[Congressional Record: October 2, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
THE 21ST CENTURY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZATION ACT
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, yesterday, the majority leader filed
cloture on the bipartisan 21st Century Department of Justice
Authorization Act conference report. I commend him for doing that.
This is a conference report that passed 400 to 4 last week in the
other body. We will be voting on that cloture motion tomorrow. I just
want to take a few moments to let Members of this body know what is in
the conference report.
It was signed by all conferees--Republican and Democrat--Senator
Orrin Hatch, and Representatives Sensenbrenner, Henry Hyde, Lamar
Smith, myself, and others.
I thank Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for coming to the floor
yesterday to support this conference report. She has spoken to me many
times about the need for more judgeships along the Texas border with
Mexico to handle immigration and criminal cases. Certainly, from what
Senator Hutchison has said about that need, she has made a compelling
request, and I have included in this conference report three new judges
for that part of Texas. Actually, the conference report has one more
judge than we passed out of the Senate. We added another one in
conference. I suspect technically one could say that was not a matter
in conference, but the Senator from Texas made, I thought, a compelling
reason for it.
I mention that because one of our Federal district judges from
Vermont has actually gone down to Texas a couple times to help out, and
every time he has gone down, he has called me up and said: They need
more judges here because of the load.
So I thank Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
I also want to thank Senator Sessions for his statement in support of
this conference report. I mentioned to him on the floor this morning--
and I want to speak again to that--there is a piece of this legislation
Senator Sessions originally opposed. If it were here as a freestanding
bill, that particular part--a small part of the bill--I believe Senator
Sessions would vote against it. But he supports the overall bill and is
voting for the whole bill. I thank him for that.
I also thank him for his work and his aid on the provisions in the
conference report on the Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement
Grants and the Centers for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama and other
States. He had a great deal of input, and I appreciate what he did. We
tried throughout all of this effort to make this a bipartisan bill, and
he helped with that.
Senator Feinstein spoke on behalf of this conference report. She has
been a tireless advocate for the needs of California, including the
needs of the Federal judiciary along the southern border. She has
helped to improve that situation.
I was glad to see we could work through that because we had tried for
7 or 8 years to add these additional judges, and they had been blocked.
But I came back and said, even though it would be a different President
appointing the judges--in this case, President Bush--I was in favor of
adding the judges. They should be in there. Among other things, we
included five judgeships for the southern district of California.
We have also included judges, as I said, for Texas, Arizona, New
Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, and Florida. The statistics
show all the judges are very much needed.
The senior Senator from California gave leadership on the James
Guelff and Chris McCurley Body Armor Act, the State Criminal Alien
Assistance Program reauthorization, and the anti-drug-abuse provisions
in the conference report, and that has been extremely helpful.
I should tell my colleagues, this report will strengthen our Justice
Department and the FBI, and increase our preparedness against terrorist
attacks. It offers our children a safe place to go after school.
In this conference report, we put together years of work. Parts of
about 25 different bills have been combined in this report.
I thought President Bush did absolutely the right thing after the
attacks of a year ago, on September 11, as he moved very aggressively
to try to clamp off money going to terrorist organizations around the
world. As we know, al-Qaida received a lot of money from Saudi Arabia
and other countries, and that money has floated all over.
The President moved very quickly to stop that. But then they find
other ways to move it. We know they still have tens of millions--
hundreds of millions of dollars perhaps--in these terrorist groups. But
there is a thing in this conference report called the Madrid Protocol.
If we agree to this protocol, this will greatly strengthen the hand of
the President to go after this money. The White House supports it. All
the antiterrorist groups and the Government support it. That is also in
I mentioned this because I have been asked questions by several
Senators exactly what is included. I want them to know. I also want to
thank Senator Hatch for his work in this endeavor. We spent a lot of
hours in the conference. That is why it passed so overwhelmingly, with
the support of both Republican and Democratic leadership in the other
body. I would be happy to have it pass unanimously. We could pass it
tonight for that matter. I know the legislation is a priority.
