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[Congressional Record: September 26, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2215, 21ST CENTURY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZATION ACT
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 552, I
call up the conference report on the bill (H.R. 2215) to authorize
appropriations for the Department of Justice for fiscal year 2002, and
for other purposes.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gillmor). Pursuant to the rule, the
conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of
September 25, 2002, at page H6586.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gillmor). The gentleman from Wisconsin
(Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) each
will control 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend
their remarks and to include extraneous material on the conference
report on H.R. 2215 currently under consideration.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from Wisconsin?
There was no objection.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
Mr. Speaker, I have a lengthy statement which I plan on putting in
Record, as it is important to this conference report. I know that the
Members wish to make plans so that they can get out of here before the
last plane leaves, and I would hope that everybody who seeks time will
speed it up so that the Members will be accommodated.
This conference report represents the first Department of Justice
authorization that will be signed into law since 1979. The Department
has gone for 23 years without an authorization. This legislation will
help the Congress to do better oversight over the Department of Justice
and will allow the Department of Justice to do better oversight over
itself through improvements in the Inspector General's Office.
There are a number of additional judgeships that have been created,
largely in the southwestern part of the country, to handle cases that
arise from problems along the border. There is an improvement in how
the Department administers its grant programs through the Office of
Justice programs; and I think probably most importantly, the
improvements in the juvenile justice system at the Federal level,
jointly within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary and
the Committee on Education and the Workforce, at long last, will be
finding its way into law.
All of the conferees signed this legislation. It has significant
bipartisan support. I would commend it to the Members' favorable vote.
Mr. Speaker, over the last two decades, there have been several
unsuccessful attempts by the Committees on the Judiciary of both Houses
of Congress to authorize the Department of Justice. If enacted, H.R.
2215 represents the first such authorization of the Department in
nearly a quarter century. It reflects the broad bipartisan support of
both Houses, and was signed by all of those appointed to the
Conference. While some might argue that congressional authorization of
federal departments within its jurisdiction is a mere formality, the
authorization of executive agencies fulfills Congress' fundamental
constitutional obligation to maintain an active and continuing role in
organizing the priorities and overseeing the operation of the executive
branch. This process also ensures that the authorizing committees'
institutional knowledge about the federal agencies they oversee can be
imparted in the course of regulation reauthorization.
The Department of Justice is one of the most important agencies in
the Federal Government and the world's premier law enforcement
organization. With an annual budget exceeding 20 billion dollars and a
workforce of over 100,000 employees, the Department of Justice is an
institution whose mission and values reflect the American people's
staunch commitment to fairness and justice.
The importance of the Department of Justice has only increased since
the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Last year, I was pleased to
introduce and lead congressional passage of the PATRIOT Act, which has
strengthened America's security by providing law enforcement with a
range of tools to fight and win the war against terrorism.
As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have continued to help
provide the Department with the legislative resources to carry out its
crucial mandate. At the same time, I have worked to ensure that the
Department's structure, management, and priorities are tailored to best
promote the purposes for which it was established.
The 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization
Act advances this important goal. The title of this measure reflects
its broad and ambitious sweep: to focus the priorities of the
Department to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. At the same
time, its title alone does not fully capture the several individual
legislative initiatives contained in its text. Many of these
initiatives were reported by the House Judiciary Committee and passed
the House of Representatives, only to be diverted from the President's
desk by the delay and inaction of the other body.
H.R. 2215 fully authorizes the appropriations requested by the
President for fiscal years 2002 and 2003. It strengthens oversight of
the Department of Justice by bolstering the authority of the
Department's Inspector General. It also mandates that one senior
official in the Inspector General's office be dedicated to the
oversight of the FBI. It also requires the Inspector General to submit
an FBI oversight plan to Congress within 30 days of enactment.
It also directs the Department to submit a report detailing the
operation of the Office of Justice programs, requires the submission of
information concerning litigation activities at the Department, and
protects civil liberties by requiring the submission of a report on the
Department's use of the electronic surveillance system formerly known
as ``Project Carnivore.''
H.R. 2215 strengthens the statutory authority of the Attorney General
to conduct his official responsibilities, enhances the administration
of justice by incorporating long-needed judicial improvements and
strengthens judicial disciplinary procedures. It also creates
additional judgeships to address the chronic overburdening of America's
federal courts, particularly in border states such as Texas,
California, and New Mexico, as well as Florida, Nevada, and Alabama.
H.R. 2215 also ensures effective market competition by making
important improvements to federal antitrust statues, and establishes a
Commission to review the adequacy of existing antitrust laws. It
promotes America's economic competitiveness by strengthening
protections for intellectual property, modernizing the application
process at the Patent and Trademark Office, and ensuring that holders
of U.S. trademarks are accorded the full protection of international
In addition, H.R. 2215 strengthens the integrity of the criminal
justice system in several ways. It increases penalties for those who
tamper with federal witnesse4s or harm federal judges and law
enforcement personnel, authorizes danger pay for federal agents in
harm's way overseas, and contains important provisions to reduce
illegal drug use. The Report also makes important refinements to
address INS administrative processing delays faced by legal immigrants.
Of critical importance, this legislation contains a sweeping and
ambitious program to protect at-risk kids. It provides continued
support for Boys and Girls Clubs, enhances juvenile criminal
accountability, and provides states with block grants to curb youth
crime. It represents comprehensive bipartisan legislation the House
Committees on Judiciary and Education and Workforce have been working
on for several years, and I am proud of its inclusion in the Conference
Report. Finally, this bill promotes continued support for federal,
state, and local coordination of preparedness against terrorist
Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that the American people will not have to
wait another 23 years for this body to again reauthorize the Department
of Justice. Rather, I hope that passage of H.R. 2215 will lead to a
period of reinvigorated congressional oversight of the executive
branch. Working in concert to identify solutions to the growing
challenges faced by federal law enforcement, Congress and The
Administration will better provide for the safety and security of
American people. H.R. 2215 makes a critical, long-overdue step in this
direction, and I urge your support.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report. I
yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff), who has
been very helpful in putting this bipartisan package together.
