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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: November 19, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S11374-S11404]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr19no02-94]                         



 
                HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana is recognized.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, what is the pending business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. We are postcloture on H.R. 5005.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I may soon 
make a unanimous consent request that the time be charged against the 
pending measure.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            Disaster Relief

  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, soon, I am going to ask unanimous consent 
to take up the emergency disaster relief bill that the Senate passed 
earlier with over 79 votes on September 10, 2002.
  The only difference between my consent request today and that 
amendment is today's bill reimburses the $752 million of section 32 
funds that were used to pay for the livestock compensation program 
earlier this year. This all really stems from the agricultural disaster 
our country has been facing for the last year and, frankly, in 
preceding years.
  In 1996, not too many years ago--that is the year before the drought 
began in Montana--our producers earned $847 million from wheat sales. 
In 2001, 4 years later into the drought--we have had a series of 
droughts in Montana--producers made just $317 million from wheat sales, 
a 62-percent decline.
  That 62-percent decline in sales is through absolutely no fault of 
Montana wheat producers. These farmers haven't been cooking the books. 
This is not an Enron matter or a WorldCom matter. They have not been 
taking exorbitant bonuses at the expense of their shareholders. They 
have been farmers and ranchers working the soil and doing their very 
best, in many cases, just to survive. They are dedicated, honest, plain 
folks, raising livestock for our country and the world, raising 
agricultural and grain products to try to make ends meet. They need our 
help.
  The drought is no longer touching only isolated pockets of our 
country; it has become an epidemic that is affecting a majority of our 
Nation.
  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 percent of our 
Nation's counties were declared an agricultural disaster in 2001; 78 
percent of our counties were declared a disaster in 2002; 38 percent of 
those counties were declared a disaster in both 2001 and 2002.
  So it is in many parts of the country. In fact, a map I displayed in 
this body earlier showed that the western half of the United States 
basically is experiencing drought conditions, and the eastern United 
States as well. Now, there are also pockets. In Montana, for example, 
there are some counties where farmers are devastated and other counties 
where they harvested a bit of a crop.
  In any event, if you are a farmer who has lost his crop continuously 
and you are having a very difficult time making ends meet, I say you 
deserve our help.
  According to the New York Times, on May 3 of this year:

       In eastern Montana, more than a thousand wheat farmers have 
     called it quits rather than try to coax another crop out of 
     ground that has received less rain in the last 12 months than 
     many deserts get in a year.

  It is anticipated that another 1,300 wheat producers will call it 
quits this year if disaster assistance is not provided.
  Continuing, Mr. President, that same New York Times article--this is 
an eastern newspaper, not Montana:

       Those people, small businesses and rural communities have 
     been devastated by an unpredictable and uncontrollable 
     national phenomenon.

  On September 3, 2002, the Wall Street Journal also printed an 
article:

       The United States may be looking at the most expensive 
     drought in its history inflicting economic damage far beyond 
     the farm belt.

  Producers every day hope, plead, ask that Congress help them a little 
bit.
  I could go on at great length. I am not going to go on at great 
length except to say many times we have brought up this measure. It 
passed the Senate by a large margin both times, and the other body has 
said no, basically because the White House has said no. That is a fact. 
Nobody denies that fact. I will ask again today; we still do have time 
today or tomorrow, however long we are here, to help our farmers. This 
is a disaster payment; it is an emergency disaster payment. This is 
what America does. If we have hurricanes, we provide disaster 
assistance. If we have floods, we provide disaster assistance. We have 
other natural disaster phenomena in this country, and the Government 
provides assistance to help the people get back on their feet. That is 
all we are asking.
  If we pass this legislation today, the other body can take it up and 
pass it, and the President can sign it. It is that simple.
  As we near the end of this session and approach the holiday season, 
the very least we can do is provide disaster assistance to our farmers 
and ranchers, many of whom are either going out of business or about to 
go out of business because of an agricultural disaster, in most cases, 
drought and in some parts of our country it is flooding.
  I see our distinguished majority leader on the floor. I am quite 
certain he wants to speak on this matter as well. It is a huge issue in 
many parts of our country. It is very much hoped we can take disaster 
assistance up and pass it at this time. I yield now to my colleague 
from South Dakota.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I commend the distinguished Senator from 
Montana. He has been at this now for over a year. The very first 
conversation I had about drought assistance was with Senator Baucus 
over a year ago. I believe it was in connection with the economic 
stimulus package of a year ago. It has been 278 days since the Senate 
acted. So he has been at it for over a year. We, as a Senate, have been 
at it now for 278 days.
  I must say, we can go all the way back to a year ago when Senator 
Baucus made the case that if you want

[[Page S11375]]

economic stimulus in our part of the country, there is no better 
economic stimulus than to provide some drought assistance.
  I would use the word economic salvation. This is more than stimulus 
in our part of the country. This is salvation. This is the only way we 
can provide some salvation to ranchers and farmers who otherwise will 
not be here a year from now. We have done everything we know how to do. 
We have passed amendments. We have passed legislation in various forms. 
We have offered the House an opportunity to negotiate with us. We have 
suggested to the White House: Act alone. It does not matter, use 
whatever vehicle you will, but get it done.
  How in the name of economic stimulus can we ignore a large part of 
our geographic population, a large part geographically of our country? 
If these people are without this assistance, the rural communities 
associated with these people simply cannot survive.
  I thank the Senator from Montana for his leadership and for again 
coming to the floor to remind our colleagues of the import of this 
question, of the urgency that we get something done before we leave. 
This may be the last day. We may not be in session after today. If we 
do not do it today, we will not do it. What kind of a message does that 
send to rural America, to farmers and ranchers who have been waiting 
now 278 days for the Congress to complete its work?
  We voted, as he said, overwhelmingly--overwhelmingly, Republicans and 
Democrats. I would hope we were not doing that just for a political 
cover because this is far more important than political cover. This is 
economic survival. This will provide the only salvation to the farmers 
and ranchers who are desperately looking to Washington for help. Let's 
do it right. Let's provide this assistance. Let's agree with this 
request. Let's get this assistance to them quickly. Let's save them 
before it is too late. I hope we will do that this afternoon.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are many Senators who wish to speak 
on this because it is so important. I ask unanimous consent that I be 
able to yield to other Senators without losing my right to the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I yield to my good friend from Minnesota.
  Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished senior Senator 
from Montana for his leadership on this matter. As the majority leader 
said, the Senator has been superb in his leadership on this for now 
over a year and has been speaking out not only on behalf of Montana 
farmers but on behalf of thousands of Minnesota farmers who have also 
been devastated over the last 2 years and have not seen $1 of disaster 
aid provided to our State.
  The message is: If you are a pharmaceutical company and you have that 
kind of political clout, you will be taken care of by the Congress. If 
you are a company that has run away from this Nation to hide your tax 
obligation, you get a special consideration stuck in the bill that came 
over from the House of Representatives which we just voted on this 
morning. If you are a farmer in Minnesota, however, Montana, or 
elsewhere and you have been devastated by conditions beyond your 
control, the Congress is going to turn its back on you, the 
administration is going to turn its back on you.
  As the Senator pointed out, this Senate has not turned its back on 
farmers on disaster aid. The 2002 farm bill--and I served with the 
Senator from Montana on the Senate Agriculture Committee--had 
agriculture disaster assistance in that measure, but, again, the House 
and the administration turned a cold shoulder and had no funding 
whatsoever, and the conference report came back after many days of 
negotiation with the House unyielding and the administration unyielding 
in their position of not providing disaster assistance.
  The farmers in my State of Minnesota have lost over three quarters of 
a billion dollars in crop devastation in the last 2 years--three-
quarters of a billion dollars in 2 years, and not $1 back from the 
Federal Government. That is why people lose their faith and trust in 
Government because we do the wrong things for the wrong people and we 
do not do the right things for the right people. By ``we,'' I mean the 
collective bodies, because this Senator and the majority of the Senate 
have said again and again: We want to stand with those farmers who are 
suffering the greatest losses, who are being wiped out.
  Over half the crops in my region have been wiped out over each of the 
last 2 years.
  I say let's stand with the farmers. I stand proudly with the Senator 
from Montana. I thank him for his leadership. Let's make one last plea 
to this body and the House and the administration to do what is right 
and do what is urgently needed on behalf of farmers in my State and 
elsewhere in this country.
  I thank the Chair, and I thank the Senator from Montana for yielding 
to me.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I now yield as much time as he consumes to 
the Senator from North Dakota, an ardent fighter on behalf of 
agriculture, I might add.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Montana for 
bringing this issue before the Senate again and again.
  It is interesting what people consider a priority in this Congress. 
We have voted on this issue of drought relief and disaster assistance 
for farmers in the Senate. Seventy-nine Members of the Senate voted to 
do something. We passed legislation for $5.9 billion. Let me tell you 
why we did that.
  This map shows what happened to a major part of the country. A major 
part of our country suffered a devastating drought. In my State, we had 
that extreme drought in the southwestern corner. We also had extreme 
moisture and therefore flooding in the northeastern corner.