We have not authorized the Department of Justice in more than two
decades. Some might ask: Why should we do it now? We have a far
different Department of Justice than we had before September 11. We
have a number of changes that had to be made, supported by Members on
both sides of the aisle, both sides of the aisle in the other body, the
President of the United States, the Attorney General, and so on.
What we have done is tried to assure the administration of justice in
our Nation. Our Nation has been radically changed from a year ago. It
doesn't have everything that I would have liked or everything everybody
would have liked. That is because it is a conference report. It is a
consensus document. We did it in a bipartisan way--Democratic chairman
from this body and a Republican chairman from the other; a Republican
ranking member from this body, a Democratic ranking member of the other
We know that it will strengthen our Justice Department and the FBI.
We will increase our preparedness against terrorist attacks. We will
improve our intellectual property and antitrust laws. I hope for the
sake of the Justice Department and the Congress and the American people
we can pass it. It is remarkable, the number of provisions in here that
will help everything from an attack of terrorism, closing off money and
so forth, to help with the growing drug problem that strikes not just
in the big cities but our rural areas.
I come from largely a rural State. The difference between this and
the other body, every Senator has significant rural areas. When my son
was a student at Emory Law School, I remember going to the State of the
distinguished Presiding Officer and traveling around with my son. I
come from a rural area. I must say, there are some pretty rural areas
in Georgia. But there are in California and Texas and New York and
every other State. This helps those States, especially in small areas,
do something about the scourge of drugs hitting our youngsters, our
I wanted to give a short summary. There is a lot more. This was so
other Members who had been asking me in both parties what is in it, I
wanted them to see. It will be voted on tomorrow. I hope as a result of
this vote tomorrow we will then just pass it. The White House has
indicated the President will be eager to sign it when it arrives.
This conference report will strengthen our Justice Department and the
FBI, increase our preparedness against terrorist attacks, prevent crime
and drug abuse, improve our intellectual property and antitrust laws,
strengthen and protect our judiciary, and offer our children a safe
place to go after school.
This conference report is the product of years of bipartisan work.
The conference report was unanimous. By my count, the conference report
includes significant portions of at least 25 legislative initiatives.
I had hoped that the conference report on H.R. 2215 would not take up
much of the Senate's time. There are other matters we do need to
address. The majority leader tried to pass this legislation without
taking up any floor time last week, but was unable to do so because of
an objection to proceeding by unanimous consent. Proceeding by
unanimous consent would have ensured that we not take up the Senate's
time in debate on this bipartisan legislative package. Yesterday, I
came to the floor and sought to allow for two hours of debate before a
vote on final passage at 4:30 p.m. We then could have moved on to other
matters. Again, that proposal would have taken up a limited amount of
the Senate's time. Yet, again, that limited time agreement proposal was
rejected. As a result of the objection to proceeding more quickly, we
are still considering this conference report and the majority leader
was forced to file a cloture petition to bring it to a vote.
This legislation is neither complicated nor controversial. It passed
the House 400 to 4 in short order. It was signed by every conferee,
Republican or Democrat, including Senator Hatch and Representatives
Sensenbrenner, Hyde, and Lamar Smith. Senators Sessions and Hutchison
came to the floor yesterday to support it. There is no need for
extensive debate in the Senate--we can move on to consider other
matters as soon as the objection is lifted so we are able to have an up
or down vote on the conference report.
This legislation is a priority. Congress has not authorized the
Department of Justice in more than two decades. I know that Senator
Hatch and Representatives Sensenbrenner and Conyers share my view that
it is long past time for the Judiciary Committees of the House and
Senate and the Congress as a whole to restore their proper oversight
role over the Department of Justice. Through Republican and Democratic
administrations, we have allowed the Department of Justice to escape
its accountability to the Senate and House of Representatives and
through them to the American people. Congress, the people's
representative, has a strong institutional interest in restoring that
accountability. The House has recognized this, and has done its job. We
need to do ours.
