the tragedy of September 11, we can do it
better. We can do it by creating something that will work and defend
America against real threats.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 3 minutes
to the distinguished gentleman from the great State of Ohio (Mr.
Portman), a member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security and
someone who has devoted countless hours to this cause.
Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms.
Pryce) for not just her work on the rule, which I think is a good and
fair and open rule, but also her work on the Select Committee on
Homeland Security and adding so much to the effort to put together a
Department that really will work.
Today, we are working on a rule that will consider what I think will
be one of the most important pieces of legislation this House will
consider in this generation. Our votes on the floor over the next day
or day and a half will determine the performance of the largest single
reorganization of government in our history. That is a daunting enough
task and a huge consolidation challenge; but even more important is
what this is all about, the mission of this reorganization, and that is
to protect our families from the shadowy threat of terror.
We have all talked about some of our personal reflections on this.
All of us as Members of Congress have had our constituents affected by
the terrorist attack of September 11. In my hometown of Cincinnati, we
had the misfortune of having a number of people who were in New York
City on that fateful day. One was a young man who grew up down the
street from me, and his funeral took place at a church a few houses
down from my own home. There I met his young wife and his young kids;
and as I have gone through this process, I keep thinking back on them.
Never, never can we let our defenses down and let this happen again.
We cannot make ourselves immune from terrorism; but we can make our
country safer, and we as Members of Congress have as our most
fundamental responsibility to protect our
shores and to protect the citizens of the United States; and this is
what this effort is all about. This is to take this Federal effort to
protect this country and streamline it and consolidate it and make
sense so that indeed we can do our best as Members of Congress to
respond to this threat.
It is not a partisan issue. It is not an issue that should divide us
as Democrats or Republicans. It should bring us together as Americans
to do our best.
I am encouraged by this rule. I want to commend the gentleman from
Illinois (Mr. Hastert), and I want to commend the gentleman from
Missouri (Mr. Gephardt) for putting together a fair rule, 12 amendments
on each side. I also want to commend the gentleman from Texas (Mr.
Armey) because in the process of getting this bill to the floor he has
led the Select Committee on Homeland Security with great distinction.
It has been an open and fair process.
I also want to thank the standing committees because they all gave
input to the Select Committee on Homeland Security. They did it in an
expeditious way but also a thoughtful way.
What we ended up with, the underlying bill on the floor before us
today that this rule will govern, is a good piece of legislation
because it does create the kind of Department we need, and what kind of
Department is that? One that has the flexibility and the agility to
respond to this enormous consolidation challenge, 22 different agencies
and personnel systems, but also the enormously difficult challenge of
responding to the actual and deadly threat of terrorism.
I would urge, Mr. Speaker, as we go through this process that we
retain those flexibilities, the flexibility to manage, the flexibility
to budget, the flexibility on personnel, so that indeed we can as
Members of Congress say that we have done our best, our very best to be
sure that the Federal Government in every way possible is responding to
the threat of terrorism and that we have the most efficient and
effective way to do so.
The rule that creates this Department deserves our strong support,
and I urge it on both sides of the aisle.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
Wisconsin (Mr. Obey).
Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I think the record shows that I have tried to
be extremely cooperative with the White House and everyone else
involved in dealing with the aftermath of September 11. Within a week
after we were hit, I helped, along with the gentleman from Florida (Mr.
Young), push a $40 billion supplemental through this place to give the
President virtually all the money he needed to deal with the problem.
I appreciate the fact that the committee has corrected a number of
problems with the original draft. I think that was very useful, but I
am afraid that what we are about to do will actually in the end weaken
our ability to respond to terrorist attacks.
This bill will still do nothing about the central problem of the FBI
and its relationship with other intelligence agencies. This bill will
create an additional lack of focus by the new Department that we are
about to create; and I would point out that it is, in fact, parading
around under false pretenses. It is called a new Department of Homeland
Security, but in fact, at this point, there are 133 agencies and
offices that have some responsibilities with respect to homeland
security. This bill takes 22 of them, containing 170,000 employees,
lumps them into one Department and says it is a Department of Homeland
My question is, Who is going to coordinate the 111 offices and
agencies left out? In my view, that is the central question which is
not being answered by the legislation; and until it is, we are likely
to, what the GAO told the committee, we are likely to have 3 to 5 years
of absolute chaos.
It also does not do something about the principal problem that we
still face. After September 11, I talked to every intelligence agency
in this town. We discovered literally thousands of pages of documents
lying on floors, sitting on file cabinets, sitting on people's desks of
raw data, raw intercepts, not looked at by anybody. We need new
translators. We need a reshaping of the FBI. That is not happening in
this bill; and until it does, we are going to be making a significant
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to my
distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Linder), a
valued member of the Committee on Rules.
Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this
time, and I rise in support of both the rule and the underlying
legislation, H.R. 5005. This is a fair rule that will allow the House
to work its will on the Homeland Security bill.
First and foremost, Mr. Speaker, I think we should all say thank you
to our distinguished majority leader, the gentleman from Texas (Mr.
Armey), and the Select Committee he headed. They have done a first-rate
job under very difficult circumstances, and for that the people of this
Nation owe them a debt of gratitude.
For 200 years, we have been the most open, casual, and free Nation in
the history of the world. We had the most powerful military in the
world and our economic strength was challenged by no other. Our people
enjoyed civil freedoms and liberties of which other citizens could only
dream. I daresay we took it for granted that we are Americans.
September 11 changed that forever. Because of that day we feel and are
vulnerable. Because of that day, we feel helpless.
In 1777, John Jay, America's first Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, and a vigorous defender of the Constitution, wrote, ``Among the
many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to
direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be
the first.'' Today, we have the opportunity to make things right. The
Homeland Security Act of 2002 provides us with a chance to uphold what
the Founders considered to be the Federal Government's highest
responsibility, to protect the people of this country.
We will have a whole new list of heroes to look forward to. They will
be first responders, firefighters, police officers, State troopers, and
EMTs. They will be on the front lines here. All of us have in our
memories seared images of heroism. Whether it was the doughboys at Vimy
Ridge, or the Marines putting up the flag over Iwo Jima, or the boys at
Pointe du Hoc climbing that treacherous cliff at Normandy under
withering machine gun fire, only to take Europe and free it in 11
I have a new image of that heroism. It is the image of 50,000 people
scrambling in utter fear out of burning buildings for their safety, and
another group of Americans in firefighter uniforms running into those
buildings to save them. Those are the ones that this homeland security
bill will start to look toward to get support for.
We must remember that no one department has been clearly entrusted
with the security of this country. All will be involved. As such, I
stand with the President and his efforts to create a new Department of
Homeland Security. I support this bipartisan measure. I urge my
colleagues to do the same to ensure that our Nation is prepared, and
that the freedoms and liberties we hold dear are never threatened
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from
Florida (Mr. Hastings), a member of the Committee on Rules.
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member, the
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Frost), for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in lukewarm support of this rule. Even though
over 100 amendments were submitted to the Committee on Rules, only 26,
barely one-fourth of them, will be considered under this rule. I find
this disturbing in light of the fact that a great many of the
recommendations submitted by our subject matter experts were not
included in the chairman's substitute.
I am speaking about the subject matter experts on the Committees on
Government Reform, International Relations, Appropriations, Armed
Services, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, the Judiciary,
Science, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means.
Now, I am proud of the fact that there was an opportunity to come
together on this matter and to make it bipartisan. But an open rule
would have ensured that the knowledge of these persons and their
expertise were given due consideration by this body.
Some of the topics we will not be debating because of this rule
include an amendment prohibiting the Department from entering into
contracts with companies who incorporate outside the United States to
avoid paying taxes; an amendment urging States to cooperatively develop
uniform standards for State driver's licenses; and, finally, one of my
amendments, which would have stricken language that grants the
Secretary the unprecedented authority to prohibit the Inspector General
from investigating fraud and abuse within the Department.
The rationale for this authority is that such investigations might
compromise our national security. The Inspector General Act of 1978
applies to every major department in the executive branch, including
the CIA and the military departments. To date, no one from these
departments and agencies has come forward saying that the autonomy of
the Inspector General constitutes a threat to national security. It is
ludicrous to me that the Secretary of the new Department would be
exempt from laws that all other Secretaries and directors must comply
Regrettably, under this rule, we will not have the opportunity to
debate these matters. It should be obvious, when looking at the number
and diversity of the amendments submitted, that this bill, as written,
quite frankly, is not ready for prime time. If ever there was
legislation that demanded an open rule, this is it. There is no
stronger evidence of that than the fact that the chairman of the Select
Committee himself has submitted three en bloc amendments to his own
Mr. Speaker, in closing, let me say that this is the most important
legislation of the 107th Congress to date. We are reorganizing the
Federal Government and creating a new Department. We have never, to my
recollection, undertaken such a daunting piece of legislation hampered
by the restrictions this rule places on us.
The American people are counting on us to create a Department that
will do three things: Prevent terrorist attacks, reduce our
vulnerability, and minimize the damage from attacks that do occur. It
is not good for our constituents or our colleagues on the committees of
jurisdiction to limit the number of amendments made in order.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes
to the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gekas), the
chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and
Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary to testify on the Hastert-
Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this
As everyone knows, the Judiciary has, for almost 2 years now, been
working on the expected division of labor in the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. On the one hand, we want to streamline the
enforcement part of Immigration and Naturalization Service while, at
the same time, giving due attention to the process, naturalization and
immigrant services, on the other side.