  Let me show a picture of two farmers in the same State. This farmer 
is standing on his land that looks like a moonscape. Put seeds in that 
ground and nothing grows. Is that a disaster? It is if you put all your 
hopes, dreams, and capital into the ground. We had literally a 
moonscape. No pasture, no crops in these areas.
  In the same State, flooded land. Drought and flooding. No crop.
  Now, when family farmers suffer this circumstance, they cannot make 
it from one year to the next. One of my colleagues said we really ought 
to name droughts. We do name hurricanes. If a hurricane came through 
tomorrow and it took a portion of the country and flattened it, 
immediately airplanes would leave Washington, DC, FEMA would be on the 
airplane, other governmental offices would be on the plane, and they 
would be rushing there. Why? Because Hurricane Andrew, Emma, or 
Hurricane Myrtle hit land. We would all understand this was a disaster. 
All of the mechanisms of the Federal Government racheting up to try to 
deal with disasters would be on the way to help.
  But this gripping, relentless drought that occurred in our country, 
with flooding in some other parts, is something that happens over time. 
So there are enough people in Congress--including the President of the 
United States--who decided we do not want to do anything; we want to 
block this. We passed disaster assistance by 79 votes in the Senate. 
Bipartisan. The Speaker of the House and the President say, We do not 
want it, we will not do it.
  My colleague from Minnesota made an appropriate point. What did they 
have time to do? As to the question of whose side are you on, at least 
part of the answer this morning is we are on the side of corporations 
who want to renounce their citizenship and move offshore to stop paying 
taxes to the United States Government, or at least minimize those 
taxes. We would like to become citizens of Bermuda, some corporations 
say. So this morning the vote in the Senate was to say, at least by the 
majority, regrettably, we would like to help those companies. The 
Senate already voted to say if you want to renounce your American 
citizenship, you ought not be getting American contracts with the 
Federal Government.
  In the homeland security bill they have stuck in a little piece that 
says let's make it easier for corporations that renounce their 
citizenship to get

[[Page S11376]]

these contracts. That was a priority. It was a priority, for those 
corporations that renounce their citizenship, to help them out. We had 
the time and the will by some in Congress to help them out.
  It is interesting, exactly the same people who do not want to lift a 
finger to help family farmers are saying we would like to help out 
these poor corporations that renounce their citizenship.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. DORGAN. I yield the floor.
  Mr. BAUCUS. How many family farmers in North Dakota are able to move 
offshore to Bermuda and not pay income taxes? How many would you guess 
could do this?
  Mr. DORGAN. The answer is zero. But the answer would be zero if every 
farmer had the opportunity to do it. Do you know why? Because our 
farmers are Americans. They do not want to move anywhere. They do not 
want to become citizens of Bermuda. They do not want to avoid paying 
income taxes. They would love to pay income taxes for a change. They 
would like an opportunity to have an income to pay income tax.
  There is no income with a moonscape farm or when your crop is under 
water. Our farmers would not move to Bermuda for tax purposes.
  Mr. BAUCUS. And that means they do not have to pay income tax.
  Mr. DORGAN. Yes. They consider that unpatriotic.
  The question is, why does Congress have time to help those 
corporations that renounce their citizenship but it does not have time 
to pass a piece of legislation that deals with disaster?
  The point the Senator from Minnesota made is an important point. They 
have the opportunity and the will, apparently, to help drug companies 
but not family farmers.
  It was Tom Paxon a couple of decades ago, when Congress gave some 
financial assistance to Poland, who wrote a song that said, ``I'm 
changing my name to Poland.''
  Well, the question is, What is important to the Congress? Do you have 
to change your name to get some help? My farmers are named Johnson, 
Olson, Christianson, Larson. And they are out there and they put 
everything they have in the ground in North Dakota. They do it on a 
hope and a prayer that somehow it will rain enough, not rain too much, 
the insects will not come, the disease will not come, and they raise a 
crop and take it out of the ground and take it to the elevator for some 
money. That is a hope beyond hope with a natural disaster.
  We have a responsibility, if we care about rural America, care about 
family farmers and care about the special culture they provide for this 
country and contribution they make to this country, we have a 
responsibility to help in tough times. That is what we ought to do, to 
extend a helping hand to say, we would like to help you during these 
tough times.
  Yet, I regret, in answer to the question, Whose side are you on, too 
many decided to block this. They blocked it at the White House, blocked 
it at the speaker's office in the other body. The Senator from Montana 
has been on the floor before--again and again and again. I am proud to 
have been here with him to say this is a priority for us. This is not a 
giveaway. It is not something that is not desperately needed. This is a 
responsibility as Americans to say to others in this country when they 
need help, here is a helping hand.
  I am proud to have served in both the House of Representatives and 
the Senate. In every circumstance on every occasion where someone in 
this country has been injured, hurt, or disadvantaged by fires and 
floods and earthquakes and tornados and so many natural disasters, I am 
proud to say I have voted to provide disaster assistance to them 
because I believe that is the best of what we should do in this 
country.
  I will never, ever vote against that kind of assistance to people who 
are down and out and need help. That is why I would have expected this 
Congress and this President to join us, 79 Members of the Senate, 
Republicans and Democrats, to provide disaster help now when it is 
needed.

  I regret we may now, in the waning hours, leave this session with an 
objection to the unanimous consent request, after it has already passed 
the Senate by 79 votes and after the House is somewhere scattered 
across America--done with their business, they will have left this 
Congress and left undone a significant piece of legislation that should 
have been saying to America's family farmers, beset by disaster, that 
this country cares about you and this country wants to help you in a 
time of need.
  Again, let me say thanks to the Senator from Montana for his effort 
today. I fully support him.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I thank the Senator. I notice my colleagues are coming 
over. This is an important matter, and we have an opportunity and we 
owe it to our people to get this legislation passed.
  I yield to my friend from Michigan, Senator Stabenow.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Montana who has 
been such a leader on this issue. We have all joined on the floor time 
and time again to talk about the need for emergency assistance, for 
disaster assistance in our States. As a member of the Senate 
Agriculture Committee, I stand with my colleagues to indicate that 
Michigan has been under a disaster from flooding, from drought, from 
changing temperatures. We had our cherry growers this past year find 
extraordinarily high temperatures in April, only to see freezes just a 
few weeks later. This has stopped the ability for practically any 
cherries to end up on the trees this year. It is incredible, the fact 
that they have essentially been wiped out, not including what has 
happened the last 2 years for our grape growers, what has consistently 
been the battle for our apple growers, what we have seen from dry beans 
in Michigan, asparagus.
  I could go on and on. We have had harmed numerous crops in Michigan. 
We have seen consistent emergencies come as a result of weather.
  This is not only an issue for our family farmers but for the business 
community as well. When we do not have the cherries on the trees, our 
processors do not have any business. We are seeing processing plants 
that are cutting back or closing. This is a ripple effect throughout 
the economy in Michigan. I am sure in other States, as well.
  This is truly a disaster. As my colleagues have said, if this were a 
hurricane, if this were a tornado, if this were another circumstance, 
we would all be joined together to help communities that find 
themselves in a disaster situation because of no fault of their own. 
This is no less a disaster. It is no less a situation out of the 
control of our farmers and all of those involved in agriculture.
  I thank the Senator from Montana again and stand, as I have 
throughout this process, with the Senator. This is our last opportunity 
to do this and to indicate to our family farmers, to agriculture across 
this country, that we understand what you are going through; that we 
support you and we will provide the same assistance we would for any 
other disaster and emergency that might occur.

  I strongly hope we will be able to prevail in getting some action 
today.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I might ask a question of the Senator. Did the Senator by 
any chance vote for disaster assistance to aid other parts of the 
country, such as, say, New York City?
  Ms. STABENOW. Absolutely. As our leader has just indicated, we are 
consistently coming together on a bipartisan basis to support important 
efforts. I was proud to stand with all my colleagues in the time of 
need of New York and New Jersey and all those who were affected after 
9/11. We consistently have requests from FEMA that come forward, to 
which it is necessary that we respond, and we do that and we step up 
together. Honestly, for the life of me, I do not understand why, when 
it comes to our farmers, we do not have the same bipartisan support nor 
the same support from the administration. It is deeply concerning.
  I very much hope as we come to the end of the session that we could 
come together and stand up for those who fight hard every day against 
the elements. They are in a tough job. They cannot control whether it 
rains or shines. Yet they are putting food on our tables, as well as 
around the world, and providing for a very important part of our 
economy. I hope we stand up for them at this time.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from South Dakota.

[[Page S11377]]

