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[Congressional Record: September 30, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S9585-S9587]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I know we are getting down toward the end 
of the session and sometimes legislation falls by the wayside, but I 
have seen something in the last couple of days different from anything 
I have seen in 28 years in the Senate.
  Last Thursday the other body passed the Department of Justice 
Appropriations Authorization Act and we filed a bipartisan conference 
report. I mention this because it has been 20 years since there has 
been such an authorization act for the Department of Justice because it 
has been so hard to bring people from across the political spectrum 
together. The House passed this conference report--by a vote of 400 to 
4. I am not sure the way things are these days that we could get a vote 
of 400 to 4 to agree the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  The very same day I checked with every single member on this side of 
the aisle, every Democrat, and asked if they were willing to have it 
pass the Senate by voice vote, if need be, or a rollcall vote--it does 
not make any difference, but to pass it.
  Every single Democrat--the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, 
myself, everybody else--agreed, yes, sure, go ahead and pass it. We 
were told there is an anonymous hold on the Republican side. This 
bipartisan legislation to authorize the Department of Justice is 
blocked--legislation to strengthen our Justice Department and the FBI 
that by agreement of all Members across the political spectrum will 
increase our preparedness against terrorist attacks, but also prevent 
crime and drug abuse in our cities and in our rural areas. It improves 
our intellectual property and antitrust laws. It would strengthen and 
protect our judiciary. It would give our children a safe place to go 
after school.

  This legislation is as motherhood as one could imagine and yet the 
Republicans have said, no, even though the Republican-controlled House 
passed it 400 to 4. And even though every single Democrat in the Senate 
is ready to vote for it, the Republicans have said, no, we want to put 
an anonymous Republican hold on it and not allow it to go forward, 
years of work by both the Republicans and Democrats. This bill not only 
has my support in the Judiciary Committee, it has Senator Hatch's 
support. It has the support of Chairman Sensenbrenner in the other 
body, as well as Representative Hyde. Every one of the House and Senate 
conferees, Republican and Democrat, signed the conference report. That 
conference report includes significant portions of at least 25 
legislative initiatives, all to be flushed down the drain by a 
Republican hold.
  When people go home this year to campaign about why they want to stop 
drugs in their schools, why they want to fight terrorism, why they want 
their courts strengthened, why they want the Attorney General of the 
Department of Justice to be able to be strengthened in their fight, let 
them point out that the reason it was not done was a Republican Senator 
who wants to do it anonymously. They do not even want to step forward 
and say who he may be.
  For too many years, Republican and Democrat administrations have 
allowed the Department of Justice to escape its accountability to the 
Senate and the House of Representatives and, through them, to the 
American people. Congress, the people's representatives, have a strong 
constitutional interest in restoring that accountability. The House has 
recognized this. It has done its job. We need to do ours. Senate 
Democrats are prepared to proceed. Senate Republicans apparently are 
not. So let me tell you some of the things that are in this bipartisan 
conference report.
  First, the conference report provides Federal, State, and local 
governments with additional tools to battle terrorism. It fortifies our 
border security by authorizing over $20 billion for the administration 
and enforcement of the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, 
and alien registration. It authorizes funding for the Centers for 
Domestic Preparedness in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada, 
Vermont, and Pennsylvania. It adds additional uses for grants from the 

[[Page S9586]]

of Domestic Preparedness to support State and local law enforcement 
  Why would anybody on the Republican side oppose that? Another measure 
in the bill would correct a glitch in a law that helps prosecutors 
combat the international financing of terrorism. I worked closely with 
the Bush White House to pass this provision in order to bring the 
United States into compliance with a treaty that bans terrorist 
financing--and this is something the Bush administration wants--but 
without this technical, noncontroversial change, the provision may not 
be usable. As the President has pointed out, this law is vital in 
stopping the flow of money to those who would harm Americans. Every 
Democrat is ready to pass that. It is something President Bush has 
asked for in his fight against terrorism. Every single Democrat in this 
body is ready to vote for it, but the Republicans are blocking it from 
going forward.
  Worse yet, at a time when the President is going before the U.N. 
emphasizing our enemies are not complying with international law, by 
blocking this minor fix--something the President has asked for, 
something every Democrat is ready to vote for, only the Republicans are 
blocking--we are leaving ourselves open to a charge that we also are 
not in compliance with an important antiterrorism treaty.