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this
time, and I applaud the bipartisan leadership for their tireless work
in bringing this bill to the floor today.
In particular, I am very appreciative that one of my bills, the Law
Enforcement Tribute Act, has been included in the reauthorization
conference report. The Law Enforcement Tribute Act authorizes funding
for grants to States and localities to aid in honoring those men and
women of the United States who were killed or disabled while serving as
law enforcement or public safety officers.
To ensure this funding would allow for the development of many
tributes around the country, there is a limit that no award may be
greater than $150,000; and the bill further requires a match by the
State or locality requesting the funding. The bill authorizes $3
million a year for 5 years to be administered through the Department of
Justice and would provide enough funding for 20 projects each year.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to explain briefly why this bill is so
important. In one of the communities I represent alone, Glendale,
California, four police officers and one sheriff's deputy have been
killed in the line of duty. Many others have suffered injuries and
illnesses that have contributed to early deaths. The ultimate sacrifice
they have made deserves this recognition.
One of those fallen heroes was Charles Lazzaretto, a Glendale police
officer killed in the line of duty only 4 years ago. Another involves
Janice Starnes of Martinsville, Indiana, whose husband, Dan, was killed
in the line of duty in July of 2001, just months after they celebrated
their 25th anniversary. Earlier this year, Janice wrote a check for
$100 to start a memorial for her husband and two other officers also
killed in the line of duty. In a letter that we received from her, she
``He was the best friend to our sons. Dan paid the ultimate sacrifice.
He has always been my hero, and now others can be honored by this
memorial. I want to live long enough to see this memorial completed.''
Well, so do all of us in the Congress of the United States.
I want to thank the original cosponsor, the gentleman from Virginia
(Mr. Davis); our subcommittee chairman, the gentleman from Texas (Mr.
Smith); and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), the ranking member
of the subcommittee, for their work; and the gentleman from Wisconsin
(Mr. Sensenbrenner), the chairman of the committee; and the gentleman
from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member of the full committee,
for all of their assistance. To the many organizations of law
enforcement who have supported it, I thank them; and I urge the support
of my colleagues.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman
from North Carolina (Mr. Coble).
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this
This conference report contains intellectual property provisions
which are very significant, such as PTO reauthorization; the patent
reexamination reform proposal; intellectual property technical
amendments; the TEACH Act, regarding the distance education program;
and the Madrid protocol implementation concerning the international
registration of trademarks.
Our subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, Mr. Speaker, has
worked a long time on these matters, and in the case of the Madrid
protocol for 8 years. This is much-needed reform that will benefit the
intellectual property owners of the intellectual property community,
and the American public as well.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from
Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin).
Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this conference
report. I want to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr.
Sensenbrenner), our chairman; and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr.
Conyers), our ranking member; and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr.
Scott), the ranking member of the subcommittee, for their efforts to
pass the first DOJ authorization bill in 2 decades. I have enjoyed
working with them as a member of the Committee on the Judiciary and as
a member of the conference committee to bring this legislation to the
This is an excellent piece of legislation that deals with a large
number of important issues. I would like to focus on two of them today.
I am very pleased that we were able to create a permanent Violence
Against Women Office and make the director of that office a Senate-
confirmed appointee. These provisions will strengthen the existing
office, enhancing the Department of Justice's capacity to address the
continuing problems of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Domestic violence and sexual assault are still scourges on our
Nation. The statistics are chilling. Nearly one in three women will
experience either domestic violence or a sexual assault in her
lifetime. These horrible crimes damage lives and tear families apart.
The Violence Against Women Act is a proven part of the solution to
these problems, and a permanent office with a strong director will help
us continue to move forward to end this problem forever.
I want to thank the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter), my
colleague, for introducing the original legislation; and I also want to
appreciate the work of the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. Morella) and
the gentlewoman from Colorado (Ms. DeGette), and also appreciate the
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member, for their
efforts to move this issue forward. I thank the chairman of the
committee, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), for the
work that he did to make sure that we found appropriate legislative
language that meets the great need for a strong Violence Against Women
Mr. Speaker, this bill also includes an important, although somewhat
obscure, provision that will help promote education. The bill includes
the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, also known as
the TEACH Act. The TEACH Act extends the current exemption of
educational use of copyrighted materials to distance learning. This
will allow our schools, colleges, and universities to expand
educational opportunities through new technology. Copyright holders and
our educational institutions worked hard to develop this compromise
language. I am pleased we were able to introduce it and include it in
this bill, and I urge my colleagues to vote for this conference report.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield a quick 1 minute to the
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith).
Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman of the
Committee on the Judiciary for yielding me this time.
This legislation contains several bills originated by the
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Juvenile
Offender Accountability Act, the Law Enforcement Tribute Act, and the
Body Armor Act will help make America safer.
Additionally, this legislation increases penalties for threatening
Federal judges and other Federal officials, and for threatening
witnesses, victims and informants.
An immigration provision I sponsored benefits the high-tech sector.
It allows high-tech workers with H1-B visas who apply for an extension
beyond their normal 6 years to extend their stay in the U.S. while
their application is pending.
This legislation provides for three additional judgeships in Texas,
two permanent district judges in the western district and one temporary
district judge in the eastern district.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this conference report.
Mr. Speaker, Section 11030 A of the conference report will permit H-
1B aliens who have labor certification applications caught in lengthy
agency backlogs to extend their status beyond the 6th year limitation
or, if they have already exceeded such limitation, to have a new H-1B
petition approved so they can apply for an H-1B visa to return from
abroad or otherwise re-obtain H-1B status.
Either a labor certification application or a petition must be filed
at least 365 days prior to the end of the 6th year in order for the
alien to be eligible under this section. The slight modification to
existing law made by this section is necessary to avoid the disruption
of important projects caused by the sudden loss of valued employees.