I agree with other Members who have spoken that we need to give anti-
terrorism priority, but not lose sight of the other important missions
of the Department of Justice. The conference report takes such a
balanced approach. Some have said that there is nothing new in this
legislation to fight terrorism. I think they missed some important
provisions in the legislation as well as my floor statements outlining
what the conference report contains to help in the anti-terrorism
Let me repeat those remarks and highlight what the conference report
does on this important problem. The conference report 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 also authorizes funding for Centers for
Domestic Preparedness in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada,
Vermont and Pennsylvania, and adds additional uses for grants from the
Office of Domestic Preparedness to support State and local law
enforcement agencies. These provisions have strong bipartisan support,
including that of Senator Sessions.
Another measure in the bill would correct a glitch in a new law that
helps prosecutors combat the international financing of terrorism. I
worked closely with the White House to pass this provision in order to
bring the United States into compliance with a treaty that bans
terrorist financing, but without this technical, non-controversial
change, the provision may not be usable. This law is vital in stopping
the flow of money to those who seek to harm our citizens. Worse yet, at
a time when the President is going before the U.N. emphasizing that our
enemies are not complying with international law, by blocking this
minor fix, we leave ourselves open to a charge that we also are not in
compliance with an important anti-terrorism treaty.
I agree with other Members who have spoken that we should do more to
help the FBI Director in transforming the FBI from a crime fighting to
a terrorism prevention agency and to help the FBI overcome its
information technology, management and other problems to be the best
that it can be. The Judiciary Committee reported unanimously the Leahy-
Grassley FBI Reform Act, S. 1974, over six months ago to reach those
goals, but an anonymous hold has stopped that legislation from moving
forward. This conference report contains parts of that bipartisan
legislation, but not the whole bill, which continues to this day to be
blocked from Senate consideration and passage.
Since the attacks of September 11 and the anthrax attacks last fall,
we have relied on the FBI to detect and prevent acts of catastrophic
terrorism that endanger the lives of the American people and the
institutions of our country. Reform and improvement at the FBI was
already important, but the terrorist attacks suffered by this country
last year have imposed even greater urgency on improving the FBI. The
Bureau is our front line of domestic defense against terrorists. It
needs to be as great as it can.
Even before those attacks, the Judiciary Committee's oversight
hearings revealed serious problems at the FBI that needed strong
congressional action to fix. We heard about a double standard in
evaluations and discipline. We heard about record and information
management problems and communications breakdowns between field offices
and Headquarters that led to the belated production of documents in the
Oklahoma City bombing case. Despite the fact that we have poured money
into the FBI over the last five years, we heard that the FBI's computer
systems were in dire need of modernization.
We heard about how an FBI supervisor, Robert Hanssen, was able to
critical secrets to the Russians undetected for years without ever
getting a polygraph. We heard that there were no fewer than 15
different areas of security at the FBI that needed fixing.
The FBI Reform Act tackles these problems with improved
accountability, improved security both inside and outside the FBI, and
required planning to ensure the FBI is prepared to deal with the
multitude of challenges we are facing. We are all indebted to Senator
Grassley for his leadership in the area. Working with Republicans and
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee we unanimously reported the
FBI Reform Act more than 6 months ago only to be stymied in our
bipartisan efforts by an anonymous hold.
Now, due to Republican objections, the conference report does not
contain some of the important provisions in the FBI Reform Act that
Senator Grassley and I, and the other members of the Judiciary
Committee, agreed were needed.
Among the items that are, unfortunately, not in the conference report
and are being blocked from passing in the stand-alone FBI Reform bill
by an anonymous hold are the following:
Title III of the FBI Reform bill that would institute a
career security officer program, which senior FBI officials
have testified before our Committee would be very helpful;
Title IV of the FBI Reform bill outlining the requirements
for a polygraph program along the lines of what the Webster
Title VII of the FBI Reform bill that takes important steps
to fix some of the double standard problems and support the
FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility, which FBI Ethics
and OPR agents say is very important; and
Title VIII to push along implementation of secure
communications networks to help facilitate FISA processing
between Main Justice and the FBI. These hard-working agents
and prosecutors have to hand-carry top secret FISA documents
between their offices because they still lack send secure e-
This needs to be fixed and the FBI Reform bill would help.
