[Congressional Record: September 3, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--MOTION TO PROCEED--Continued
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be allowed to
proceed under Senator Lieberman's time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have to believe that the President is not
getting the right information from his staff; otherwise, knowing him, I
cannot believe he would say some of the things he has said recently.
I was running yesterday morning, and on Public Radio I heard a
preview of the speech the President was going to give before a union in
Pennsylvania. And I thought they must have made a mistake. Then, later
in the day, I heard him complete that speech, and he went ahead just as
they had said on Public Radio.
As we consider homeland security and the measures we should take to
defend America, I think it is important we talk about terrorism
insurance. That is the issue I want to talk about. I believe the
President has not received the proper information from his staff.
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
about a year ago, many American businesses have had trouble purchasing
affordable insurance covering acts of terrorism.
As a consequence, many construction projects and real estate
transactions have been delayed, interrupted, and in some cases
canceled. We are talking about billions of dollars worth of projects
that have been stalled, some terminated, solely because of the lack of
being able to purchase terrorism insurance.
These problems cost many American workers their jobs and prevent
businesses from being as productive as they could be. Clearly, the lack
of affordable terrorism insurance has had a harmful effect on our
Nation's already troubled economy.
I am glad we are back from our break and the President is back from
his vacation. However, as I have indicated, yesterday, the President
made some statements relating to terrorism insurance, about the need
for Congress to move forward on terrorism insurance, that simply were
without any fact.
As millions of students across the country go back to school, I want
them to understand that they must speak the truth. I repeat, I do not
think the President said what he said yesterday based upon full
knowledge of all the information.
The truth, Mr. President, is Senate Democrats--because I have been
here offering the unanimous consent request for months--have been
leading the effort to pass an effective terrorism insurance bill--and
we started on this last year--while Republicans have delayed and
attempted to thwart this important legislation time after time. The
President should know that. The leadership in the Congress of his party
has not allowed us to go forward on this legislation.
One of the statements he made before the union is: I am for hard
hats, not trial lawyers.
This is terrorism insurance. We should move it forward. I am
confident everyone can see through these statements the President made
as being without fact.
I want to remind him and the people who give him advice--give him
good information, good background information so he can speak with the
full knowledge of the facts.
We are eager to pass terrorism insurance. We have done everything
within our power to do that. This would help workers, businesses, and
the Nation's economy.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks last year, our colleagues--
Senators Dodd, Sarbanes, and Schumer--developed a strong bill to help
businesses get the affordable terrorism insurance they badly need.
When we attempted to move this bill last December, the minority
voiced no fundamental disagreement with the bill but argued over the
number of amendments to be offered. This was done in an effort to
prevent us from moving forward on this legislation. So we could not do
it in December. We came right back and started on it. After having had
many private attempts to get this legislation moving, we decided to go
public and try to move it from the floor, right from where I stand.
We tried offering in early spring unanimous consent agreements to
take up the terrorism insurance legislation. Again, there was no
objection to the base text or that the Dodd-Sarbanes-Schumer bill
should be the vehicle we would bring to the floor. They wanted some
amendments. We wanted to treat this as any other legislation. They said
let us agree on the number of amendments. Whatever number we came up
with wasn't appropriate. We could not move it. Finally, they simply
disagreed with bringing up the bill at all.
It is the right of the majority leader to decide which bills are
brought to the floor. If the minority is opposed, they have the right
to offer amendments and attempt to modify the text of the bill. We have
offered to bring the bill up with amendments on each side so everyone
could have the opportunity to make changes.
Nevertheless, the minority continued to object and further prevented
us from passing the terrorism insurance legislation.
In April, the importance of the terrorism insurance legislation was
enunciated by Secretary O'Neill in his testimony before the
Appropriations Committee that the lack of terrorism insurance could
cost America 1 percent of the GDP because major projects would not be
able to get financing.
Finally, we were able to get an agreement that we could bring the
bill to the floor. We passed the legislation. And then came weeks and
weeks of more stalling by the minority. We could not get agreement on
appointing conferees. We attempted and attempted and attempted. First,
they were upset because the ratio was 3 to 2, which is fairly standard.
They said they wanted 4 to 3. So we came back
and said OK, and they still would not agree.
Finally, we were able to get agreement on the appointment of
conferees. But now nothing is happening in the conference. We cannot do
that alone. So I hope the record is clear. I know we refer to ``the
people downtown''--that is, the government representatives, the
lobbyists who are concerned about this issue, the real estate and hotel
owners, and these special interest groups. They know how we have tried
to move this legislation. I only hope the people who have lost their
jobs and are unable to move forward--these people in Pennsylvania
yesterday who were told we are holding this up--understand that simply
is not the truth.
So I certainly hope this legislation can be completed and we can have
a bill sent to the President. It is the right thing to do. The
legislation is important, and I hope we can do it sooner rather than
I suggest the absence of a quorum and ask unanimous consent that the
time be charged equally to both sides.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk
will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order
for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I yield 15 minutes of my time now to
the Senator from Illinois who, I might say parenthetically, has been an
extraordinarily thoughtful, constructive participant in the Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee's consideration of the question of
homeland security and, in that sense, has contributed mightily to the
proposal we will put before the Chamber tonight. I am glad to yield 15
minutes to Senator Durbin.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I thank Chairman Lieberman for his
leadership on the Governmental Affairs Committee. I think the record
demonstrates that before the President called for the creation of a
Department of Homeland Security, our committee, the Governmental
Affairs Committee of the Senate, under Senator Lieberman's leadership,
proposed a law to create such a Department.
At the time, it is interesting because it was on a partisan roll
call, if I remember correctly, nine Democrats for it, seven Republicans
against it. We argued that a question of this magnitude, a challenge of
this gravity, required a separate Department at that moment in time.
Neither the President nor his loyal followers in the Senate were
prepared to join us in that effort.
So I salute Senator Lieberman for his leadership, and I am happy now
that we have reached the point where we are speaking again, as we
should when it comes to our Nation's defense, in a bipartisan manner. I
hope that as we proceed to the debate on this bill, we can gather
together again that same bipartisan force.
There is nothing that says Congress or the Senate have to agree on
everything and, frankly, if we did, it would probably betray the
principles and values of this Nation. But when it comes to our national
security and defense, particularly the creation of a Department of this
magnitude, I think it is all well and good that when the debate ends,
we do try to find some common ground.
Our Government simply has to change and adapt to the challenge of
international terrorism. A reorganization of this magnitude is not
going to be simple--it is going to take some time--but this Congress is
up to the task. Throughout our history, from 1789 when the first
Congress created the first executive branch Departments of State, War,
and Treasury, to 1988 when the latest Department, the Department of
Veterans Affairs, was created, Congress has worked to make sure the
Government was organized to do the job the American people asked of it.
Protecting our Nation's people is our highest priority. On March 15,
2001, almost 6 months before the attack on September 11, the U.S.
Commission on National Security/21st Century, known by the shorthand
name of the Hart-Rudman Commission, named after its co-chairmen the
distinguished former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, released a
report entitled ``Road Map For National Security: An Imperative For
Change.'' The Commission was, unfortunately, prescient in seeing the
vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. The No. 1
recommendation of the Hart-Rudman Commission was to create a Department
of Homeland Security.
It is worth quoting for the record some of the report that came out
of the Commission. It says, the combination of unconventional weapons
proliferation with the persistence of international terrorism will end
the relative invulnerability of the U.S. homeland to catastrophic
These words were written 6 months before September 11. They went on
in their report to recommend the creation of an independent national
homeland security agency, and they suggested there were some agencies
of Government which naturally would come under the roof and under the
authority of this new Department and quite effectively, or at least
more effectively, defend the United States.
The blueprint they laid out was really the basis for this bill we
have before us, the Senate version, the Governmental Affairs version,
from Senator Lieberman. The backbone of the new Department will be
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with the
Departments guarding our borders and our perimeter. This new Department
everyone sees as a way to protect our country more robustly.
Some have questioned, though, how a new Department and how
reorganizing Government will really make us any safer. Right now there
are more than 45 agencies in the Federal Government with some
responsibility for homeland security. If we look at it, it is just too
diffuse. It cannot be focused. It cannot be coordinated. In the words
of my friend and former House colleague, Gov. Tom Ridge, we are going
to, frankly, not have the force multipliers we need that organization
and coordination will bring.
Some of my colleagues have charged we are moving too quickly. Well, I
happen to agree with the premise that this race to enact this
legislation by September 11 of this year, on the 1-year anniversary of
that terrible disaster, was precipitous. It would have been a miracle
if we had been able to create a bill that quickly which would have
really met the task. It is better for us to take the additional time to
do it right. To meet some self-imposed deadline or some deadline
imposed by the press or our critics does not make a lot of sense when
we are talking about a Department that is going to be facing the
responsibility of protecting America for decades to come.
As a member of the committee, I want to report to our colleagues that
I think our committee has done its job. This does not mean we should
not debate the issue and deliberate on some alternatives and some
modifications. What we have before us is an effort, backed by
bipartisan work for many years under both Republican and Democrat
chairmen. This committee has held 18 hearings since last September 11
setting up this new Department. It is a committee that has held a
series of hearings over the last 4 or 5 years on the issues that are
I remind my colleagues that this extensive body of work of this
committee and its chairman allowed our committee to report out a bill
on May 22. Once the President decided he wanted a similar Department,
we tried to coordinate his intentions with our own. Realizing that all
wisdom does not reside in one branch of Government or the other, we
have listened to the President's suggestions. I am hopeful he will be
open to our own.
One of the things I included in this as an element that was of
particular personal interest related to the whole question of
information technology. The proposal to restructure 28 agencies into a
new, unified Homeland Security Department poses a complex challenge to
integrate the system's infrastructure of our information technology to
support the new Department's mission.
Let me get away from these high falutin' words, high sounding words,
and get back to the real world where I live, because I am not part of
this computer generation. I struggle with my own computers and e-mail
to try to be up to speed. In the amendment that I adopted, what we are
really saying to the Office of Management and Budget
is: We want you to have a special person, a special group, assigned the
responsibility to coordinate the architecture of the computers that are
supposed to be cooperating and working together in all of the different
I am sorry to report to the Senate and to the people following this
debate that that does not exist today. In fact, it has been a very low
priority. If we look at the sorry state of affairs of computers at
agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we can certainly
understand the need for this amendment. Currently, each of the agencies
we expect to consolidate has its own separate information technology
budget and program--the Coast Guard, Customs, FEMA, INS, Secret
Service, Transportation Security Administration, and others. Each one
has a unique system that does not necessarily have the capacity to
communicate or coordinate these activities. Frankly, is that not what
this debate is all about, so that all the agencies of the Federal
Government will coordinate their resources, their authority, and their
wisdom into one unified effort to create the force multiplier that
Governor Ridge mentioned?
Because these divergent systems need to be linked, it is important to
ask key questions now to ensure this new Department will help the
agencies brought together and others outside to coordinate their
communication and share information. It is equally important to
establish appropriate links between the Homeland Security Department
and other agencies, such as the CIA, the National Security Agency, the
Department of Defense, the FBI, the State Department, and State and
local officials, which may not be embraced under the Homeland Security
Department's organizational umbrella.
Given the current state of affairs in the Federal information
technology systems reflected in incomprehensible delays in meeting
congressional mandates, I think this is long overdue. I will give two
illustrations of why this is timely.
Six years ago, Congress mandated the Customs Department and INS to
establish a database to record those exiting the United States with
visitor's visas. Those coming into the United States in many instances
need visas to be in the United States, and we thought we should keep
track of those who are leaving so we will know the net number of visa
holders in the United States, which can range in the tens of millions
at any given time.
Six years ago, Congress said to the INS: Keep track of people leaving
with a visa. Six years later, it is still not done. It has not been
accomplished. The inspector general at the Department of Justice tells
us it is years away.
So when Attorney General Ashcroft said, to make America safer, we are
going to take the fingerprints and photographs of all people coming
into the United States on a visa, I am sure people around America were
nodding their heads saying, I guess that is necessary; it is certainly
reasonable. Well, it is technologically impossible today to do it. We
do not have the computer capability to keep track of people leaving the
United States with a visa, let alone the millions coming into the
United States on visas.
So for the Attorney General to make that suggestion is to say that he
is going to go drill for oil on the Moon. It is not going to happen--
not until we come a long way from where we are today.
We also said, incidentally, to the FBI and the Immigration and
Naturalization Service: We notice that they both collect fingerprints.
Can they merge their databases so that law enforcement agencies across
the Federal Government, across the Nation, around the world, will have
access to a common database of fingerprints collected by the United
States? We asked them to do that 3 years ago. It still has not been
So when it comes to information technology, do not delude yourself
into believing we are where we ought to be. We are not. The creation of
this Department and the amendment which Senator Lieberman and others
were happy to accept and said nice things about, I hope will move
forward in achieving that goal.
The enterprise architecture and resulting systems must be designed
for interoperability between many different agencies. I hope we get
this achieved quickly.
I have had a great deal of frustration, even anger, over the lack of
progress we have made since September 11. To have the new person in
charge of information technology from the FBI testify before the
Judiciary Committee saying it will be 2 years before the FBI is up to
speed with their computers is totally unacceptable. Members should not
stand for that one second. To think one can go to any computer store in
any major city in America and buy computers with better capability than
the computers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is shameful. That
exists today; it should change. This bill will be part of the change.
Also, I raise another issue briefly. After the events of September
11, we heard from a number of people--Governor Ridge, Secretary
Thompson of the Department of Health and Human Services--about concern
for our Nation's food supply and its vulnerability to attack. We have
to be mindful and sensitive. I thank Senator Lieberman for including my
language on food safety and security in this legislation, directing the
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to contract with the
National Academy of Sciences to conduct a detailed study to review all
Federal statutes and regulations affecting the safety and security of
the food supply, as well as the current organizational structure of
food safety oversight to figure out if we can do it better. I think we
can. I believed that for a long time. I pushed for better coordination,
better definition, better objectives for food safety. Now, this is a
different level. It is not a question of food that can be contaminated
by natural causes, but food that could be jeopardized and contaminated
by enemies of the United States. It is part of the same consideration
but raises it to a much higher level.
I close by thanking Senator Lieberman for his leadership on this
issue. This reorganization is complicated. Although we are a great
deliberative body, we have to roll up our sleeves and deal with it. We
approach the anniversary of September 11 and know further attacks are
not only possible, but in many instances our open society invites them.
We do not have the luxury of waiting. If there were another attack
since last September 11, this bill would have passed out of here a lot
sooner. Now that we have the time to do it, let's do it and do it
I thank Senator Lieberman for his leadership, and I yield the floor.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Durbin for his
statement and for the contributions he made substantively to the
proposal and for his eloquent advocacy for the urgent necessity to get
together and create a Department of Homeland Security.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time to the Senator from Maine?
Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I yield myself as much time as I may
consume from the time of Senator Thompson.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the legislation before
the Senate that will result in the most significant reorganization of
the executive branch in more than 50 years. The creation of a Cabinet-
level Department of Homeland Security is of fundamental importance to
our national security. I believe it is one of the most important pieces
of legislation we will consider during this Congress.
In the year since the terrorist attacks on our Nation, much has been
done to make our country more secure. Congress has approved billions of
dollars to secure our borders, protect critical infrastructure, train
and equip first responders, and better detect and respond to a
bioterrorism attack. Our brave men and women in uniform have been
fighting valiantly in Afghanistan and have succeeded in many of the
goals in the war against terrorism.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security is another
important step in our efforts to secure our Nation against another
terrorist attack. This sweeping reorganization dwarfs any corporate
merger that you can think of. It involves some 200,000 employees and
nearly $40 billion in budget. The task before the Senate is truly
daunting, and it is important we get the job done right.
Currently, as many as 100 Federal agencies are responsible for
homeland security. But not one of them has homeland security as its
principal mission. That is the problem with our current organizational
structure. With that many entities responsible, nobody is accountable
and turf battles and bureaucratic disputes are virtually inevitable.
If we are to overcome these problems and create a national security
structure that can defend our Nation, we must unite the current
patchwork of agencies into a single new Department of Homeland
Security. This agency would work to secure our borders, help protect
our ports, our transportation sector, and protect our critical
infrastructure. It would synthesize and analyze homeland security
intelligence from multiple sources, thus lessening the possibility of
intelligence breakdowns or lack of communication. Furthermore, the new
domestic security structure would coordinate Federal communications
regarding threats and preparedness with State and local governments, as
well as with the private sector.
Our efforts to create a new Department of Homeland Security will help
to remedy many of the current weaknesses of the past and thus help to
protect us against future terrorist attacks.
As a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which held
extensive hearings on the reorganization legislation, I have had the
opportunity to consider a multitude of ideas and concepts regarding the
creation of the new Department. We heard excellent testimony from
Governor Ridge, from the Directors of the FBI and the CIA, and from a
host of other experts. They all shed light on the problems that are
created by our current disorganization in the area of homeland
security. They all shed light on the problems that have impaired our
ability to defend our homeland and on the threats that we now face and
inevitably will face in the future.
During the committee's consideration of this bill, I expressed
concerns that in our effort to create a new Department, we must be
careful to protect the traditional missions, the very important
missions of the agencies that are being assembled into this giant new
department. In particular, I believe the Coast Guard's traditional
functions, such as search and rescue and marine resource protection,
must be protected and maintained.
Since the tragic events of September 11, the Coast Guard's focus has
shifted dramatically to homeland security. I talked with Coast Guard
officers in Portland, ME, who told me the amount of time they are now
spending on port security operations and inspecting foreign vessels
coming into the harbor in Portland. I have no doubt these are very
important missions and that the Coast Guard plays an essential role in
homeland security. And I believe it should play a leading role in the
new Department. However, we know the Coast Guard cannot continue to
focus on homeland security missions without jeopardizing its
traditional focus. I am concerned that if the current resource
allocation is maintained and the Coast Guard continues to perform these
new homeland security responsibilities, its traditional missions will
The President's budget goes a long way to try to remedy this problem
by allocating significant new funds for the Coast Guard. But we also
need to make sure the organizational structure in the new Department
also safeguards the Coast Guard's traditional mission.
For example, prior to September 11, port security missions accounted
for approximately 2 percent of the Coast Guard's resources. Immediately
following the terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard deployed 59 percent of
its resources to port security and safety missions. As a result, many
of the aircraft and vessels traditionally used for search and rescue
were far removed from their optimal locations for that function. Even
after the immediate impact of the September 11 attacks subsided, its
impact on the resources of the Coast Guard remained. Indeed, from April
through June of this year, the Coast Guard devoted 9 percent fewer
hours on search and rescue missions than it did in the year before.
Because of the Coast Guard's importance to coastal areas throughout
our Nation, any reduction in its traditional functions is cause for
great concern. Those of us who represent coastal States know how
absolutely vital the mission of the Coast Guard is. Last year alone,
the Coast Guard performed over 39,000 search and rescue missions and
saved more than 4,000 lives. On a typical day, the Coast Guard
interdicts and rescues 14 illegal immigrants, inspects and repairs 135
buoys, helps over 2,500 commercial ships navigate in and out of U.S.
ports, and saves 10 lives. That is on a typical day. In short, the
Coast Guard's traditional missions are of vital importance and they
simply must be preserved.
Let me take a moment to talk about the Coast Guard's impact and its
importance in my home State of Maine. Each year, the Coast Guard
performs about 300 search and rescue missions in my State. These
missions are literally a matter of life and death. Since October of
1999, 14 commercial fishermen have lost their lives at sea. Commercial
fishing is one of the most dangerous of occupations, and the Coast
Guard every year saves fishermen who get into trouble. How many more
would have died or been injured if the nearest Coast Guard cutter had
not been in port? How many more fishermen or recreational boaters will
lose their lives if the local Coast Guard stations must devote the vast
majority of their time to homeland security functions?
I agree that the Coast Guard must perform homeland security
functions. The role the Coast Guard is playing in securing our ports is
vitally important. But it is also vitally important that it not do so
at the expense of its traditional missions.