This corrects a problem created in the American Competitiveness in
the 21st Century Act (Pub. L. 106-313)(AC21). The provision, as it was
orginially written, allowed for extensions of H-1B status beyond the
usual 6 years, but required that a labor certification be filed more
than 365 days before the end of the 6th year and that an immigrant
petition, the next step in the long line to permanent residency, be
filed before the end of the 6 year as well.
When it passed AC 21, Congress intended to protect foreign nationals
and the companies who sponsor them from the inequities of government
bureaucracy inefficiency. This specific provision was put in place to
recognize the lengthy delays at INS in adjusticalting petitions, rather
than DOL. But since that time, DOL has slowed down its own processing,
and the provision as it was orginially written has become useless for
many otherwise qualified applicants.
This correction allows for those in H-1B status to get extensions
beyond the six years when a labor certification was filed before the
end of the fifth year, without regard to the ability to file an
immigrant petition within the next year. The conferees intends that
those who are about the exceed their six years in H-1B status should
not be subject to the additional requirement of having to file the
immigrant petition by the end of the sixth year, which is simply
impossible when DOL has not finished its part in the process.
This recognizes that these individuals are already well-valued by
their companies, have significant ties to the U.S. and whose employers
have to prove that they are not taking jobs from U.S. workers.
It also is meant to permit those who have exceeded their six year
limitation to return to H-1B status. The conferees intend for this
provision to allow those who already exceeded the 6-year limitation to
have a new H-1B petition approved and obtain a visa to return from
abroad or otherwise re-obtain H-1B status.
In addition, the compromise reached with the Senate on Title IV of
Division B of this legislation relating to the Violence Against Women
Office (VAWO) gives the Attorney General discretion about where to
place the VAWO in the organizational structure and chain of command of
the Department of Justice as did the version contained in the House
This compromise does not contain language found in section 402(b)(1)
of the Senate bill which stated that the VAWO ``shall not be part of
any division or component of the Department of Justice.'' The
conference report permits the Attorney General the flexibility to
manage the Department's responsibilities in the area of violence
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
California (Mr. George Miller), who is the ranking member of the
Committee on Education and the Workforce, which did a tremendous job on
part of the juvenile justice provisions in the legislation.
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman
for yielding me this time.
I rise in strong support of the conference report. I believe that it
offers a balanced approach to reducing juvenile crime and promotes both
prevention and accountability. States will have an obligation to
protect children in the juvenile justice system. Runaways and truants
cannot be contained in secured facilities; juveniles cannot be held in
adult facilities. The States have to find a systematic method of
addressing a disproportionate number of incarcerated minority youth.
It also includes for the first time a measure aimed at preventing the
abuse of juveniles in residential camps, many of whom are in federally
funded, but State supervised, foster care. These camps have operated
away from the public scrutiny for too long, and the result is that
children have suffered serious injuries and, in several circumstances,
children have died. This provision requires that residential camps be
licensed in the State in which they are located and also meet the
licensing standards of States which send juveniles for placements.
I also want to take time to thank so many people who participated in
these components of this legislation. I want to thank Bob Sweet and
Krisann Pearce of the majority staff on the committee; Judy Borger with
the staff of the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Greenwood); and Ruth
Friedman and Cheryl Johnson and Denise Forte of our staff on the
minority side. On the Senate side I want to thank Tim Lynch and Beryl
Howell with Senator Leahy, and Jeff Miller with Senator Kohl, and Leah
Belaire with Senator Hatch.
Mr. Speaker, I also would like to thank the gentleman from Virginia
(Mr. Scott) for all the work that he did on behalf of this legislation
to make it fair and equitable. It is a good piece of legislation.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman
from Ohio (Mr. Boehner), the distinguished chairman of the Committee on
Education and the Workforce.
Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate our colleagues on the
Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr.
Sensenbrenner), the chairman of the committee, and his colleagues for
their very good work on this DOJ authorization bill.
I am very pleased that the chairman has included the provisions of
juvenile justice that we have been trying to pass in this House for 6
years. We have had countless numbers of hearings, countless numbers of
markups; we have been to the floor three times, and finally, this 6-
year project is finished.
I just want to thank the two people most responsible on our
committee, and that would be the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr.
Greenwood) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), who have really
worked hard to help pull this together. I also want to thank the
chairman of the subcommittee, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr.
Hoekstra), for his fine work; one of our committee staff, Bob Sweet,
who just did incredible work, working with Members and staff on both
sides of the aisle to bring about what I would describe as a very good
agreement and something that has alluded us for a long time.
Lastly, let me thank two other people, my colleague, the gentleman
from California (Mr. George Miller), the ranking member of my
committee. We have a very good relationship, and we have been able to
work through many of these difficult issues. Lastly, let me thank again
Chairman Sensenbrenner for his willingness to include this issue, this
juvenile justice bill in this DOJ conference report.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman
from New York (Ms. Slaughter).
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me
this time, and I rise today in support of H.R. 2215, the Department of
Justice Authorization Conference Report.
I am pleased that the conferees included my bill H.R. 28, the
Violence Against Women's Office Act, which was approved by the House
last year and would make the Violence Against Women Office a permanent
and independent force in the Department of Justice.
Created in 1995, this office has been absolutely critical in
heightening awareness within the Federal Government and the entire
Nation about domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The
office formulates policy and administers more than $270 million
annually in grants to State governments, as well as to local community
organizations, police, prosecutors and courts to address violence
against women. In addition, it assists these organizations with
education and training to ensure the highest quality services to
victims and the full administration of justice.
The importance of this office cannot be overestimated. In fact, in a
survey conducted by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
reports of domestic violence have dropped 21 percent since the
inception of this office. Much remains to be done, however, as nearly
25 percent of women also reported they had been physically and/or
sexually assaulted by a current or former intimate partner at home some
time in their lifetime. These statistics illustrate the importance of
the Violence Against Women Office to the health, safety, and the very
survival of women all over America.