These should not be controversial provisions and are designed to help
the FBI. Yet, passage is being blocked of both a stand-alone FBI Reform
bill and those provisions we were able to include in this conference
Some in this body have complained that we included provisions in this
conference report that were not contained in either the Senate or
House-passed bills. Now, each of the proposals we have included are
directly related to improving the administration of justice in the
We were asked to include many of them by Republican members of the
House and Senate. I would like to point, in particular, to our
reauthorization of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which
President Bush has sought to eliminate. On March 4 of this year,
Senator Kyl and Senator Feinstein sent me a letter asking me to include
an authorization for SCAAP--which was not authorized in either the
House- or Senate-passed bill--in the conference report.
I agreed with Senator Kyl and Senator Feinstein that we should
authorize SCAAP. I still believe that it is the right thing to do.
We took the arguments seriously that we needed more judges in certain
parts of the country, particularly in border States. We added another
new judge for Arizona on top of the two that were added in 1998 and the
third that was added in 2000. We added a number of other judges as
well, as I have already detailed.
Some have criticized the conference report's authorization of funding
for DEA police training in South and Central Asia, and for the United
States-Thailand drug prosecutor exchange program. I believe that both
of these are worthy programs that deserve the Senate's support.
I have listened to President Bush and others in his Administration
and in Congress argue that terrorist organizations in Asia, including
al-Qaida, have repeatedly used drug proceeds to fund their operations.
The conferees wanted to do whatever we could to break the link between
drug trafficking and terror, and we would all greatly appreciate the
Senate's assistance in that effort.
Beyond the relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism, the
production of drugs in Asia has a tremendous impact on America.
For example, more than a quarter of the heroin that is plaguing the
northeastern United States, including my State of Vermont, comes from
Southeast Asia. Many of the governments in that region want to work
with the United States to reduce the production of drugs, and these
programs will help. It is beyond me why any Senator would oppose them.
Some have complained that the conference report demands too many
reports from the Department of Justice, and that these reporting
requirements would interfere with the Department's ongoing
counterterrorism efforts. It is true that our legislation requires a
number of reports, as part of our oversight obligations over the
Department of Justice. I assure the Senate, however, that if the
Department of Justice comes to the House and Senate Judiciary
Committees and makes a convincing case that any reporting requirement
in this legislation will hinder our national security, we will work out
a reasonable accommodation. I think, however, that such a turn of
events is exceedingly unlikely, as no one at the Department has
mentioned any such concerns.
Some Members have complained that the conference report includes
pieces of legislation that had not received committee consideration.
The Law Enforcement Tribute Act has been mentioned as falling in this
category. In reality, the Committee reported that bill favorably on May
Complaints have been raised about the motor vehicle franchise dispute
resolution provision in the conference report and that this legislation
was not considered by the Judiciary Committee. That complaint is
misplaced. The Judiciary Committee fully considered this proposal and
reported Senator Hatch's Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration
Fairness Act last October 31. It has been stalled from the Senate floor
by anonymous holds. The same complaint was incorrectly leveled at the
section dealing with FBI danger pay. Yet, the Judiciary Committee did
consider and approve this proposal as part of the original DOJ
Authorization bill, S. 1319. The complaint that the Federal Judiciary
Protection Act was not considered by the Committee is likewise
misplaced. On the contrary, this legislation, S. 1099, was passed the
Judiciary Committee and the Senate by unanimous consent last year and
in the 106th Congress, as well. The provisions on the U.S. Parole
Commission were included in the conference report without Committee
consideration but was included because the Bush Administration included
it in its budget request and it makes sense.