To respond to this challenge, Senator Stevens of Alaska and I teamed
up to offer an amendment during the Governmental Affairs Committee
markup of this legislation. We offered a successful amendment to
preserve the traditional functions of the Coast Guard, even as the
agency is moved into the new Department of Homeland Security. I want to
recognize Senator Stevens and thank him for his leadership on this
issue, as well as recognize the support of our colleagues who voted for
our amendment in committee.
Our amendment establishes the right balance between homeland security
functions and the traditional missions of the Coast Guard. It ensures
that the Coast Guard's non-homeland-security functions shall be
maintained after its transfer into the new Department but also provides
for flexibility in the event of a national emergency or an attack on
The amendment also has the Commandant of the Coast Guard report
directly to the Secretary. In the chairman's draft, he would not have
done so. Thus, his role would have been devalued or demoted. Our
amendment, the Stevens-Collins amendment, remedies that problem.
Our amendment will help to protect our coastal communities'
economies, their way of life, and their loved ones, while Americans,
wherever they live, can rest assured that the Coast Guard will perform
its necessary and vital homeland security functions. I believe our
language strikes the right balance.
As we craft this bill, it is also important that we never forget who
is on the front lines in the event of a national emergency. We learned
on September 11 who responds. It is not the response of people in
Washington. The people who are on the front lines are our police
officers, our firefighters, and our emergency medical personnel. That
is why we need to make sure the new Department coordinates its
activities and supports the activities of the local first responders.
I thank Senator Feingold for his leadership in ensuring that the
interests of the first responders are ever in our mind. I worked with
him as well as with Senator Carper on an amendment in committee that
strengthens the role of first responders in homeland security, that
recognizes their contributions.
We offered an amendment to enhance the cooperation and coordination
among State and local first responders. The new Department will be
required to designate an employee to be based in each and every 1 of
the 50 States to be a liaison to State and local governments. I think
that is so important. And it recognizes that this is a joint effort.
Similarly, an amendment Senator Carnahan and I offered will help our
community fire departments by expanding the current grant program known
as the FIRE Program. As I am sure the Presiding Officer knows, because
he represents a rural State, as I do, the FIRE Program has been so
important in helping a lot of our small, rural fire departments upgrade
their equipment and their training.
The amendment the Senator from Missouri and I offered in committee
would expand the FIRE Program and provide fire departments with the
ability over 3 years to receive maximum grants of $100,000 to hire
personnel. When I talk to my fire chiefs at home, they tell me that not
only do they need help with equipment and training but they need more
For those of us who went to New York City, one of the memories I will
carry with me forever was talking with the fire commissioner and
learning how many firefighters lost their lives on September 11. I will
never forget his telling me that more firefighters died on that day
than in the previous 70 years of the New York City Fire Department. It
is the firefighters, the police officers, the emergency medical
personnel who are always first on the scene. We cannot forget that
these brave individuals will be the first to be called upon if and when
a terrorist attack again occurs.
The New Department of Homeland Security is an essential component of
our response to current and future threats. As the brutal attacks of
September 11 demonstrated, distance from our enemies and the barriers
of oceans no longer guarantee the security of our homeland. The bill we
are considering today is another important step in preserving and
strengthening our homeland security. I believe this legislation will
help to make our Nation more secure, and I am hopeful that we will pass
it quickly after due consideration.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
Mr. REED. Mr. President, I yield myself 10 minutes from the time
controlled by Senator Byrd.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Nelson of Nebraska). Without objection, it
is so ordered.
Mr. REED. Mr. President, we are here today for three major reasons.
The first is the obvious need to restructure our security to confront
new threats that were unanticipated in the cold war. The thought is
that we do need to create a Department of Homeland Security. I support
that. We are also here today because of the groundbreaking work of
Senator Lieberman and colleagues on the Governmental Affairs Committee.
Before this proposal was invoked by the administration, they were
working on it. They were developing through hearings the substance to
make the presentation for which we are here today. But finally, we are
here today because of Senator Byrd's insistence that we consider this
very significant reorganization in the context of our Constitution and
of our responsibility as Members of the Senate to ensure we maintain
the constitutional balance that is the heart of this Government.
It would be ironic indeed that in the name of winning the war on
terror, we lost the very goal we were trying to protect, which is a
constitutional government in which all of us play a significant role--
the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.
I think it is important, as we consider this legislation, to look
carefully and thoughtfully at this proposed reorganization. It is an
extraordinary combination of governmental entities. Approximately
170,000 employees will be combined into this new Department. It will
affect 22 existing agencies. At least 11 full Senate committees have
oversight responsibilities for these existing agencies.
This is an extraordinary moment, and we have to act deliberately,
carefully, and thoughtfully. That is why I think it is so critical that
this debate take place and why it was so important that Senator Byrd
was able to indeed encourage and inspire and in many respects direct
the debate we are having today.
One of the major elements within this organization--there are many,
and I would like to allude to a few--is the treatment of intelligence.
We understood very starkly and very tragically on September 11 that
intelligence is probably the key to successful protection of the United
States, our home. We understood that. And now we have to take that
lesson and apply it.
One of the proposals made by the administration is to create an
intelligence capacity within the new Department of Homeland Security. I
agree with that. I think this new Department has to have an
intelligence capacity. Unfortunately, in terms of the administration's
proposal, I think there are two clear shortcomings. First, they have
established the intelligence capacity in the context of the
infrastructure protection responsibilities of this new Department.
Clearly, intelligence has to go beyond simply protecting our
As Senator Lieberman indicated previously in some of his comments,
the World Trade Center and other targets were not properly considered
critical infrastructure in the United States. But certainly on
September 11 it was the target of terrorists. I think we have to
disassociate the intelligence aspects of the Department in the very
narrow view of infrastructure protection.
The amendment which Senator Lieberman will propose once we move to
the bill will effectively address the issue and the problems.
There is also another problem; that is, the administration would only
allow this intelligence operation within the new Homeland Security
Department to take data provided by other agencies and analyze it. It
does not give that entity the right to reach out and get raw
intelligence data. I think that has to be a critical responsibility and
a critical authority of this new intelligence division.
Again, the bill that I believe Senator Lieberman will submit at the
conclusion of this debate will have that authority in the Homeland
Security Department. That is critical.
The essence here is to have a place in the Government where--as said
so often because it is so true--all the dots are connected. But you
can't do that and rely on the intelligence products of other agencies.
You can't do that if your focus is restricted to infrastructure
As a result, I think this is illustrative of some of the problems of
the administration's proposal, and certainly some of the problems of
the House bill. I should point out, as has been pointed out before,
that we are now debating whether the Senate will bring it up for
There are other areas that are of concern to me. One has just been
discussed quite articulately by my colleague and friend from Maine,
Senator Collins; that is the Coast Guard. Here is an agency which,
after September 11, has been decisively engaged in port protection.
Port protection by the Coast Guard has gone from a rather minor
operation before September 11 to one of their major operations. We have
all seen that. In my community of Providence, RI, we have the
Narragansett Bay. We have the Port of Providence. For the first time in
my memory--and perhaps since World War II--we are seeing Coast Guard
cutters escorting LNG tankers through the Narragansett Bay while the
whole waterway was shut down by police and the National Guard. That is
a time-consuming operation and one which has been replicated in the 361
ports of the United States. Also adding to that is the Coast Guard's
obligation to patrol about 95,000 miles of coastline.
The problem, though, is, as my colleague from Maine pointed out, that
the Coast Guard has many other responsibilities. She referred to a
typical day. On a typical day, the Coast Guard conducts 109 search and
rescue missions, saves 10 lives, assists 92 boaters in trouble, and
seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 360 pounds of cocaine worth about
$9.6 million. They intercept illegal immigrants coming into the United
States. They respond to calls with respect to hazardous chemical
spills. They inspect and repair boats. They assist nearly 200,000 tons
of shipping just in the Great Lakes during the winter season alone.
What will happen to these other responsibilities?
I know the committee has dealt with this and has tried to strike a
balance. But it is an area of concern, and it is an area that
illustrates the difficulty of combining all of these agencies with the
mission of homeland security which might trump other legitimate
missions. We have to be careful with
this. In the course of our debate and discussion, I think we have to
focus on this issue and other issues.
Much can be said in a similar vein about the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. Here you have an agency which has two major
responsibilities: Protect the borders from illegal entry and at the
same time provide assistance to those individuals who are in the United
States legally who want to become citizens or who are here on some type
of temporary protective status and need to be supervised by the United
States. Those are diametrically opposed responsibilities.
We have to ask ourselves the question: If the INS is part of the
Department of Homeland Security, will they emphasize one and de-
emphasize the other? I think, frankly, most people will assume they
will emphasize protecting the borders of the United States. After all,
that is probably the most important issue with respect to homeland
What happens to the literally millions of individuals in the United
States who legitimately need the services of the INS? Already today,
there is a backlog of approximately 5 million cases around the country
in terms of applications to the INS for clarification of status.
Indeed, as the National Immigration Forum noted in their words, ``it is
hard to imagine that a Federal agency whose primary issue is to deter
terrorism will be able to strike and maintain an appropriate balance
between admitting newcomers and deterring security threats.''
We see that these contradictions are replete throughout the
reorganization. I again think a careful, thorough, and complete
deliberation should be attendant to the consideration of this
I would like to mention just briefly a final area, an area which I
think will come back again and again; that is, the administration's
proposal--and the proposal in the House of Representatives--to put up
severe barriers to the right of Federal employees to organize
collectively and to exercise their rights; and, also, the protection
for the Civil Service.
We have to be very conscious of this and ask the very fundamental
question: Why are we attempting to undercut provisions for which no
one, I think, has seriously made the case they have interfered with our
ability to conduct the war on terror, to conduct intelligence
As you probably realize, President Kennedy, 40 years ago, under
executive order, gave Federal employees the right to organize in
collective bargaining units. President Nixon expanded those rights in
1969. In 1978, the Civil Service Reform Act codified most of these
Throughout the course of our history, these responsibilities have
also given the President the authority to make exemptions for national
security. And they have made those exemptions.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 10 minutes.
Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 1 additional
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I yield one additional minute.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. REED. I thank the Senator.
Over the course of our history, certainly in the 40 years, since
these rights became established by executive order, there have always
been appropriate exemptions in which the President could, for national
security reasons, exempt individual employees or groups of employees
from these rights. Our Presidents have done that. As a result, we have
a situation in which I think a classic statement applies: If it is not
broke, why are we trying to fix it? And it is not broken.
Again, in my final few moments, I heard from my colleague from
Maine--and I have heard it again and again--those firefighters
struggling up the stairs of the World Trade Center were union
employees. No one checked with their bargaining agent before going up
those stairs. In fact, I don't think they even checked with some of
their captains and battalion commanders. They went up those upstairs
because it was their job and their duty and their lives. And many of
them paid with their lives.
It is that spirit that emanates from those firefighters that
encourages and embraces all dedicated civil servants in our Federal
Government. I think to pursue this initiative is really, in a way, a
slap at them, an insult to what they bring each and every day to their
jobs, to their tasks, to their duty.
So I hope we adopt provisions, which I believe the Lieberman bill
has, which recognize the right to organize, the right for civil service
protections, and also flexibility, for management, by the President.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, how much time does the distinguished Senator
from South Carolina wish to have?
Mr. HOLLINGS. Thirty minutes.
Mr. BYRD. I ask the Senator, could you make it 20? Could we try for
20 to start with?
Mr. HOLLINGS: I will try to start with 20.
Mr. BYRD. I certainly want to be considerate with this Senator, this
very senior Member of the body. And I am glad that he is a Member at
Let's say 20 minutes at this point. My time is limited, but let's
start with that and see how we come out.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, right quickly, the distinguished Senator
from Rhode Island was talking about the firemen running up those steps.
It brings to mind 4 years ago the creation of the Office of Domestic
Preparedness by this Congress.
We were confronting terrorism long before 9/11. Mr. President,
144,000 individuals have been through schools in Nevada, New Mexico,
Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama. There are five big schools there to
train the first responders. And that training has been really salutary
in the sense that in the state of New York we have had over 17,000
first responders who were trained in the ODP program. So I say to the
Senator, many who rushed up those steps had received the training and
were responding in accordance with the foreseeability that we had in
the congressional branch with respect to terrorism.
I jump right quickly, with my time limited, to the hearings that we
had. We hear so much about Hart-Rudman. We had hearings in the Senate,
not just deciding on Hart-Rudman, that large bureaucracy, but, on the
contrary, after 3 days of hearings in the State-Justice-Commerce
Subcommittee of Appropriations we came down with a further beefing up
of the Office of Domestic Preparedness. At the present time, ODP has a
budget of $1.2 billion. We already have at the desk, unanimously
approved by the Appropriations Committee and ready for debate, an
increase of $1 billion, some $2.2 billion.
In short, we were on the floor of the Senate on 9/11 debating
terrorism. I emphasize that because they go right to the point and say
they don't believe in domestic security.
We have been working on domestic security since immediately after 9/
11. I got together--and I must tell this story because it has already
passed me with respect to the gun crowd--but be that as it may, I sat
down with the El Al chief pilot from Israel who flew over from Tel Aviv
and sat down and talked with us, myself and about four other Senators.
At that seating, he emphasized the security of the cockpit door
because I asked him: Sir, how is it that El Al, the airline most
subject to be under the gun, where the terrorists do not even wait now,
for example, to get to a plane--they shoot up the ticket counter like
they did out in Los Angeles--that you have not had a hijacking in 30
He said: There is one way to prevent hijackings. Secure the cockpit
door, and never open that door in flight.
Let me emphasize, he said: My wife can be assaulted in the cabin. I
would go straight to the ground, and law enforcement would meet me
In flight, you do not want to give responsibility to the pilots for
law and order. You give the pilots the responsibility for flying the
plane. If they have the responsibility, with a gun, for law and order,
then they have made a bad mistake because the pilots cannot prevent a
plane from being hijacked. The enemy is not a single hijacker. There
are teams of terrorists, suicidal terrorists, who do not mind losing
their lives. And, yes, you can stop one or two, maybe, but the next
three will take that plane over, and you will have a 9/11.
I think our responsibility in this particular debate is--in addition
to going up to New York on Friday, in addition to having the debate
here, and a whole day turned over on next Wednesday, which I commend--
but the main thing is for us to act and assume the responsibility that
a 9/11 never happens again.
Once you secure that door--Delta Airlines has gone along with it,
JetBlue is going along with it, but we are still debating it.
We immediately moved for airline security. We passed it 100-0 in a
bipartisan bill. You see in the morning paper it is not turf. This
Senate voted to put the Transportation Security Administration in the
Justice Department. I was not trying to hold it because I am chairman
of the Transportation Committee. I have commerce, science, and
transportation. I was not trying to hold it in my committee. I voted to
put it in Justice and defended this position on the House side arguing
that Justice would get it up and going.
Instead I got a bureaucrat who was more interested in the logo and
his office equipment and did not even talk to the airline managers. We
confirmed--the pressure was on--before Christmas.
We voted without the committee confirming this particular gentlemen.
We just reported it out and we had a vote on it without any debate
whatsoever. But now we are behind the curve and we have Admiral Malloy
over there, and I think he is a great man, and I think we can do a lot
of repairing and we are going to be realistic about what we can
accomplish. There is no use arguing about what kind of terminal dates
and everything else. We live in the real world and we must work
We put in rail security, we put in seaport security before Christmas
of last year. You don't find the administration pressuring the House to
get going to pass it. They are still fussing about fees and taxes over
there. They don't want to pay for it. It is domestic politics,
reelection, not seaport security.
So there we are. We can go down the list of all the work we have done
on it, and here comes this bill and what does it do? It organizes every
entity that did not fail, like the Coast Guard, FEMA, and the
Agriculture Department and everything else, and ignores the ones that
did fail. 9/11 was an intelligence failure, and you will not get that
out of the Select Committee on Intelligence that is investigating
between the House and Senate because the entities of this
administration--I am not saying the President knew anything will not be
embarrassed. I am sure if the President knew anything he would have put
measures in place to avoid it. But I can tell you here and now that the
committee that is investigating is not going to speak out about the
intelligence failure because it would reflect, if you please, poorly on
the President's management of their FBI, their CIA, their National
I have been on the Intelligence Committee. In fact, I started in this
work in 1954 on the Hoover Commission. The same problem we had almost
50 years ago with the FBI talking to the CIA, and the CIA talking to
the FBI, persists today. I have gotten together with Bob Mueller, and
he is a good man. He has hired some CIA officials. Last year before
Thanksgiving, we gave him $750 million to clean up his computerization.
He reorganized the Department and instituted a Department of Domestic
Intelligence and now is talking, I understand, to George Tenet, the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA failed on 9/11. We already had the blowing up of the World
Trade Towers almost 10 years ago. But the CIA said we didn't know a
plane could be used. They did not know a plane could be used? They had
the direct record in 1994.
In 1994, they had the Islamic group that was going to blow up the
Eiffel Tower. Then, in 1995, they were working on a case out there in
the Philippines where they uncovered a plan to blow up 12 planes at one
time. The documents revealed that the terrorists, who had links to al
Qaida, planned to ram a plane into the CIA building itself. But now
they say they had no idea you could fly a plane into a building. Then
al-Qaida blew up our embassies and blew up the USS Cole. They knew.
Right to the point, they had warned about this crowd so much so that
the President actually had on his desk on September 10--the day
before--a plan to attack Afghanistan. We had the intelligence. We just
were not paying attention. The FBI also failed. There isn't any
question about that. We know about the flight schools in Arizona. Agent
Williams sent notice saying: There is something wrong. These people of
Mideastern descent are trying to learn how to fly. We believe they are
connected to fundamentalist groups, something's not right to me.
That word never did get up to the head of the FBI or the President of
the United States. That was an intelligence failure. But we had the
woman--Agent Coleen Rowley, I think her name was. When they arrested
Moussaoui in Minnesota, they became so exercised she wrote a memo that:
Look, this fellow doesn't want to learn how to take-off or land. He
only wants to learn how to fly. We need to investigate him further. But
the Minnesota field office was denied permission for a warrant.
Why should we investigate him further? Because he was training to run
a plane into the World Trade Towers. That is the record. I am not on
any Intelligence Committee. I am not giving you any security
information. If you want any kind of information along that line, there
is a wonderful article that appeared in Time magazine on May 27, 2002.
I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in
the Record, as follows:
[From Time Magazine, May 27, 2002]
How the U.S. Missed the Clues
(By Michael Elliott)
None of this is pretty. In the immediate aftermath of the
Sept. 11 attacks, members of the American political
establishment stood together, determined to fight the war
against terrorism, supporting those in military uniform and
the buttoned-down bureaucrats whose job it was to make sure
that something so awful would not happen again. Everyone--
inside the Bush Administration as well as outside it--knew
there had been massive failures of intelligence in the period
before the attacks. But after Sept. 11, the Administration
earned a reputation for steely-eyed competence, and its
political opponents couched their legitimate criticism in
language politer than that to which Washington is accustomed.
That was then. In the past month, a series of disclosures
have cast doubt on the most basic abilities of the national-
security establishment. The Administration has looked
alternately shifty and defensive; Democrats--some of them
presidential candidates-in-waiting--have postured on
motormouth TV. And the nation has been forced into a period
of painful second-guessing, asking whether Sept. 11 could
have been prevented. In August, it turns out, the President
was briefed by the CIA on the possibility that al-Qaeda, the
terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden, might use
hijacked airliners to win concessions from the U.S. Sources
tell TIME that the briefing, which was first reported by CBS
News, was in response to a request by Bush for detailed
information on the kind of threat posed by al-Qaeda, not to
American interests overseas--which had long preoccupied the
spooks--but at home. During the period in which the brief was
prepared, says a senior intelligence official, the CIA came
to the conclusion that ``al-Qaeda was determined to attack
the U.S.'' After the strike came, White House sources
concede, the Administration made a conscious decision not to
disclose the August briefing, hoping that it would be
discussed ``in context''--and months later--when
congressional investigations into the attacks eventually got
under way. And that wasn't the only embarrassing paper kept
under wraps. Earlier this month, the Associated Press
reported new details from a July 2001 memo by an FBI agent in
Pheonix, Ariz., who presciently noted a pattern of Arab men
signing up at flight schools. The agent, Kenneth Williams,
42, has spent 11 years working in an FBI antiterrorism task
force. He recommended an investigation to determine whether
al-Qaeda operatives were training at the schools. He was
ignored, and after the existence of the memo became known,
the FBI insisted that even if it had been acted upon, it
would not have led to the detention of the Sept. 11
hijackers. (Only one of them, Hani Hanjour, had trained in
Arizona, and did so before Williams focused on flight
school.) But sources tell TIME that at least one of the men
Williams had under watch--a Muslim who has now left the
U.S.--did indeed have al-Qaeda links. And Williams identified
a second pair of suspected Islamic radicals now living in the
U.S. as resident aliens, the sources say. They are currently
under FBI surveillance. As if those missed signals weren't
enough, last week it was also disclosed that in August, when
the U.S. detained Zacarias
Moussaoui--a man the French government knew was associated
with Islamic extremists and who apparently wanted to learn to
jumbo jets but not land them, and has since been charged with
complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks--the FBI told nobody in
the White House's Counterterrorism Security Group. But the
CSG, which comes under the aegis of National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice, is supposed to coordinate the government's
response to terrorist threats.