The conference report creates an independent Violence Against Women's
Office within the Department of Justice, rather than making the office
simply a subsidiary part of the Office of Justice programs. The policy
independence of the Violence Against Women Office is critical in
carrying out its unique mission with regard to both its policy and
grant administration efforts to prevent violence against women.
The office's work with grantees on very sensitive issues is vital and
will be best addressed through a separate and independent office. This
valuable resource has been specifically authorized by statute, and will
be a permanent part of the government's anti-violence efforts.
Ending violence against women is an ongoing struggle, and one of the
best tools is the Violence Against Women Office. I want to give my
thanks to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), the ranking member,
and to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) for bringing
this good bill to the floor today. I give it my support.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
Michigan (Mr. Stupak), who contributed significantly to this
Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of this conference
report, which contains a bill that I have worked on for several years,
the James Guelff and Chris McCurley Body Armor Act of 2002. I
introduced this bill with Asa Hutchinson and the gentleman from
Virginia (Mr. Scott), and thanks to their strong support of this issue
and the hard work of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Chairman
Sensenbrenner), the ranking member, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr.
Conyers), and Senator Feinstein, this bill will finally be enacted into
We are providing invaluable assistance to our Nation's law
enforcement at a time when their mission is even more important.
Violent felons will be prohibited from owning body armor, and serious
crimes committed while wearing body armor will be punished more
Criminals wear body armor in the commission of crimes so they can
outgun our law enforcement officers and facilitate their criminal
intent. This must be stopped. We cannot allow criminals to have an
advantage over the men and women that put their lives on the line every
day to protect society. The days of the Wild West are
over, and gunfights have no place in our society.
I want to thank the Nation's law enforcement that has rallied behind
our bill. The Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of
Police Organizations, the National Troopers Coalition, and the
International Union of Police Associations have provided invaluable
support to the bill, as have numerous police departments across the
Nation, including Los Angeles and New York.
But I think the greatest thanks goes to Lee Guelff, who has worked
tirelessly on this cause in the name of his brother. Lee has done much
and sacrificed more, and today's action serves as a tribute to his
efforts. Lee's advocacy has resulted in the passage of similar
provisions in numerous State legislatures, including my own State of
James Guelff, Chris McCurley, and many other law enforcement officers
have been tragically killed by criminals wearing body armor. After the
events of September 11, our law enforcement officials have been called
upon to go even further in protecting this great Nation, so I am
pleased that by passing the James Guelff and Chris McCurley Body Armor
Act of 2002, we are standing up for them as they rise every day to
Mr. Speaker, I thank all the people associated with this committee
for including our bill.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 2215,
the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization
Act. I want to commend my colleagues, the gentleman from Wisconsin
(Chairman Sensenbrenner) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers),
particularly for their leadership in ensuring that we have worked in a
bipartisan, cooperative method in developing this conference report.
It is because of that kind of leadership that we have for the first
time in over 20 years a bill to authorize the programs and funding in
the Department of Justice.
Mr. Speaker, this bill is based on the provisions that both sides of
the aisle in both Chambers can agree on, rather than provisions which
divide us based on the disagreements. This is especially true in the
juvenile justice provisions in the bill.
For years, juvenile justice programs and funding have been
characterized in both Chambers by contention and differences. In this
bill are two juvenile justice provisions, one developed in the
Committee on the Judiciary and one developed in the Committee on
Education and the Workforce. Both bills were developed through
bipartisan cooperation and agreement, in stark contrast to the
contention and rancor which has deadlocked both Chambers on the issue
of juvenile justice in recent years.
I want to give special credit for the hard work on this bill to the
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith), the chairman of the Subcommittee on
Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and the gentleman from
Pennsylvania (Mr. Greenwood), who has worked for years on juvenile
Juvenile justice bills in the past have been based on the advice of
political pollsters and consultants. These bills, however, were
developed based on advice of juvenile justice researchers,
administrators, judges, psychologists, educators, and other experts in
The Committee on the Judiciary bill provides for accountability of
the juvenile to the law, as well as accountability of the juvenile
justice system to the juvenile and the public through a program of
graduated sanctions and services.
States and localities are provided with resources to ensure that
offenses by juveniles are responded to with an appropriate degree of
punishment and/or services, as the individual case requires, graduated
and increasing in the level of punishment or services with any
subsequent offenses until the problems bringing about such offenses are
The education bill authorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention Act for the first time in almost 6 years. We have maintained
the core requirements of the act that serve to protect juveniles from
abuse and that direct resources towards reducing overrepresentation of
minorities in the system.
This reauthorization also provides resources through a delinquency
prevention block grant designed to identify at-risk children and to
address difficulties which may lead to juvenile offenses before such
offenses occur through proven juvenile delinquency prevention programs.
The juvenile justice provision of the report also contains a
provision to ensure that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention has continued responsibility for the oversight and planning
for the research, evaluation, and statistical functions of the office,
in addition to grant and contracting authority for these functions.
The research and evaluation arm of that office has been critical to
the development of effective juvenile delinquency prevention programs,
and this reauthorization reaffirms its important role within the
In sum, Mr. Speaker, the juvenile justice provisions of this bill
will provide the necessary resources to effectively reduce juvenile
delinquency and hold juveniles accountable for any offenses they
I am also pleased to see several other items in the bill which are
the result of bipartisan cooperation. We converted a temporary
judgeship in the Eastern District of Virginia to a permanent one, which
is of critical importance to the area that I represent.
I am also pleased to have worked to include in the bill the bill
introduced by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Stupak), providing our
brave law enforcement officers with bulletproof vests, and another bill
introduced by the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff) to provide
suitable tributes to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice
protecting the public from criminals.