I am happy to report that the rule that we are considering now would
allow debate, eventually, on the plan of the Select Committee on
Homeland Security to take the enforcement border security portions of
the Immigration and Naturalization Service and make it a part of the
new Cabinet level of Homeland Security, while leaving in the Justice
Department those functions to which we have alluded as being immigrant
services, naturalization, process, et cetera.
This, in one fell swoop, accomplishes the bifurcation purpose with
which we started this term's deliberations on the structure of
Immigration and Naturalization Service. So we are in a position, even
though the Attorney General and the director of the INS have on their
own shifted the boxes around in the Justice Department between
enforcement and process, and even though the Committee on the Judiciary
has moved on its own to bifurcate the two segments of INS, we now are
in a position to sanctify the whole process by incorporating that same
bifurcation in the Department of Homeland Security.
I am pleased, then, Mr. Speaker, to support the rule and the
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from
California (Ms. Harman).
(Ms. HARMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend her
Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this
time, and I commend him for his excellent service on the Select
Mr. Speaker, today we address a critical piece of the strategy to
protect our homeland. Paraphrasing Dwight Eisenhower, ``The right
organization does not guarantee success, but the wrong organization
guarantees failure.'' I would add that no organization, no organizing
principle, guarantees chaos, a waste of scarce resources, and,
ultimately, continued vulnerability.
The strategy is to prevent another 9-11, to shore up vulnerable
infrastructure, and make certain we can respond, if necessary, with
maximum effectiveness. We do this by giving the dedicated, capable
people in the field the tools and structure to do the job.
A note on the history of this proposal. Last October, shortly after
9-11, the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons) and I, with numerous
bipartisan cosponsors, introduced legislation to create a statutory
office in the White House to coordinate and oversee homeland security.
We felt the executive order establishing Governor Ridge's office was
inadequate to coordinate more than 120 agencies and departments with
some jurisdiction over homeland security.
Events have proved us right. Our colleagues, the gentleman from Texas
(Mr. Thornberry) and the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Tauscher)
took a different approach, recommending the creation of a homeland
security department of the sort recommended by the Hart-Rudman
Commission in March 2001.
This May, the four of us and a bipartisan group from the other body
melded our approaches. We proposed a Department of Homeland Security
smaller than the one envisioned in H.R. 5005, and a strong White House
counterterrorism coordinating office. Then, in June, the President
unveiled his approach, that, in the version reported by the Select
Committee, places all or part of 22 Federal agencies in a new
Department of Homeland Security.
The bill also creates a Homeland Security Council in the White House,
modeled after the National Security Council, to coordinate homeland
security efforts across the Federal Government. The administration's
proposal is a variation of our earlier bill, and I am pleased to be an
Looking forward, rather than just describing more of what is in the
bill, I would note several improvements in the base bill and in the
manager's amendment and several amendments to be adopted and supported
by the manager.
First, the establishment of a statutory Homeland Security Council in
the White House. Second, the creation of a point of entry for thousands
of companies with cutting-edge homeland security technologies, which
must be deployed if our homeland is to be safe. Third, an amendment
that passed the House 422 to 2 that requires the sharing of critical
and reliable threat information across the Federal Government and down
to State and local first responders. And, fourth, a sense of Congress
underscoring the priority to fund trauma care and burn care with
already appropriated bioterrorism money.
Mr. Speaker, as a mother of four, I know that perfection is not an
option. The bill is not perfect. But it is very good, and I urge
support of this fair rule and adoption of H.R. 5005.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to
the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon), a member of
the Committee on Armed Services.
(Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise
and extend his remarks.)
Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for
yielding me this time, and I thank our colleagues on both sides of the
aisle for putting together this piece of legislation. I fully support
it and support the rule which is before us.
I will have some comments about some of the amendments, but I wanted
to stand up and set the stage as far as I am concerned for the
I have been in this body for eight terms, Mr. Speaker, and during
eight terms, my number one priority has been to focus on emergency
response locally. I have been to every disaster the country has had in
the last 16 years: Loma Prieta, Northridge, Hurricane Andrew, Hugo, the
Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center in
1993, and I was at Ground Zero on September 13. I went there to try to
get lessons that we could learn from the needs that we have to respond
to both natural and manmade incidents of disaster. Those needs are, in
fact, addressed by this bill, except perhaps in one case.
The number one overriding need is coordination of intelligence. Five
years ago we proposed in our defense bill the creation of a national
data fusion center. Unfortunately, while this agency calls for one
focus on coordinated intelligence, it does not give the teeth necessary
to force the FBI and the CIA to become totally involved, and it is
going to require additional work. But intelligence is in fact an
overriding priority for us to detect emerging threats.