  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I thank Senator Baucus of Montana; 
Senators Dorgan and Conrad of North Dakota; Senator Stabenow of 
Michigan; my colleague, Tom Daschle of South Dakota; and others who 
have risen on the floor to talk about the urgent need for disaster 
relief to the agricultural sector of our economy. It seems 
extraordinary to me that at a time when we have passed disaster relief 
for earthquakes in California, hurricanes in Florida or New York or 
whatever--whenever there is a natural disaster that has occurred, our 
country has come together. Our colleague, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, 
suggests perhaps we ought to give names to these droughts. If it was 
Drought Hugo or Drought Andrew, perhaps there would be a different 
perception at the White House.
  I was profoundly disappointed this summer when President Bush 
traveled all the way to Mount Rushmore, in fact, to announce to the 
agricultural sector that there would be no relief other than what 
meager amount there might be available in the farm bill. That was never 
designed to address natural disasters. We have always dealt with 
disasters in the agricultural sector or any other sector of the economy 
on an individual basis. Some years we have them, some we do not. There 
is no slush fund in the farm bill designed to be utilized for a 
disaster relief. It is simply not put together that way.
  Yet we know we could do a full $6 billion level of drought relief and 
do it in a fiscally responsible fashion because, in fact, the farm 
bill, over the course of this next year, is going to be using less 
countercyclical payments, and those payments will not be required, and 
that will come to around a $6 billion savings. It is not a technical 
offset, we know that, but it is a fiscally responsible way we can go 
about doing this.
  But to single out agriculture for the first time ever in this 
unprecedented way strikes me as an extraordinarily bad precedent. 
Republican and Democratic administrations alike in the past have 
supported disaster relief when disasters occur. It is not like we seek 
relief every time we have a little shortage of rain or a little problem 
of one kind or another. That is the nature of agriculture. But what we 
have here is a devastating circumstance that has damaged agriculture in 
a significant way in some 37 different States, at least, across the 
country. Yet we have an administration for the first time ever saying 
we will help tornado victims, we will help hurricane victims, will help 
earthquake victims, but if you are in the agricultural sector, forget 
about it. We are not going to be there for you. That is a precedent 
that is of profound consequence to the agricultural sector all across 
our country.
  In South Dakota, the State university tells us the loss to the 
economy is already in excess of $2 billion in our small State. 
Obviously this ripples up and down every Main Street of every 
community. Those who are the least capitalized, the younger producers, 
are the first to be forced off the land at a time when we have a 
demographic problem as it is in terms of keeping our young people and 
young leaders in our rural communities. It has an enormous impact. We 
will be feeling the effects for years and years to come. Even if we 
were to have this disaster relief, as Senator Baucus well knows, this 
would not make people whole. This would not make it as though the 
disaster had not occurred. This would simply get people by through the 
winter so they can know whether they have to continue to disperse their 
herds or whether they would continue to farm at all--they would have 
that knowledge. They would be in the hope next year things would turn 
better.
  As it is, we have had a 2001 and 2002 drought, 2 years back to back. 
On top of that, we have unfair trade policy, concentration in the 
agricultural sector, and all kinds of conditions at work to lower the 
price that our producers get in too many cases and it simply gangs up 
on our producers to the point where income is falling off a radical 
level this year--down at least 23 percent this year; last year it 
wasn't good. What we are going to find is a depopulation of this part 
of the country.
  If we were seeking something unique and special for the agricultural 
sector that no other sector gets, it would be one thing, but what we 
are looking for is equity, fairness. I ask my good friend, the Senator 
from Montana, who has played such a lead role in helping to raise this 
issue, is there any logic, is there any equity in singling out the 
agricultural sector to be devoid of any kind of disaster relief as 
opposed to any other sector that faces a natural disaster in America? 
Why should agriculture be the one sector that is told to drop dead when 
you have a natural disaster in your region?
  Mr. BAUCUS. I thank my friend. Frankly, I was going to ask him 
roughly the same question; namely, what possible reason could the 
administration have, the other side of the body have, for saying no? 
What possible reason? Can you even think of a reason? The only one I 
can think of is, perhaps, that it costs money. That cannot be a reason 
when we spend so much money in so many areas where there is no 
disaster, no emergency. This is black and white. This is so easy. As 
the Senator has so articulately said, in so many instances it is the 
American way to help parts of the country that suffer natural 
disasters, America is there. America has a big heart. We are there. We 
are Americans. We work together to help other Americans who suffer 
disasters.
  The Senator has mentioned earthquakes. We know of the devastating 
earthquakes, say in California and we were there. We know of the 
devastating hurricanes in Florida or on the eastern coast, and we have 
been there. We know of other floods and we have been there. All of us 
together have been there. As the Senator said, it has been nonpartisan, 
it has just been America.
  But for some reason, and I cannot fathom what the reason is, the 
White House said no to this disaster; said no. The other body, on the 
other side, said no. The only possible reason I can think of, as the 
Senator has suggested, for some reason they think they can get away 
from it because farmers and ranchers are kind of stoic. They are good 
people. They do not raise the rafters. They don't take to the streets. 
They are good, solid people.
  I think the Senator from Minnesota made a good point earlier. He 
said, and frankly this is very poignant, it is ironic: When our beloved 
late departed colleague, Senator Wellstone, often said, there are other 
people--there are law firms, lobbyists, who can represent big companies 
in Washington, DC. But he, Senator Wellstone, was there to represent 
the people who don't have big lobbyists and well-heeled people. He, 
Senator Wellstone, is there to represent the people. That is our job. 
It is the job of both sides of the aisle, to represent the people. It 
is the job of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to represent the people.
  Now we have our nation's farmers and ranchers, down and out--there 
are not better, more decent, hard-working, wonderful, people in America 
than our farmers and our ranchers. They don't complain. They work 
really hard. They do their very best. Yet the administration and the 
other body is turning their backs to them.
  It reminds me sometimes of New York. The current occupant of the 
Chair from New Jersey certainly knows this phenomenon. Certainly, when 
an administration or Congress says no to something New York wants, the 
headlines are: Drop dead. The administration says drop dead.
  Clearly this administration, the other party, to our farmers and 
ranchers has said: Drop dead.
  The Senator made another excellent point; namely, the farm bill is 
not designed to take care of natural disasters. You must have a crop to 
participate in the Farm Bill. There is no slush fund, the Senator said, 
in the farm bill.
  The farm bill is irrelevant to this phenomenon, this disaster, we are 
facing. For the life of me, I cannot understand. Maybe drought is just 
a ``silent killer,'' as some of our colleagues mentioned earlier. It is 
not on the front pages. It is the silent killer in different parts of 
the country. You do not see it coming slowly, but it just as pernicious 
and devastating, if not more so.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for his insight 
because I think he is exactly right. While the damage is as great as 
with any other disaster, it takes a matter of days and weeks and months 
for this to occur, as opposed to the headline-grabbing earthquake or 
tornado or hurricane that may take a day or two and grab headlines.
  I invite my colleagues from the House who have refused to even hold

[[Page S11378]]

hearings on this issue, much less have a vote of any kind on disaster 
relief, and I invite the administration to come to my part of the 
country to look at what has happened to those fields, to those farms, 
and to those ranches. The liquidation of herds has already taken place. 
The equity built up for generations has been lost over the course of 
this last year. Again, we find a stone wall relative to disaster relief 
for agriculture.
  I applaud the leadership of my colleague from Montana, and my 
colleague from South Dakota, Senator Daschle, and Senators Dorgan, 
Conrad, Nelson, and others who have done so much to highlight the 
equity and the common sense of this action. It is my hope that before 
we leave this place, we can in fact see to it that our rural parts of 
America get the same kind of attention, the same kind of concern, and 
the same kind of compassion that every other part of America and every 
other sector gets when they have unmitigated disasters facing them.
  I yield my time.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I have the floor. Before I yield time to 
the Senator from North Dakota, I see the distinguished minority leader. 
I ask if he can wait for a short while so the Senator from North Dakota 
can give his statement, if that is OK with the Senator from 
Mississippi.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I would be glad to withhold. I hope it 
doesn't take too long.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I am giving him in a little nudge.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Montana. I thank 
the Republican leader. I appreciate that.
  As you can imagine, this is deadly serious for the people I 
represent. This picture says it all. This is what southwestern North 
Dakota looks like. It looks like a moonscape. Nothing grew this year. 
It is the most devastating drought that many have faced since the 
1930s. Many would say it is an even more devastating drought than we 
had in the 1930s because absolutely nothing grew this year. It is a 
devastation.
  One of the newspapers in our State published this headline: 
``Disaster Aid Just Common Sense.'' This is my hometown newspaper. They 
said: Look, this is a circumstance that demands a response. Always 
before, we have given disaster assistance to every other part of the 
country in every other circumstance, but not here.
  The President of the United States says take the aid out of the farm 
bill. There is no disaster aid in the farm bill. That was specifically 
precluded. But the farm bill can provide the funding because the 
savings from the farm bill will directly provide the amount of money 
necessary for disaster assistance.
  Here is the circumstance we face, according to the USDA. Net farm 
income is going to go down 21 percent even though prices are higher. 
Even though farm program payments will be lower, farm income is going 
to plunge. It is going to plunge because of natural disasters in every 
part of the country. Obviously, it is very acute in the Midwest--
especially Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
  I end by reminding colleagues of what Senator Wellstone, who so 
tragically died, said in his last days. He was fighting for disaster 
aid. He said: ``Politics delays aid for northwest Minnesota farmers.''
  Senator Wellstone may be prophetic in what he said because he was 
afraid that politics would kill the disaster assistance that is so 
desperately needed.
  In my State, literally hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of farm 
families will be forced off the land if we don't do what we have always 
done in the past; that is, provide disaster assistance--a disaster 
package that can be fully offset and fully funded by savings out of the 
farm bill. Because of these natural disasters, and because we have had 
drought and floods, production is less and prices are higher. That 
means payments are less from the farm bill. That money could be used to 
pay for disaster assistance that is so desperately needed.
  I plead with my colleagues. I plead with them. Let us do now what we 
have always done in the past. When any part of the country suffered a 
disaster, we helped. We should do no less now.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of S. 3099, the bill to provide emergency 
disaster assistance to agricultural producers, that the bill be read a 
third time and passed, that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the 
table, and that any statements thereon be printed in the Record.
  Mr. President, before I ask the Chair to put that question, let me 
just say that I plead with my good friend, the minority leader--soon to 
become the majority leader--from Mississippi. I know he is about to 
object. But I urge him to not object at this point.
  Maybe there is a way to work something out here. I say that because 
this is not a political gesture. As the Senator well knows, Mississippi 
farmers are hurt for various reasons. As a final good-faith, bipartisan 
way to work something out with the White House, if he can possibly 
figure it out--I don't want to put the Senator on the spot. Believe me. 
I don't. I am only putting it this way because this could be the last 
day we are in session, and we still have an opportunity here. I wonder 
if the Senator might not object. As the Senator from North Dakota 
pointed out very well, there really is no cost to this because the farm 
bill costs will be about this amount less because of the way the farm 
bill works; namely, with the drought we have less production and higher 
prices and much less in government payments made to farmers, it works 
out to be very close to the amount of disaster assistance to farmers 
and ranchers who suffer from a natural disaster.
  I know it is a long shot. I am still going to make the request. We 
haven't given up around here trying to help our people.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I have no 
doubt about the seriousness of the sponsors of this effort. Also, I am 
sure the administration and the Congress are going to continue to look 
at this to find ways to be of assistance in every way that is possible 
and that is needed.
  There are a couple of serious problems with this, though. First of 
all, we do not really know what the cost will be. We are being told it 
wouldn't cost anything because it would come out of the agriculture 
bill. I thought I heard another Senator say you can't take it out of 
the agriculture bill that we passed because it is prohibited. I am not 
sure exactly how that would work.
  Second, this bill came straight to the floor. It didn't come through 
the committee. I have a lot of faith, even though I disagree sometimes 
with the leadership on the Agriculture Committee. My colleague from 
Mississippi, Senator Cochran, is certainly sensitive to agricultural 
disasters. He will be the chairman of the Agriculture Committee next 
year. We will have a chance to revisit this. But no committee 
considered it; it was just brought straight to the floor.
  For those reasons and others, and the fact that the House will not 
have an opportunity to fully consider it, or even take it up at this 
late date, I would have to object. So I do object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I am gravely disappointed that there is 
objection.
  Our farmers cannot wait, frankly, until next year. It looks like they 
are going to have to wait now. Those who are still farming, those who 
are still raising livestock are going to have to somehow dig deeper, if 
you pardon the pun, to make a living, scratching off the land.
  I am baffled. I am totally baffled. This case is so clear. With all 
due respect to my colleague from Mississippi, he made two inconsistent 
points. I heard no real reason, just an objection, as is any Senator's 
right under the rules of the Senate.
  But, nevertheless, we have spoken. And I will fight this in January; 
that is, we will figure out some way to help our farmers and ranchers 
who are suffering from these disasters, just as other people around the 
country get aid when they experience disasters.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Edwards). The Senator from Nebraska.