Mr. Speaker, there are provisions in the bill which some would prefer
would not be there, and other provisions were left out which some would
have preferred were in the bill, but the bill represents a well-
reasoned, bipartisan effort to fund important programs in the
Department of Justice.
I would like to commend the Members on both sides of the aisle, and
our respective staffs in both Chambers, for their hard work and
accomplishments, as well. I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gekas).
Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to
Mr. Speaker, I support this measure because, parochially speaking, it
does a great deal for some of the projects in which we are so
interested in Pennsylvania.
For instance, at Fort Indiantown Gap, this calls for full funding of
an anti-drug/antiterrorist school and training program that is extant
in that institution, that military base. That alone would justify my
vote for this.
But then we include, on top of that, the fact that there is language
that will help the State Borough Association implement a plan of
Pennsylvania-wide security measures and infrastructure protection that
is vital to our State, as it is to every other State in similar
Thirdly, under the INS, there is strong language to help us implement
the CIVAS program through the designated school officials' training
program that will make the visa applications of students better
Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Committee of Conference on
H.R. 2215, the Department of Justice Authorization Act for Fiscal Years
2002 and 2003, I strongly support adoption of the conference report.
I am particularly pleased that the conference report authorizes
$10,732,000 and an additional six full-time employees in fiscal year
2003 for the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the Department of
Justice. CRS is an extraordinarily important office whose many
accomplishments have been too little noticed. It has the statutory
responsibility to assist communities around the United States, and
particularly minority communities, in preventing violence and resolving
conflicts arising from racial and ethnic tensions and to develop the
capacity of such communities to address these conflicts without
external assistance. They do a wonderful job and we are fortunate to
have them. The increased authorization
provided by this section and the additional full-time employees will
support the expansion of the Community Relations Service's efforts to
address heightened tension and potential for conflict in many
communities in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United
I am also pleased that the conference report creates a Violence
Against Women Office with the Department of Justice. The Office will be
headed by a Director who reports directly to the Attorney General and
has final authority over all grants, cooperative agreements and
contracts awarded by the Office.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, the conference committee wisely decided not to
include a Senate provision would have exempted federal government
lawyers from the responsibility to follow the same ethnical rules that
bind other lawyers. The Senate provision was not only unnecessary, but
would have been counterproductive to the goal of truly professional law
Mr. Speaker, I strongly support this important legislation.
Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to
Section 312 of the Conference Report accompanying H.R. 2215, as well as
to support passage of this important legislation.
On the 21st of May this year, I wrote to Congressman Sensenbrenner
and Ranking Member Conyers to express my concern for the dire shortages
of federal judges in the State of New Mexico, and to request that the
Committee authorize an additional judgeship for the District of New
Mexico in the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations
Today, I want to thank Chairman Sensenbrenner, Ranking Member Conyers
and the members of the Conference Committee for including
appropriations for an additional temporary judgeship for the State of
New Mexico in Section 312 of the Report.
New Mexico is the 3rd busiest judicial district in the nation behind
southern California and western Texas. In 1996, the Judiciary Council
recommended that New Mexico receive one new permanent judgeship and one
temporary judgeship. Two years later, the council reiterated that
recommendation. Then, in 2000, the Judicial Conference recommended that
New Mexico receive two permanent judgeships and one temporary
Since the Conference's first recommendation six years ago, the
caseload in the federal courts in New York has been on the rise,
seemingly growing exponentially each year. Accordingly, the judgeship
appropriated in Section 312 will help alleviate the pressure felt
within this increasingly overloaded judiciary system, and provide the
people of New Mexico more efficient accessibly to federal courts.
Once again, I think my collegues for considering my request.
Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the DOJ authorization
bill because it does enhance the Violence Against Women Office and
increase assistance to our law enforcement officers.
I also applaud the provision of the bill that directs the Attorney
General to conduct a study to assess the number of untested rape
examination kits that currently exist nationwide.
However, I know we could have done more.
It would be nice to know how many rape kits are outstanding. But it
is much more important that we fund the DNA analysis of the kits and
solve crimes, rather than simply counting how many kits remain on the
We know there are outstanding kits, anywhere from 150,000 to 500,000
of them, and we need money to test them. Asking for a study doesn't put
any rapists behind bars.
Now, you may ask, what else could we possibly do about this?
Well, we could have put money for testing into the DOJ authorization
bill. In fact, I asked the distinguished Chairman to do just that. He
told me the study was the best he could do.
Well, I know we can do better. In fact, the Senate already has. The
Senate already had hearings, already had a markup, and already passed a
bill under unaminous consent. Now, the House has the opportunity to
take up S. 2513, the DNA Sexual Assault Justice Act. We could have put
this bipartisan bill into the conference report, but we didn't.
The Senate bill included $500,000 for a study, but it didn't stop
there. The Senate bill also includes $15 million a year for DNA testing
for convicted felons, $75 million a year to test rape kits, and $150
million over five years to train nurses how to better collect evidence.
That is a lot better and would make much more of an impact than an
Now, some may say, we just didn't have time to address this problem.
Well, I introduced a bill to solve this problem back in March of this
year. It has never had a hearing. It has never been considered by the
Judiciary Committee. It has been ignored, just like all the untested
rape kits across America. So, we had plenty of time to address this
issue, the Republican leadership simply chose not to.
This is a serious effort to combat crime, locate and apprehend
rapists, and use powerful evidence to put them behind bars. We all know
that DNA evidence is essential to solving crimes. It can lead to
punishment of the guilty and the freeing of the innocent. The
Department of Justice released a statement yesterday that mentioned the
``unprecedented success in linking serial violent crimes by registering
more than 80 matches against the FBI's National DNA Index System (NDIS)
last month.'' The Department also states that ``two of these matches
resulted in the arrest in Pennsylvania of the perpetrator of two
rapes.'' The DOJ reports that the DNA evidence solved 24 previously
unsolved cases, and that nine matches involved connecting together
previously unrelated crime scenes.