The second, and perhaps most important, priority for our first
responders is communication. We have no integrated system of
communication for our first responders nationwide. Local fire and
police cannot talk to each other. That is unacceptable. This
legislation deals with that issue in a real way.
The third major priority is support for the first responder. Mr.
Speaker, the first responder on every disaster in this country, be it
natural or manmade, will not be the National Guard, will not be the
FEMA bureaucrat, will not be the Marine Corps Seabird team. The first
responder in every case will be someone from the 32,000 fire, EMS, and
law enforcement departments who will be there when that terrorism act
occurs or when that disaster occurs.
And as we develop this legislation, I would ask our colleagues to
keep in mind that that should be our underlying principle; that we
empower the first responder. They know what to do. They have been
handling chemical plant fires and other disasters for years. Our job
must be to empower them with the support they need.
I thank our colleagues and urge support for this rule and for this
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio
Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, we all want America to be more secure. The
American people are entitled to it. We need to eliminate fear and
insecurity in our post-September 11 Nation, but this bill will not
accomplish a more effective defense of our Nation because there has
been no analysis, no risk assessment, no sense of the actual causes of
insecurity, no justification for sweeping changes in 153 different
Nothing in this bill will accomplish security superior to what those
153 agencies can now accomplish through strong leadership. Furthermore,
it has been 16 hours since this House passed an amendment to the
intelligence authorization bill which will establish a national
independent commission to investigate September 11. We will have a new
Department with 170,000 employees to respond to 9-11, and yet the
commission that will analyze 9-11 has not even begun its work. That is
quite a feat.
Meanwhile, 170,000 new people in this Department, no idea of how the
organization will integrate, 10 years for the Department to be up and
running, in the meantime, I predict the reorganization itself will
represent a threat to the security of our Nation because it will induce
paralysis and administrative breakdown.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman
from Missouri (Mr. Blunt), the deputy whip.
Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this
time, and for her work on the Select Committee, along with all other
Members who served on the committee, and certainly the majority leader
who led the committee, which allowed all of the other committees to
This rule, a rule brought to the Committee on Rules by the Democratic
leader, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Gephardt), the gentleman from
Illinois (Speaker Hastert), let all of those issues be discussed again
on the floor. This has been a speedy but thorough process led by our
Speaker, high cooperation from the minority leader, and certainly the
committee itself led by the majority leader to get this bill to the
I just heard a suggestion that somehow this would confuse
administrative lines of control and decisionmaking. I think just the
opposite. The whole idea of a homeland security agency is to do away
with that confusion. At a time when people need to respond, they need
to know who makes the decision to respond. When there are people on the
ground, they need to know the exact chain of command.
We do not need people from six agencies all trying to respond in the
same time in the least effective way. We need the Federal Government
responding at the same time in the most effective way. This agency
ensures that. We will have debate on the future of FEMA. FEMA should be
part of a homeland security agency. Whether it is a natural disaster or
a terrorist-created disaster, much of the response would be the same.
We would hope that FEMA would get its practice responding to natural
disasters, but it will get that experience and that ability to respond
so if we do have a terrorist disaster, we have an agency that is well
prepared to respond to disasters. FEMA needs to be in this agency. The
rule allows a vote on that very question.
We need to have great flexibility with personnel so that Federal
personnel is used where, when and how it is needed, and those decisions
can be made in the way that least impacts the disaster, and best
responds to solving that disaster. The deadlines that have been created
for airports, we get a chance in this rule to discuss that, but
deadlines that cannot possibly be met need to be viewed in a way that
allows us to responsibly do our job.
Many Members after September 11 thought that we needed to think long
and hard before we decided to create a new agency like this. Well, we
have thought long. We have thought hard. The President has set the mark
by saying we need this agency so we can respond in an appropriate way,
we can plan in an appropriate way, and the decisions are made in a way
that people know who makes that decision.
Mr. Speaker, that is why I urge the support of this rule, support of
the bill, and we need to get on with this business and get this job
done so we can begin to organize the Federal Government in a way that
best meets the challenges we face.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
(Ms. JACKSON-LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend
her remarks, and include extraneous material.)
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, a few days after the tragedy
of September 11, a day that none of us will ever forget where we were,
and those of us in the United States Congress had a firsthand view of
the billowing smoke from the Pentagon, we knew that we had to turn a
page in America's history and begin to look at life differently.
In the course of doing that, I drafted legislation that my colleagues
joined me in to help prioritize the Federal relief and support for
those children who had lost one parent or two parents in that tragedy
on September 11. I remember meeting the Calderon family, two babies who
had lost their mother.
And so I come to the floor today to discuss this rule in the context
that there cannot be or should not be a place for conspiracy theories
or politics, as was said by one of the Members on this floor, but I
truly believe that we can and should have been able to do better.