[[Page S11379]]

  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, I thank you for this 
opportunity to speak today regarding the importance of disaster relief 
yet this year.
  Now, in just the last few minutes it became fairly clear this is now 
going to have to carry over. And I respectfully disagree with the 
Republican leader that this should be carried over. I do understand the 
rules and will have to abide by them, but I think it is important to 
point out that while the legislation may wait, the people who need 
these funds for their very survival are not going to be able to wait. 
They are going to sell off their land. Many are selling their herds 
right now. They will not wait because they can't wait. We will have to 
wait for this legislation and do the best we can.
  But I would like to quickly thank Senator Baucus and certainly 
Senator Daschle for their tireless efforts to provide drought 
assistance. And I certainly associate myself with the comments made by 
Senator Conrad from North Dakota, who I think very eloquently laid out 
the numbers and what the implications are relative to the need for this 
disaster relief in his State.
  Nebraska isn't much different. Much of our land looks like a 
moonscape because the pastures have had inadequate precipitation for a 
number of months and, in many cases, years, and they do not come back 
quickly. Without water, without snow, without the precipitation 
required, the grass simply will not grow.
  This body has twice passed drought assistance--twice. We first passed 
it as drought relief. Then we passed it as part of the Interior 
appropriations process. We tried to include it in the farm bill.
  Yet as we come to the conclusion of this 107th Congress, the House 
has failed to act. We must try one more time to get the point across so 
that, as the year turns from 2002 to 2003, there will still be a 
recollection that just because the year has changed, the conditions 
have not changed; they continue, unfortunately.
  We are here not to make a point, although a point must, in fact, be 
made, but to get the necessary drought assistance for our farmers and 
ranchers in those areas of our country that are experiencing a 
continuing drought, a multiyear drought, that is devastating to their 
economic well-being today and threatens to be even more devastating in 
the days ahead.
  Some are worried, apparently, about the cost. I, too, as a fiscal 
conservative, am worried about the cost. But I must ask, what would we 
do if it was a different kind of natural disaster, let's say a 
hurricane or a flood or an earthquake, some other kind of disaster?
  It is not that the people in this body are not worried about the 
cost; it is that when we have emergencies, we respond to those 
emergencies without looking for offsets because we recognize 
emergencies are special situations. They cannot be simply provided for 
within the current budget or in a future budget.
  On disaster relief, the Congressional Budget Office has said 
Government spending is down, almost enough to pay for this disaster 
relief, because of this year's high commodity prices. Why cannot we see 
our way clear, in some manner, before the end of the year, or right 
after the beginning of the new year, to put disaster relief on the 
continuing resolution or be the first order of business in the next 
Congress?
  If some believe this drought is really not as damaging as other 
natural disasters, I invite them to come to Nebraska and visit with our 
farmers and our ranchers and take a look at the landscape and begin to 
understand that if our farmers and ranchers are unable to make it 
financially, the lenders will require them to sell their land, to sell 
their herds, to go into bankruptcy.
  This damaging drought is not only a problem for farmers and ranchers, 
but it devastates main street Nebraska, main street North Dakota, the 
main street in any community that depends primarily for its existence 
on successful agriculture. If you talk to the merchants in these small 
communities, they will tell you what is happening to their business. 
They are going under. They are not making it. They are worried about 
not only next year but making it this year. Because if you don't have 
money coming from agriculture, these communities are going to wither, 
and they are not going to be able to make it.
  So I only suggest, half in jest, that we begin to label droughts, 
because if this was ``Drought Andrew'' or ``Drought Margaret,'' it 
would have some identity that could attract emergency aid for a 
disaster. We make a mistake in not having these droughts named after an 
individual, as we do with hurricanes, because then these natural 
disasters, these natural events, that occur over a continuing period of 
time might have a substance that could attract the attention of those 
who are today saying: Well, let's put it off until next year.
  I can assure you, if we had another type of disaster today, it is 
very unlikely it would be put over until next year. If we had had a 
hurricane last month or the month before, I can absolutely assure you, 
it would not have been put over until next year.
  I don't think it can be any more clear to me that America's farmers 
and ranchers need this effort in our Senate to go forward. We need the 
House to pass disaster relief. I have seen so much of the damage 
firsthand. I have been across the State. I see the reports. This summer 
I was on a dryland farm that has had crops--some good, some bad--for 70 
years. During the Dust Bowl years that farm produced a crop. This year 
there is no crop--for the first time in 70 years, and perhaps long 
before that, certainly in the recollection of the owners of that farm. 
They can only go back 70 years. But they know there has never been a 
year until this year where they have not had a crop.

  A family farmer in my hometown of McCook, NE, Dale Dueland, whom I 
have known since the days he crawled across his family's floor--he is 
not going to like me saying that, but I remember when he was that 
little boy in that farmhouse, and today he is a man with children, and 
with a successful farming operation, except for the drought. It is not 
simply because of prices but because it does not matter what the price 
is if you do not have a crop.
  He does not have a crop. He said he would have a zero yield on his 
900 acres of dryland corn. It would not matter if corn went to $5; if 
you don't have anything to sell because of a disaster of this kind, you 
are not going to be able to make it. His poor crop performance is not 
the result of poor planning or poor farming or nondrought-related 
weather. This is the result of a natural disaster that has been going 
on in some cases for over 2 years.
  For much of my State, this is, in fact, a no-yield year or, at best, 
a low-yield year.
  Al Davis from Hyannis, NE, told me that ``each day places another 
nail in the coffin of many individual ranchers in Nebraska and on the 
Great Plains. Many ranchers have already thrown in the towel and are 
liquidating portions of their herds,'' which will have an impact not 
only today but tomorrow, the next year, and the next year, because 
rebuilding herds is not a singular event that occurs in a short 
timeframe. It takes years to build a herd. It takes only days to 
liquidate a herd.

  Annette Dubas, who owns a ranch and farm in western Nance County in 
Nebraska, told me that after the third year in a row of drought 
conditions, some farmers in her area have already been forced out while 
others have been working two jobs just to be able to keep their farm 
going. That is neither a happy situation nor is that a good thought 
about what the future is going to hold. They are going to have to be 
able to sell or they are going to have to be able to have a crop or 
they are simply going to go out of business.
  These are not big time corporate farms. Nebraska law bans corporate 
farming. These are family farmers who are being driven out of business 
for the first time in generations. These farms have been in their 
families for many generations; in some cases, 100 years or more. 
Farmers and ranchers have not only been let down by Mother Nature, they 
have been let down by those in the Senate and House who have blocked 
efforts to provide disaster relief despite its severity and despite 
CBO's savings indications.
  We can't keep denying relief to those in need. Maybe the procedure is 
that it be put over for another couple months. But it must be one of 
the first things, if not the first thing, that this Senate

[[Page S11380]]

and the House take up after the beginning of the year in the new 
Congress. We cannot allow the House to remain idle on the issue. We 
need the White House to support this bill, and we cannot allow 
objections from those few who don't understand that this drought is no 
different than a flood or a hurricane or an earthquake to stop us from 
providing relief. We must, in fact, recognize the savings from the farm 
bill are there. And if need be, we need to get it as part of this 
drought assistance.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I want to say, before the Senator from 
Nebraska leaves the floor, that the statement made by the Senator from 
Nebraska, former Governor, should be a primer for someone trying to lay 
out a case. He laid out a case as well as I have ever heard. He talked 
about the State itself, about individual people. It is compelling.
  Nevada, of course, does not have large agricultural interests. We 
have some agricultural interests. But the Senator from Nebraska has 
done as good a job as I have ever heard in presenting a case.
  I hope the people of Nebraska know what an advocate they have in the 
Senator from Nebraska. When students study how to lay out a case, 
whether it is for farm aid or whether it is for anything else, 
reviewing the statement of the Senator from Nebraska makes the case in 
point.
  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Nevada. 
The challenge we have in Nebraska is laid out by the fact that this is 
about the present but also the future. The future will be dim if we are 
not able to take care of the problems that have developed in the past 
and continue today. It is about young people, the future of the State, 
and the future food needs for the people of this country. Everybody 
will be continually adversely affected if we don't remedy this 
situation as soon as possible. If it can't be before January 7 of this 
coming year, it would still be early enough.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.


          Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim Settlement Act

  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss another bill, a 
very important bill to communities in Michigan, a bill I introduced 
earlier this year, S. 2986, the Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim 
Settlement Act. I also, on a personal note, thank Patty Bouch of my 
staff for her excellent work on this issue. She has been diligently 
focused for a number of months now in working with all those interested 
in this issue.
  S. 2986 provides for congressional approval of a land claim 
settlement agreement reached earlier this year by the State of 
Michigan, Governor Engler, and the Bay Mills Indian community of 
Brimley, MI. The agreement settles the tribe's longstanding claim to 
over 110 acres of land that was once deeded to the Governor of the 
State to hold in trust for the ancestral bands of the Bay Mills Indian 
community.
  This land, now called Charlotte Beach, MI, was later sold for unpaid 
taxes and without the knowledge of the bands or consent of the State. 
In agreeing to extinguish the historical land claim in the area, the 
Bay Mills Indian community will be granted alternative lands in the 
State as outlined in the settlement agreement. These alternative lands 
are located in Port Huron, MI, and would become part of the reservation 
of the Bay Mills Indian community.
  Furthermore, the legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
take these alternative lands into trust as land obtained in a 
settlement of a land claim under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The 
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S. 2986 on October 
10 of this year. I am very appreciative of Chairman Inouye's 
willingness to hold the hearing, particularly that week, in light of 
the fact that the Iraq resolution was being debated at that time on the 
floor. It was a very serious week with much happening. I am grateful 
for his willingness to hold the hearing and to work with me on this 
issue as we have moved through the process.
  The hearing afforded me and House colleagues in attendance and my 
constituents a forum to explain the merits and the need for the 
legislation. I appreciate the fact my House colleagues, Congressman 
Bart Stupak and Congressman Dave Bonior, were in attendance. They 
testified in support of S. 2986 as it directly affects their current 
congressional districts.
  Before the committee, Congressman Stupak discussed his past efforts 
to remedy this land claim for the Charlotte Beach landowners in his 
district. He has worked on the issue for the last 8 years. He has been 
trying to resolve it. He believes that S. 2986 will grant the clear 
property title to the landowners in Charlotte Beach, MI who have 
inadvertently been involved in an issue greater than themselves.
  The settlement of this land claim will also greatly benefit a 
community in Michigan. Port Huron, MI is a community that is in great 
need of new economic development and jobs. The citizens of Port Huron 
can look directly across the waters at a casino in Canada--right across 
the bridge. There is a large bridge that goes from Port Huron to 
Sarnia. They watch every day as people drive across that bridge, 
citizens of Michigan and the United States taking their dollars to 
Canada where there are more jobs now as a result of that establishment.
  On the other side we have a community desperately in need of jobs. 
This community has wrestled with economic development and what to do. 
In June of 2001, they had a referendum and the voters of that 
community, after thoughtful discussion and debate, voted by a 55 to 45 
percent margin to show their support for potential gaming activities in 
their community.
  This was done, as in any community, with thoughtfulness about what 
the alternatives are. I know they are very frustrated at the fact that 
they can look at job loss, economic loss right across the river from 
them.
  Should my legislation pass this Congress, Port Huron could be the 
last U.S.-Canadian border crossing in my State to have gaming, which 
would provide some desperately needed economic development and job 
creation for a community where the unemployment rate exceeds both the 
State and the national unemployment rate.
  Unemployment in Port Huron is nearly 12 percent and the community 
desperately needs new economic development and jobs. They have a plan 
now. Community leaders have come together and developed a plan that 
will work for them. It will create jobs in the building and 
construction industry, and it will create long-term jobs in the service 
industry as it relates to this project. They are urgently asking us to 
pass this legislation. They are ready to go to work and get it done. 
They ask that we pass this now in the final day of the session. It is 
very important to them that this be passed this year and not next year.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on Indian 
Affairs be discharged from further consideration of S. 2986 and the 
Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of the bill; that the 
bill be read the third time, passed; and that the motion to reconsider 
be laid upon the table, without any intervening action or debate.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, first, let me 
say to my dear friend, the junior Senator from Michigan, I don't oppose 
Indian gaming. I am responsible for writing the Indian Gaming Act. It 
was done many years ago. I am still a member of the Indian Affairs 
Committee. I haven't liked the way the law has gone with the Indian 
Gaming Act, but I follow what the courts have decreed.
  I think there have been some very good things happening in the 
country in Indian gaming. They have been taken advantage of on a number 
of occasions, but that is the way it is in a lot of different 
businesses. I don't oppose Indian gaming, I repeat. While I had some 
concerns initially, they basically have been met, and I have had some 
very good relations with Indian gaming operators and operations across 
the country.
  I oppose this legislation that my friend from Michigan has asked be 
passed by voice vote today. I oppose it for a number of reasons, not 
the least of which is that the legislation would undermine the gaming 
compacts that were approved by the Michigan State Legislature after 
years of careful and deliberate negotiations.

[[Page S11381]]

  Senator Stabenow's bill would circumvent the terms negotiated in all 
11 tribal-State compacts, including the compact to which Bay Mills is a 
party, which prohibits off-reservation gaming in the absence of a 
revenuesharing agreement involving all of Michigan's Federally 
recognized tribes.
  Additionally, in recent gaming compacts, the tribes involved all 
agreed to limit themselves to one gaming site for each tribe; yet this 
legislation would allow Bay Mills, which already has two gaming 
facilities, to open still another facility hundreds of miles from its 
reservation and in direct competition with the tribes in the lower 
peninsula.
  Secondly, allowing a tribe to settle a land claim and receive trust 
land hundreds of miles from their reservation for the express purpose 
of establishing a gaming facility sets a very dangerous precedent.
  This pursuit of off-reservation gaming operations should continue to 
follow the procedures outlined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 
Public Law 100-497, which authorizes tribal gaming operations on off-
reservation ``after-acquired lands'' where the land to be acquired has 
no relationship to the land upon which the claim was based.
  Let me say that the first gaming compact ever approved with an Indian 
tribe in the history of the country was done in Nevada. So it is not as 
if Nevada is here opposing this request. The first compact ever 
approved in the country was in Nevada. That is still an ongoing 
operation and a very successful one.
  The proposed casino would be located just north of Detroit on a major 
link to Ontario that is in the lower corner of the lower peninsula. Bay 
Mills is located in the upper peninsula. The legislation is 
fundamentally flawed because it allows Bay Mills to establish gaming 
facilities under the guise of settling a land claim.
  The land claim is simply--and everybody knows this--an excuse to take 
land into trust for off-reservation gaming.
  I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted 
to speak for up to 15 minutes and that the time be charged postcloture.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


              Health Care That Works for All Americans Act

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, recently I introduced with Senator Hatch 
health care legislation, the Health Care that Works for All Americans 
Act. I come to the floor today because I think many Senators are 
frustrated about the inability to make more progress on the health care 
issue in this session of the Senate. I want to take a few minutes and 
talk about what I think the key principles are for this country to make 
headway with respect to health care.
  The three principles that I believe are central on this health care 
issue are, first and foremost, to make sure the public is involved from 
the ground floor. Again and again, what we have seen is health care 
legislation proposed that is attacked by special interest groups, and 
then it goes nowhere. The public gets understandably confused about the 
discussion, and the bill dies.
  Under the Wyden-Hatch legislation, the public would get the first 
crack at looking at the key issues, which are: What are the essential 
services that people feel strongly about? How much would they cost? And 
who would pay for them?
  The second feature of our legislation is that it establishes a 
process to ensure that Congress actually votes for meaningful and 
comprehensive health reform. The last time Congress took a crack at 
this, almost a decade ago, there were not even votes in Congress on the 
legislation.
  The third principle we ought to zero in on with respect to health 
care for the future is that it has to be bipartisan. The Wyden-Hatch 
legislation is literally the first bipartisan effort in comprehensive 
health reform in a decade.
  I come to the Chamber today to say those three principles--involving 
the public at the outset, ensuring there will be an actual vote by the 
Congress on comprehensive legislation, and that the bill be 
bipartisan--ought to be the core of the Senate's effort to reform the 
health care system.

  Today I wish to take a couple of minutes to talk about a central part 
of our legislation, and that is what to do about rising health care 
costs in America.
  Rising costs in American health care are a runaway train, and the 
American people have literally been tied to the track. Again and again, 
small businesses come up to us and say they have been subjected to 15-, 
20-, 25-percent rate hikes year after year. This is all before the 
demographic tsunami comes in 2010 and 2011 when we will have millions 
of baby boomers, and right now millions of working families, some with 
insurance, some without, that cannot afford doctor visits and disease 
treatments and the drugs they need. So certainly at the center of any 
effort to reform health care has to be putting the brakes on those 
rising costs that are literally a runaway train in our society.
  There are going to be tough choices. If resources are limited, we 
have to make some tough calls about how to allocate those resources and 
to focus on some of the ethical and moral questions that are inherent 
in rising costs. The tough moral and ethical considerations that will 
be necessary to contain them are stark realities, but they have to be 
faced if this country's health care system is going to work for all.
  My colleague from Utah, Senator Hatch, and I have proposed in our 
legislation, the Health Care that Works for All Americans Act, a 
specific plan so that citizens can face those realities and fashion a 
better health care system.
  Under our proposal, the American people will have a chance--a chance 
they have not had in 57 years since health care reform was tackled by 
Harry Truman in the 81st Congress--the American people will have a 
chance, before the special interest groups have at it, to talk about 
the kind of health care system they believe makes sense for them.
  Our legislation has two major components: A public participation 
process at the outset over a relatively short period of time, and a 
guaranteed vote in both Houses of the Congress on the people's 
recommendations.
  When it comes to health care costs, there is a lot for the public to 
examine. We are now spending 15 percent of our gross domestic product 
on health care. The last time it was looked at, the country spent more 
than $1.4 trillion on medical care, a 10-percent increase from the 
previous year.
  If you divide $1.4 trillion by the number of people in this country, 
it comes to almost $5,000 for every man, woman, and child. Tens of 
millions of our citizens, in addition, slip through the cracks every 
day, even as our Nation pours more and more money into health care.
  We are going to have to take a look at where the money is going. A 
study that has now been published on the Web site of the journal Health 
Affairs attributes spending increases primarily to higher hospital 
costs and prescription drugs. Hospitals are raising prices to make up 
for declining insurance, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, and the 
money they lose treating patients with no insurance at all. Moreover, a 
backlash against the tight hospitalization controls of managed care has 
clearly contributed to rising costs.
  There are a host of relentless forces converging on American health 
care. Technological innovations seem to be coming at us from every 
area, and each miracle cure comes with a high cost. More and more 
health information is available through the Internet through sites such 
as WebMD and health.gov. It shows up on the ticker on all the 24-hour 
news channels, and each new discovery drives up the demand for care. If 
CNN runs a story on a medical breakthrough at 9:30 in the morning, it 
seems that an hour or so later we will be getting calls at our offices 
asking if Medicare or Medicaid or various insurance plans will pick up 
that coverage.