We must commit the necessary resources now to empower law enforcement
to analyze all of the DNA evidence they collect, so that they can solve
cases and bring justice to American families.
We already have a non-controversial bill that we could make law very
quickly (we could even do it today), and it would be an immediate
benefit to people all across America, especially victims of rape and
It is time for Congress to lend a hand to our law enforcement
officers and provide them with the funds needed to solve these crimes
and put rapists behind bars.
Since some Members were unwilling to include the Senate rape kit bill
in this authorization bill, I now urge the leadership to bring the
Senate bill up for a vote as soon as possible. I have a letter here
signed by more than a dozen Members of Congress urging Majority Leader
Armey to take up the Senate bill, and I ask unanimous consent that this
letter be included as part of the Record. I also ask unanimous consent
to include the Statement by the U.S. Department of Justice that I
Statement of U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI Laboratory today lauded state and local
laboratories unprecedented success in linking serial violent
crimes by registering more than 80 matches against the FBI's
National DNA Index System (NDIS) last month. Additionally,
the FBI's federal convicted offender program recorded its
first NDIS match during the final week in August. The federal
match was between the federal convicted offender database and
a DNA profile from a case involving a sexual assault of a
juvenile in Tampa, Florida contributed by the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement. Two weeks later, as a result
of this match, an arrest was made in this case.
The final week of August was one of the most successful
weeks ever in the four years that NDIS has been operational.
During that week, 33 matches were made, 17 by Oklhoma in that
state's upload of DNA profiles into NDIS. To illustrate the
power and reach of NDIS. Oklahoma's DNA matches were made
with cases in the FBI Laboratory, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri,
Texas, California, Arizona, and Maine. Examples of other
matches included the FBI Laboratory matching a profile from
New York; and Virginia posting matches with Washington state
Of the 33 matches made in the last week of August, 24
matched convicted offender DNA profiles already contained in
the national database with DNA profiles from unknown
individuals obtained at crime scenes or from rape kits, thus
solving these previously unsolved cases. Two of these matches
resulted in the arrest in Pennsylvania of the perpetrator of
two rapes. The other nine matches involved connecting
together previously unrelated crime scenes.
The FBI implemented NDIS is October, 1998 to allow state
laboratories the ability to electronically compare and
exchange DNA profiles with one another in an effort to link
serial violent offenses. Today 44 states, the FBI and U.S.
Army Lab participate in the NDIS program NDIS contains nearly
1.4 million offender DNA samples and 47,000 DNA profiles
developed from crime scenes and rape kills. In the four years
of NDIS, there have been approximately 5,000 DNA profile
matches across 36 states and the District of Columbia. In
December, 2000 legislation was passed which authorized
collection and inclusion of DNA samples of certain federal
offenders into NDIS. Full implementation of the federal
convicted offender program began in July, 2002. In only the
second upload of federal data, the first federal match was
Congress of the United States,
Washington, DC, September 26, 2002.
Hon. Dick Armey,
Majority Leader, House of Representatives, the Capitol,
Dear Leader Armey: We are writing to urge you to bring up
the Senate passed bill, S. 2513, the DNA Sexual Assault
Justice Act, without delay.
This bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on
September 12th. Similar legislation has been introduced in
the House and has gathered the support of a substantial
number of supporters. We believe this bill could be passed
into law quickly and would be an immediate benefit to people
all across America, especially victims of rape and sexual
ABC's 20/20 reports that hundreds of thousands of rape kits
sit unprocessed in police storage units across the country.
There could be anywhere from 150,000 to 500,000 kits that
remain untested. That means that DNA evidence from rape kits
is going untested and crimes are going unsolved. This is
totally unacceptable. It is time for Congress to lend a hand
to our law enforcement officers and provide them with the
funds needed to solve these crimes and to put rapists behind
This is a serious effort to combat crime, locate and
apprehend rapists, and use powerful evidence to put them
behind bars. We all know that DNA evidence is essential to
solving crimes. It can lead to punishment of the guilty and
the freeing of the innocent. We must commit the necessary
resources now to empower law enforcement to analyze all of
the DNA evidence they collect, so that they can solve cases
and bring justice to American families.
As the number of bills on this issue as well as the number
of supporters indicate, there is strong public interest in
this issue. We hope that you will schedule S. 2513 for House
floor consideration as soon as possible.
Jerrold Nadler, John Conyers, Jr., Bernard Sanders, Gary
Ackerman, Rod Blagojevich, Danny Davis, Carolyn
Maloney, Robert Andrews, Lane Evans, Rush Holt, Corrine
Brown, Maurice Hinchey, Tammy Baldwin, Brad Carson,
James Langevin, Sam Farr, Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ron Kind, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Julia Carson.
Mr. TERRY. Mr. Speaker, this Conference Report does not include a
permanent Judgeship for the State of Nebraska. Since 1998 Nebraska has
exceeded the weighted standard of 430 filings per judge, and in 2001,
that number grew to 482 filings. Without this permanent Judgeship, over
the next year filings are expected to rise to over 600 per Judge.
Currently, the caseload in Nebraska is the 9th heaviest in the Nation,
and is only expected to increase. Nebraska has a higher drug
prosecution rate than any other federal court in the 7th and 8th
circuit; 65 percent of our drug cases are methamphetamine prosecutions,
compared to a national average of 14.5 percent. The continued absence
of this Judgeship hurts the citizens of Nebraska and brings an already
over-worked court system to near standstill.
This permanent Judgeship was included in the House-passed Department
of Justice Authorization bill, and I would like to thank Chairman
Sensenbrenner and Ranking Member Conyers for their assistance in this
effort. However, I learned last night that the Nebraska's permanent
judgeship designation had been stripped from the conference report. I
have no idea why this language was stripped out, and it upsets me that
I've been unable to obtain a definitive answer. I'm left to believe
that this designation was eliminated due to political concerns, and it
was not a decision based upon merit or need.