At high levels of government, the awful possibility is
dawning that things could have been different. ``If we'd had
access to Moussaoui, if we'd had access to the Phoenix memo,
could we have broken up the plot?'' asks a White House
official who works on counterterrorism. Then he answers his
own question: ``We would have taken action, and there's at
least a distinct possibility that we may at the very least
have delayed it.'' Bush was outraged at the suggestion that
he might have been warned about impending strikes and failed
to act. To ward off Democratic criticism, Vice President Dick
Cheney warned against trying to ``seek political advantage''
from the new revelations; such commentary, he said, ``is
thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national
leaders in a time of war.'' He should have saved his breath;
the blame game is under way, long before the lessons of all
that happened last summer have been absorbed. And one thing
we now know: there plenty of blame to go around.
George W. Bush, they say, is a quick study, and last summer
he needed to be. Threats and warnings of possible terrorist
outrages against American interests were howling into
Washington like a dirty blizzard. Fighting terrorism hadn't
been a top priority in the early months of the
Administration; cutting taxes, building a missile shield and
other agenda had crowded it out. Bush's national-security
aides had been warned during the transition that there was an
al-Qaeda presence in the U.S., but in the first months of the
Administration, says one official, a sense of urgency was
lacking: ``They were new to this stuff.''
By the time Bush left for a month's vacation on his ranch
in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 4, that mood had changed. Where
the President goes, the responsibilities of office follow,
and so, each morning, Bush sat in the ranch office and
received the CIA's Presidential Daily Brief. The bried--or
PDB, in Langley-speak--is the CIA's chance to mainline its
priorities into the President's thinking. Each day, the PDB
is winnowed to a few pages; when the President is in
Washington, one of two ``briefers''--agency up-and-comers who
flesh out the written text--gets to work at 2 a.m. to bone up
on background material. The brief itself is delivered at 8
a.m. in front of the President's national-security team.
(Sometimes CIA Director George Tenet delivers it himself.)
One briefer had moved to Texas for the vacation, and the PDB
was transmitted to Crawford over a secure system. At the
briefing on Monday, Aug. 6--a day when the Texas heat would
reach 100 [degrees]--Bush received a 1\1/2\-page document,
which, according to Rice, was an ``analytic report'' on al-
Qaeda. Included was a mention that al-Qaeda might be tempted
to hijack airliners, perhaps so that they might use hostages
to secure the release of an al-Qaeda leader or sympathizer.
Rice was not present but discussed the briefing with Bush
immediately after it had ended, as she always does.
They had mush to talk about. Throughout the summer, top
officials had become convinced, with a growing sense of
foreboding, that a major operation by al-Qaeda was in the
works. For many in the loop, it seemed likely that any attack
would be aimed at Americans overseas. But sources tell TIME
that the Aug. 6 briefing had a very different focus; it was
explicitly concerned with terrorism in the homeland. The Aug.
6 briefing had been put together, says one official, because
the President had told Tenet, ``Give me a sense of what al-
Qaeda can do inside the U.S.'' At a press conference last
week, Rice said the brief concentrated on the history and
methods of al-Qaeda. Since much of the material in it was a
rehash of intelligence dating to 1997 and '98, it is doubtful
that it was much use in answering Bush's question.
According to Rice, there was just a sentence or two on
hijacking--and the passage did not address the possibility
that a hijacked plane would ever be flown into a building.
That was the first of four crucial mistakes made last summer.
Administration officials insisted all last week that turning
a plane into a suicide bomb was something that nobody had
contemplated. But that just isn't so. In 1995, authorities in
the Philippines scuppered a plan--masterminded by Ramzi
Yousef, who had also plotted the 1993 World Trade Center
bombing--for mass hijackings of American planes over the
Pacific. Evidence developed during the investigation of
Yousef and his partner, Abdul Hakim Murad, uncovered a plan
to crash a plane into CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. And as
long ago as 1994, in an incident that is well known among
terrorism experts, French authorities foiled a plot by the
Algerian Armed Islamic Group to fly an airliner into the
Eiffel Tower. ``Since 1994,'' says a French investigator into
al-Qaeda cases, ``we should all have been viewing kamikaze
acts as a possibility for all terrorist hijackings.'' But if
Rice's account is accurate, nobody significant in the Bush
There might have been more discussion of the risks of
hijackings in the President's briefing if its writers had
known about the Phoenix memo. But they hadn't seen it, nor
had anyone in the CIA or the White House. Yet Senator Richard
Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, calls the memo, which is said to contain detailed
descriptions of named suspects, ``one of the most explosive
documents I've seen in eight years.'' The memo, on which the
Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed last November, has
now become the focus of a huge political row in Washington.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee--including
Republican Arlen Specter, who had an angry exchange over the
memo with FBI Director Robert Mueller on Saturday--are
desperate to see it, and may yet subpoena it. ``The fact that
the Phoenix memo died on Somebody's desk takes your breath
away,'' says Senator Richard Durbin, a Democratic committee
member from Illinois. ``They just shuffled it off.''
Agent Williams wrote the memo on July 5, detailing his
suspicions about some Arabs he had been watching, who he
thought were Islamic radicals. Several of the men had
enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott,
Ariz. Williams posited that bin Laden's followers might be
trying to infiltrate the civil-aviation system as pilots,
security guards or other personnel, and he recommended a
national program to track suspicious flight-school students.
The memo was sent to the counterterrorism division at FBI
headquarters in Washington and to two field offices,
including the counterterrorism section in New York, which has
had long experience in al-Qaeda investigations.
That experience counted for nothing. In all three offices,
the memo was pretty much ignored, disappearing into the black
hole of bureaucratic hell that is the FBI. That was the
second key mistake. Sources tell TIME that the memo was never
forwarded--not even to the level of Mike Rolince, chief of
the international-terrorism section. ``The thing fell into
the laps of people who were grossly overtaxed,'' says a
senior FBI official. The G-men claim to have been swamped by
tips about coming al-Qaeda operations. But Williams was onto
something. The flight students he was tracking were
supporters of radical Islamic groups. Some of them, sources
say, are believed to be connected to Hamas and Hizballah,
terrorist organizations based in the Middle East, while at
least one other--who has left the U.S.--had links to al-
Qaeda. Another pair mentioned in the memo, neither of whom
attended flight school, are the ones under FBI surveillance--
which, sources say, is the reason Mueller won't make the memo
However fevered the analysis of the Williams memo is now,
it didn't get much attention when it was written. Last July,
FBI headquarters wasn't concentrating on an attack within the
U.S. ``Nobody was looking domestically,'' says a recently
retired FBI official. ``We didn't think they had the people
to mount an operation here.''
That was the third huge mistake--and a somewhat baffling
conclusion to draw, given the evidence at hand. In spring of
2001, Ahmed Ressam, the ``millennium bomber,'' was on trial
in Los Angeles, charged with being part of a plot to bomb Los
Angeles International Airport and other locations at the end
of 1999. In her press conference last week, Rice conceded
that in 2001 the FBI ``was involved in a number of
investigations of potential al-Qaeda personnel operating in
the United States.''
But investigators had some reasons for being preoccupied
with attacks and threats outside the U.S. Al-Qaeda's most
notorious blows against American interests had taken place in
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the sites of the 1998 embassy
bombings, and in Yemen, where the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in
October 2002. And in the first half of last year, the CSG
monitored information suggesting the likelihood of another
attack overseas. In June 2001, the State Department issued a
worldwide caution warning American citizens of possible
attacks. That month, says a recently retired senior FBI
official, ``we were constantly worried that something was
going to happen. Our best guesstimate was something in
Southeast Asia.'' A French investigator involved in al-Qaeda
cases confirms the thought. ``The prevailing logic from
around 1998,'' he says, ``was that al-Qaeda and bin Laden had
very openly designated America as its prime target--but it
was a target that it preferred to attack outside the U.S.''
By July the level of noise about terrorism from
intelligence sources around the world was deafening. The CSG,
then chaired by Richard Clarke, a Clinton Administration
holdover who was consumed with terrorist threats to the point
of obsession, was meeting almost every day. A specific threat
was received on the life of Bush, who was due to visit Genoa,
Italy, for a G-8 summit that month. Roland Jacquard, a
leading French expert on terrorism, says that when Russian
and Western intelligence agencies compared notes before the
summit, they were stunned to find they all had information
indicating that a strike was in the offing. When the Genoa
summit passed without incident, says a French official,
attention turned to the possibility of attacks on U.S. bases
in Belgium and Turkey. Then, at the end of July, Djamel
Beghal, a Franco-Algerian al-Qaeda associate, was picked up
in Dubai on his way from Afghanistan back to Europe. Beghal
started talking and implicated a network of al-Qaeda
operatives in Europe, who, he said, were planning to blow up
the American embassy in Paris. (Beghal, who has since been
extradited to France, has said his confession was coerced.)
``We shared everything we knew with the Americans,'' says a
French justice official.
They may have shared too much. At least in France,
investigators now acknowledge that Al-Qaeda may have been
involved in a massive feint to Europe while the real attack
was always planned for the U.S. ``People were convinced that
Europe remained the theater for Islamic terrorists,'' says
Jacquard. ``It's anyone's guess whether that was a technique
to get people looking in the wrong place. But that's what
By the beginning of August, the President had made his
request for a briefing on domestic threats. One of them was
about to be uncovered. And therein lay the fourth mistake. On
Aug. 16, Moussaoui was arrested in Minnesota for an
immigration violation, just a day after the staff at the
flight school where he was training told the FBI of their
suspicions about him. The Minnesotans weren't alone; when
American officials checked with their French counterparts,
they discovered that Moussaoui had long been suspected of
mixing in extremist circles. (The Zelig of modern terrorism,
Moussaoui has been associated with al-Qaeda networks
everywhere from London to Malaysia.) The FBI started urgently
investigating Moussaoui's past; agents in Minneapolis sought
a national-security warrant to search his computer files but
were turned down by lawyers at FBI headquarters who said they
didn't have sufficient evidence that he belonged to a
terrorist group. Immediately after Moussaoui's arrest, agents
twice visited the Airman Flight School in Norman, Okla.,
where he had studied before heading to Minnesota; two of the
Sept. 11 hijackers had visited Norman in July 2000. The
FBI did inform the CIA of Moussaoui's arrest, and the CIA
ran checks on him while asking foreign intelligence
services for information. But neither the FBI nor the CIA
ever informed the counterterrorism group in the White
House. ``Do you think,'' says a White House antiterrorism
official, ``that if Dick Clarke had known that the FBI had
in custody a foreigner who couldn't speak English, who was
trying to fly a plane in midair, he wouldn't have done
Since at least two of the four failures--those involving
Moussaoui and the Phoenix memo--can be laid at the door of
the FBI, the bureau is feeling the heat. ``The FBI has a long
pattern of not sharing information with others,'' says a
former Clinton Administration official. ``Now it's not even
sharing the information with itself.'' Mueller, who knew
about the Phoenix memo shortly after Sept. 11, plainly did
not anticipate the criticism it would engender. Since it
became public, officials have defensively pointed out that if
the bureau had tried to track down all Muslim flight-school
attendees, it would have been accused of racial profiling.
White House officials defend Mueller; he is ``tenacious about
changing things,'' says one, who admits, ``You can't change a
culture that's 60 years in the making overnight.'' But on
Capitol Hill the bureau is running out of friends. ``I have
no doubt that the FBI needs reform,'' said Senate Republican
leader Trent Lott last week.
Yet when the blame gets assigned, as it will now that a
joint congressional investigation into Sept. 11 is getting
down to work, the FBI won't monopolize it. The ugly truth is
that nine months after huge weaknesses in the national
security system were revealed, they remain unaddressed. In
Washington, says a senior Clinton Administration official,
``information just moves through stovepipes,'' never getting
pooled by different agencies until it is too late. The
intelligence services were built to fight the cold war, not
an enemy that flits from Afghan caves to apartments in
London. The division between domestic and international
security made sense when the former was concerned with what
criminals did and the latter with foreign countries. But some
criminals are now as powerful as countries, and some
countries are run by criminals.
Nine months ago, the appointment of Tom Ridge as Homeland
Security czar was billed as the shake-up Washington needed.
So far, he has been more of a mild foot stamp than an
earthquake. Instead of real reform, the Administration has
resorted to its usual mode: attempting to control warring
satrapies from the White House. The remarkable aspect of last
week's events in Washington was the unintended revelation
that Rice is the true manager of counterterrorism policy. In
the past, the National Security Council got into trouble when
it adopted an operational role rather than one of analysis
(think Oliver North), and for Bush this identification of one
of his closest advisers with the operational failures of
counterterrorism policy could yet be politically troubling.
Among his supporters, however, the President still rides
high. Bush's simple, passionate argument--that he would never
have sat idly if he had known what was coming on Sept. 11--
helped stiffen spines. Republicans pointed out that members
of congressional intelligence committees get the same
information the President receives in his PDB and yet had not
made a fuss about the Aug. 6 briefing. That claim was
disputed; Tom Daschle, the Democrat's leader in the Senate,
insisted the Senate and the Administration did not have
``identical information'' about al-Qaeda threats.
In a sense, the spat over who got what version of which
memo epitomizes Washington at its worst. The capital at its
best would appreciate that the most important question isn't
what Bush (or anyone else) knew before Sept. 11; it is what
the Administration and Congress have and have not done to fix
a broken system. But November and the midterm elections, you
may have noticed, are only six months away. Washington is
reverting to form.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Time magazine got into it very thoroughly--much more so
than the committee that has been leaking. I was disappointed Sunday
when I heard my distinguished colleague from Tennessee say: No, he
would not take a polygraph test.
I am an old trial lawyer. You are not going to convict my client on a
polygraph test. We used it in the Hoover Commission 50 years ago, and
it is an indicator. I wanted to make sure the staff on the Intelligence
Committee--as I found out, I had been doubledealed by the CIA and was
told: I cannot give you that information, Senator, because your staff
does not have the appropriate clearance.
Before you serve here as a Capitol policeman, you have to take a
polygraph, and also before you serve in the FBI, CIA, and Secret
Service--go down the list--but not the staff of the Senate Intelligence
So I learned that in a war you never ask your man to do something you
do not do yourself first. So I went over to take a polygraph test. To
the very first question, I started off my answer ``in my humble
opinion'' and the needle went right off the chart. I flunked. It took 2
hours and they gave me a chance again, and after that 2-hour test, I
passed it and came back and I still brought it up that as a member of
the Intelligence Committee, they do not have the appropriate clearance.
If they want to know where the leaks are, go to the committees.
Mr. President, the National Security Agency failed. They had all
kinds of warnings about al-Qaida. They had Arabic friends over there.
They got the word on September 10 in Arabic that ``the match is about
to begin,'' but they didn't translate the Arabic into English until
Now comes the National Security Council. It is interesting that in
1947 we had the same problem of coordination--instituting not only the
CIA, but the 1947 National Security Council that the function of the
Council shall be to advise the President with respect to the
integration--that is joining--of domestic, foreign, and military
policies relating to the national security, so as to enable the
military services and the other Departments and Agencies of Government
to cooperate more effectively in matters involving national security.
If you don't have a President right at the catbird seat pointing to
them and saying you either talk and coordinate with each other or else
you are out, it is not going to be done. You can pass all the bills you
want in the U.S. Congress. You are just passing another entity for
finger-pointing. They need correlation again and again.
Here is exactly what the President said in the National Security
Presidential directive he made. I had a copy of it here. It is with
respect to ordering the bush National Security Council. Incidentally,
what I am saying I had said to him at the Cabinet table over 2 months
ago. But on February 13--I ask unanimous consent that this National
Security Presidential directive of February 13, 2001, be printed in the
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in
the Record, as follows:
National Security Presidential Directives--NSPDs, the White House,
Washington, February 13, 2001
The Vice President
The Secretary of State
The Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of Defense
The Attorney General
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of Commerce
The Secretary of Health and Human Services
The Secretary of Transportation
The Secretary of Energy
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
United States Trade Representative
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
Director, National Drug Control Policy
Chief of Staff to the President
Director of Central Intelligence
Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
Counsel to the President
Chief of Staff and Assistant to the Vice President for
National Security Affairs
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality
Chairman, Export-Import Bank
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard
Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Director, Peace Corps
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
Commissioner, U.S. Customs Service
Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Archivist of the United States
Director, Information Security Oversight Office
Subject: Organization of the National Security Council System
This document is the first in a series of National Security
Presidential Directives. National Security Presidential
Directives shall replace both Presidential Decision
Directives and Presidential Review Directives as an
instrument for communicating presidential decisions about the
national security policies of the United States.
National security includes the defense of the United States
of America, protection of our constitutional system of
government, and the advancement of United States interest
around the globe. National security also depends on America's
opportunity to prosper in the world economy. The National
Security Act of 1947, as amended, established the National
Security Council to advise the President with respect to the
integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies
relating to national security. That remains its purpose. The
NSC shall advise and assist me in integrating all aspects of
national security policy as it affects the United States--
domestic, foreign, military, intelligence, and economics (in
conjunction with the National Economic Council (NEC)). The
National Security Council system is a process to coordinate
executive departments and agencies in the effective
development and implementation of those national security
The National Security Council (NSC) shall have as its
regular attendees (both statutory and non-statutory) the
President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the
Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The
Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, as statutory advisors to the NSC,
shall also attend NSC meetings. The Chief of Staff to the
President and the Assistant to the President for Economic
Policy are invited to attend any NSC meeting. The Counsel to
the President shall be consulted regarding the agenda of NSC
meetings, and shall attend any meetings when, in consultation
with the Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs, he deems it appropriate. The Attorney General and
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall be
invited to attend meetings pertaining to their
responsibilities. For the Attorney General, this includes
both those matters within the Justice Department's
jurisdiction and those matters implicating the Attorney
General's responsibility under 28 U.S.C. 511 to give his
advice and opinion on questions of law when required by the
President. The heads of other executive departments and
agencies, as well as other senior officials, shall be invited
to attend meetings of the NSC when appropriate.
The NSC shall meet at my direction. When I am absent from a
meeting of the NSC, at my direction the Vice President may
preside. The Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs shall be responsible, at my direction and in
consultation with the other regular attendees of the NSC, for
determining the agenda, ensuring that necessary papers are
prepared, and recording NSC actions and Presidential
decisions. When international economic issues are on the
agenda of the NSC, the Assistant to the President for Nation
Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for
Economic Policy shall perform these tasks in concert.