  Secondly, this conference report improves our law enforcement 
efforts. Among other things, it pushes the FBI to reform its outdated 
computer system. Right now it is something that kids in school 10 years 
ago had better computer systems. It provides danger pay for FBI agents 
performing hazardous duty abroad. It provides for increased sentencing 
enhancements when criminals use body armor in crimes of violence or 
drug trafficking crimes, something for which every single police agency 
I have talked with from New York to Texas has asked.
  I am told the administration supports this and every single 
Democratic Senator supports this, but it is blocked by the Republicans.
  It includes Senator Carnahan's Law Enforcement Tribute Act, which 
authorized grants to States, local governments, and Indian tribes for 
memorials to honor those who were killed or disabled while serving as 
law enforcement safety officers. It has the Feinstein-Sessions James 
Guelff and Chris McCurley Body Armor Act. That is blocked. These are 
things that had overwhelming Republican and Democratic support, still 
has unanimous Democratic support but is blocked by the Republicans. I 
believe the conference report the Senate Republicans are blocking could 
help prevent crime from occurring in the first place. We reached a 
bipartisan agreement to give the Boys and Girls Clubs the funds they 
need to establish 1,200 additional clubs across the Nation. As a former 
prosecutor, I know how valuable these are to prevent crime from 
happening in the first place, to give teenagers and youngsters a place 
to go.
  Just last week, I joined with Senator Hatch at the Boys and Girls 
Club congressional breakfast honoring regional youth of the year and 
also honoring Senator Strom Thurmond. Republican Senator after 
Republican Senator praised the work of the Boys and Girls Club, as did 
I, but now some Republican Senators are anonymously holding up the 
authorization for the money for the Boys and Girls Club.
  Senate Republicans are also blocking funding that will put an 
additional Assistant U.S. attorney in every district in the Nation to 
implement the President's Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative aimed 
at preventing school violence. The President goes out and speaks in 
favor of this. I happen to agree with the President on this. Everybody 
agrees with him, and now, when doing what the administration has asked 
for, we put these assistant U.S. attorneys in there, but that is not 
going anywhere. Every single Democratic Senator supports it. An 
anonymous Republican hold blocks it.
  The conference report strengthens our efforts to prevent domestic 
violence and protect its victims. By creating a new Violence Against 
Women Office in the Justice Department, we ensure an increased Federal 
focus on this tragic and recurring problem. I do not know why 
preventing domestic violence should be a partisan issue.
  In my experience as a prosecutor, the police never said we have to 
determine whether this person who is beaten up in domestic violence is 
a Democrat or a Republican. You try to save the life of the person who 
is being beaten and to protect them.
  This legislation also authorizes programs to reduce drug abuse and 
recidivism, from adult and juvenile courts, to increased funding for 
drug treatment in prisons, to funding for police training in South and 
Central Asia to reduce the flow of drugs into our Nation. All of these 
proposals are bipartisan. Actually, most of them were in the Hatch-
Leahy Drug Abuse Education, Prevention and Treatment Act. Every 
Democrat is ready to vote for them, but we cannot because the 