[[Page S11382]]

  We have an extraordinary appetite for health care, for new 
treatments, but sometimes when we order these, we are not sure we are 
getting what is medically effective. We are not sure we are getting 
services that are worth the money. And most importantly, there is no 
way to measure it.

  This is all compounded by the baby boomer explosion. Already, elderly 
people make up 15 percent of the population and spend 40 percent of our 
health care dollars. Folks are not just getting older, they are living 
longer. Those additional lives and the care that is necessary is going 
to require more funding. Life expectancy has risen more in the last 50 
years than it did in the preceding 5,000. In the last months of their 
longer lives, Americans are spending more money than ever on health 
care. But money does not always give the best results for a suffering 
individual.
  As a direct result of health spending increases in 2001, the Health 
Affair Study that I noted said health insurance costs have risen 
sharply, but at the same time coverage is getting harder and harder for 
many to get. The costs have gone up two ways. The first is with simple 
premium increases. Insurance companies are asking purchasers to pay 
more for the policies. The second way is through something called 
buydown. Employers who subsidize insurance reduce available benefits 
and ask employees to pay a higher share of the subsidized premium. 
Employees often get lower wages, even as they pay more for health 
insurance, with no guarantee their insurance will meet their needs. 
When you combine that significant hike in premiums--12 percent has been 
one assessment by the Kaiser Foundation--with a 3-percent increase in 
the number of cases of the buydown, the total cost of insurance has 
risen about 15 percent this year.
  Nationally, businesses are still paying three-quarters or more of 
employees' premium costs, but it is harder and harder for companies and 
individuals to absorb those cost increases year after year. Fully 60 
percent of those who have no insurance work for small businesses. For 
the self-employed or for those who have to buy their own insurance, 
premium increases at this point have priced many plans out of reach.
  If someone is listening today and saying, ``The health care system 
works fine for me,'' let's also reflect on the fact that while it may 
work for you, it is not working for tens of millions of others. The 
fact is, every single day in America those who have no coverage, those 
who are going without, in effect, get subsidized by those who do have 
coverage.
  If an individual listens today and says, ``I am in pretty good shape; 
things are going well for me,'' I only point out for the millions who 
do not have coverage right now, those people are subsidized by those 
who think everything is fine.
  The fact is, it is just not right to leave millions of Americans in 
this country with a feeling of helplessness and a sense that when they 
go to bed at night they can see that train, that runaway train of 
health care costs I have mentioned bearing down on them.
  The legislation Senator Hatch and I have proposed gives Americans the 
power to put the brakes on rising costs. It offers regular citizens the 
opportunity to make tough choices about spiraling medical bills. We 
will be addressing, if our bill can pass, the tough questions of health 
care directly related to our families: The question of what kind of 
care do people believe is most essential; how much are people willing 
to pay; how do you contain the costs without sacrificing quality of 
care; what about the government or private business being required to 
pay part of the cost.
  My bottom line is pretty simple. It is time, finally, after 57 years 
of trying the same thing--writing bills in Washington, DC, only to have 
them attacked by special interests--it is time to try something 
different, and that is to give the people of this country a chance to 
make the judgment on calls with respect to what kind of health services 
they want, how much those services are going to cost, and who is going 
to pay. The alternative is to continue to spend more and more on a 
system that, while scientifically prodigious, is flawed in many of the 
administrative ways in which it is carried out.

  At a time when America is becoming a nation of health care haves and 
have-nots, this country can do better. We have many of our providers 
and businesses already making tough choices as they try to deal with 
growing costs. I know scores of small businesses in Oregon and across 
this country who are dying to offer their people good coverage, and 
they have had difficulty offering it without effective policies to 
contain those rising costs.
  Senator Hatch and I believe with a different approach it will be 
possible to reign in the costs, but it all has to begin--and begin in a 
fashion that has not been tried for 57 years--with the American people 
being given the opportunity to make some of the tough calls. The fact 
is, the options in the cost containment area do involve hard calls. The 
Kaiser Commission, for example, on the uninsured, on Medicaid, recently 
laid out a number of cost containment measures currently employed by 
our public health programs. They range from some that I think are 
progressive to some that I think would make the problems that we have 
today in health care even more serious.
  According to Kaiser, the main way public health programs are cutting 
costs is by cutting payments to providers. Private insurers then follow 
suit, paying less to providers for each patient seen and for each 
procedure performed or for each bed the hospital provides. Then, in 
effect, the Robin Hood approach kicks in in a dramatic way with those 
who do get payments, in effect, giving services to those who lack it. 
But when the cutbacks get severe, when the reimbursements continue to 
go down as we have seen in so many facilities, those providers, those 
health care facilities that have a great sense of community and caring, 
just cannot offer the services anymore. Instead of or even in addition 
to cutting provider payments, some insurers and public health programs 
are cutting back on what services they will cover, reducing the 
availability of some services. Unfortunately, services are often cut 
with no regard to their overall effectiveness--only for their cost.

  Many types of health care programs are asking patients to pay more at 
the time of service--higher copayments. Higher copayments are also 
becoming a regular feature at the pharmacy, as prescription drugs are 
one of the biggest reasons behind rising costs. Options include those 
higher copays, requiring more prior authorization for prescriptions, 
requiring or covering only generics, or even limiting the number of 
covered prescriptions per month.
  I want to pause to note a couple of issues here--first, that 
prescription drugs are on the table in the Wyden-Hatch legislation, 
just as long-term care and Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance 
are. Senator Hatch and I are placing no limits on what the American 
people can discuss and decide to change. And second, efforts to cut 
rising drug costs are perfect example of the range of choices that 
folks will face in this national discussion. Some of the choices for 
cutting costs seem good and fair. Some seem punitive and unfair. 
Senator Hatch and I just believe that Americans have enough sense to 
tell the difference.
  People participating in the health care discussion prescribed in our 
bill will take a look at some of the toughest cost-cutters being 
employed today. In the case of private insurance, companies refuse to 
cover pre-existing conditions. They deny policies to people whose care 
is likely to be expensive. In the case of public insurance, States make 
last-ditch efforts to cut costs by limiting the number of people to 
whom coverage is available.
  All across America today, mothers will tell their children that you 
don't always get everything you want in this life. That's the stark 
reality people are going to have to face when it comes to reforming the 
health care system. The key will be to find solutions that do the best 
job of splitting the difference, cutting costs and providing essential, 
effective health care services.
  Cost containment is not enough. Our health care dollars must buy 
quality care, that not only treats disease but also prevents it 
whenever possible. That's the best cost containment. Failing that, care 
that manages diseases to slow or prevent their progression may be the 
next best thing. Disease management is a growing component of health 
care today. Instead of allowing

[[Page S11383]]

months to go by between doctor visits, patients with chronic illnesses 
meet or speak regularly with nurses or other health care providers to 
monitor their specific condition. Doctors have concerns about their 
patients being treated or advised by others, and all the kinks aren't 
worked out of this system yet. But the result, in many cases, is a 
reduction in the number of expensive complications and hospital stays.
  I want to see Americans educated about disease management, preventive 
care, and every other option available for reforming health care. 
That's why the Wyden-Hatch Act calls for the publication of a Citizens' 
Guide to the Health Care System. A panel that's a cross-section of 
Americans using and running the health care system today will produce 
it. It will be designed so folks can be fully informed when the public 
participation portion of the process begins.
  To me, some of these cost containment methods seem fairer than 
others; some seem more sensible than others. The American people should 
have the change to decide--because what's being done now isn't working. 
Benefits are usually considered in terms of cost-benefit, which 
basically measures how much money you save for every dollar you spend. 
Another way of looking at procedures and practices is their cost-
effectiveness, which is how much good you do with every dollar.
  Let me explain why I believe it is folly to continue to address 
questions of health care and health coverage as purely economic 
considerations. The problem is, and families know this, it doesn't all 
boil down to money. You're not just dealing with a bottom line. You're 
talking about maintaining people's health and about the basic care they 
have a right to expect. Sometimes you're literally talking about life 
and death. It's time America started recognizing its ethical and moral 
responsibilities with respect to health care, and acting on them.
  This is not the seismic shift it sounds to be. Just as individual 
insurers and state health administrators are making choices about how 
to contain costs, American citizens are making moral choices around 
their kitchen tables every day. People already have to answer questions 
like, it okay to put off the colorectal screening my insurance won't 
cover because I really need to pay for my mother's prescription 
medicines? If we pay for Jennifer's broken arm, does Bobby have to wait 
a year to get braces?
  Doctors and hospitals are already making ethical choices about what 
care to get and give, or how much cost the hospital is willing to 
absorb before cutting services. The question that must be answered is 
still the same: do Americans want these choices made as they are now, 
in a back-door way? Or do they want a chance to discuss these issues at 
the front door, decide on them as a community, and then ask Congress to 
deliver a health care system based on the country's values?
  A better way to make decisions is to look at what we are and are not 
able to do on a societal level, instead of deciding what we are and are 
not able to do for a give patient at a given time. If that sounds 
tough, it is. But Mr. President, I'm here to urge that America tackle 
these issues head on and turn them to the advantage of as many people 
as possible. That's far better plan then letting back-door decisions 
suck away more funds and resources and deny people decent care.
  It's time to look at questions on a broader scale. Is $315,000 of 
public money better spent on one liver transplant and follow-up care 
for a 70-year old man with cirrhosis, or on 3,00 preventive well-baby 
visits costing about $100 each? Does a woman with known risk factors 
for breast cancer have a right to a mammogram every year even if I have 
to help pay for it?