This bill was marked up. The framework came to us from the White
House very expeditiously by the committees of jurisdiction, but in the
mark of the Select Committee, and I thank the chairman, the gentleman
from Texas (Mr. Armey), the ranking member, the gentlewoman from
California (Ms. Pelosi), and the members of the Select Committee, in
addition to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Frost), came a bill of 200-
plus pages. I believe it warrants the deliberate study that would make
this a better bill.
This bill does not have whistleblower protection. I believe it could
have better communications. Even though it
deals with first responders, I believe it could do better.
From the expertise of the Subcommittee on Immigration, I am
disappointed that this body saw fit not to allow at least minimally a
debate on how the immigration department should be structured.
Interestingly enough, the amendment that I offered to establish a
division 5 is the exact same format that the other body passed today
out of the Committee on Government Reform. It includes a division of
immigration affairs, and it includes enforcement and immigration
services as one, not to put the immigration services in the Department
of Justice, making it a stepchild with no funding because the other
body recognizes that the two are intertwined, and they must be able to
Mr. Speaker, suppose a person is applying for asylum and goes to the
Department of Justice and Immigration Services, but his brother is
caught by the Border Patrol in the Department of Homeland Security and
they give that person another decision, this is not the way to run a
government or to secure America.
Interestingly enough, a division that would have comported with the
format that the President presented the divisions and the way that they
structured the immigration services is not done by this bill.
My amendment would have had the children being addressed by the
Department of Justice.
Finally, here we are dealing with homeland security, and we have
NASA, an amendment that was passed by the Committee on Science to help
NASA collaborate with technologies and research with this new
Department, an amendment that was rejected by this Committee on Rules
and this rule.
I do not know how we can consider this a bipartisan process if we
leave a whole body of research that NASA has out of the ability to help
us secure our homeland. I am very glad to see that some component of an
amendment I had dealing with minorities and small businesses has been
included, but still we have a problem with the kinds of benefits for
civil service employees and an amendment dealing with avoiding
kickbacks, whistleblower protection, protection of minorities and small
businesses, and the prohibition of contracting with individuals who
have been convicted of contract-related felonies has not been included.
Mr. Speaker, we could and can do better. I ask Members to vote
against this rule because we can do better for the American people.
I am disturbed at the lack of deliberation and due process
characterized by the rule put forth by the Rules Committee. I prepared
six amendments to be considered for H.R. 5005 only that would have
added to solving some of the difficulties of this large department.
This process should not be a narrow process but rather an inclusive
process to strike at the heart of terrorism.
amendment to h.r. 5005, the department of homeland security creating a
fifth division of immigration affairs
This amendment creates a fifth division to the Department of Homeland
(DHS) consistent with the President's Proposal and the bill reported by
the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to the full Senate, and has
the best chance of becoming law. It is imperative, as this House
confirmed in H.R. 3231, that immigration services and enforcement stay
in tact. Services and enforcement are clearly intertwined because it is
vital that they talk with each other. It is important for there to be
consistent decisions made on immigration issues. For example, the
asylum seeker may present his case to the immigration service division
in DOJ and get a different ruling by his brother who may have been
picked up by Border Patrol and received a decision for DHS.
This is bad policy and does not help those aliens seeking to follow
the law. We can balance the services and the security needs and provide
an effective revenue stream to fund these divisions. If DOJ services
are separated from enforcement they will be treated like a stepchild
without any support.
The Jackson-Lee Proposal would create a fifth division within the
Department of Homeland Security titled the Division of Immigration
Affairs. This division could house three subdivisions titled; (1)
Border Security; (2) Immigration Services and (3) Visa processing. My
amendment envisions having the entire INS (a) pulled from the
Administration's Border and Transportation Security division; (b)
placed in its own division headed by an Undersecretary for Immigration
Affairs; and (c) restructured as envisioned by H.R. 3231, the House INS
My amendment is consistent with the Hyde-Berman amendment, which
passed during Judiciary committee markup and is endorsed by the Select
Committee, is the preferred alternative and consistent with the
Administration's proposal. This proposal allows the administration of
visa issuance function to be carried out by State Department employees
with the oversight and regulatory guidance of the DHS.
My amendment also includes the Lofgren-Jackson-Lee amendment
language, which will allow the Administration for Children and Families
(ACF) within the Department of Health and Human Services to be the lead
agency with responsibility for unaccompanied alien children.
amendment to h.r. 5005, the department of homeland security treatment
of minors detained by the department of homeland security
Another amendment I wanted to offer concerned the treatment of Minors
by DHS. Minors may, for myriad reasons, come within the custody of the
DHS. This Amendment would simply ensure that minors in custody of the
DHS, whether they be aliens or minors from the United States, are
provided access to independent counsel within 24 hours and the DHS
endeavors to make contact with a parent or guardian within 48 hours.