The NSC Principals Committee (NSC/PC) will continue to be
the senior interagency forum for consideration of policy
issues affecting national security, as it has since 1989. The
NSC/PC shall have as its regular attendees the Secretary of
State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of
Defense, the Chief of Staff to the President, and the
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (who
shall serve as chair). The Director of Central Intelligence
and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall attend
where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and
expertise are to be discussed. The Attorney General and
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall
be invited to attend meetings pertaining to their
responsibilities. For the Attorney General, this includes
both those matters within the Justice Department's
jurisdiction and those matters implicating the Attorney
General's responsibility under 28 U.S.C. 511 to give his
advice and opinion on questions of law when required by
the President. The Counsel to the President shall be
consulted regarding the agenda of NSC/PC meetings, and
shall attend any meeting when, in consultation with the
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs,
he deems it appropriate. When international economic
issues are on the agenda of the NSC/PC, the Committee's
regular attendees will include the Secretary of Commerce,
the United States Trade Representative, the Assistant to
the President for Economic Policy (who shall serve as
chair for agenda items that principally pertain to
international economics), and, when the issues pertain to
her responsibilities, the Secretary of Agriculture. The
Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the Vice
President shall attend all meetings of the NSC/PC, as
shall the Assistant to the President and Deputy National
Security Advisor (who shall serve as Executive Secretary
of the NSC/PC). Other heads of departments and agencies,
along with additional senior officials, shall be invited
The NSC/PC shall meet at the call of the Assistant to the
President for National Security Affairs in consultation with
the regular attendees of the NSC/PC. The Assistant to the
President for National Security Affairs shall determine the
agenda in consultation with the foregoing, and ensure that
necessary papers are prepared. When international economic
issues are on the agenda of the NSC/PC, the Assistant to the
President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to
the President for Economic Policy shall perform these tasks
The NSC Deputies Committee (NSC/DC) will also continue to
serve as the senior sub-Cabinet interagency forum for
consideration of policy issues affecting national security.
The NSC/DC can prescribe and review the work of the NSC
interagency groups discussed later in this directive. The
NSC/DC shall also help ensure that issues being brought
before the NSC/PC or the NSC have been properly analyzed and
prepared for decision. The NSC/DC shall have as its regular
members the Deputy Secretary of State or Under Secretary of
the Treasury or Under Secretary of the Treasury for
International Affairs, the Deputy Secretary of Defense or
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Deputy Attorney
General, the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and
Budget, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, the Vice
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Deputy Chief of
Staff to the President for Policy, the Chief of Staff and
National Security Adviser to the Vice President, the Deputy
Assistant to the President for International Economic
Affairs, and the Assistant to the President and Deputy
National Security Advisor (who shall serve as chair). When
international economic issues are on the agenda, the NSC/DC's
regular membership will include the Deputy Secretary of
Commerce, A Deputy United States Trade Representative, and,
when the issues pertain to his responsibilities, the Deputy
Secretary of Agriculture, and the NSC/DC shall be chaired by
the Deputy Assistant to the President for International
Economic Affairs for agenda items that principally pertain to
international economics. Other senior officials shall be
invited where appropriate.
The NSC/DC shall meet at the call of its chair, in
consultation with the other regular members of the NSC/DC.
Any regular member of the NSC/DC may also request a meeting
of the Committee for prompt crisis management. For all
meetings the chair shall determine the agenda in consultation
with the foregoing, and ensure that necessary papers are
The Vice President and I may attend any and all meetings of
any entity established by or under this directive.
Management of the development and implementation of
national security policies by multiple agencies of the United
States Government shall usually be accomplished by the NSC
Policy Coordination Committees (NSC/PCCs). The NSC/PCCs shall
be the main day-to-day fora for interagency coordination of
national security policy. They shall provide policy analysis
for consideration by the more senior committees of the NSC
system and ensure timely responses to decisions made by the
President. Each NSC/PCC shall include representatives from
the executive departments, offices, and agencies represented
in the NSC/DC.
Six NSC/PCCs are hereby established for the following
regions: Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere, East Asia,
South Asia, Near East and North Africa, and Africa. Each of
the NSC/PCCs shall be chaired by an official of Under
Secretary or Assistant Secretary rank to be designated by the
Secretary of State.
Eleven NSC/PCCs are hereby also established for the
following functional topics, each to be chaired by a person
of Under Secretary or Assistant Secretary rank designated by
the indicated authority:
Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations (by
the Assistant to the President for National Security
International Development and Humanitarian Assistance (by
the Secretary of State);
Global Environment (by the Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President
for Economic Policy in concert);
International Finance (by the Secretary of the Treasury);
Transnational Economic Issues (by the Assistant to the
President for Economic Policy);
Counter-Terrorism and National Preparedness (by the
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs);
Defense Strategy, Force Structure, and Planning (by the
Secretary of Defense);
Arms Control (by the Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs);
Proliferation, Counterproliferation, and Homeland Defense
(by the Assistant to the President for National Security
Intelligence and Counterintelligence (by the Assistant to
the President for National Security Affairs); and
Records Access and Information Security (by the Assistant
to the President for National Security Affairs).
The Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG) will continue to
function as an interagency coordinator of trade policy.
Issues considered within the TPRG, as with the PCCs, will
flow through the NSC and/or NEC process as appropriate.
Each NSC/PCC shall also have an Executive Secretary from
the staff of the NSC, to be designated by the Assistant to
the President for National Security Affairs. The Executive
Secretary shall assist the Chairman in scheduling the
meetings of the NSC/PCC, determining the agenda, recording
the actions taken and tasks assigned, and ensuring timely
responses to the central policymaking committees of the NSC
system. The Chairman of each NSC/PCC, in consultation with
the Executive Secretary, may invite representatives of other
executive departments and agencies to attend meetings of the
NSC/PCC where appropriate.
The Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs, at my direction and in consultation with the Vice
President and the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and
Defense, may establish additional NSC/PCCs as appropriate.
The Chairman of each NSC/PCC, with the agreements of the
Executive Secretary, may establish subordinate working groups
to assist the PCC in the performance of its duties.
The existing system of Interagency Working Groups is
The oversight of ongoing operations assigned in PDD/NSC-56
to Executive Committees of the Deputies Committee will be
performed by the appropriate regional NSC/PCCs, which may
create subordinate working groups to provide coordination for
The Counter-Terrorism Security Group, Critical
Infrastructure Coordination Group, Weapons of Mass
Destruction Preparedness, Consequences Management and
Protection Group, and the interagency working group on
Enduring Constitutional Government are reconstituted as
various forms of NSC/PCC on Counter-Terrorism and National
The duties assigned in PDD/NSC-75 to the National
Counterintelligence Policy Group will be performed in the
NSC/PCC on Intelligence and Counterintelligence, meeting with
The duties assigned to the Security Policy Board and other
entities established in PDD/NSC-29 will be transferred to
various NSC/PCCs, depending on the particular security
problem being addressed.
The duties assigned in PDD/NSC-41 to the Standing Committee
on Nonproliferation will be transferred to the PCC on
Proliferation, Counterproliferation, and Homeland Defense.
The duties assigned in PDD/NSC-36 to the Interagency
Working Group for Intelligence Priorities will be transferred
to the PCC on Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
The duties of the Human Rights Treaties Interagency Working
Group established in E.O. 13107 are transferred to the PCC on
Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations.
The Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group
established in E.O. 13110 shall be reconstituted, under the
terms of that order and until its work ends in January
2002, as a Working Group of the NSC/PCC for Records Access
and Information Security.
Except for those established by statute, other existing NSC
interagency groups, ad hoc bodies, and executive committees
are also abolished as of March 1, 2001, unless they are
specifically reestablished as subordinate working groups
within the new NSC system as of that date. Cabinet officers,
the heads of other executive agencies, and the directors of
offices within the Executive Office of the President shall
advise the Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs of those specific NSC interagency groups chaired by
their respective departments or agencies that are either
mandated by statute or are otherwise of sufficient importance
and vitality as to warrant being reestablished. In each case
the Cabinet officer, agency head, or office director should
describe the scope of the activities proposed for or now
carried out by the interagency group, the relevant statutory
mandate if any, and the particular NSC/PCC that should
coordinate this work. The Trade Promotion Coordinating
Committee established in E.O. 12870 shall continue its work,
however, in the manner specified in that order. As to those
committees expressly established in the National Security
Act, the NSC/PC and/or NSC/DC shall serve as those committees
and perform the functions assigned to those committees by the
To further clarify responsibilities and effective
accountability within the NSC system, those positions
relating to foreign policy that are designated as special
presidential emissaries, special envoys for the President,
senior advisors to the President and the Secretary of State,
and special advisors to the President and the Secretary of
State are also abolished as of March 1, 2001, unless they are
specifically redesignated or reestablished by the Secretary
of State as positions in that Department.
This Directive shall supersede all other existing
presidential guidance on the organization of the National
Security Council system. With regard to application of this
document to economic matters, this document shall be
interpreted in concert with any Executive Order governing the
National Economic Council and with presidential decision
documents signed hereafter that implement either this
directive or that Executive Order.
[signed: George W. Bush]
Mr. HOLLINGS. You will find in there that 11 functional coordinating
committees within the council itself, chaired by the National Security
Council. Among them are committees on counterterrorism and national
preparedness, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to Advisor to the President
for National Security Affairs. You have another committee on
counterproliferation and homeland defense, which the President of the
United States thought was necessary in February of last year, chaired
by Condoleezza Rice. There is another one on intelligence and
counterintelligence, again chaired by Condoleezza Rice.
Later we see President's National Security Advisor on the TV saying:
We did not get anything specific. In fairness to her, she is an expert
in foreign policy. She used to instruct a course, I understand, at
Stanford. She has never served in law enforcement or counterterrorism.
But it is time to get real. This bill does not directly deal with the
entities that failed. It is about running around, like my Navy friend
used to say, ``when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles scream and
The administration propose this big bureaucracy. I have 110,000 of
them already at DOT. I have been working on transportation security of
the airlines, the rails, and the seaports. How are you going to get a
department full of midlevel personnel in charge if you cannot get the
Executive level, the Presidential level, engaged in active management.
I told the President of the United States: Mr. President, I want you to
get hourly reports on the homeland security intelligence as you receive
those hourly political reports from Carl Rove. He knows what is going
on politically in this country. I want him to know what is going on
intelligence-wise with respect to homeland security, but we do not have
What we have is another finger-pointing agency. As Harry Truman said:
The buck stops here. He is the one who brought in the 1947 initiative
to reorganize for national security. He did not mind assuming that
Mr. President, do you think if you were President that you would
depend on the Department of Homeland Security for your intelligence
analysis? No, no, that is not going to ever happen. One, that
Department is only going to be fed what the President says to feed
them. The FBI is not going to tell them everything. The CIA is not
going to tell them everything. It is a culture. We have to break down
that culture, but the only place we know they are not afraid to tell is
the National Security Council of the President of the United States.
The Secretary of the Homeland Defense Department would not even know
what to ask for. They do not have any kind of intelligence collection.
They do not have the authority or resources to do that. They would
create another analysis department, but it will not function properly
unless it is fused. There has to be a fusion, an integration, as they
said in 1947, of domestic and foreign intelligence so they know where
to act. We have read in the newspapers where they are getting their
money for terrorism, outfitting Canada and so on.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
My time is limited, so I will close with the idea that, we can pass
this bill ipso facto, word for word--either bill--this afternoon, and 4
or 5 years from now after they have had a chance to organize, we can
have another 9-11. We are not going to prevent it with this particular
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I yield 5 additional minutes to the Senator.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. HOLLINGS. That is all right, Mr. President. I will yield the time
back and come back in on the debate. This is
only a motion to proceed. I work with them. I can tell you the
resistance of the FBI talking to the CIA--that is not in this bill--but
we have to have a President get them together and make sure information
is fused. There is a resistance. We have had meetings on port security.
I cannot get the FBI to attend those meetings. I am going to get on Bob
Mueller about that because I have his appropriation, but they do not
want to get together. They are looking for crime. They are not looking
for prevention. They want to catch somebody. When crimes are committed
they are called into action. While we hope crimes are never committed,
the FBI serves the nation by responding when crimes are committed. We
must work to prevent terrorist attacks. That is the new culture, the
new role to be taken on.
The President has to play the game of President, be the chief
executive. Mr. President, I say to Senator Byrd, in his mind, does he
think he would depend on the Department of Domestic Security for making
a decision? He is not going to depend on that Department or any other,
except for the National Security Council.
There is no substitute for the CIA being on the Council or for the
FBI being on the Council, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of
Homeland Security. Put him on the National Security Council. Let's
begin to emphasize the domestic side of foreign policy and
That is what has to be done, and it has to be done at the White
House. You cannot run all over the country fundraising; you have to go
to work. That is one fault with this particular President. I cannot put
him to work. I see him out with flags, military people, policemen,
firemen, and others. Carl Rove has him. I would like to get hold of
him, and we could get this Government going. He has to go to work and
bring them in and say: I want to make sure I know what I am doing. And
this Department does not help him know what he is doing.
I yield the floor.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, how much time does the Senator from New York
Mrs. CLINTON. Ten minutes.
Mr. BYRD. I yield 10 minutes to the distinguished Senator from New
York, Mrs. Clinton.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I thank the Senator. I rise to join
Senator Byrd in speaking about our homeland security needs. Our
colleague from South Carolina always teaches me something whenever I
have the pleasure and privilege of hearing him speak in this Chamber.
New Yorkers particularly owe Senator Byrd a great debt of gratitude
because he and his very worthy staff have done a tremendous amount of
work to help New York recover and rebuild from the tragedy of September
As we appear today in this Chamber, I cannot help but remark that
Senator Byrd has been focused on homeland security from the moment I
first spoke with him on September 12 around 7 a.m. after we knew the
full extent of the damage, and I was going up to see what had happened
in New York for myself. He has been extremely understanding and also
very knowledgeable about what it was going to take to make us more
I also thank Senator Lieberman for his tremendous efforts in trying
to craft legislation that will make us safer. We are not just doing
this for a political exercise or just to reorganize for the sake of
reorganizing, but we know there are serious issues to be addressed,
some of which Senator Hollings spoke about.
I do support the idea of a Homeland Security Department, but I come
today to recognize the seriousness of the issues that should be
addressed while we are trying to determine what it is we need to do to
make our Government more prepared.
There are a number of issues, and my colleagues have raised quite a
few of them, but I want to focus on one particular aspect of our
homeland security, and that is the resources that our frontline
firefighters, police officers, and emergency responders need to be the
soldiers to defend our homeland security. Just as we support our men
and women in uniform who are doing a very important job extremely well,
from Afghanistan to the Middle East to the Far East, we have to do the
same for our local homeland defenders.
I have been disappointed in the disconnect between rhetoric and
resources from the administration. We certainly have had many heartfelt
and moving moments where words have captured our feelings.
When it comes to providing the resources that our police, our
firefighters, and our emergency responders need, I think the
administration has fallen short. That was certainly clear over the
August recess when the President chose not to sign the emergency
designation for the $5.1 billion supplemental appropriations bill,
which included $2.5 billion for improving our homeland security.
That number did not come out of thin air. It was the result of
hearings, testimony, and evidence presented by people on the front
lines. A number of people from New York who were in our police
department and our fire department, who had been there on September 11,
who understood what we needed to be well prepared, came down to set
forth a very clear agenda that they hoped the Federal Government would
help them meet.
The supplemental appropriations bill, for example, would have given
our first responders $100 million so that police and firefighters would
have communications systems that could talk to each other. We found
out, tragically, on September 11 that we did not have that, and New
York is not alone in not having what is called interoperability between
the police and firefighter radio systems.
There would have been $150 million in additional FIRE Act grant
funding to help fire departments improve their emergency preparedness,
and there would have been $90 million to track the long-term health
care of those who responded at Ground Zero, not just so we fulfill our
obligation to take care of these brave men and women but also so we can
be better prepared to take care of all of our first responders.
I am not alone in thinking the President's refusal to sign the
emergency designation was a terrible mistake. The International
Association of Firefighters has voiced its concern in very clear,
unmistakable language. I know they are particularly passionate about
this issue because they lost so many of their colleagues.
In his August 20 letter to President Bush, the International
Association of Firefighters general president, Harold Schaitberger, had
this to say:
I would be dishonest if I did not convey our anger, concern
and growing doubt about your commitment to us . . . No one,
not even the President, has the right to pontificate about
his or her commitment and respect for firefighters while
ignoring our legitimate needs.
With all due respect, support entails more than kind words.
The President said he was exercising fiscal discipline by not making
the emergency designation and said that this was, in his view, wasteful
congressional spending; that $5 billion was not an emergency even if it
went to the kind of emergency needs and services that we know we are
I have to respectfully disagree. I think we do face an emergency. We
are rushing through this legislation because clearly we think we face
an emergency. But the real emergency is not in Washington to reorganize
a huge Government department. The real emergency is in the police
stations and the firehouses and the emergency rooms of America. That is
why I am concerned that when the Congress goes through the kind of
process it did to arrive at a need for $5.1 billion and it is totally
disregarded, then why on Earth would we want to give up congressional
oversight and authority in setting the agenda to protect our country?
I believe it is imperative we do everything we can in setting up this
Department to get the money to where it needs to go. We have to get the
dollars where the responsibility rests.
When a disaster occurs, whether it is man-made or accidental, we do
not call the White House. We do not even call the Senate or the
Congress or the Governor's office. In most instances, we call 911.
It is clear the kind of support we need for direct Federal homeland
security funding needs to be a part of any homeland security defense
We have a heavy responsibility in Washington, not just to talk the
but to walk the walk with our first responders. We have to give them
the equipment and the resources and the training they need. According
to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, since September 11 cities have
invested almost $3 billion in added security costs for equipment,
overtime, and training. As of this date, with the exceptions of New
York and Washington, DC, which suffered so grievously on September 11,
not one city has received a single dime to cover these additional
Some bioterrorism funding--about $1.1 billion--has been dispersed to
the States, and that helps, but that does not answer the need that our
firefighters, police officers, and emergency responders have.
I think it is clear, if we are going to be debating this Department,
let us talk about the real needs that are out there. We have to be sure
we follow the clear example that has been set by communities in trying
to shift funds to meet their emergency needs. We have to help them
shoulder these additional burdens. Clearly, the Federal, State, and
local governments are at partnership in preparing, in being
responsible, and then finally in responding. But if they do not have
the resources, they cannot do the job.
So as we debate this Department, let us join with the people on our
front lines who understand what they really need--groups such as the
U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, and the
National Association of Counties. Let us support direct Federal funding
to local communities. Let us do it in the form of a community
development block grant. Let us follow the money where it needs to go.
From my perspective, it is imperative we debate resources, not just
reorganization. It would be a cruel deception to pass something called
Homeland Security Department reorganization, which we all know is going
to take years to untangle to try to get focused and to be effective,
and not provide the dollars that our frontline defenders need.
I ask unanimous consent for 2 additional minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mrs. CLINTON. This is compounded because the administration's budget
calls for eliminating money that would go to our police, firefighters,
and local law enforcement; eliminating more than $500 million from the
COPS program; eliminating entirely Federal funding for hiring new so-
called COPS officers; eliminating and cutting other essential programs
such as the local law enforcement block grant. This makes no sense to
It is fine to have this abstract, theoretical, philosophical, even
constitutional debate, as important as it is--and I believe with all my
heart it is a critical debate--but let us not kid ourselves: If we do
not get resources where it counts, we are not going to be better
prepared, we are not going to be better defended. I hope as we debate
homeland defense, we also recognize the obligation we owe to those men
and women who would answer the call today when it is sent out.
I yield back the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
The Senator from West Virginia.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank Mrs. Clinton, the distinguished
Senator from New York, for her very appropriate, meaningful, and
forceful remarks in connection with this matter and in connection with
other matters she has addressed. And I thank Senator Hollings, the
chairman of the committee which has jurisdiction over transportation,
the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee which has jurisdiction
over the State, Justice, and Commerce Departments and other agencies;
and thanks to Senator Reed for his excellent presentation.
This time is going on my time, which is all right. I am prepared to
yield to the distinguished senior Senator from Washington, who sits on
the Appropriations Committee and who presides over the Transportation
Subcommittee of that committee with a high degree of dignity and poise,
and someone who always brings to the committee's attention and to the
Senate's attention the length and breadth of her great knowledge that
she acquires through the holding of hearings, through the study she
gives to the budget requests that come before the committee. I yield 15
minutes to the Senator.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). The Senator from Washington.
Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from West Virginia
for his leadership on this issue and for yielding me the time today.
On June 6, President Bush addressed the American public, informing
the public he had changed his mind. After months of rejecting just such
a proposal, he now saw the benefit of organizing a new Department of
Homeland Security. His aides had handed him a plan. To his eyes, it was
a good plan and one that should be implemented.