Republicans have an anonymous hold.
  The conference report contains a number of important intellectual 
property provisions that will help American innovators and businesses, 
both big and small. There is a probusiness provision, which includes 
the Leahy-Hatch Madrid Protocol Implementation Act that has been held 
up for over 1 year. Every single business organization in the country, 
big or small, has asked us to pass it. Every single Democrat has said 
they will vote for it. It is being held by an anonymous Republican 
  This legislation would implement a treaty and allow American 
businesses to obtain ``one stop'' international trademark registration, 
a process available only to countries signatory to the Protocol. This 
would benefit American businesses and companies who need to protect 
their trademarks when they sell their goods and services in 
international markets, particularly over the Internet.
  I hear from companies as large as IBM and Intel. They want this 
legislation, down to the little mom-and-pop manufacturers in my own 
State. I tell them all, every single Democrat will vote for that. It is 
in this bill, as 400 House Members of both parties voted for it. But I 
also tell everyone in the businesses that ask, it is being held up by 
an anonymous Republican hold.
  Another important intellectual property provision is the Hatch-Leahy 
TEACH Act, to clarify the educational-use exemption in the copyright 
law and all educators to use the same rich material for distance 
material over the Internet as they use in face-to-face classroom 
instructions. The Presiding Officer represents one of the most 
beautiful areas in upstate New York, where I visit often. I think of my 
rural Vermont or rural Utah. This allows people in these small schools 
to be able to have access to what is available in the large 
metropolitan areas. Every Democrat will vote for it. It is being held 
up by an anonymous Republican hold.
  The conference report has a provision modernizing Patent and 
Trademark Office specifically authorizing friends to augment the 
investigation and prosecution of intellectual property crimes of 
privacy online. There is no member of the business community that does 
not support it, from the largest to the smallest. Every Democratic 
Senator is ready to vote for it tonight. It is being held up by an 
anonymous Republican hold.
  This conference report creates or extends 20 Federal judgeships. 
Those are more than all the judgeships created during the 6-plus years 
the Republican party controlled the United States Senate and blocked 
both Clinton administration judicial nominations and the creation of 
new Federal judicial positions. We have included new Federal judges in 
Arizona, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, among others. I have heard 
repeatedly from our Republican friends that although they have blocked 
the creation of the judges during the previous administration, they 
want them now. I put them in. Every single Democrat is ready to vote 
for it and the Republicans are blocking. It is amazing. These judges we 
have needed for years, blocked during the last administration when the 
Democrats had the Presidency, now we put them in. I supported putting 
them in, from northern New York to Alabama. The Republicans say they 
want them. They will not be appointed by a Democratic president. They 
will be appointed by a Republican president. I don't know what is going 
on unless they want to make it look like we are holding this up. Every 
Democrat will vote for the new judges. But they are being held up by an 
anonymous Republican hold.