The amendment further requires that the DHS take affirmative action
towards assisting the minor in contacting the minor's parent or
Legal permanent resident and U.S. minors may come into the custody of
the Department of Homeland Security for many reasons. For example, if
the Coast Guard takes a vessel into custody with children on it, these
minors may end up in the custody of the DHS. These minors should
guaranteed minimal procedural protections. My amendment simply made
congresswoman sheila jackson-lee nasa amendment to h.r. 5005
I also wanted to offer a NASA Amendment. The Secretary of Homeland
Security should not re-invent the wheel. If expertise and resources
have already been developed at taxpayer expense, and exist in federal
agencies, they should be put at the disposal of the Secretary.
NASA is a leader in satellite and information security. NASA has
developed hardware and software that would help make us less vulnerable
to cyber-attacks, that could cost billions of dollars and risk many
lives by compromising our infrastructure.
My amendment would simply have NASA create an office which would
catalog resources available at NASA that might be used in the fight
against terrorism, and make them available to the Secretary of Homeland
Security through reimbursable consultation or contracts.
This common sense amendment could save millions of dollars by
reducing redundancy, and could expedite the process of getting our
nation prepared for the challenges ahead.
It would be tragic if an attack occurred, while the technology to
prevent that attack were readily available at NASA.
Other Transaction Authority Limitation Amendment to H.R. 5005 offered
by Sheila Jackson-Lee
The bill as it stands gives ``other transaction authority'' to the
Secretary. This authority allows the Secretary to bypass many good
government provisions that regulate the use of independent contractors.
This authority may be necessary in order to streamline research and
development, and pilot projects deemed essential for homeland security.
However, some of the regulations on federal contracting, reflect
decades of accumulated wisdom, and would be absurd to discard.
My amendment would NOT block the Secretary's use of ``other
transaction authority.'' It would simply preserve a few common sense
aspects of federal procurement law.
It would stop people who were convicted of contract-related felonies
from getting more contracts.
It would protect the abilities of small and minority-owned businesses
to get contracts.
It would block the kickbacks that plague the contracting industry.
It would block the use of taxpayer dollars going to contractors from
being used to lobby the federal government for more contracts.
And it protects workers who blow the whistle on fraud and abuse at
If while consolidating different agencies into the Department of
Homeland Security, we start removing the good government provisions
that have made those agencies work well in the past--we run the very
real risk of making the Department much less than the sum of its parts.
The American people deserve better.
Amendment Providing Special Assistant to the Secretary of Homeland
Security to promote the use of small and disadvantaged business
My next amendment provides for a Special Assistant to the Secretary
of Homeland Security to promote the use of women and small business
concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically
disadvantaged individuals. The present legislation does not address the
issue of small business.
My goal is to provide a holistic approach to small businesses. Not
just covering the employees but encouraging the creation of small
business. Small businesses are losing an increasing number of federal
contracts to bigger business, according to recent data compiled by the
Small Business Administration. Overall federal contracting dollars fell
from $202 billion in 1995 to about $190 billion in 1997, a 5.9 percent
decrease. But small businesses saw a 6.8 percent decline in federal
Business in cities all over the nation are suffering cuts in 8(a)
contracts. In the Phoenix area, $30 million in contracts were awarded
to minority and women-owned firms through the SBA's 8(a) program in
1995. That number dropped to $19 million in 1997. Similar firms in the
Baltimore area saw contracting dollars plummet from $250 million in
1995 to $172 million in 1997.
More than one-half of minority women-owned firms (59%) are in the
service sector, which also had the greatest growth (33 percent between
1997 and 2002). Other industries with the greatest growth were
transportation/communications/public utilities (21%) and agriculture
The 10 states with the greatest number of minority women-owned firms
in 2002 are 1) California; 2) New York; 3) Texas; 4) Florida; 5)
Illinois; 6) Georgia; 7) Maryland; 8) New Jersey; 9) Virginia; and 10)
Despite growth, the impact of the economy on minority-business
development resulted in difficulty for entrepreneurs hoping to raise
capital, something the MBDA is contending with, says Langston.
According to a 1999 report by the BLACK ENTERPRISE Board of Economists,
of the $4.2 billion invested through Small Business Investment
Companies (SBICs), $4.09 billion went to majority firms and other $128
million went to minority firms. By appointing a Special Assistant small
business will have a voice in the Department.
civil service protections
I would also like to express my strong objection to the denial of
basic civil service protections for the thousands of federal workers
who would be transferred to the proposed department for homeland
Quite frankly, I believe that the current proposal would allow for
arbitrary and unfair treatment of federal employees under the guise of
increasing ``flexibility.'' I find it hard to understand why federal
employees whose responsibilities are the same today as they were on
September 11th, when they responded with courage and dedication, could
lose civil service protections just because the government's
organization chart may change. How can the American public feel that
their homeland is secure if the federal employees of the new department
do not even feel that their jobs are secure? Moreover, I would argue
that civil service protections are an invaluable resource that allow
federal employees, like the FBI's Coleen Rowley, to bring bureaucratic
failures to light. Stripping workers of their collective bargaining
rights and whistleblower protections would compromise the very
structures that help to ensure we meet the desired goal of reducing our
vulnerability to terrorism.