However, something else happened that week as well that happens all
too frequently in America. The Coast Guard, one of the agencies that
would be merged into the President's new Department of Homeland
Security, was performing search and rescue operations across the
In my home State of Washington, the Coast Guard was dispatching
helicopters and motorboats throughout Willapa Bay to search for three
missing Fort Lewis soldiers. On the evening of June 1, their 20-foot
pleasure craft washed ashore in Bay Center, WA. Unfortunately, those
soldier's bodies were recovered the next morning.
As I look today at the President's request, I am very mindful of the
impact it could have on the Coast Guard's ability to carry out other
missions like search and rescue.
We need to be responsive to the President's request. We need to give
this and future administrations the tools they need to better secure
America. However, we cannot sacrifice the critical safety work of the
Coast Guard for the incomplete plan the President's aides drew up in
the basement of the White House.
I rise today because I am deeply concerned that in our rush to do
something about homeland security, we may well overlook the
consequences it will have on the safety and security of all Americans.
Frankly, given what I have seen so far, I have very real reasons for
concern. Of course, I believe, like all my colleagues, that we need to
do everything we can to make sure our Government and our military can
meet the challenges since September 11. We have to focus considerable
energy and resources on addressing those challenges.
Those who want to harm us will look for new ways to exploit our
weaknesses. We have to do better. The world has changed. We must adapt.
But we must balance the needs of our country.
In my role as chairman of the Appropriations Transportation
Subcommittee, I have worked very hard to provide the resources to meet
our needs at our borders, at our seaports, airports, and throughout our
Nation's transportation infrastructure. Often, that has meant pushing
this administration to support the necessary funding, sometimes without
We are moving forward, and we are making America more secure. The
Senate has followed a deliberate process, and the leadership of Senator
Byrd has been critical to this endeavor. He has made sure that we move
forward responsibly to meet the new challenges facing our Nation. But
let's face it, it takes a while to get even the simple things right. I
have been working with the Transportation Security Administration for
months on airline security, and even the smallest things have taken a
while to work out.
Look at what we face at our northern border. It took many months and
we had to put a lot of pressure on this administration just to get the
National Guard deployed at the northern border to fill the gaping holes
in our border security left by years of negligence. It then took many
more weeks to get our guardsmen armed, secure. Securing our border is
essential, but so is ensuring the efficient flow of people, goods, and
services across our border with our friends in Canada. Canada is our
Nation's largest trading partner. Many millions of people in both
countries depend on that trade for their livelihoods. If we do the
wrong thing, the loss of jobs in our border communities will be
How will the Department of Homeland Security, envisioned by the
President, balance the complexity of those competing needs of the
American people? We do not know. We are supposed to trust this
Now the administration wants to rush through a homeland security bill
which was drawn up by a handful of White House aides. It is the largest
Government reorganization since 1947. Look at what has happened in the
House since the President submitted his proposal. The standing
committees looked at the proposal and saw major problems. The House
Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee unanimously voted to
keep the Coast Guard out of that new Department. Based on their
expertise and their research, the standing committee saw the clear need
to maintain the Coast Guard outside of the new Department.
What happened? The select committee ignored that recommendation and
put a rubber stamp on the President's original proposal. In fact,
several times the standing committees made constructive improvements to
bills, only to see their recommendations rejected by the select
The administration wants to rush this proposal through Congress.
Anyone who raises a legitimate question is immediately derided as
``trying to reserve turf.''
This is not about turf. It is about safety. It is about a young Coast
Guardsmen who climbed aboard foreign vessels in the open seas, not
knowing what they may find. It is about TSA security agents who are
trying to make sure that passengers attempting to board our planes do
not pose a security threat. I am proud to work to try to provide them
with some job security just as they work hard to protect our Nation's
These are real questions that need to be answered. This afternoon, I
raise some of those questions because there is a lot at stake for the
people I represent and for every American. I want to make sure we do
this right. So far, I have not gotten the answers I need.
I have two major concerns. First, we have not yet figured out how to
fulfill our traditional missions and the new security missions at the
same time. If we combined all these various agencies into one massive
Department with a primary mission of homeland security, how are we
going to meet the traditional needs across the board?
Let's look at the Coast Guard, just one agency. Since September 11,
the Coast Guard has shifted resources away from traditional missions to
homeland events. That is an appropriate response, but it comes at a
cost. Unfortunately, it means the Coast Guard is spending less time
interdicting drugs and illegal migrants, enforcing fishery and marine
safety laws, and protecting our marine environment.
But the traditional missions have not disappeared. We still need the
Coast Guard to keep drugs and the illegal migrants off our shores. We
need them to protect our environment. And we need them to protect the
lives of our fishermen and the integrity of our fishing grounds.
Frankly, even without the new security needs, we have a long way to go
to meet even those basic missions.
I am concerned we are rushing into a new organization that could
compromise our ability to meet all the challenges we are facing. What
will be the commitment from the Department of Homeland Security to
protecting our marine environment or enforcing our fisheries laws or
conducting search and rescue operations? If the administration
continues to play budget games and underfund the Department, as it has
done so far with the TSA, will the scarce dollars go only to security
and not to traditional missions?
Right now, we cannot even get the basic facts. I would like to know
how much of the current Coast Guard budget is going toward homeland
security. On July 9, the Coast Guard Commandant said 40 percent of the
Coast Guard's operating budget goes to the missions of the new
Department. A few weeks later, on July 30, the Commandant said almost
50 percent of the Coast Guard's budget went to homeland security. That
is a difference of at least $350 million. That number matters because
the boats and resources used for homeland defense are often the very
same ones needed for search and rescue and other missions.
I am not raising this to criticize Admiral Collins. He is doing an
excellent job. I work closely with him. But it shows how difficult it
is to get even the most basic questions answered as we look at this new
Department. The answers matter because the vast majority of Americans
live in coastal States or along the Great Lakes or inland waterways,
and every American is impacted when the Coast Guard slows down its work
stopping illegal drugs. To include the Coast Guard in the new
Department will impact the lives of millions of people. I think we need
to explore these questions closely. Simply put, we have not done a good
job meeting our traditional missions and security missions at the same
time. I would like to know how one massive Department, focused
primarily on security, will help us meet the needs out there.
Second, I am very concerned about accountability and authority over
everything from the staff of the new Department to its budget. The
administration has asked for unprecedented power and control over this
proposed Department. Some of the demands for power over workers really
trouble me. The President wants changes in the personnel rules so he
can have flexibility. Is the President suggesting that today's
unionized border agents are not doing an adequate job or that today's
unionized Customs officials are not responding to new mission
requirements in a timely manner? If that is what he is suggesting, then
he is wrong.
I have been on the border. I have met with the Border Patrol and
Customs agents. These professionals are our sons and daughters, they
are our neighbors, they are our friends, they are our husbands, and
they are our wives. They serve the American people selflessly, often
jeopardizing their own health and safety. I do not think those who
serve in the Department of Homeland Security should be second-class
citizens, given a lower level of rights and respect.
In addition to dramatic new control over workers, the administration
wants the power to move the money around without congressional input.
Let me tell you, given what I have seen so far, this is pretty scary
news for families in Washington State. Right now, as a United States
Senator, I can fight to make sure the needs in my State are being met.
As elected Members of Congress, we know the needs in our communities
and we are accountable to our voters. But the administration now wants
accountants in the Office of Management and Budget to decide what is
important to the people of my home State of Washington. If that
happens, my constituents will lose out at a cost to their safety and
Let's just look at what happened with the supplemental appropriations
bill. Under the leadership of Chairman Byrd, the Appropriations
Committee held unprecedented and comprehensive hearings on how to best
meet our obligations to the American people. We spent countless hours
hearing from national and local experts. We passed the funding to meet
the needs before us. Congress passed that funding, but then the
President eliminated more than $5 billion of it. With a wave of his
hand, over the August break, the President eliminated funding that we
here in Congress considered critical, after many hours of hearings, to
protecting the American public.
He eliminated $11 million from Coast Guard operations. The President
eliminated, with a wave of his hand, $262 million for critical Coast
Guard procurement, including funding for coastal patrol boats for our
security. The President eliminated $150 million for our Nation's
airports, as they are working so hard to meet the December deadline for
installing explosive detection devices. And the President eliminated
$480 million from its already shortchanged Transportation and Security
The Office of Management and Budget has not been a good advocate for
the people of my home State of Washington. Given that record, I am very
reluctant to give OMB dramatic new power over the safety and security
of my constituents. The OMB originally blocked the Coast Guard's
desperately needed improvements to the marine 911 system. When they
brought it to their attention, the OMB changed its policy, but under
the President's plan there is no way for us in Congress to address the
arbitrary decision made by the OMB. Granting the President dramatic new
authority is not just a bureaucratic exercise. It has real consequences
for the people I represent. I take that responsibility very seriously.
If we are not going to figure out how all the functions are going to
be performed and we can't tie money to functions, this reorganization
may consign many functions to death, as we saw when the President
eliminated $5.1 billion in homeland security funding.
In closing, we need to better define the missions of the various
agencies, and we need to make sure they continue to fulfill their
traditional missions. It is essential for our economic security and our
physical safety. The House bill does not strike a balance, and we have
to do better. We need to really understand the consequences of this
proposal and ensure that it will actually increase our homeland
security and not jeopardize our citizens in other ways.
I believe this has not been thought out enough and we should
certainly not race to put a rubberstamp on such an incomplete proposal.
I think every Senator feels pressure to do something, anything, about
homeland security. But it is much more important to do the right thing.
I look forward to having a good debate about the new Department of
Homeland Security. There are a lot of serious questions, and I look
forward to hearing some serious answers.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the very distinguished Senator who
is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, as I have already
indicated, for her exceedingly incisive remarks which reflect the high
dedication that this Senator always brings to her work. I personally
appreciate it, as the chairman of the committee. She is a fine member
of that committee, and she has lived up to those--and far better--
encomiums than I have been able to deliver today.
How much time does the distinguished senior Senator from New York
wish to have?
Mr. SCHUMER. Will 15 minutes be all right?
Mr. BYRD. Let's try 15 minutes and hope that will do the job.
Mr. SCHUMER. I thank the Senator. Before my friend from Washington
State leaves the floor, I want to thank her for her leadership on this
issue. I particularly thank our distinguished leader, the senior
Senator from West Virginia, for his leadership on this issue.
The Senate, at certain times, has an important role--at all times it
has important roles, but there is an important role that it has now,
and that is for the Senate to be, of course, what one of the Founding
Fathers called the cooling saucer. If there was ever a time where there
was a need for that cooling saucer that the Senate should be and has
been through its history in its finest moments, it is now. That is
because we face a whole new challenge in these United States, a
challenge that says every one of our citizens is on the front line.
This new war on terrorism means that small groups of bad people can
do real damage in our homeland. Until 9/11, this was something that was
unknown to us. There were battlefronts and there was the homefront, but
now the homefront is the battlefront, and the battlefront is the
homefront and that demands dramatic and significant changes in our
If the senior Senator from West Virginia were not here, we probably
would have just rolled over and we would not have had the kind of
debate we are having.
He knows his history, whether it be of the Roman Senate or of the
U.S. Senate or all the various Senates in between. I was going to ask
him--because my family and I just visited Venice--about the Venetian
Senate, to see how that compared. I didn't even know Venice had a
Senate until I visited, but we will get that history lesson at another
time. We have more pressing issues now.
The Senator from West Virginia is bringing the Senate to its best. He
is not being obstructionist. He is not saying no. He is simply saying
not to rush on such a major piece of legislation that is going to
involve the most dramatic reorganization of the Government in history,
on a major piece of legislation that is called on to defend us in
We no longer just have the battlefront, but we have the homefront. My
citizens from New York believe they are on the battlefront. They walk
into a subway car and they worry what might happen. A plane flies
overhead and they worry what might happen. They look at a reservoir or
powerplant and they worry what might happen. This is not a time to rush
things through because the very safety of our citizens is at stake.
When government was founded, when men and women got off their knees
and founded government, it had two purposes: To protect from foreign
invasion and keep the domestic tranquility. For the first time, those
two issues were combined.
A lengthy and worthy debate of the Senate is what is called for and
the senior Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Byrd, whom we all admire so,
has summoned the best in us and asked us to do that. I am proud to get
up here and ask for that.
I would also like to praise my good friend from Connecticut. He has
put together an excellent piece of legislation that talks about the
Senate's prerogatives, not just today but as we go forward. It says a
single man, albeit elected, the only man elected by all the people--the
only person elected by all the people, so far, the President of the
United States--should have some power. But this is not what the
Founding Fathers intended. He should not be allowed to take one from
one agency and put it in another. He should not be allowed to move
employees from one place to another without the approval of the
I regret to say that the House moved all too quickly. I am glad
Senator Lieberman and his committee have had a chance to improve on the
House legislation, and to improve on it in a very significant way in
major areas that the Senator from Connecticut has outlined.
What I am saying today is that we have to go beyond that as well and
address some of the substantive areas of security--not simply how we
reorder the Government and rearrange it, and not simply the balance of
power between the President, the Senate, and the House, which is very
important and worthy of debate--Senator Lieberman has put his oar in
the water on that one and given it a powerful stroke, if we pass his
proposal--but also to debate some of the substance of homeland
security. I fear that if we simply rearrange the agencies and run away
from spending the extra dollars we have to spend to make our homeland
more secure, we will have not done the full job. That is why I feel so
strongly about having a continued debate.
Let me mention a few areas where I have had some expertise in that
substantive area. No matter what you do about rearranging and putting a
department here and a department there, we will still not be secure
unless we delve into those departments.
One which I am going to touch on briefly is a computer system
throughout the Justice Department. Recognizing that we are not
reorganizing the FBI or the CIA, let me focus on the areas where we
are, such as the INS. Our computer systems are totally backward. We had
a hearing in my Judiciary subcommittee which has oversight over the FBI
where we showed that the computer systems of the FBI cannot search for
two words. They can search for the word ``flight'' and for the word
``school,'' but they cannot search for the words ``flight school.''
Something is dramatically the matter. The INS computers--we are moving
the INS around--are just as bad, and maybe worse. Until we update those
computers, all sorts of bad people with bad intentions will be able to
get into this country even though another part of the Government knows
they are bad. We should be addressing that problem when we are doing a
homeland security bill.
Then let me talk about the issue that is of greatest concern to me,
which is, frankly, the issue that seems to be of great concern to our
President, and rightfully so. To me, the worst danger I can conceive of
that could befall us in this war on terrorism is that a terrorist group
could smuggle a nuclear weapon, or a few, into this country and
detonate them. As horrible as 9/11 was, as aching as my city and State
are, it would pale before the damage of a nuclear explosion in downtown
New York, or downtown Chicago, or downtown Houston, or downtown Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Kansas City, or anywhere else.
Yet right now, if, God forbid, a terrorist group should get hold of
such a nuclear weapon either by purchasing it from the few powers that
have them that we are worried about--Pakistan, Russia, and, down the
road, Iraq, if they develop enough U-238--that weapon could be smuggled
into this country, say, on one of the large containers that are
unloaded from our ships or brought through the borders--Canadian and
Mexican--on trucks, with virtually no detection. What a surprising
thought. It is no longer that a missile would deliver such a bomb or
that a plane would deliver such a bomb but, rather, that it would come
across our border at ground or water level. That is a frightening
The good news is we can do something about it. The good news, when
you talk to the scientists at Brookhaven National Lab out on Long
Island or Argonne Lab in the suburbs of Chicago, is they say we could
develop a device that could at a distance of 40 or 50 feet detect
nuclear weapons, if they, God forbid, should be smuggled into this
country, because nuclear radioactivity involves gamma rays which can
pierce all but lead. To deal with surrounding the bomb in lead, you can
just use an x-ray detection device. The x ray would detect the lead.
The problem is, they have the technology to do this, but it is only
done in lab conditions in cyclotrons and atom smashers.
We need it to go through every container that comes into America.
Right now, the only way you can detect radiation is through a Geiger
counter. Unfortunately, a Geiger counter has to be placed maybe 3 feet
from the radioactive source. You can't go into every one of these big
containers with a Geiger counter and push it up against every crate--
There are probably 30, 40, or 50 crates in each container; there are
hundreds of containers on these ships and thousands that come across by
truck--without bringing commerce to a standstill.
The alternative is to develop a device that would do this 40 or 50
feet away, and then install it on every crane that either loads or
unloads a container bound for the United States, or that is here in the
United States, and put it on every toll booth for a truck that goes
over the Canadian border or Mexican border. The cost of developing this
device is probably about $500 million, and then probably another $1
billion to install it.
The good senior Senator from Virginia, Mr. Warner--obviously not of
my party--and I have legislation that would begin to do this, that
would start the research.
For the love of me, why can't we get support for this? Why isn't the
White House supporting this? We are very worried about Iraq producing
nuclear weapons. We should be. But why aren't we making our homeland
secure from the delivery of those nuclear weapons? Maybe it won't be
Iraq. Maybe it will be Iran. Maybe it will be North Korea. Maybe it
will be someone else we can't even think about.
I think we should be able to debate that proposal on the floor of
this Senate--not a year from now but now. I feel the urgency of this.
The safety of our citizens is at stake. If it takes an extra day or
two, so be it. That is the role of the Senate.
Why doesn't the White House get behind this kind of proposal? For
some reason, they won't. I think it is because they don't want to spend
the money, as amplified by the recent almost virtual pocket veto of the
$5 billion that was part of the appropriations bill. But I will bet if
you ask each American if they would spend $1 billion to prevent nuclear
weapons from being smuggled into our country and the worst kind of
catastrophe imaginable to befall us, they would all say yes. If asked,
my 99 colleagues would say yes.
That is the kind of thing we are trying to do here--not be
obstructionists. The Senator from West Virginia, as the leader of our
band here, has made it clear he doesn't want to be an obstructionist.
The Senator from Connecticut has made it clear he believes we have to
do things to improve the legislation.
I ask that we continue to debate this legislation. I understand we
have time constraints. Those are real. I understand that. I understand
we cannot debate this bill for 3 or 4 months right now. But we don't
have to have an artificial deadline that it must be finished by next
week. If we think that deadline is needed, let us stay in session, go
in early, and stay in late until the major amendments are dealt with. I
am confident my colleagues from Connecticut and Tennessee will deal
with those amendments in a fair way. They are not trying to say it is
their way or no way. In fact, that is why we have bills, and that is
why we have them debated. But the reorganization of Government agencies
is an important issue. I agree with it. I am supportive of it. But I do
not think it is the only issue facing homeland security.
And for our President--and I respect him and repeat that every New
Yorker owes him a debt of gratitude for being so helpful in the $21
billion this Senate so generously voted for and the House voted for--
but when he says the Senate is getting in the way, that the Senate
better pass his bill his way, not the way I would want or the Senator
from Connecticut would want or, in fact, the Senator from Tennessee
would want, he is not being fair, not just to the Senate but to the
American people because we do have a crisis. It is a slow crisis; it is
an insidious crisis.
Unfortunately, for politicians, the incentives are backward; in other
words, we all love to allocate money, build a school, and get up there
and say: Here is a school. But what is our goal with homeland security?
What do we want to happen? Nothing. We are very successful if nothing
happens. And that provides negative incentives or perverse incentives
for the political process. That is the real worry.
If we were to put $3 billion into the northern border, if we were to
put $1 billion into the INS computer system, if we were to spend $1
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 30 additional
seconds to finish my thought.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I yield the Senator 1 additional minute.
Mr. SCHUMER. I thank the Senator.
If we were to spend another $1 billion on nuclear weapons, I think it
would be worth it. I think the American people would be for us. I may
be wrong, but at least I would like the chance to debate and vote on
issues I consider to be urgent, pressing needs for my constituency in
my State that I love so, and for the people of the United States, for
the country I love so.
With that, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. I thank the Senator from New York for a very
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the
distinguished Senator from California, Mrs. Boxer, be recognized at 5
p.m. for a period of 10 minutes, out of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, the President wants the Congress to grant
the administration the authority to write its own civil service system,
regardless of what has been written in current law, that would apply
only to Federal workers within a new Department of Homeland Security.
As I have expressed before on this floor, I am concerned that these
changes mask the administration's larger hidden agenda, an agenda that
would have the Federal Government function more like a big corporation.
We all certainly ought to be concerned about that idea, given our
recent experience with the inner workings of big corporations.