  Because these choices are so tough, a variety of think tanks and 
great minds have tackled these issues, including Arthur Kaplan at the 
University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Callahan at the Hastings Center and 
others. I admire their thoughtful work. Their conclusions and study 
have provided valuable direction on these issues.
  I believe that at the end of the day, only the citizens of this 
country can make the fundamental choices that affect their health and 
their well-being--and health and well-being of the society in which 
they live.
  Researchers shows that Americans believe that there are certain basic 
rights when it comes to health care and no one should be forced to go 
without. If it's been confirmed that the American people feel that way, 
the key is to find out what the basics are and go from there. This 
country won't get anywhere on health care reform until we do.
  Let me explain a little further. Most Americans operate on the idea 
that they should have the latest tests and treatments on demand. That's 
possible--if America spends more of its dollars on health care and 
other budget items like educations take the hit. But spending more 
doesn't necessarily buy better health care. More and more people are 
being let without even the essential health care services, let alone 
the latest drugs and procedures.
  Let me be clear. I'm not talking about keeping people from spending 
their own money on whatever kind of health care they want. If someone 
wants to rebuild himself limb by limb and has the money to pay for it, 
I say go for it. But when it comes to the health care system as a 
whole, we can't just spend money for the sake of spending money. Health 
care dollars must be used in better ways, or the people of this country 
must decide that it's okay to keep spending and keep leaving people 
out.
  I don't believe that's the way America wants it to work. As Marcia 
Angell wrote in the New York Times, there are some essential services 
in which we all agree the public has stake, and health care should be 
one of them. For example, no one I know thinks of our country as a 
place where it's okay for babies to go untreated because Mom and Dad 
are in financial straits.
  Postponing care sometimes places more strain on the health care 
system. If a baby doesn't get treated at the beginning of an ear 
infection, he may have to be treated as it goes further along, probably 
in the emergency room at a much higher cost than if he'd had a 
pediatrician to see in the first place. If he's not treated, and ends 
up with hearing damage, the costs will skyrocket not only in the health 
care system, but also in the educational system to meet his special 
needs.
  More than a decade ago, the people in my home State of Oregon 
realized the interconnectedness of everyone in the health care system. 
Folks realized that no amount of money would ever be enough to pay for 
all the health care Oregonians wanted, and that too many people were 
doing without health care at all. So the people of my state took on the 
tough task of sitting down and deciding what the basics were, what 
health care no one should have to do without.

  That may sound like an easy task; if you could just sit and make a 
list of all the things you'd like health care coverage to pay for, you 
would be able to do that without much trouble. But there's a flip side. 
The question Oregonians faced over and over again was, okay: if we want 
this fundamental service covered, what do we have to give up? What 
can't we afford to cover for anyone, if we want everyone to have at 
least some help? Those questions sometimes translated into 
heartbreaking real-life situations, where people using public health 
care couldn't get the latest and greatest innovations on demand. But 
lives were saved because people using public health care were able to 
get the basic when they needed them. That tradeoff, for the most part, 
made the tough choices worthwhile.
  Now, Senator Hatch and I are not asking America to come up with a 
list of 880 health procedures in order of importance. But we are 
looking for a general idea of people's priorities--so that Congress can 
act on them when it's time for health care reform.
  I believe there are some priorities our people already agree on. I 
think they agree that 18,000 Americans shouldn't have to die every year 
just because they can't get health insurance and health care. I believe 
280 million people will agree they'd rather cover the cost of 
preventive services than get stuck with the much higher costs of 
preventable diseases that go unchecked. I think with some serious 
discussion, they can agree on some basic concepts of how and where our 
limited health care dollars should be spent to help the most people. I 
believe 280 million people can agree on a lot more than you think.

[[Page S11384]]

  Some might say Americans aren't going to want to talk about this, 
that the idea of not paying for someone's liver transplant to take care 
of babies isn't fit talk for the public. But I believe Americans have a 
right to this discussion. These choices are going to get made, one way 
or the other, and I want them made in the open with the input of the 
people I'm here to represent. The stakes are just too high not to 
include the American people. And I believe they're up to the task.
  To help Americans understand what's at stake, and make informed 
decisions, the dissemination of information will be key. I believe the 
Citizens' Health Guide will be a real eye-opener for most people--for 
instance, when they find out this: Medicare Part A will pay for 
prescription drugs when a patient is in the hospital. Part B will pay 
nothing for those same drugs on an outpatient basis. Some doctors are 
sticking patients in the hospital to the tune of thousands of dollars 
just to get their medicine to them. That money can't be spent, then, on 
preventive services or any other more beneficial health care concerns. 
Don't you think when people see the connection, they will insist on 
making a change?
  Health care works like an ecosystem in this country. The consequence 
of every decision, and every reform effort, snakes through the system 
as a whole. Addressing health care properly, that, means addressing it 
as a system entire. Ad hoc is not going to work.
  Just as a good doctor wouldn't prescribe a medicine that would treat 
one symptom but leave the disease to run rampant, it's time to stop 
with the piecemeal reforms that put a Band-Aid on the sucking chest 
wound of the health care system. To be most effective, you can't just 
make decisions on broken bones one day, organ transplants the next and 
something else the next day like they don't have any effect on each 
other. This country needs a way to consider the moral and ethical 
choices already being made that affect not just one person or one 
family, but the entire health care system. As hard as it's going to be, 
it must be done. The Wyden-Hatch bill provides a path to do that.
  Yes, there are economic choices to be made about health care in this 
country. The runaway train of rising costs must be stopped somehow. And 
there are moral questions underlying every economic decision. The 
Wyden-Hatch proposal is built around the idea that these questions are 
simply too important to duck any longer. People deserve the chance to 
discuss their own moral and ethical priorities when it comes to health 
care, and to decide what's best for them and for our society as a 
whole. Only then can Congress deliver health care reform that truly 
works for all.
  That's why our bill, the Health Care that Works for All Americans 
Act, centers on that public participation portion, and then guarantees 
the people a vote in both houses of Congress.
  Perhaps the people of this country will choose one or more cost-
containment measures being used today. Perhaps in examining their own 
ethics, they'll come up with new ideas. What Senator Hatch and I want 
to guarantee is that their voices will be heard--and that this Congress 
will act, with a mandatory vote in both houses--to make the people's 
vision for health care come to pass. I believe that if Congress chooses 
to put the people in charge, Americans will choose to fight rising 
costs, make tough moral choices, and direct this country toward better 
health care for everyone.
  That is the point at which we have reached. That is why it is not 
right to leave so many underserved in so many communities without 
adequate health care.
  I urge, finally, that as we leave and reflect on what is needed to 
reform the health care system in the next session, that the three 
principles in the Wyden-Hatch legislation of involving the money, 
forcing a vote in the Congress on the reforms that come from the 
people, and making it bipartisan guide our work in the next session.
  I yield the floor.


                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that all time, 
postcloture, be considered expired except for the following: 60 minutes 
under the control of Senator Byrd, 70 minutes under the control of 
Senator Lieberman, 70 minutes under the control of Senator Thompson or 
their designees; that 20 minutes of Senator Thompson's time be under 
the control of Senator Specter; that 15 minutes of the time of Senator 
Lieberman be under the control of Senator Dodd; 15 minutes be under the 
control of Senator Sarbanes; 10 minutes under the control of Senator 
Carper; and 10 minutes under the control of Senator Clinton; leaving 
Senator Lieberman, I believe, 20 minutes.
  Again, it will be 70 minutes under the control of Senator Lieberman; 
Senator Dodd would have 15 minutes, Senator Sarbanes 15 minutes, 
Senator Carper 10 minutes, Senator Clinton 10 minutes, leaving Senator 
Lieberman 15 minutes, with Senator Daschle having the final 5 minutes 
to close the debate.
  That upon the use or yielding back of all time, the bill be read the 
third time, and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill; 
provided further that the 10 minutes prior to the vote be controlled by 
the two leaders, with the majority leader controlling the final 5 
minutes, without further intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, if I could further ask the Chair to consider 
this unanimous consent request.
  I ask unanimous consent that upon the adoption of the conference 
report to accompany H.R. 3210, the terrorism risk insurance bill, the 
Senate then proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 762, H.J. Res. 
124, the continuing resolution; that no amendments or motion be in 
order to the joint resolution; that there be up to 3 hours for debate, 
with the time equally divided and controlled between the chairman, 
Senator Byrd, and the ranking member, Senator Stevens, of the 
Appropriations Committee, or their designees; that upon the use or 
yielding back of time, with no intervening action or debate, the joint 
resolution be read a third time and the Senate vote on passage of the 
joint resolution.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the only thing I would ask is I hope, 
because I did move quite hurriedly here, that the time, the 70 minutes 
that Senator Lieberman has adds up to 70 minutes. I am quite sure that 
it does.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It does.
  Mr. REID. I appreciate everyone's cooperation. I ask unanimous 
consent that the time I have just enunciated not start running until 4 
o'clock so people have time to get over here. But at 4 o'clock, I ask 
that the time I have outlined here would begin to run and that anyone 
who has the floor at 4 o'clock, they would have to yield to one of 
these individuals who control the time at that hour.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be allowed 
to speak for up to 10 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator might speak for up to 8 minutes.


                Honoring the Generosity of Andre Agassi

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, when I was first considering a run for 
office almost 10 years ago, I found a quote from Chaplain Lloyd John 
Ogilvie to be especially inspirational in helping me make my decision. 
Chaplain Ogilvie once said:

       You may only make a small difference, but that does not 
     relieve you of the responsibility to make that difference.