Some have complained about the provision establishing the FBI police
to provide protection for the FBI buildings and personnel in this time
of heightened concerns about terrorist attacks. When this legislation
was considered by the Judiciary Committee as part of the FBI Reform
Act, S. 1974, which was reported unanimously on a bipartisan basis, no
member on the Committee raised any objection at the time. Similarly,
the complaint about the lack of Committee consideration of the report
on information technology to keep the Congress better informed about
how the FBI is updating its obsolete computer systems, is misplaced.
This legislation was considered by the Judiciary Committee as part of
the FBI Reform Act, S. 1974, and no objection was raised.
This conference report is a comprehensive attempt to ensure the
administration of justice in our nation. It is not everything I would
like or that any individual Member of Congress might have authored. It
is a conference report, a consensus document, a product of the give and
take with the House that is our legislative process. It will strengthen
our Justice Department and the FBI, increase our preparedness against
terrorist attacks, prevent crime and drug abuse, improve our
intellectual property and antitrust laws, strengthen and protect our
judiciary, and offer our children a safe place to go after school. I
hope that it will merit the support of every Member of the U.S. Senate.
At the very least, it deserves an up-or-down vote. I was pleased to see
some Republicans come to the floor yesterday to support this conference
report, and I urge those who are blocking its consideration to relent
and let the Senate vote up or down without further delay or tactics of
obstruction. I hope that the critics will
reconsider their opposition and their filibuster of this conference
report and permit the Senate to vote up or down on this bipartisan
bill. For the sake of the Justice Department, the U.S. Congress, and
the American people, we should pass this legislation today.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, with the passage of the Judiciary
reauthorization bill, this body will pass a provision to extend our
program to allow states to recommend J-1 visa waiver for physicians
willing to practice in medically underserved areas.
It is one of the great privileges of my life to represent one of the
most rural States in the Nation. For many around the world, Kansas
represents rural life in America. The image is quaint; and, somehow
insulated from the world by a field of wheat that arcs off into the
horizon. However, as my colleagues from the heartland know, that image
does not represent modern rural life.
In the Beloit co-op, Kansans gather as often to talk about global
commodities futures as they do the weather. Our farmers are as likely
to be reviewing GPS Satellite readings as they are next years model
line of John Deeres. And, when they go to the doctor, rural Kansans are
very likely in the waiting room of an Indian or Canadian citizen.
Just as Kansas relies on the world as a market, we rely on the world
as a source for our health professionals. Since 1993, ninety-eight (98)
waivers have been granted allowing foreign born physicians to remain in
the country to practice medicine in the state of Kansas. Over fifty
(50) physicians currently practicing in Kansas are in the state as a
result of a J-1 visa waiver. Twenty (20) counties in the state of
Kansas are considered fully served as a result of foreign born
physicians who received J-1 visa waivers. Section 11018 of the
Judiciary reauthorization bill before us represents a literal life-line
for rural America.
The Senate passage of the bill also represents the hard work of
several very dedicated legislators, including my fellow Kansan,
Representative Jerry Moran and our colleague from South Dakota Senator
Kent Conrad. It was their persistence and the hard work of several
groups including: The American Hospital Association; the American
Academy of Family Physicians; the Farm Bureau; the American College of
Physician; the National Association of Community Health Centers; the
National Rural Health Care Association; the American Immigration
Lawyers Association and others, that kept this issue moving throughout
Of course, there are many important provisions in this bill. However,
for Kansans in the vast rural areas of the State, ensuring access to a
doctor is one of the most significant. I thank the Chairman and Ranking
member for fighting to ensure that this provision made it into the
Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I support the conference report to H.R.
2215, the Department of Justice Reauthorization bill. I congratulate
the chairman and the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for
their work in completing this bill and guiding it through a long and
I wanted to take a moment to set the record straight on the issue of
the inclusion in the conference report to H.R. 2215 of the Motor
Vehicle Contract Arbitration Fairness Act. The junior Senator from
Arizona complained yesterday on the floor that this bill had been added
to the conference report, depriving him of the opportunity to hear a
debate and perhaps offer amendments to the bill. He implied that this
was some kind of secret and nefarious deal to try to bypass floor
discussion of legislation that has not had adequate consideration by
this body. Nothing could be further from the truth.