I come, Mr. President, from the coalfields of southern West Virginia,
not from a corporate boardroom. So I approach this with a different
perspective than the administration, quite obviously. Before I would
ever vote to approve a homeland security measure, I would want to know
more about the working conditions of its prospective employees. Will
the employees who currently enjoy collective bargaining rights continue
to enjoy those same rights at the new Department? Will these employees
have complete whistleblower protections?
Before I vote to approve a homeland security measure, I want to know
about the pay system. How will the payroll systems and personnel
systems be merged into the new Department? How would the special pay
rates, already in existence at the separate
agencies, coordinate or be replaced by a pay system if one were to be
implemented? What will be the hiring procedures? What will be the
firing procedures in this vast new order?
Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer says these new procedures are
needed to enable managers to fire workers who drink on the job. Would
they also be able to fire workers because they join a union, because
they vote Democratic, because they have red hair or no hair or lots of
hair or white hair?
The administration argues that the Secretary for Homeland Security
will require significant flexibility in the hiring and firing process
because, for example, according to the administration, existing due
process and appeal rights make it impossible to fire or demote Federal
employees who are poor performers.
But this and other claims are simply not true. A report by the
nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service recently stated:
[W]hat is missing from the current debate . . . is the
institutional experience government has accumulated with
Title 5 modifications that have already successfully allowed
government agencies to emulate high-performing workplaces--
without compromising merit principles, including protections
against politicized personnel decisions.
Mr. President, the fact is, the administration currently enjoys broad
flexibilities when it comes to the Federal workforce. A report by the
Congressional Research Service points out:
Executive branch departments and agencies currently have
considerable flexibility to perform personnel functions in
such areas as recruiting, hiring, compensation, promotion,
training, and retention. The extent to which the departments
and agencies are using the flexibilities is unknown.
One of the most important protections granted by the civil service
system, that could be eliminated under the President's proposal, is for
whistleblowers. Remember Franklin's whistle? Remember the story about
Benjamin Franklin's whistle, that he paid too much for his whistle? I
am talking about whistleblowers, just now.
The day the President made the announcement of his newfound support
for a Department of Homeland Security was the very day that an FBI
whistleblower, Coleen Rowley, was to testify before Congress on the
embarrassing failures of that agency leading up to the September 11
tragedy. It is clear the administration hoped to limit coverage of that
hearing by offering its secret plan that was hatched in the bowels of
the White House to establish a new Department of Homeland Security, on
the same day--a plan, I might add, that would not provide its employees
the same level of protection with regard to whistleblowers as that FBI
agent enjoyed that day.
Whistleblower protections are essential to protect Federal employees
against managerial reprisals for lawfully disclosing information they
believe demonstrates a violation of law or mismanagement of authority.
The President seemed to agree with this principle when he issued an
executive order on January 20, 2001, that required all Federal workers
to obey their duty and report fraud, waste, and abuse.
Excessive secrecy enforced by repression can threaten national
security by covering up Government breakdowns that sustain unnecessary
vulnerability to terrorism. An example from the post-September 11
period provided by the American Federation of Government employees is
illuminating. In testimony before the House Select Committee on
Homeland Security, American Federation for Government Employees
President, Bobby L. Harnage, Sr., provided the following story, and I
quote from his testimony:
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, two
union officers of the National Border Patrol Council--border
agents Mark Hall and Mark Lindenmann--went on the NBC Today
Show and testified before Congress to speak out against
security on the United States northern border. They said that
despite all the talk, no new agents had been placed on the
northern border and that agents were not making criminal
background checks on people caught entering the United States
illegally. These statements prompted the Immigration and
Naturalization Service supervisors to propose to summarily
fire the agents, stating in internal e-mails that ``the
President of the local union deemed it necessary to
independently question our readiness in a public forum,''
that ``managers must take a stance which bears no tolerance
of dissent,'' and that managers must ``view resistance from
rank and file as insubordination.''
Well, this is what employees are often up against when they speak out
against the company line, even when the company line involves the
security of the United States.
Without knowledge that the union would represent them and that an
impartial whistleblower hearing process was in place to review
subsequent INS actions against them, we can be sure that they never
would have said a word and Congress would never have heard the truth of
what was really happening on the northern border of the United States.
Before the August recess, Congress overwhelmingly approved state-of-
the-art corporate whistleblower protection as an encouragement for
private sector workers to defend America's financial markets. Our
homeland security requires similar rights for Government workers to
make disclosures in defending American families against terrorism.
Without full whistleblower protections in place, Congress would have
had a difficult time in the past learning of the problems associated
with governmental reorganizations, and there have been some serious
problems in our recent history.
As a rule of thumb, it is important to remember that Federal
Government reorganizations have been difficult to accomplish. As James
M. Lindsay, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, recently said:
History suggests we never get reorganizations right the first time,
and this is an especially ambitious proposal. A lot of follow-through
will be needed to make it work.
Recent experience in providing the executive branch with flexibility
in establishing a new Government agency holds great lessons for what we
are being asked to do today. This flexibility failed in an identical
experiment at the Federal Aviation Administration in which Congress
gave the flexibility to replace merit system and collective bargaining
procedures with so-called superior management alternatives. The result
was chaos. Personnel disputes rose sharply, morale plummeted, and the
mishmash of employee organizations sprang up to replace coherent labor-
management dialog in disputes from all directions.
In the year 2000, Congress learned the obvious lesson and restored
the merit system's due process procedures and remedies. What about the
new Transportation Security Agency that was created last year? Congress
reluctantly agreed to the administration's request for exceptions to
the civil service system for employees at the new agency because they
wanted to streamline personnel procedures to allow faster hiring and
provide for flexibility and shifting people among jobs as the new
agency was established. That sounds familiar, doesn't it?
The results have been mixed at best. Recall that just a few short
weeks ago the administration fired its hand-picked director of the new
Transportation Safety Administration, John W. McGaw, only 6 months
after the agency was established. Creating an effective and efficient
Department of Homeland Security and retaining the basic rights of
Federal workers are not mutually exclusive.
I am not here to say our civil service system is perfect, but I do
say that using the security of the United States and the rights of
Federal workers as a bargaining chip to further a political agendum is
simply unacceptable. What an irony that this administration is using an
attack by terrorists who have no respect for the rule of law or the
rights of workers as a justification for us not to respect our own laws
or the rights of workers.
So I am grateful for this opportunity today to speak on this issue. I
am grateful for the opportunity for the Senate to address the issue. I
ask the distinguished Senator from Wyoming if he wishes to speak.
Mr. THOMAS. I do.
Mr. BYRD. I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming is recognized.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I want to comment for a few minutes on the
subject that is before the Senate. I am not a member of the committee.
I have not spent as much time on it as have others. But I think there
are probably different views and we have heard the same views now for
quite a long time. Perhaps it would be well to talk a little bit about
some of the other points of view that might be available and might be
discussed later. I understand this is not actually on the issue but,
rather, on a motion to proceed thereto. It is a very important issue,
Nothing could be more important than homeland security. We have
talked about it and we continue to talk about it at great length. The
fact is, it is a high priority, certainly, for all of us to protect the
homeland. In order to do that, we need to have a homeland security
department with the most effective management that we can have, the
most effective employees, and a system that works as effectively as
possible. So we support plans that protect workers through civil
rights, equal opportunity guarantees, whistleblower protections, and
all those fundamental rights which will be kept. Accountability is also
a must, and giving the department flexibility in hiring and firing and
creating a powerful deterrent for others to ensure they don't engage in
behavior that would endanger homeland protection.
The bill now before us will compromise national security and place
more importance, frankly, on bureaucracy and bureaucratic security than
on national security. That really is not the issue here.
This is not a new issue. The President has the authority in every
other agency, but there seems to be an inclination to be able to roll
it back for the Department of Homeland Security. Under this bill, the
President would have more flexibility to make decisions--or should
have--for reasons of national security, and for HUD, for the Department
of Education, he would have more than he does under this proposal. That
seems strange to me. This is a proposal that deals with those kinds of
emergencies--the things that are changeable--and flexibility needs to
So it seems to me that without some basic flexibility to manage,
freedom to hire the right people, fire the wrong people, that national
security would be at risk and not be secure. Here are some examples.
The Senate bill prevents the President from holding services
accountable. Last month, two America West pilots showed up to work
drunk. They showed up on Monday and were fired on Tuesday. If they had
been INS personnel, it would have taken 18 months--540 days--to be held
accountable. These are the kinds of issues with which we have to deal.
This is not the normal effort. There is a bottom line that the
President does need to have sufficient flexibility. After all, it is
the President and the people in the executive branch who are going to
do the job. What we do is give them the opportunity and the flexibility
to do it.
Certainly there are controls. These controls will not be gone. But we
have to provide the opportunity to the person who will be responsible
for carrying out this role. It is easy to sit here and talk about all
the restraints we should have because we do not have to do that job;
someone else does.
The Senate bill does not provide the new Department budget transfer
authority. Without transfer authority, if intelligence indicated
terrorists were developing a new type of biological weapon, the
Secretary would be unable to transfer funds from one division to
another to acquire additional medicines or vaccines or improve
detection equipment. It does not provide the flexibility to attract,
hire, and reward good performance or hold poor performers accountable.
That is what we need to do in all of Government, but more particularly
in this Department where they are going to face issues they have never
The Office of Personnel Management reports it can take up to 5 months
or more to hire a new Federal employee and 18 months to terminate. If
one is not getting the job done, is this what we want in homeland
defense? I do not think so.
The bill does not provide for reorganization authority. The Senate
bill will prevent the new Secretary from consolidating inspection work
of the Customs Service, Border Patrol, and Agriculture inspectors at
our ports of entry, leaving the current seam between these activities.
Frankly, that has been the weakness in our system since September 11--
there is information here, there is information there, and we need to
bring it together in a seamless way, and that is one of the strengths
and one of the purposes of this whole operation. Yet this bill will not
allow that to happen.
It will strip the President of existing authority to act to preserve
national security. The Senate would take away the President's existing
authority to exempt agencies in the new Department of collective
bargaining requirements where national security requires it. Ever since
President Jimmy Carter used this important national security authority
in time of war--we are in a war of terrorism. To weaken the President's
authority seems to be contradictory of where we are or where we need to
Certainly, there needs to be great discussion, and I admire the
emphasis and effort that has been made. I certainly respect the
judgment everyone brings to this Chamber, but there are differences of
view, and they ought to be reflected, and they will be reflected, in
the bill. We are getting the impression today, however, that there is
nothing right about the bill, that the way the President has requested
it is all wrong, and that cannot be the case. There has to be a
balance, and I am sure there will be an effort to strike a balance.
Of course, we have to recognize rules that do protect Federal
workers. And, indeed, there should be rules. They represent the best in
America, and they deserve strong civil service protections under the
President's plan. Employees of the new Department will continue to be
protected by important civil service laws, rules, and regulations that
protect them against discrimination on the basis of age, disability,
race, color, or religion. Those protections will be there, protected by
the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Hatch
Act, Government ethical standards, and they should continue, and indeed
I know this is a very important issue. I know also that many Senators
have worked very hard and are seeking to do what they believe is best
to put together this homeland defense bill. But I do believe there has
to be some recognition that this is different, that we are asking the
executive branch to carry out a job that is unusual in a different
time. It has to have some flexibility so that the decisions to
accomplish what it is all about can be made. That is what the President
and those who have put together this original proposition are for.
A letter has been written by the former Governor of Pennsylvania that
lays out the need for these flexibilities very persuasively. I happen
to agree. Certainly there are limits to what we want to do, but we do
want to make this a successful effort and give those who are in charge
of handling it the flexibility to make it work. I hope we will balance
Mr. President, I appreciate the time. I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Miller). The Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. I thank the Chair.
Mr. President, I know Senator Boxer is expected around 5. I would
like to speak for a few moments until then.
I thank my colleague from Wyoming for his statement. To pick up on
what he said, that one might get the impression listening to the debate
that there was not anything good in this bill--specifically in the
President's proposal on homeland security--there is a natural way, when
amendments are filed, to focus on where we disagree, where the
amendment disagrees with the underlying bill. But there is a big
iceberg under the surface on which there seems to be disagreement. On
that there is great agreement. In fact, I believe, though it is hard to
quantify this, that more than 90 percent of the bill the Governmental
Affairs Committee approved in late July is exactly the same as what
President Bush desires. It is quite similar to the bill the Democratic
majority on the committee adopted by a 9-to-7 vote in May which, in
turn, is similar to the proposal of
the commission headed by our colleagues, former Senators Gary Hart and
There is enormous agreement on what I would say are the guts of this
bill and the guts of a new Department of Homeland Security: Coordinate
the disparate agencies that are now disorganized, overlapping, creating
gaps and vulnerabilities that terrorists took advantage of on September
11 and will again unless we close those gaps and eliminate those
vulnerabilities. We cannot let that happen. Border security agencies
are being brought together; emergency response is being centralized,
working much more closely with State and local officials;
infrastructure protection; intelligence, most important, to create that
one place where all the dots come together so that we can see the
terrorist plots before they are carried out and stop them; science and
technology. Let's use the brain power, the innovation, as the Defense
Department has, to make us as successful in the battle to defend the
American people at home as those technological innovations have made us
abroad in the fight in pursuit of our principles and our national
Most of this proposal enjoys broad bipartisan support. There are a
few parts of the proposal right at the center which are in dispute. I
understand the President does not support our proposal for a strong
intelligence division in the new Department. It is critically important
to break down the barriers that existed and still exist, to some
degree, between the FBI, the CIA, local law enforcement, and State and
local law enforcement as opposed to Federal law enforcement; bring all
those dots together on one table so they can see the outline of what is
coming and stop it before it happens.
There is dispute from the White House on our national office to
combat terrorism because we want the nomination of the director of that
office to be approved by the Senate. So these are real disputes related
to homeland security.
The dispute that is going on now and the question of civil service
rights is not relevant. I hate to see it stand as an obstacle in the
path to adopting legislation creating a Department of Homeland Security
which, as I say, will give the President at least 90 percent of what he
wants in this new Department. In fact, far from limiting the authority
of the new Secretary of Homeland Security with regard to the management
flexibility that that Secretary has, our legislation protects the
existing flexibility in law.
The new Secretary would be able to remove employees for poor
performance, transfer employees as needed, reward and give bonuses to
those who perform ably. In fact, we add by this legislation to the
existing management flexibility that the new Secretary would have
because of a bipartisan amendment worked on very hard and thoughtfully
by Senator Voinovich and Senator Akaka which would give the President
and the Secretary of Homeland Security new powers to reward employees,
attract top talent and reshape the workforce. It is quite an advance.
So far from limiting the management flexibility of the new Secretary,
we are increasing it beyond what any other Secretary has today, and we
give the administration an open invitation, specifically in the letter
in regard to the legislation we are proposing, by requiring the
Secretary to come back every 6 months and to offer legislative
We specifically enumerate this again on personnel management that
emerges from the experience the Secretary has over those 6 months.
We have to remember that the civil service system evolved for a
reason. It was designed to create some accountability, to protect the
Federal workforce from favoritism, from patronage, from politicization,
by creating a transparent framework for a merit-based personnel system.
Obviously, it is not perfect. That is why we included these major
reforms in the bill we reported out of our committee. But to
essentially discard it, as the President's proposal would do, to give
the Secretary and the President effectively unlimited authority to
rewrite the civil service rules, would be a real step backward.
A lot of this has to do with accountability. Accountability is an
important goal in our public life and our public service. When people
are being taken from the place where they work now--28 different
agencies and offices, the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, the
Transportation Security Agency, FEMA--and they are brought into this
new Department, I think most managers in the private sector would want
to do it in a way that would encourage those employees to believe we
are all on the same team and we expect the most from them, we are going
to work with them.
By pulling away these civil service protections, I think we are going
to have exactly the opposite effect. At a time when the average worker
would naturally be anxious about a change of office or status, we are
going to hang a sword over their heads that says no more civil service
protection; they will lose their rights and, at worst, their job
without the right to protest and seek review.
Responding to the Senator from Wyoming, I say he is right, that some
of our colleagues have not said enough positively either about the
President's proposal particularly, because it is embraced in so much of
what the committee will bring to the floor.
There are these disagreements. I hope we can work them out. I hope
where they are fundamental, we can put them off for 6 months and do the
urgent work, which is to get this bill done.
Let me say a word while I am speaking about items in dispute that I
hope can be put off. This is the question of collective bargaining. I
must say I have learned a lot about this. I have not been involved in
some of these questions for a while, and I learned that collective
bargaining rights were extended to Federal employees for the first time
in 1962 by Executive order of President Kennedy and then were embraced
in statute in 1978 under President Carter. In both the Executive order
and the statute, there was a provision made that reflected, I think,
special concerns during the cold war which said that if the President
determined that union membership in a given agency or office was
inconsistent with national security, the President could remove the
right to collectively bargain without giving a reason other than to say
it was inconsistent with national security, without any right of review
or appeal by the employees who were therefore losing a basic right,
which is to join a union.
I do point out that Federal employees can neither strike nor in most
cases do they negotiate for their salaries, which are usually set by
I am going to stop for a moment and ask my friend and colleague from
Pennsylvania whether he would like to address the Senate on the motion
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
Mr. SPECTER. I had not expected to address the Senate on this issue,
but I never turn down an invitation.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Should I rescind my offer?
Mr. SPECTER. The Senator could, but not after it has been accepted.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Go right ahead. We both learned that at the same law
Mr. SPECTER. Senator Lieberman and I went to the same law school, and
I think he knows one can rescind an offer, but not after it is
accepted. At that point, it is too late.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. I am pleased to have the Senator have the floor.
Mr. SPECTER. I am glad to see the legislation on homeland security on
the floor. This is historic legislation. As the distinguished Senator
from Connecticut has said, this is maybe the most important bill that
will come out of his committee during his tenure. It is my hope we can
move through the bill, go to conference, and have legislation on the
President's desk which the President can accept.
One of the key points at issue is the way the analysis of
intelligence is going to be structured, and it is my hope that we will
be able to take a step at this time on reforms which have long been in
When I chaired the Intelligence Committee in the 104th Congress, I
proposed legislation which would have brought under one umbrella the
CIA and all of the intelligence agencies. There is on the President's
desk now a similar proposal. It would be acceptable to this Senator to
have that umbrella control really anywhere, but the
turf wars which are well-known to be endemic and epidemic in this city
have prevented that kind of umbrella or overview.
The proposal which I think is indispensable is not to change the
operation of the CIA or the FBI or the Defense Intelligence Agency or
National Security, but when it comes to analysis, to bring it all
together so that the analysts are under one umbrella. I believe that
had there been an umbrella prior to September 11, 2001, there is a good
chance that 9/11 could have been prevented.
We know by hindsight about the FBI report out of Phoenix, and about
the young man who had Osama bin Laden's picture on his wall while
studying flight training, as well as other indicia of connections to
Osama bin Laden. We know about the application for a warrant under the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of Zacarias Moussaoui, which
would have yielded very substantial information about his connections
to al-Qaeda. We know about the two at Kuala Lumpur, known to the CIA,
but not communicated to the FBI or Immigration and Naturalization
Service in a timely way. We know of the information from the National
Security Agency on September 10, a threat, that was not translated
until September 12. There are other factors at issue here where we
could have connected the dots, as the metaphor is used.
This bill is a very substantial undertaking. I discussed the matter
on a number of occasions with the distinguished Senator from Tennessee
who raises a valid consideration that this bill may be going too far in
the sense that it takes in a great deal of territory. It does that.
However, the question is, When will it be done, if not now?
The business of consolidating Federal agencies is a Herculean task
facing all sorts of obstacles, and it is only the event of 9/11 and the
threat of another 9/11 which is a motivating factor to make these
Earlier today I heard the Senator from Tennessee say next year would
be time enough to study the intelligence agencies. There is one big
problem with that: The Senator from Tennessee will not be here next
year. We need to take advantage of his skill this year.
Perhaps almost as important as the skill of the Senator from
Tennessee is the momentum which we have. I have offered to give him
some tips on his new job. I saw a headline in the paper the other day,
``Senator Thompson Demoted to District Attorney.'' First of all, I do
not know that it is a demotion because I have held that position.
However, that is what the headline said, Senator Thompson demoted.