[[Page S9587]]

  I do not want to hear bleeding and caterwauling from the White House 
or the political mouthpieces from the Department of Justice, asking, 
Where are the judges. All 50 Democratic Senators will vote for them, as 
400 Republicans and Democrats in the House voted for them. It is being 
held up by an anonymous Republican hold.
  The conference report prohibits mandatory arbitration in a motor 
vehicle franchise contract between manufacturers and automobile 
dealers, to the same effect as the Hatch-Feingold-Leahy-Grassley Motor 
Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Act, S. 1140. That legislation 
has more than 60 cosponsors, Republicans and Democrats. The automobile 
dealers lobbied strongly for it. All 50 Democrats are ready to vote for 
it. Their friends on the Republican side are holding it up.
  The conference report includes an amendment to the Radiation Exposure 
Compensation Act to expand eligibility for compensation for injured 
uranium miners, mill workers and ore transporters. Many Senators from 
western States, on a bipartisan basis, such as Senators Daschle, Hatch, 
Johnson, Domenici, strongly support these changes. We are all ready to 
vote for them. Republicans are holding it up.

  Finally, the conference report includes several important immigration 
provisions to help underserved rural areas with a critical shortage of 
medical doctors. Women die in childbirth. Teenagers in an accident die 
because they did not get care. Older people do not get the preventive 
medicine they need. This allows foreign doctors who are educated in the 
United States to remain here if they will agree to practice in the 
underserved areas. It extends H-1B status for certain working aliens 
and makes it possible for children whose sponsoring parent has died to 
apply for citizenship, nonetheless. I don't need to tell the Presiding 
Officer, representing the great State of New York, there were children 
whose sponsoring parents died in this country.
  These are all noncontroversial provisions, for all over the country. 
Every single Democrat Senator said they will vote for it. We cannot 
bring it to a vote because the Republicans have an anonymous hold. I 
would not feel as bad about the holds if the Senator holding it up 
would come forward and state why. Instead, it is a stealth hold. It is 
a ``during the night'' hold. It is the quiet, anonymous phone call hold 
that stops it. It repeats an unfortunate pattern of anonymous 
Republican holds on bipartisan legislation designed to improve our 
Nation's national security law enforcement, immigration policies, and 
judicial branch of the government.
  I am sure my colleagues are tired of hearing how much I enjoyed my 
earlier career in law enforcement. For 8\1/2\ years I proudly carried a 
badge, proudly served as chief law enforcement officer of my county. We 
prosecuted a lot of people. We saw a lot of tragic situations. We 
helped a lot of people in cases of domestic violence, stopped crimes 
from happening. Those we were not able to stop, we oftentimes 
successfully prosecuted afterwards. I never recall anyone, either those 
in my office or any of the law enforcement agencies we talked about, 
whether we were dealing with a Democrat or Republican, asking whether 
someone who was beaten or killed was Democrat or Republican. You never 
asked a police officer if they were Democrat or Republican. No one 
asked when sending officers out to protect citizens, facing the 
potential of death, their political party affiliation. In working with 
my colleagues, both in the Senate and in the House, we did not look at 
this as Democrat and Republican. We talked about good law enforcement. 
That is why every single Democratic Senator has said they will vote for 
this bill.
  Our caucus spans the political spectrum. I suspect if we were allowed 
to bring it to a vote, almost all of my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle would vote for it, yet an anonymous hold is stopping this 
help to the law enforcement agencies, ranging from the smallest of our 
towns to our statewide law enforcement agencies, to our Federal law 
enforcement agencies. Nobody has spoken of any substantive question or 
issue of any provisions in this conference report. And there are not 
any. It passed the Republican-controlled house by 400-4.
  It has been suggested the holds are merely partisan blocking to hold 
up legislative action and then blame the Democratic Senate majority for 
inaction created by Republican holds. I repeat, as I have over and over 
again on this bill, I have checked with every single Democrat Senator; 
we are ready to vote. We are all ready to vote.
  If Republicans allowed this bill to come to a vote, it would pass 
immediately. It should have been passed last Thursday. We had an 
opportunity. Senator Daschle asked permission to pass it--Senator Hatch 
said we didn't each have to speak on it, we would put our speeches in 
afterward--asked to pass it by unanimous consent, but was told the 
Republicans objected.
  For the sake of the Justice Department, the Congress, and the 
American people, we ought to pass it today. Twenty-one years fighting 
to get it, and here is what is in there: Combating terrorism, improving 
law enforcement, preventing crime, fighting drug abuse, enhancing 
intellectual property protection, strengthening the judiciary--adding 
20 new judgeships and improving judicial disciplinary procedures--
improving civil justice, and improving immigration procedures.
  The irony is item after item was worked out with the support of the 
Bush White House. I spent an awful lot of time on this bill. A lot of 
my Republican colleagues spent a lot of time on this bill. And our 
staffs spent 10 times more time on this bill. I think somebody down at 
the White House, if they take time out from the fundraising and the 
campaigning, could take a couple of minutes to pick up the phone and 
call the party, the Members on the other side of the aisle, and say the 
criminal justice system needs this, the fight against terrorism needs 
  This is not just something abstract, this is real. Let's pass it. 
That is why the Republican-controlled House passed it. I am sorry my 
friends on the Republican side of the aisle are blocking it. I hope 
when they think about it, they will come to their senses and let it go 
  Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Clinton). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.