Nebraska has had a temporary Judgeship since 1990 and will expire in
November 2003. What occurred in conference is unfair to the State of
Nebraska, and will negatively impact an already strained court system.
Nebraska Temporary/Permanent Judgeship Issue, April 8, 2002
(Currently three permanent and one temporary judgeship)
1. Need for permanent judgeship in Nebraska is critical:
A. Temporary judgeship created in 1990.
B. Expires first judge to leave after November 20, 2003.
C. Based on 430 weighted standard, Nebraska eligible for
even a fifth judge, but not asking for that.
D. Since 1998, District of Nebraska exceeded 430 weighted
filing per judge.
E. 2001--weighted case load was 482 per judge, with a 95
percent confidence level of 525-440 cases.
F. 2001 busiest year in last 6 years with 1500 new filings
and 1242 pending cases.
G. Weighted filings in 2001--482, highest in last six
years, compared to 377 in 1996.
H. Without this judgeship, weighted filings expected to
exceed 600 per judge.
2. Criminal filings very heavy:
A. Very heavy for last 12 years and continues to increase.
B. 17th heaviest in nation in 1998, 12th in nation in 1999,
and 9th in nation in 2001 (ranks 9th out of 94 districts).
C. Caseload per judge is double that of 1996: 118 per judge
vs. 58 per judge.
D. Average caseload is 50 percent greater in criminal cases
than average federal judge.
E. Heavier criminal case load than judges in New York City,
Chicago, or Los Angeles.
F. Highest drug prosecutions than any other federal court
in the 7th and 8th Circuits.
G. Nebraska's drug docket is 66 percent, while national
average is less than 40 percent.
H. 64 percent of drug cases is methamphetamine, compared to
national average of 14.5 percent.
I. Nebraska ranked 2nd in the number of high level drug
trafficking defendants indicated and convicted in the Central
Region (includes 12 states).
J. Criminal caseload is expanding; crack cocaine defendants
doubled over last year, and meth defendants increased 88
3. Senior judges:
A. Two senior judges, and each carry about 100 cases.
B. Will not be able to continue to carry a caseload that
C. Both judges are over 75, and one has indicated he wishes
to cut his caseload by 50 percent in 2002.
D. No additional help from senior judges available.
E. Note that one active judge has serious cancer, but no
senior judges available in future to help with that caseload.
4. Magistrate judges:
A. Three magistrate judges, two in Omaha and one in
B. All three are fully utilized in criminal cases,
preliminary civil dispositions, ADR management, and consent
5. Visiting Judges:
A. Forced to request assistance of visiting judges in 2001
to handle the heavy volume of criminal/civil cases.
B. Will not address severe problem.
6. Current legislation:
A. H.R. 2215 does not include a recommendation that
Nebraska temporary judgeship be converted into a permanent
one, although recommendations for other states (Central
District of Illinois, Southern District of Illinois, and
Northern District of Ohio) are addressed.
B. Nebraska must be included in that legislation.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, today the House is considering the
conference report on H.R. 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice
Appropriations Authorization Act which includes provisions that make
several existing temporary Federal judgeships permanent. Unfortunately,
Nebraska was not included on the list.
This Member greatly appreciates the attempts by the distinguished
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) to make this critically
important improvement for the people of Nebraska. Despite the
gentleman's best efforts, the conferees from the other body would not
agree to include Nebraska on this list. As such, this Member is very
concerned and disappointed that the Nebraska judgeship was not included
in the final conference report.
The Nebraska temporary judgeship was created in 1990, and will expire
with the first vacancy after November 2003. The caseload for the
Federal District Court in Nebraska has steadily increased since that
time, rising well above the Judicial Conference weighted standard of
430. In fact, in 2001, there were 1500 new filings and 1242 pending
cases, with a weighted filing of 482. Without this judgeship, the
weighted filings are expected to exceed 600 per judge. In addition,
Nebraska currently has two District Court judges who have taken senior
status and are expected to retire in the near future, further
increasing the caseload on Nebraska judges.
Mr. Speaker, clearly, this is an important issue to this Member and
to the state of Nebraska. It is impossible for this Member to
understand the reason this important change was not included in this
conference report. The opportunity was available and yet inexplicably
not taken by the conferees from the other body. However, because of the
many important provisions in this bill, this Member will vote ``aye''
even while expressing his extraordinary disappointment and regret that
the permanent Nebraska judgeship was not included in the conference
report. If there was a problem on another issue or judgeship in the
House offer, Nebraskans did not deserve to lose this opportunity for
the much-needed permanent judgeship designation.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Speaker, today, along with my fellow conferees, I'm
pleased to deliver a comprehensive conference report and ask for other
members' support. We have worked diligently to address a wide variety
of issues. From crime prevention programs, to drug education and
treatment, a fix in the H1-B visa system and the inclusion of the
Judicial Improvements Act, this conference report is a complete
package. I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight these provisions
and thank several individuals who made the inclusion in this conference
First, the conference report includes a provision that permits
consumers who visit wineries to ship a limited quantity of wine back to
their homes. This language is needed because post-September 11, as the
Federal Aviation Administration and Congress supported strong airline
security measures, it became difficult, if not impossible, to carry-on
bottles of wine after a visit to a winery. This provision is not only
pro-consumer, but it is also very important to California's $12 billion
wine industry. I would like to thank Chairman Sensenbrenner for his
support on this provision.