I was surfing on Sunday. It is hard to surf and not see Senator
Thompson or Senator Lieberman, or both of them. Senator Thompson was in
a heated exchange with former Secretary Eagleburger, and then the
program was interrupted for some entertainment. I thought Secretary
Eagleburger and Senator Thompson were entertaining. They put on a
portion of this television show. I wonder how many ex-district
attorneys in the Senate turned down that television contract before
Senator Thompson got it?
At any rate, Senator Thompson was sitting behind a big desk in a
dimly lit room and two assistant district attorneys approach him. I
could not get the gist of it entirely, but I guess the thrust of it was
someone in the room was in favor of legalizing drugs. The comment was
made: What about our war on drugs? This District Attorney Thompson
said: We have to have a war on something in Congress for people to be
It seemed a little cynical for him to turn on his colleagues even
before he is on his new payroll. I trust the Ethics Committee would not
let him be on the payroll yet, although he is doing those shows.
Back to a serious vein, this is the time to do it. I talked to
Governor Ridge after a meeting he had with the President today. I have
supplied him with language and I sent a copy of it to Senator Lieberman
and a copy to Senator Thompson. The President wants to be sure that the
President has the authority to continue to work with the CIA as he
always has. Absolutely, he should have that authority. He does have
that authority. There is nothing we can do in legislation that would
change it. The change in the language was made to have the analysis
groups under one umbrella, subject to the President's direction to the
An earlier draft stated the reverse, that the President can direct
all of these intelligence agencies to coordinate. You cannot wait for
the President to make a direction. He is too busy to do it. The
generalization has to be that they will be working together under one
umbrella, and they will be coordinating the analysis, but this must be
made explicit in statute. If the President wants to change that, of
course he can. I do not think he needs that authority in the statute,
but I am pleased to eliminate any question about it. It is my hope we
can find some common ground on that question.
Washington, DC, has a way of having matters slide if we do not strike
while the iron is hot. It is hard to get anything done in Washington,
DC, while the iron is hot. However, when it cools off, it is
extraordinarily difficult. It has been a long time and many efforts
have been made to bring these agencies together. It is a limited
juncture to call on the analytical sections to be under one umbrella.
Homeland security will do a lot in response to another 9/11, but if
that happens, it is really a very sad situation. Ninety-nine percent of
our effort needs to be made to prevent it. If we have to respond to
another 9/11, we are in deep trouble. Maybe something even more serious
may occur--not that 9/11 was not serious enough, but it may involve
weapons of mass destruction. Who knows what it may involve. We have a
very heavy responsibility to do everything we can to prevent it. When
we look at what was known before, with the dots there, and the
possibility of putting them together, that is what we have to work
I have worked a lot with the principals on this issue. I had the
opportunity to serve on the Governmental Affairs Committee. I know the
work of Senator Thompson, who was chairman, and Senator Lieberman, who
is now chairman. We have structured this to accommodate all of the
I think it will probably be a long day before Senator Lieberman will
make an ex parte invitation for me to speak again. I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. I do not regret the acceptance by the Senator from
Pennsylvania, and I thank him very much for his remarks. He went right
to the heart of one of the most important debates we will have on the
bill, which is how do we structure the intelligence division of this
new Department to make sure that we never again look back, as we have
now after September 11, and say these barriers to communication between
the FBI, the CIA, a whole bunch of people, if those barriers had been
broken, and all the information was in one place, we might well have
been able to prevent September 11. We have to have it within our power
to do that.
I understand some of the concerns of the White House, but I do think
the phrasing that Senator Specter has talked about is just right. I
hope he may play a role in bringing us all together on this. I thank
him, also, for the fact that he was my lead cosponsor; I was his lead
cosponsor in October of last year when we introduced the original
version of the bill creating the Department of Homeland Security which,
in fairness, was based in good measure on the recommendation of the
Hart-Rudman Commission. I look forward to his active participation in
this debate and the days ahead.
Under a previous order, I believe Senator Boxer was to be recognized
next, with the time to be taken from Senator Byrd.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
Mrs. BOXER. I thank Senator Lieberman for all his hard work on this
bill, and Senator Thompson as well. I thank Senator Byrd because in his
50 years in Congress, he has seen a lot and he has raised some very
important issues at which this Senate ought to look. I rise to say
thank you to him and to make note that when Senator Lieberman first
brought the concept of Homeland Security and a Cabinet-level position
for Tom Ridge, this administration was not for that in any way, shape,
It is my understanding not having been on the committee, to my
sadness--maybe if I was, I would have had more to say in how this bill
would come about--my understanding is that not one Republican voted for
the first version of that bill in the committee itself.
So we see a real transition from something that was an idea Senator
Lieberman had, the Democrats supported, to one that has been embraced,
with some very important differences that will come out on this
floor. I want to talk to some of those, as well as some of my own
I have been in elected life now for 26 years--not as long as Senator
Byrd, but long enough to know that reshuffling a structure doesn't
necessarily mean you are going to solve your problem. As a matter of
fact, it could in many ways make people less accountable, hiding under
more layers of bureaucracy. So I approach this debate with an attitude
that basically says I am not so sure about this.
I think what Senator Byrd is trying to do here by speaking with some
of us who have some of these problems with the bill is to try to see if
we can let the Senate work its will and shape this so it does not
become an unwieldy bureaucracy that will be not more accountable but
We all know what brought us together as a country was what happened
on September 11. We will never forget it, and we will commemorate it.
But I agree with those who say we have to do this right. It would be a
disservice to those who were so adversely impacted if we were to set
some artificial deadline for restructuring of the Government, a
restructuring which is so huge that a Brookings Institution scholar,
Paul Light, said:
I would rank it the No. 1 reorganization in American
history in terms of difficulty.
My view is this should be done right. We should keep congressional
accountability in the process and not give up the very important powers
we have under the Constitution, the checks and balances, not just for
this administration but for any administration.
It is interesting to hear President Bush's own words. He says it is
the most extensive reorganization of the Federal Government since the
The amendment is 350 pages. I say to Senator Lieberman, I believe he
has done an incredible job of improving the bill from the House
version, and I certainly shudder to think if that House version were to
become law because it has a lot of serious problems. So I say straight
out to Senator Lieberman, thank you for your work in this regard.
Senator Conrad made a point today to some of us, stating he had heard
from the OMB Director way before September 11 that changing the civil
service protections was one of the things this administration has
always wanted to do and that all the things that are contained in the
House bill, as they would pertain to the employees of this new
organization, are not new things to this administration. They have
wanted to break the back, if you will, of whistleblower protection in
other cases. They have wanted to break the back of any type of
As we know, Federal employees cannot strike, nor should they. That is
not an issue. But this administration would like to weaken the
protections that do belong to Federal employees.
I think Senator Lieberman made a very good point when he said, in a
conversation with some of us in leadership, that the protections in his
bill that are afforded to the Federal employees who would work in
homeland defense are the very same protections that are afforded to the
Department of Defense civilian employees.
So it seems to me a rather cruel thing to say you are creating a
Department that, next to the Department of Defense--and maybe even in
some cases, in some circumstances, even more--for these people who
would be put in the line of fire, that we would, as one of the first
things, look at weakening the rights they are afforded and make them
second-class citizens. This is very disturbing to me.
Think back to September 11, to the heroes of September 11. They were
not anyone in this Chamber. They were not anyone in the back room
writing this bill. They were working people. They were people, yes, who
were afforded the protections of collective bargaining; yes, afforded
the protections of union membership. They never looked at their watch
and said: Oh, gee, I have been on the 74th floor of the World Trade
Center, and now I have worked 8 hours and I am coming down.
I just think it is most unfortunate that the President would not take
this opportunity to keep us together here, focused on protecting our
magnificent country and the people who reside therein, and instead use
it as an opportunity to get through some of the things he was unable to
get through in other bills. It is very disturbing to me.
I think Senator Lieberman has shown tremendous leadership in standing
strong for those protections. Again, the heroes of September 11 were
union members. The heroes of September 11 never let us down. How do you
create a new Department such as this and undercut these employees when
they need to be at their top performance level, where they need to have
the best morale, where they need to believe they are not treated worse,
certainly, than any other Federal employee?
There are other things Senator Lieberman did in this bill that I
applaud. A weakening of the Freedom Of Information Act that is in the
House bill--that would have been a mess for us. Many of our communities
want to know what chemicals are polluting their air, ground, and water.
Again, some in the House use this as a way to weaken that act and say:
We cannot give out that information; the terrorists may get it. A
mother of little children needs to know if there is arsenic in a plant,
if there is a harmful pollutant at a plant. Therefore, I am very
pleased that, with Senator Leahy's help, where he was able to fix this,
that is not a problem.
For the remainder of my remarks, I focus on the Federal Emergency
Management Administration and a couple of other agencies that were just
lifted and taken lock, stock, and barrel into this new, enormous
creation called the Department of Homeland Security. In California, we
suffer from every kind of natural disaster you can imagine, from
earthquakes to fire, to flood, to drought, to pestilence. We see it
all. Unfortunately, we see it often.
People sometimes say to me: Senator, why do people want to stay in
California? Every other month, you are having another crisis.
I guess you have to just be there to understand. You are living in an
area that is God's gift to the world. With that beauty come all these
The bottom line of it is, we, unfortunately, have a terrible share of
these disasters. Putting the Federal Emergency Management
Administration, lock, stock and barrel, into this new Department I just
think is going to be a real problem for us. Why not just take those
folks in the Department who would work on homeland security but leave
the others in place?
It took many years to straighten out the problems of FEMA. I have
gone through the worst of it. Under President Clinton and under James
Lee Witt, we saw a tremendous uplifting of FEMA's morale. They know
what they are doing now. All of us, Democrats and Republicans, have
benefited from that. Our people have benefited from that. Now we are
moving this, lock, stock and barrel, and I am very worried about
Others have spoken of the Coast Guard. I feel the same way about
that. Search and rescue--last year, the Coast Guard saved 530 lives in
California. I know how important they are to homeland security, but the
same thing should apply here. You do not have to lift the whole thing
up, lock, stock, and barrel.
We also have the INS situation, where the immigration and
naturalization services are very far behind.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
Mrs. BOXER. I ask for 2 additional minutes.
Mr. BYRD. I yield 2 additional minutes to the distinguished Senator
Mrs. BOXER. I thank Senator Byrd. Now that he is here, I can tell him
how much I appreciate his raising the red flags.
The INS, backlogged with processing immigration--good people, kind
people, family people. It seems to me, again, we should have done this
in a little bit of a different way.
If we really want to do something for homeland security, I would
us spend the $5 billion that we passed in this Senate that spoke to the
need of homeland security and aviation security. We need more machines
to check bags for bombs. We know the things we need to do at our ports.
We lack the infrastructure. Instead of spending time moving pegs on a
board and lifting agencies from one desk to another, I would rather go
back and send the President that $5 billion and say to him that we
don't understand why he refused to spend this money. If he is so
concerned about homeland security, why did he say he wasn't going to
spend this? He said it was bad for the economy because of the deficit.
I was an economics major. One thing we know is that if the Government
spends and invests in the needs of the people, such as homeland
security, it is going to create thousands of jobs, and it would do
something that is important. It doesn't help the economy to sit on that
money. Frankly, it does not help the economy or homeland security if
you create a big bureaucracy and they have no place to even put these
people. And, by the way, if they are just going to be changed in name
only, it is very confusing to me why we are doing this.
From all of my years in public life, I think we could have done this
in a very lean and mean way. We could have made this a Cabinet-level
position, which most of us supported. If the President wanted it to
happen, he could have said we are going to have people dispatched who
report to Tom Ridge and to each of these agencies and start to bring
back and forth to him what we need to do in those agencies.
I thank you very much, Mr. President. I have a lot of serious
questions about this.
I thank my colleagues for their consideration.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, we have had a good discussion on this
motion to proceed.
I thank Senator Byrd for doing what he has done. I will say publicly
what I told him privately before the recess: I thought he was doing all
of us a favor by slowing us down a little bit. There was an awful lot
of talk about we must get this done by September 11 for symbolic
reasons, and symbolism is important. But it is not nearly as important
as it is to get this right. We will not get it right forever. We will
be dealing with it probably for some time to come. But it is important
to get it as right as we can. I think it is very important that we take
the time necessary to do that. We can disagree as to how long is enough
time. But I do think we can all agree that in retrospect, we were kind
of headed toward a stampede there for a little while where we wanted to
get something passed so we could say we got something passed. That
receives short-term benefits maybe to us but it doesn't do much in
terms of long-term benefits to the country. I think we are where we
need to be now. We have come back. We have had a chance to digest this,
discuss it, debate it in a public forum, and now to discuss it here on
Senator Byrd made some very interesting and valid points about things
that we need to consider. He, I think rightfully, pointed out that the
NSA creation was probably the model that not only the President is
going by, but the model that we all can have in terms of importance and
in terms of how long it takes to put these things together. It took a
good while to put the National Security Agency together. I believe it
took 6 months between the time the bill was introduced and the time
that it was passed. I point out that it was after a war. I do think
probably Congress had a little more leisure during those days than we
have. It was 2 years after the war. Of course, we are just beginning
our endeavor. We don't have quite the leisure that perhaps the Congress
did at that time.
We have been considering the overall concept one way or another,
formally or informally, for some time. The Gilmore Commission came in
December of 2000 with a recommendation for a Homeland Security
Department. The Hart-Rudman Commission came out in February, I believe,
of last year, with a recommendation. We didn't pay enough attention to
it soon enough. But it was out there. It was discussed and considered
at that time. Congress, from time to time, has certainly considered
many of the component problems that have led to this bill.
For example, the problems with the INS are certainly no secret. We
have been dealing with that. We have been dealing with other problems
the Government has.
I suggest the time is ripe, and there is no reason now for us not to
address this issue after we have had a full-fledged discussion. I think
the analogy to the Transportation Security Administration that was
referred to and that was referred to in the newspaper today is a good
one. I think it shows the difficulty that we have when we establish an
agency that is having to recreate itself on the one hand and do the job
on the other simultaneously. That is a very good point. What we are
doing here in terms of the Department of Homeland Security is TSA
enlarged in many respects.
That leads me to perhaps a slightly different conclusion. That leads
me to the conclusion that what we need to do to avoid that problem is
to give the people who are in charge and have the responsibility for
making sure this works the tools they can use to make it work. We had a
civil service organization system, and we had a management system, the
paradigm for which was established many years ago. We live in a
different world now. That is what the President is talking about when
he is talking about managerial flexibility and having the tools with
which to manage this thing.
If you talk to corporate leaders who have undergone transitions that
are much less complicated than what we are doing, they talk about how
difficult it is and how important it is to have the right kind of
culture but also to have the managerial talent, the managerial
wherewithal and flexibility to address those thousands of problems and
difficulties that you are going to have in trying to pull all these
factors together. These corporate managers don't even have Congress to
answer to or deal with or worry about. Certainly, when it comes to
Government, Congress cannot deal with each of these issues.
We have to either trust our leadership to the point of giving them
some managerial flexibility or not. I think that is what we are doing
here. That is what this is all about. It is not a major grant of new
power; it is a granting of power by Congress after thorough
deliberation to better manage what Congress is establishing within the
discretion of Congress, and having the annual appropriations process,
among other hearings and considerations, in which to evaluate what is
going on. I think we have to give that kind of authority if we are
going to place on these people the kinds of responsibilities that we
are placing on them.
There has been a concern expressed about personal liberties.
Democracy always has to--especially a democracy under attack--balance
the national security of the country with the personal liberties that
we hold so dear. I think we have done a pretty good job of that. Some
of the things that the administration has done have been somewhat
controversial. They are not really reflected in this bill. This bill
really doesn't deal with any of those things. But I do think it is
appropriate to point out that in other times President Lincoln
instituted habeas corpus. President Roosevelt had internments, and
things of that nature. Other Presidents have taken rather severe action
when they deemed it necessary in times of war and in times of national
security. We are not even approaching things of that nature. And we are
not really even approaching the subject matter in this bill.
So I respectfully suggest that there is no danger here of giving the
President too much power. The danger, quite frankly, is that we are
establishing a new Department that is complex, multifaceted, and is
going to be difficult to organize without giving the President some
authority that several other Government agencies already have, that the
Congress has already given them.
We will have an opportunity to discuss this later when appropriate
amendments come up. But in the area of national security, and in the
area of flexibility with regard to some of these agencies, what the
President is basically asking for is the same authority that prior
Presidents have had in the national security area, and the same
authority for this new Department that other Department heads already
have. So I do not think we need to concern ourselves overly about that.
But I will say that it is refreshing to stand on this floor, to sit and
listen to someone such as Senator Byrd talk about first principles,
talk about the basic function of government, talk about the things the
forefathers concerned themselves with, and the things we should concern
ourselves with as we go forward with this bill. But I suggest that it
is time we go forward.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, how much time do I have remaining?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Twenty-four minutes.
Mr. BYRD. I thank the Chair.
Mr. President, I begin my closing remarks where I should begin, by
thanking Senator Lieberman and Senator Thompson for the leadership they
have demonstrated in holding hearings, in holding the markups, in
exploring the questions that were asked, in attempting to find
solutions to questions and concerns and problems that occurred to them
through others and sometimes not through others. I thank these two
Senators who represent, I believe, the finest.
I have been a Member of the body now 44 years next January 3, the
Lord willing. The fine old woman who raised me taught me to say that: I
will do thus and so or so and so, the Lord willing. Of course, that
comes from the Book of James, the 4th chapter, and the 14th and 15th
verses: Don't say that you will go to a city tomorrow and that you will
purchase thus and so and that you will do thus and so, but say, the
Lord willing, you will go and do thus and so.
And I thank these Senators. I am glad that the Good Lord has
permitted me to live in this age when we can have Senators who acquire
the high qualities of the two Senators who are about to manage the
legislation that will create a Homeland Security Department.
I favor the creation of a Homeland Security Department. And I think
that the Senate within the next few minutes should vote unanimously to
proceed to take up this legislation. That is the way it should be done.
Let's take it up, and then let the Senate work its will.
I thank the two leaders for their cooperation in helping to bring
this about and in providing a time and an opportunity when we can mull
over and talk about and decide these great questions that confront us.
I would have resisted going to the bill had the motion been made
prior to the August recess. I would have resisted with all of my heart
and all of my strength. But I do not resist going to the bill now. With
the Senate in recess, we have had a month in which to read the House
bill, which largely reflects the administration's position, to read
also the legislation that has been reported from Senator Lieberman's
and Senator Thompson's committee. And I have taken occasion to do just
Now, when we proceed to take up the House bill, it will be done, and
then, at some point, presumably early on, Senator Lieberman will offer
his substitute. He will offer the committee of the committee which he
chairs. And the Senate will then have both bills before it. The
underlying measure will be the House bill. And then there will be the
substitute, which will be a clean bill reported by Senator Lieberman's
committee. So the Senate will have before it both bills. Senators may
proceed to amend the underlying bill. They may proceed to amend Senator
Lieberman's bill, the substitute. We will have both bills before us.
I call to the attention of Senators that once we pass this bill,
whatever the bill is that the Senate passes--I am not saying I am going
to vote for it; I may--but whenever the Senate passes legislation
dealing with the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, then
that is the last time the Senate will visit the matter until the
legislation comes back from the committee of conference. And that
legislation will be in the form of a conference report, which cannot be
amended. Senators will have to take that measure, then, up or down.
So this is it. This is our chance, and our only chance, to fully
discuss and amend the legislation. And I hope Senators will approach
the matter in that vein, realizing that the product that emanates from
this Senate, after whatever time we take to debate and vote on it, will
be the final product the Senate itself will have had an opportunity to
mold and to amend. That is it.
We are going to have to live with that. I have been greatly concerned
about the legislation, as I have read it, that the House has passed,
and with particular reference to title VIII of that bill, which I will
not go into now.
But I have been greatly concerned. I am concerned that the
Constitution and its principles and the rights and privileges that flow
from that great document--which has no equal in the world as far as
governmental, organic documents are concerned, no equal----
I am concerned that those rights and prerogatives that flow from that
document will have been impinged upon. I am greatly concerned about the
constitutionality, in whole or in part, of some of the things that we
are about to do--if we do them--that are particularly contained in the
Now, we may pass legislation that is unconstitutional, and if it is
never tried out in courts, it may be out there and there may not come
an occasion where there is a case or controversy which goes to court.