I cannot overstate my adamant support for maintaining civil service
protections in the new department. These protections should not be
altered or revoked merely because federal employees suddenly find
themselves working under the umbrella of a different department. I urge
you to guarantee that, as this important piece of legislation makes its
way through this committee, current civil service protections are not
limited in any way. This issue is fundamental to my support for the
creation of a new department.
The final outrage of this process rests in the fact that this bill
gives unbridled attention to the needs of special interest concerns
over the needs of the people. This bill give corporations that contract
with the DHS undue protection from lawsuits for faulty and dangerous
products. In this time of corporate irresponsibility, Congress should
be doing everything to encourage the best behavior of corporate
contractors, not giving them product liability protection.
The creation of the DHS is a chief priority of the Administration and
Congress has been asked to act in a very short time. The integration of
functions across many different agencies is a difficult task and the
time we have spent on this important task is insufficient. I fear that
we will revisit this matter many times in the future.
In closing, I would add that the Judiciary Committee has unique
expertise in the oversight of Justice Department functions that will be
integrated into the DHS. This expertise should be preserved in order to
assure that those functions integrated from the DOJ remain effective
within the DHS.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, this has been a very long process. We had a lengthy
markup in the committee lasting approximately 10 hours. We have had a
lengthy hearing before the Committee on Rules. We have had negotiations
on a bipartisan basis over the rule. This is not a perfect rule, but it
does preserve the minority's right to offer most of the amendments that
we sought. We would have preferred that we would have been given the
opportunity to offer the DeLauro amendment.
This is a very serious matter. It is in the interest of our country
that our citizens be safe, and it is in the interest of the country
that this House operate on a bipartisan basis. I believe we have been
given that opportunity by the majority tonight. And while this is not a
perfect rule, I urge the adoption of the rule so we can proceed to the
consideration of the bill on the floor this evening and tomorrow, and
so we can complete this very important piece of legislation before we
adjourn for our August recess.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
Mr. Speaker, we have heard the beginning of what I believe will be a
very broad and worthwhile debate on how best to secure our beloved
country. There is universal recognition among my colleagues that our
Nation is a different place than it was just 10 months ago, and our
government must reflect that new reality.
While the steps that we take today are a simple reorganization of
existing governmental functions, we should not doubt that our work will
directly serve the freedom, the liberty and the way of life of all
I urge Members to take measure of the task that we have before us,
support this fair and open rule and the underlying bill.
Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman
from Texas (Mr. Armey), the chairman of the Select Committee on
Homeland Security, who led us through this process with great decorum
Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this
time. I thank the gentleman from Texas for his participation in this
debate, and thank the Committee on Rules for bringing this rule to the
Mr. Speaker, when the President of the United States called us, the
bicameral, bipartisan leadership of the Congress of the United States,
to the White House on June 6 of this year and laid before us a plan to
create a department of homeland defense for the American people, we all
instantaneously recognized this as a large and daunting task.
When the House minority leader, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr.
Gephardt), publicly suggested that we should not only undertake this
daunting task but should complete it by September 11, we all realized
that, too, would be even more daunting, but the President of the United
States jumped right up and saluted that date. So we developed among
ourselves in this body and the other body a resolve to do everything we
could to make that date. I do not know whether we will make it or not,
but I know we will make a good effort.
The President of the United States sent to us a good proposal, a
proposal that has served as a useful template for the legislative
processes of this Congress, of this House. But with respect to that
template, that proposition, the Speaker of the House made, I thought,
the most generous and inclusive decisions regarding how we should
The Speaker of the House recognized that there were 12 standing
committees of this body that would have appropriate and necessary
jurisdiction with respect to this legislation, should it be developed,
and he saw to it that each of these 12 standing committees worked their
will on the legislation.
If we take the membership of the Committee on Ways and Means, the
Committee on Appropriations, Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on
Agriculture, the Committee on International Relations, the Committee on
Government Reform, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
Committee on Financial Services, Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, House Committee on Armed Services, and Committee on
Commerce, and Committee on Energy and
Science, we would probably have at least two thirds of the Members of
this body having served on a committee that exercised jurisdiction over
this bill. I cannot imagine any piece of legislation produced in this
body in my 18 years that had so large a percentage of the body's hands
on the legislative process. What could be more inclusive than that?