In addition to the direct shipment of wine, we are also including
legislative language that will allow motor vehicle dealers, who sign
franchise contracts with manufacturers, to have the opportunity to
either accept or reject mandatory binding arbitration after a legal
dispute arises. Currently, the mandatory arbitration requirements are
either ``take it or leave it'' provisions in the contracts, forcing
auto dealers to
waive important legal safeguards. I would personally like to thank
Chairman Sensenbrenner and Congressman Gekas for their support on this
Finally, I am very pleased that this conference report includes five
additional federal judgeships for the Southern District of California,
as well as one temporary judgeship for the Central District of
California. The numbers speak for themselves; the Southern California
District is the most overwhelmed in the country and greatly needs these
additional judgeships. In the year 2000, the weighted caseload for the
Southern District of California was 978 cases per judge. That was more
than double the national average of 430. Most alarming is the number of
felony cases, which tripled between 1994 and 1999 without additional
judgeships. These additional judgeships will ensure that the very
integrity of our judicial process will be protected. For that, I'd like
to thank all of the conferees for their support.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, we all know by now that this is an historic
moment--Congress has not reauthorized the Department of Justice in over
20 years; instead, we have left the responsibility to the appropriators
to decide which Department programs should be authorized and their
maximum funding level.
This conference report, arrived at after months of bipartisan,
bicameral negotiations, expresses the views of the authorizing
committees about how these programs should operate. I'd like to thank
Conference and Senate Judiciary Chairman Leah, House Judiciary Chairman
Sensenbrenner, and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Hatch for working
with us on this legislation.
Aside from the authorizing language and technical corrections to the
antitrust, criminal, and intellectual property laws, important
compromises were reached between the House and Senate on other non-
controversial provisions so they could be included in this report.
A provisions supported by Representative Mary Bono and myself to
ensure that parties to motor vehicle franchise contracts cannot be
subject to mandatory arbitration without their consent;
A provision supported by Representative Tammy Baldwin, Representative
Louise Slaughter, and myself to establish an independent Violence
Against Women Office within the Department of Justice. This provision
raises the profile of the Office by having its Director report directly
to the Attorney General instead of through other subordinates. This
demonstrates our commitment to rooting out, deterring, and preventing
violence against women;
A provision that expands vocational and remedial opportunities to
smooth the reentry of inmates post-incarceration;
A provision offered by Representative Barney Frank that allows
grandparents to apply for citizenship for a child in the event that the
parents are deceased;
A provision offered by Representative Adam Schiff to create a fund
that disburses Federal grants for states and localities to construct
memorials to officers killed or disabled while protecting the public;
A provision drafted by Representative Lamar Smith and Representative
Bobby Scott that authorizes grants for states and local governments to
improve their juvenile justice programs; and
The Madrid Protocol Implementation Act, which will allow one-stop
shopping for international trademark registration. This bill has passed
the House on several occasions and finally will be enacted into law.
At the same time, the Republicans were not able to accept a permanent
extension of chapter 12 (family farmer bankruptcy) or higher
compensation for workers who are laid-off as a result of a corporate
bankruptcy. I hope we can address these issues before adjourning this
I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this conference report.
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Speaker, today the House is considering the
conference report for H.R. 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice
Appropriations Authorization Act. While this conference report
authorizes appropriations for the Justice Department, it also
establishes federal judgeships. Despite the efforts of Chairman
Sensenbrenner, this legislation fails to make permanent Nebraska's
temporary judgeship, which is set to expire November 20, 2003.
Caseloads for U.S. district judges in Nebraska have climbed steadily
largely because of an increasing number of criminal cases, particularly
those related to drug trafficking. In fact, criminal cases have more
than doubled since 1995. Like many other states in the Midwest,
Nebraska has been plagued in recent years by an influx of
methamphetamine (meth), and criminal cases involving meth represent 66
percent of Nebraska's drug docket, compared to the national average of
The influx of meth in Nebraska will continue to cause the criminal
caseload to increase. In the last year alone, the number of meth
defendants increased by 88 percent. Interstate 80, which runs the
length of the state of Nebraska, is one of the primary transit routes
used for drug trafficking across the central United States. This has
contributed to Nebraska being ranked second in the number of high-level
drug trafficking defendants indicted and convicted in the Central
Region, which includes 12 states.
This substantial increase in Nebraska's criminal trials leaves
Nebraska's federal judges with extremely heavy caseloads. In fact,
Nebraska's judges carry a heavier criminal caseload than judges in New
York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. This fourth judgeship is
critically important to Nebraska, and without it, criminal cases will
move more slowly and handling civil cases will become increasingly
Mr. Speaker, while I am grateful for the efforts of Chairman
Sensenbrenner on this issue, I am very disappointed this conference
report does not address Nebraska's serious need for a permanent
judgeship. Without this fourth judgeship, Nebraska's criminal justice
system will be in real trouble.
Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Conference Report for
H.R. 2215, ``The 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations
Authorization Act.'' I thank Chairman James Sensenbrenner, the House
and Senate Conferees and the Judiciary Committee staff for their
leadership on this bill.
Within this Conference Report, in section 312, the Southern District
of California will receive five judgeships. This authorization will
bring immense relief to this district. As you may know, Southern
California has the dubious distinction of having the highest judge to
caseload ratio in the nation. I have met with four of the sitting
judges in this district and have seen first hand the problems they face
on a daily basis. In 1998, the Southern District, which has 8
judgeships, had a weighted caseload of 1,006 cases per judge, annually.
I want to give you a comparison of the caseload to judges from
different regions of the United States to show you how overloaded the
judges in the Southern District of California are:
New York has 28 judgeships and each one handles 468 cases annually,
LA has 27 judgeships/481 caseload, Chicago--22 judgeships/381 caseload,
Houston--18 judgeships/588 caseload, Philadelphia--22 judgeship/381
Congress has not authorized any new judgeships for the Southern
District since 1990, and with this district being a border corridor, I
do not expect the level of criminal activity to diminish in the near
future. Passing this bill is necessary to ease the burden on the
sitting judges of the Southern District.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time,
and I move the previous question on conference report.
The previous question was ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gillmor). The question is on the
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that
the ayes appeared to have it.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground
that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum
is not present.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 400,
nays 4, not voting 28, as follows:
[Roll No. 422]
Davis, Jo Ann
Johnson, E. B.
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
So the conference report was agreed to.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 422 I was inadvertently
detained. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea.''
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