S. 1140, on which the provisions in the conference report are based,
was introduced by the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee,
Senator Hatch, and now has 64 cosponsors. Almost exactly half of those
cosponsors are Republicans and half are Democrats. A companion House
measure has 225 cosponsors. The bill passed the House by voice vote in
the last Congress. The inclusion of these provisions in the conference
report was supported by all of the Senate conferees, including the
ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. The House conferees, led by
the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also supported including
these provision in the conference report.
Now why was this necessary? Well, let me point out that this bill was
reported by the Judiciary Committee almost a year ago. The majority
leader asked for consent to proceed to the bill and have a limited
debate with the opportunity for amendments no less than three times, on
May 17, June 27, and September 25. Each time, a Senator on the
Republican side objected and the Senate was prevented from having the
separate debate and vote that the Senator from Arizona says he wanted.
So if the Senator from Arizona has a beef here, it is not with the
majority leader or the conferees, but with the member of his own party
who exercised his right as a Senator to block the bill from
consideration on the floor of the Senate.
That Senator was exercising his right to object to a unanimous
consent request, but with time running out in this Congress, the rest
of the Senate has rights too. And including this bill in the conference
report, with bipartisan support in the conference and in the Senate,
was a reasonable step to take so that the will of a supermajority of
the body would not be thwarted.
These provisions are very important to address a real unfairness that
is being perpetrated on the auto dealers of this country. Franchise
agreements for auto and truck dealerships are typically not negotiable
between the manufacturer and the dealer. The dealer accepts the terms
offered by the manufacturer, or the dealer loses the dealership, plain
and simple. Dealers, therefore, have been forced to rely on the States
to pass laws designed to balance the manufacturers' far greater
bargaining power and to safeguard the rights of dealers.
The first State automobile statute was enacted in my home State of
Wisconsin in 1937 to protect citizens from injury caused when a
manufacturer or distributor induced a Wisconsin citizen to invest
considerable sums of money in dealership facilities, and then canceled
the dealership without cause. Since then, all States except Alaska have
enacted substantive law to balance the enormous bargaining power
enjoyed by manufacturers over dealers and to safeguard small business
dealers from unfair automobile and truck manufacturer practices.
A little known fact is that under the Federal Arbitration Act, FAA,
arbitrators are not required to apply the particular Federal or State
law that would be applied by a court. That enables the stronger party,
in this case the auto or truck manufacturer, to use arbitration to
circumvent laws specifically enacted to regulate the dealer/
manufacturer relationship. Not only is the circumvention of these laws
inequitable, it also eliminates the deterrent to prohibited acts that
State law provides.
A majority of States have created their own alternative dispute
resolution mechanisms and forums with access to auto industry expertise
that provide inexpensive, efficient, and nonjudicial resolution of
disputes. For example, in Wisconsin, mandatory mediation is required
before the start of an administrative hearing or court action.
Arbitration is also an option if both parties agree. These State
dispute resolution forums, with years of experience and precedent, are
greatly responsible for the small number of manufacture-dealer
lawsuits. When mandatory binding arbitration is included in dealer
agreements, these specific State laws and forums established to resolve
auto dealer and manufacturer disputes are effectively rendered null and
void with respect to dealer agreements.
A strong bipartisan majority of this body, and of the House, has come
together to say ``no'' to these unfair contract provisions. So I
commend the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for
their work to include this important legislation in the DOJ
authorization bill conference report. As I said before, we could have
had a debate and voted on amendments to this bill if consent had been
granted. That was our preferred course as well. But one Senator did not
want to have that debate, and so it was necessary, in the interests of
justice, to proceed in this manner.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for
the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
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