But I say that we have a responsibility.
I used to hear Sam Ervin, that eminent jurist and great late Senator
from North Carolina, say that we in the Senate have a duty to determine
in our own minds the constitutionality of measures that we pass.
That is why I joined with Senators on both sides of the aisle in
bringing the line-item veto and pushing that matter to a decision by
the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, we didn't have standing, as the
Court determined, but we did proceed; but those who did have standing
were pursuing it. Thank God, somebody pursued it, and I say thank God
to the Supreme Court of the United States for throwing out that bad
legislation. I said it was bad and the Court agreed.
Here we are today with legislation that can certainly be dangerous in
many ways. I have talked about some of those things, and I will have a
further opportunity. But before I proceed with my final prepared
remarks, let me thank Senator Thompson and Senator Lieberman. I thank
Senator Thompson for his closing remarks today, and I also thank
Senator Lieberman. These are gentlemen and I respect them as gentlemen.
They have high and noble principles. That cannot be said of all men, of
We are here today because nearly 11 months ago, 19 men commandeered 4
aircraft. Their goal we know all too well. They crashed one aircraft
into the Pentagon. One hurtled into the north tower of the World Trade
Center. Another tore into the south tower a few minutes later. The men
and women aboard the final plane, after learning of the fate of the
others, decided to resist the hijackers. They knew that, in all
likelihood, they were about to die. But they entered into the embrace
of death willingly after having decided to do what they could do to
prevent the untimely and abrupt death of other men and women.
I have no doubt, as we were taken out of this Capitol that day,
ushered out by the policemen here, that that last plane was coming to
hit this Capitol or the White House--one or the other. I just know in
my own mind that it was headed here. But those men and women on that
plane died for us. Their plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania. If not
for the heroic efforts of those men and women, we would have scores of
additional names to remember as victims of the worse terrorist attack
in the history of our country.
We are here today debating because of those 19 hijackers. We are here
because of the rescue workers who moved so quickly, so selflessly, so
valiantly to save lives, only to lose their own while carrying out
their duty. We are here because of those thousands of men and women
who, on September 11, 1 year ago, were sitting at the desks, walking
through the halls, doing their jobs, only to have such brutality bring
to an end their precious lives, and so abruptly. They never had time to
say good-bye to their loved ones. We are here, Senators, because we can
never forget that day and because we never want this Nation to have to
go through and experience the horrors of that day again.
In many ways, the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security
will serve as a legacy to those more than 3,000 men and women who had
lost their lives on that clear fall day 1 year ago. We must not rush to
create a department in the memory of those who lost their lives on
September 11. If that Homeland Security Department does not better
prevent another attack, what becomes of the sacrifice of those lives
almost 1 year ago? If in the rush to create a new department we make
Americans more vulnerable to attack while the transition is going
forward rather than less, what kind of a legacy does that leave? What
tribute does this Congress and this President pay to the victims of
September 11 if we only tangle the lines of homeland security rather
than straighten them and strengthen them?
I believe that much is to be said in gratitude to Senator Lieberman
and Senator Thompson and their committee for their efforts to
straighten the lines. I honor and respect and pay tribute to these
Senators and to the product which they have given this Senate and which
we will soon be discussing. But having been in various and sundry
legislative branches at the State and local levels and at the Federal
level, I know there is no committee, including the one I chair, that
can be perfect.
As an experienced legislator, I look at this product in that fashion.
It is a good product. It is a much better product than that which the
House has sent us after 2 days of floor debate. But I think the full
Senate can do better.
I believe that if we act in haste to pass this legislation, then we
pay no tribute, we honor, no memory.
The legislation creates a new Department of Homeland Security. It is
originally based on the plan of four men--not exactly the committee of
five which wrote the Declaration of Independence. It is quite a
different group. I don't say that disparagingly of the four fine men
who came up with this idea in the bowels of the White House. But the
legislation to create a new Department is based on the plan that
originally was hatched in the subterranean caverns of the White House--
four men, fine men, sitting in the depths of the White House, trying to
counter mounting political pressures. These four men have done nothing
more, really, than shuffle boxes on a piece of paper.
The administration calls this the largest reorganization of
Government since World War II. I say it is the largest reorganization
of Government since our constitutional Framers sat at the Convention in
1787. They reorganized the Government under the Articles of
Confederation. Under that Government, under the Articles of
Confederation, the Congress was the legislative, the executive, and the
judicial. So those men reorganized the Government and gave to the
various States, to vote on in their ratifying conventions, this product
that was signed by those men in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
That was the first reorganization. That was the greatest
reorganization because no longer do we operate under the Articles of
Confederation but we operate under the Constitution of the United
States. So now we have come to another reorganization proposal, the one
we have been discussing.
Terrorists have the advantage of knowing when they will strike, where
they will strike, and how they will strike. Law-abiding men and women
do not know when the terrorists will attack, where they will attack, or
how they will attack. If the truth be told, there is no department that
this Congress can conceive that alone can save Americans from terrorist
attacks. Moving a few squares on a flowchart will not, on its own, save
I remain suspicious about a complex, extensive reorganization plan
originally authored only by a group of four men in absolute secret, a
plan which we are told was not revealed until the day the President
revealed it, at which time several of the Department heads, whose
Departments would be affected by the plan, had not been contacted and
not been consulted. That is what I understand from reading the press.
So I remain suspicious about a complex, extensive reorganization plan
authored only by a group of four men in absolute secret. I believe such
a plan is likely--likely--to be politically motivated somewhere along
the line. There is an old fiddle tune I used to play, ``Somewhere Along
I hope that is not true. I hope the motivations were pure, but should
we not all be a little suspicious of this process? Congress should be
especially careful, given the way this plan was formulated. We ought to
consider our actions thoroughly and realize that the steps we take in
the next few weeks will have ramifications for decades to come.
In the past few weeks, as the House select committee has held its
hearings and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has drafted its
plan, the focus has not been on how to best save lives. Rather, the
focus, in part at least, has been on the ``bureaucratic turf wars''
that have developed. Should Secret Service be in, or should Secret
Service be out?
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Dayton). The time under the Senator's
control has expired.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I have need for a few more minutes. May I
call upon the mercy of the distinguished Senator who chairs this
committee, if he has time, if he would let this poor Senator from the
hills of West Virginia have a few more minutes?
Mr. LIEBERMAN. The Senator is moving me. I say to Senator Byrd,
obviously I do not want to cut him off. I guess in return I ask for a
certain amount of mercy because I hope to leave in an hour to attend an
event at my daughter's school. The Senator may proceed as he will. I do
not intend to use the rest of my time, and I hope Senator Byrd will
finish with as much dispatch as he can and still make his points.
Mr. REID. Will my friend from West Virginia yield for a question?
Mr. BYRD. Yes.
Mr. REID. I am wondering, with the three managers of the bill here on
this phase of the debate, if we can agree on what time we are going to
vote today. The time runs out at 6:37 p.m. It is my understanding that
Senators Thompson and Lieberman will be willing to give back some of
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Yes, Senator Thompson has concluded his remarks. When
Senator Byrd has finished, I will have concluding remarks that will go
no longer than 5 minutes.
Mr. REID. Is Senator Byrd going to speak for 10 minutes?
Mr. BYRD. Well, let me put it this way. As far as I am concerned, we
can vote now. As far as I am concerned, we can vote by voice. I intend
to vote to proceed to take up this measure, but Senators have been told
we would vote. I will stop editorializing on my own remarks and read
what I have prepared and sit down.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Fine. I thank the Senator.
Mr. REID. So the answer is we do not have a time certain.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. But no later than 6:36 p.m.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished chairman, Senator
Lieberman, for his generosity.
What about the Secret Service, should it be in or out? What about the
Coast Guard? Why is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms left
out? While the 170,000 men and women targeted to move into this new
Department try to figure out where the desks and telephones will be,
the Nation's homeland defense system may be far less effective, not
We in the Congress must insist on more information about the fine
details, such as what this plan means for the separation of powers, why
one agency was selected while others were left out. We must take time
to determine if this approach is the best approach or if it is little
more than cherry-picking the best agencies while leaving others behind.
There will be those who charge that by moving to slow this
legislation, I and others are endangering the lives of Americans and
that we are thinking about our pet projects in our own States. What a
sorry, empty claim to make. This Congress, at the urging of the Senate
Appropriations Committee which I chair, has added $15 billion for
homeland security over the course of the past 8 months. That funding
has helped us to take immediate steps to make Americans safer from
attack and to better prepare our response efforts should another attack
That funding paid for more than 2,200 agents and inspectors to guard
long, porous borders with Canada and Mexico. The foreign student visa
program, which has been identified as one of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service's chief loopholes, is undergoing a tighter
tracking system because of funding that Congress included in its first
homeland security funding package within 3 days after the tragedy
occurred in New York City.
Across this country, local police officers, firefighters, and
emergency medical teams are receiving new training and equipment to
handle threats that before last fall they hardly considered possible.
Federal law enforcement also benefited from the work of this Congress.
Because of the funding initiated by the Appropriations Committee, the
FBI started to hire hundreds of new agents. More than 300 additional
protective personnel were hired to protect the Nation's nuclear weapons
complex. Air marshals have been hired to protect our planes. Seven
hundred and fifty food inspectors were hired to ensure the safety of
the meals served at America's kitchen tables. We have paid for smallpox
vaccines and health department training. We are tightening security at
our seaports and purchasing new bomb-detecting equipment at our
airports. We are taking steps to protect American lives now, today, and
not just waiting for a bureaucratic shuffle to protect us.
Congress, the elected representatives of the people, have done this.
Congress also acted to provide additional emergency funding to
strengthen terrorism prevention and to give much-needed aid to first
responders at the local level. But President Bush has refused to spend
some of these critical funds because he and OMB Director Mitch Daniels
want to make a point about budget discipline.
If the President is really serious about preventing terror, as he
says he is, he should not play politics with this important funding,
which by the signature of his name could have been released to the
people at the local levels, throughout the land, for the protection of
the people and the protection of the infrastructure of our country.
Members of Congress and the President would like to be able to tell
the public that they honored the victims of September 11 by creating a
new Department for Homeland Security on the anniversary of the tragedy.
That is understandable for politicians. But as Senator Thompson pointed
out, we want the right product. We want to take the time and do the job
In a few days, Americans will pause to remember the moment when the
airplanes struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the
Pennsylvania field. We will remember the mothers and fathers, the
brothers and sisters, the firefighters, the police officers, the
ambulance drivers. We will remember all of those who lost their lives
in those tragic moments. But as we craft this legacy to their lives, we
owe them more than a press release. We owe them our best judgment. We
owe them rational, responsible action. We owe them a legacy that may
truly save other lives, the lives of the people and the families of
those who died, the progeny of those fathers whose lives were wiped out
in the batting of an eye.
Based on what we know about the legislative proposals before us,
there can be no assurance that such a legacy will ever result. I am
concerned that the monument that will result from this effort may be
one of weakened protections for America's civil servants, one that may
allow the security that is our goal to buckle under the weight of an
administration's untold agenda. What will this legislation do to the
people's rights, to the first amendment, to the second amendment, the
third or fourth? Do we know what this bill does to the fundamental
protections embodied in the Constitution?
I am concerned about what we do not know about what has been kept
from us by an administration adept at dealing in the shadows. I am
concerned that this bill goes too far to protect the privacy of the
White House and not far enough to protect the privacy of law-abiding
citizens outside the White House.
We are being pressed to pass this legislation to protect American
lives, but we must not allow ourselves to be blinded to the new threats
it may present to our laws and our constitutional system if we pass the
legislation for which the administration has asked.
Each of us has an obligation not just to put a new banner over a
collection of agencies but to ensure that those agencies work together
to protect the American people. Reorganizations of any size have a
tendency to drift, to veer off course. A reorganization of the
magnitude envisioned is likely to careen out of our control if we do
not take the necessary steps to keep it on track. We cannot throw up
our arms in celebration at the moment a bill is signed into law and
walk away wrapped in the folds of glory. If that is all we do, we will
surely drop the reins.
This Senate must do everything within its power now to ensure that
the promise embodied in this proposed reorganization is kept. We must
focus beyond the mere creation of a new Department and grapple with the
details of its implementation. We should insist on a clear
understanding of the mission of the new Department. We should know the
criteria that are used to determine which agencies will be part of it.
We should insist that the constitutional rights of the people are
protected. We should insist on assurances that this administration will
not use this reorganization as a cover to dismantle worker protections.
We should insist that the important non-homeland-security work of the
transferred agencies is not sacrificed as those agencies assume new
Senators know of my great respect and fondness for history of the
ancient Romans. Montesquieu first pointed the way, and having read a
great deal of Montesquieu's work, I came to the conclusion that
Montesquieu must have been right because he loved the history of the
ancient Romans. As a matter of fact, he wrote a history of the ancient
Romans. So I decided I would do some of that reading, too.
I close with a quotation. Gaius Petronius Arbiter, a Roman poet and
advisor to Nero, is reported to have said:
We trained hard . . . but it seemed that every time we were
beginning to form into teams we would be reorganized. I was
to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation
by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for
creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion,
inefficiency and demoralization.
What a quotation from a Roman 2,000 years ago, and more. Before we
rush ahead with so many questions unanswered, let us ensure that the
product of our work is not just an illusion but substance. If it is a
monument we are building, let it be one that will endure.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, I simply thank the very able Senator
from West Virginia for once again calling on the Senate to face these
very fundamental questions that are involved and which he has been
speaking to in the course of the day. I think it behooves all of our
colleagues not only to have listened to the able Senator but to go back
and read his remarks and to consider them carefully and thoughtfully as
we address this major legislation.
Now we are embarked, of course, on creating a new Department, but we
need to be very careful in how we do it. We need to be very thorough in
how we do it. We need to be very thoughtful in how we do it.
I commend the chairman of the committee, the able Senator from
Connecticut, because I think he has brought all of those qualities to
this legislation that he has now brought forth in the Senate.
There are very important questions involved here in terms of how the
political system works and how the checks and balances work and what
the allocation of powers is. Some say this is a fight over turf or over
prerogatives. It is no such thing. This is trying to resolve the most
basic questions about how our system of self-government is to work and
what the balance is to be between the legislative and the executive
branches; indeed, the judicial branch is drawn into this, as well.
I hope as we address this legislation in the days to come, my
colleagues keep in mind the analysis and the history which the Senator
from West Virginia has brought to the floor today. I express my deep
appreciation once again. He reminds us of the fundamental questions we
confront and of the importance of rising to this occasion.
Mr. BYRD. I thank the Senator for the generous remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. I agree with my friend from Maryland: The Senator from
West Virginia has made a contribution here with his thoughtful
leadership over the years, of course, and his thoughtful statements
today. Even when I do not meet the statements with personal agreement,
I know he forces me to think about fixed premises that I may bring to
the debate, as well as everyone in this case, and that will make the
product of our deliberations better than it would otherwise be.
I was thinking about the quote at the end of Senator Byrd's remarks.
It is true that reorganization or reform can sometimes not be in the
interest of progress and can be a cover for disorganization and an
excuse for inaction more broadly.
I do want to argue that this proposal that has come out of the Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee, which builds on work that had been done
by the Hart-Rudman Commission, which meshed with recommendations from
the White House, is a necessary reorganization.
The current state of reality in our Federal Government is that we are
disorganized. It is in some ways dysfunctional as it comes to
protecting the security of the American people from a threat we have
imagined, we have seen some small evidence of over the years. But on
September 11 we were shocked from our lethargy and our apathy and our
tolerance of disorganization, seeing the painful personal consequences
of that disorganization--almost 3,000 Americans dead only because they
were Americans, struck in a vicious and savage and cunning way only
because they were Americans. They did not have the courage to take us
on on a conventional field of battle but struck an undefended target
full of innocent Americans.
That disorganization can no longer be tolerated. I have a sense of
urgency about this. I look at the evidence we have accumulated about
the various ways in which our intelligence and law enforcement
personnel could have cooperated, could have shared information prior to
September 11. I wonder, could we have prevented this from happening? I
look at the way in which we have tolerated disorganization and overlap
at our borders with failures of the various Federal agencies there and
inability even to communicate with one another. I look at our ports,
with 95 percent of the goods coming into the United States of America.
Most people are shocked by this number: 95 percent come in by ship, yet
the Customs Service is able to truly inspect only 1 percent of the
containers coming in.
I could go on and on about airport security pre-September 11 and
security of our financial systems, cybersystems, and all the rest. We
are just not organized to prevent what happened on September 11 from
ever happening again.
In this regard, I have the echo in my mind of a meeting I attended
some months ago with families of victims of September 11, mostly
families of victims because most of them were from Connecticut, some
from New York, who died in the World Trade Center. The plaintive
question they asked me was, how could this have happened? I do not want
to ever be in a position to face another group of fellow Americans who
ask me again, how could this have happened?
I make no claims that adoption of the bill that our committee has
reported on will be a guarantee against terrorism. I suppose if someone
has so little regard for their own life and other lives that they are
prepared to strap bombs around themselves and walk into a crowd, that
is not easy to stop. But something as well planned, as comprehensive,
with as many contacts with private sector bodies, including flight
training schools and public agencies, we should be able to prevent. The
only way to begin to do it is to create a structure that is
accountable, that has a uniform chain of command, and that will put
people in place to overcome the gaps the terrorists took advantage of
on September 11.
That is why I have urgently brought this matter to the floor, with
the wonderful bipartisan group of members of the Governmental Affairs
Committee who contributed substantially to the product on the floor,
and the various Members of the Senate on both sides with whom we have
worked on parts of this proposal. There were 18 hearings, 3 or 4 days
of committee meetings and markup. A lot of work has been done on this,
building on work that had been done years before by others, as to how
we can best protect the American people from terrorism.
It is time to proceed. We have had a very good opening day of debate.
Obviously, there are some differences of opinion regarding the pace of
action in Congress or whether the executive branch is seeking or being
given too much authority, whether one or another agency that is
consolidated by this bill should be consolidated, how strong our
intelligence division should be in this Department, how much should we
bring matters together. Should we give this President and his
successors unprecedented authority over civil service and Federal
All of these matters, I know, will be directly discussed in the days
ahead. And many of them, if not all of them, will be subjects of
amendment before this Chamber. This is a big bill. It is a big proposal
which responds to an urgent problem. As others have said, it would be
the largest reorganization of the Federal Government in 50 years, since
the post-World War II reorganization of our national security
apparatus. That is what the reality of our times requires. It is why we
need the debate we will have in the days, and perhaps weeks, ahead.
In the paper today, there is a story that our intelligence service is
working with foreign intelligence services and has tracked the movement
of gold, substantial amounts of gold, apparently owned by al-Qaida,
from Pakistan through Iran, the United Arab Emirates, into Sudan, where
it may be in Khartoum now. What does this tell us? That the enemy is
out there, that we won a victory, a great victory, in Afghanistan, but
that was only the first battle of the war.
Again, the enemy is not out there on a field of battle where we can
see them, or in ships at sea. They are in the shadows. They have not
diminished their intention to strike at America, and Americans only,
because we are America and Americans. Now we, as the representatives of
the American people here in Congress, we draw ourselves together, to
have our debate, have our discussion, but in the end, to do what we
must do to create a Department of Homeland Security that will be a
strong line of defense against al-Qaida and anyone else out there
intending to strike at the American people here at home.
One thing I do know, in the midst of all the debate, is we are ready
to proceed. We have had a good opening day. Many more days of debate
will come. But on the specific motion before us now, the motion to
proceed, I am sure we are ready to vote.
I yield whatever remaining time I have and I ask for the yeas and
nays on the motion to proceed.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to
The question is on agreeing to the motion to proceed. The clerk will
call the roll.
The legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Akaka), and
the Senator from Delaware (Mr. Biden), are necessarily absent.
Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from North Carolina (Mr.
Helms), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Gramm), the Senator from Arkansas
(Mr. Murkowski), and the Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. Santorum), are
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber
desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 94, nays 0, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 209 Leg.]
The motion was agreed to.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote and move to
lay that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
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