But that inclusivity was not, in itself, enough to satisfy the
Speaker's desire that this be an open, inviting, and inclusive process.
He then arranged that these 12 different select committees would report
their work to a select committee comprised of Members of the leadership
of both the Republican and Democrat party. And we digested the work of
these 12 different committees after we had had hearings that included
virtually every member of the cabinet that had anything to do with
this, each of the chairmen and ranking members of each of these
committees, and we had a very special hearing that included a group
that I like to call the bipartisan innovators in the body that had
presented themselves to this task long before it was conceived by the
President, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Thornberry), the gentlewoman
from California (Ms. Harman), and the gentlewoman from California (Mrs.
Tauscher) and of course the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons) whose
work was invaluable to us as we proceeded.
The Speaker, when he set up this process and invited us to go to
work, agreed that there would be a rule that would govern our
proceedings, that would be a product of the joint recommendation of
himself and the minority leader. And at the conclusion of our event,
102 amendments were offered for consideration to the Committee on
Rules. The Speaker and the minority leader have spent the last 48 hours
digesting these, structuring these, negotiating, and have given us this
rule that defines the content of 27 opportunities to amend this
legislation and the structure of the rule.
Mr. Speaker, I can think of no time ever in my time as a Member of
this body when we considered anything whatsoever under procedures,
jurisdictions, participations that were broader and more bipartisan and
more inviting and more inclusive than this. In the close of business
this day and the next, we will produce a bill for the Department of
Homeland Defense, and it will be a bill that will have had, in terms of
participation in the writing of chapter and verse, the participation of
virtually every Member of this Congress.
May I say on behalf of the body, Mr. Speaker, thank you, thank you
for understanding, Mr. Speaker, how serious this business is, how
important it is to the Nation, and thank you for making it possible for
each and every one of us on both sides of the aisle to know that we
were respected, included, and participated in this process. No Speaker
ever in the history of the House showed a greater respect for the House
Members than our Speaker, Mr. Hastert, and if I may again say on behalf
of all of us, Mr. Speaker, thank you for being the fine man you are.
You are, Mr. Speaker, a fine servant to freedom, and that is the kind
of governance we should have in this House. I ask that we vote this
amendment out of respect to the generosity and inclusiveness of the
Speaker who made it possible.
Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today disappointed that
the Rules Committee would not allow an amendment that would have
provided the new Department of Homeland Security with the tools that
are necessary to appropriately respond to a terrorist attack or another
Homeland Security Emergency.
The amendment that I speak of is one that I offered in the Committee
on Government Reform, where it passed by a unanimous vote.
Government Reform is the Committee that had primary jurisdiction in
the creation of this new department, yet much of its wonderful
bipartisan work was unexplainably rejected by the Majority, was not
allowed in today's Bill and is not even being allowed a chance to be
debated on the floor today.
Obviously, prevention needs to be our and the Department of Homeland
Security's number-one priority, and we must do everything possible to
prevent all future attacks.
However, there are two major priorities for homeland security--not
only preventing terrorism, but also responding to the impacts of
terrorism should it occur again.
With this reorganization, we seem to have only focused on the first.
If a fail-safe system cannot be created, then why are we being
blocked today from taking the lessons learned from the worst terrorist
attack in American history and using the research of GAO, CRS and the
NY Federal Reserve to create an improved system of response?
Experience is often the best teacher and very regrettably, New York
learned much on 9/11.
The bipartisan amendment that I introduced recognized the need to
improve the nation's response should we have another attack.
My amendment does exactly that.
It gives the Secretary the authority to respond quickly following a
homeland security event and eliminates much of the redtape New York
experienced after 9/11.
These are things that when they need to be done, they need to be done
quickly. If they are not done quickly then the challenges to the
affected areas significantly increase.
I must stress that all of these options are at the discretion of the
I cannot imagine why the Majority would not allow the opportunity to
give the Department of Homeland Security the ability to respond and
provide aid to schools, hospitals and local governments that may need
We know from September 11th that there's a great deal of room for
improvement in response and recovery operations.
While the hearts of Washington were 100% behind New York's recovery,
the system was not adequately prepared to get the job done.
The series of complications and delays in federal relief efforts for
New York City show a real need for expanded authority and flexibility
in disaster recovery operations.
I think we can all agree that delivering immediate aid, to the right
people, at the right time, is and will always be our top priority.
It's painful to think that thousands of people, in any of our
districts, could once again be left without assistance because of
outdated rules and inconsistent procedures.
Sadly, America experienced a major disaster we can learn from,
showing in some cases what works, and in many cases, how not to
My amendment learns from the past and prepares for the future.
Enclosed are materials on my amendment. Although my amendment was not
included, I do support the rule and underlying bill.
Ms. PRYCE of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time,
and I move the previous question on the resolution.
The previous question was ordered.
The resolution was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
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