  I want to tell you today about a constituent of mine who continues to 
raise the standard for how much difference one person can make.
  The world knows this man as a top-ranked tennis star whose 
personality and success of the court have made him an American 
favorite. In Las Vegas, however, he's admired for his generosity and 
dedication to making a difference in the lives of our children.
  Andre Agassi was born and raised in Las Vegas. Although he started 
playing tennis as a toddler, he won his first professional title in 
1987. He has won at each of the four major professional tennis 
tournaments, and he holds a gold medal from the 1996 Olympics. As much 
as Las Vegans love to watch their ``son'' winning on the court, our 
hearts hold a special place for his devotion to underprivileged, 
abused, and at-risk children in Las Vegas.
  You see, a top-ranked tennis player who has won as many tournaments 
as

[[Page S11385]]

Andre has accumulates a good amount of wealth. Throw in a few lucrative 
endorsement deals, and you have someone who could live extremely 
comfortably for the rest of his life. He could become his own island 
with very few cares in the world. Unfortunately, many successful people 
do just that.
  Andre Agassi, on the other hand, created the Andre Agassi Charitable 
Foundation. Its Board of Directors is impressive and is led by another 
son of Las Vegas, Andre's best friend and president of Agassi 
Enterprises, Perry Rogers. I can't think of many other organizations 
that have made the impact that this one has. Its goal is simple:

       To assist those underprivileged, abused and abandoned 
     children who may be deprived of basic options in life. The 
     foundation funds a combination of emotional, physical and 
     academic programs designed to enhance a child's character, 
     self-esteem and career possibilities.

  Among the programs funded by the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation 
are the Agassi Center for Education and the Andre Agassi Cottage for 
Medically Fragile Children at Clark County's public shelter for abused 
and neglected children. The Agassi Boys and Girls Club, which sees over 
2,000 members during the year and features a tennis team and a 
basketball program, provides a safe after-school facility and a 
wonderful learning environment.
  The Foundation, through the Assistance League of Las Vegas, provides 
the means for new clothes for well over 2,000 destitute and homeless 
children; helps to send 20 physically challenged or disadvantaged 
children to camp for a week each summer; and introduces fourth and 
fifth graders to symphonic music.
  There are many more programs funded by the Andre Agassi Charitable 
Foundation, but I want to tell you about the Andre Agassi College 
Preparatory Academy, known in Las Vegas as Agassi Prep, and located in 
the heart of an at-risk community.
  Agassi Prep is a charter school that focuses on technology, college 
preparation, cultural activities, and expanded involvement in community 
affairs. It also seeks to enhance character, respect, motivation, and 
self-discipline.
  While HUD and the State of Nevada contributed significantly to the 
school, the core funding came from Andre Agassi's Foundation. The 
school's principal, Wayne Tanaka, is a distinguished educator who, in 
line with the goals of the Foundation, will truly impact the students 
who are fortunate enough to benefit from Andre Agassi's generosity and 
dedication.
  I also want to share with you the reach of Andre Agassi's deep-seated 
concern for Las Vegas' at-risk children.
  Since 1995, the Foundation has held the Grand Slam for Children 
concert benefits. The yearly event continues to draw some of the 
biggest names in entertainment, hundreds of volunteers, and crowds of 
almost 10,000. As someone who looks forward to this event every year, I 
can assure you--there is no better show on earth. This year's benefit 
featured Elton John, Martina McBride, Carlos Santana, Robin Williams, 
Babyface, and Rod Stewart. And that's just the entertainment.
  A live and silent auction before the show included sports items from 
Shaquille O'Neal, Wayne Gretzky, Greg Maddux, Muhammed Ali, and tennis 
lessons from Agassi and his wife, Stefanie Graf. I share these names 
with you because they are a testament to the respect that Andre Agassi 
and his Foundation have earned from so many different people.
  When I tell you that Andre Agassi continues to raise the standard for 
how much difference one person can make, I mean it literally. Since its 
inception in 1995, the Foundation has raised $23.6 million to help at-
risk children. That includes $5.6 million from this year's Grand Slam 
for Children--$1.4 million more than last year.
  That's $23.6 million over 7 years, with every penny going to assist 
children. All administrative and overhead costs are funded through 
contributions made by Andre Agassi or Agassi Enterprises, Inc. When you 
step back and think about the enormous impact that this man has had in 
Las Vegas, it is incredible.
  I share the story of Andre Agassi's impact on Las Vegas with the hope 
that it will challenge and inspire other successful people to make 
their own difference in this world. We all have a responsibility to 
leave this world a better place, even if--as Chaplain Ogilvie stated--
we make only a ``small difference.''
  Words are not enough to thank Andre for the way he has changed the 
lives of so many children. But Andre, your acts of loving kindness will 
touch not just the children you help today. They will make a difference 
for generations to come. Thank you for making a difference in our 
community and for setting an example for us all.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BURNS. Might I inquire of the business before the Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 2 minutes remaining on general 
debate.
  Mr. BURNS. I ask unanimous consent that the time I use be a part of 
the Thompson amendment of the homeland security bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Homeland Security

  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I rise today after talking with staff and 
going through what we are going to do with homeland security. This 
legislation provides the framework of the largest reorganization of 
Government in many, many years; in fact, going all the way back to the 
Depression days in the 1930s. But it is done because we are facing one 
of the greatest security challenges that this country has faced in its 
26-year history from an enemy that identifies with no specific nation, 
an enemy that has shown us that fear is really something that erodes 
our freedoms--and we learn how fragile they are and how fragile our 
economy is.
  Is it a perfect piece of legislation to leave the Congress and go 
downtown to be signed by the President? It is legislation that he has 
wanted and it has taken us too long to pass.
  There are parts of this piece of legislation that concern most of us. 
We have been around here long enough to know that once we pass a piece 
of legislation--no matter what the subject might be--we find that the 
administrative rule writers interpret it differently than we do. 
Sometimes the net result is not exactly how we envisioned it, and maybe 
not even how the President envisioned it.
  There are sections in here which I am very concerned about. I think 
as legislators in this body we must pay attention to how the 
administrative rules are written and how some of the Departments are 
moved into one called Homeland Security.


                           Drought Assistance

  I was interested a while ago in the statement on the floor about 
drought assistance to our farmers. No State has been hit harder than my 
State of Montana. No one can argue that there is a need. In fact, we 
have worked for over a year and a half with our colleagues here in the 
Senate, in the House of Representatives, and with the administration to 
get relief to our farmers and ranchers. We have been unsuccessful to 
date for a variety of reasons.
  There is drought assistance already in the appropriations process 
that this Senate this year did not get passed--some $500 billion in 
rounded figures. But it wasn't allowed to move because of the debate on 
forest health.
  Maybe this is the wrong place to talk about forest health. 
Nonetheless, I could see no logic at all in every night turning on the 
television, looking at the news, and watching America's forests go up 
in flames, and then denying the money and the change in policy--a 
change in policy that would have allowed us to prevent or at least take 
away some of the possibilities for such catastrophic fires as we have 
experienced in the last 2 years.
  We were denied that--commonsense things, the relatively minor 
commonsense things that we have to do to our forests in order to make 
them healthy and productive and beautiful, as America envisions its 
national forests.
  I am reluctant to raise false hopes for our farmers right now and say 
this is going to be done in the closing hours of the 107th Congress--
unless it is done in January, or whenever we take up the appropriations 
bills. We have 11 more of them to pass. I imagine we will again try to 
develop some drought assistance for those States that have been hit 
hard this year by drought, and to help my farmers who are in the fifth 
year of drought in that part of the country.

[[Page S11386]]

  We see a little bit of posturing going on here on the floor today. I 
do not like it. That wasn't the reason I was going to stand up here and 
talk in the first place. Nonetheless, I had to discuss this topic.
  I notice that my friend from Kansas has come to the floor, and he has 
a problem, too, in Kansas. I think his State was probably the hardest 
hit this year of any State.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Stabenow). The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, would the distinguished Senator from 
Montana yield for a question?
  Mr. BURNS. I will.
  Mr. ROBERTS. The Senator really alerted me to this. And I apologize 
for not watching on our closed-circuit television. Apparently some of 
our distinguished colleagues across the aisle are thinking about 
resurrecting the $6 billion emergency disaster relief package and 
putting it on the continuing resolution. Is that the case?
  Mr. BURNS. That was the case, plus I think there have been a couple 
of suggestions made by our colleagues across the aisle. That is part of 
it. With the House being gone and not coming back, it would seem that 
this would be an exercise that could not be successful.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I would like to ask if the Senator 
would yield for another question.
  Mr. BURNS. I will yield.
  Mr. ROBERTS. How on Earth do you take a $6 billion disaster relief 
bill, which I happened to vote for, that was part of the Interior 
appropriations bill, as I recall--and, as I recall, the majority 
leadership filled the legislative tree and basically prevented this 
Senator from introducing an alternative to the $6 billion package that 
this Senator thought might stand a chance of approval from the 
administration, might stand a chance in regard to the hurdle that any 
disaster bill faces to get through the House Agriculture Committee.
  I am going to be very candid. There were certain farm groups and 
certain commodity organizations that did not want to consider any 
disaster legislation for fear of opening up the farm bill and having 
something happen to their payment limits. So you had the leadership of 
the House Agriculture Committee saying no. You had the administration 
saying no in regard to further expenditures over and above the $180 
billion we spent on a 10-year farm bill. You had the emergency 
assistance bill--not on Agriculture appropriations but on Interior 
appropriations.
  Then, all of a sudden, we couldn't get any action on the Interior 
appropriations bill because there was a controversy in regard to forest 
management. Is that not the case?
  I know the Senator worked very hard, because of the State he 
represents, in regard to forest management as part of that Interior 
appropriations bill. But the disaster relief money was attached to the 
Interior appropriations bill, and then we couldn't move it. We couldn't 
get any action on this floor.
  Is that about correct?
  Mr. BURNS. Madam President, the Senator is correct. I am ranking 
member on that Interior Appropriations Committee. There was money to 
replenish the U.S. Forest Service for the moneys they had expended on 
firefighting. That was also in there and needed, and would have passed. 
But we got into a situation on forest health, and the other side would 
not budge on some very commonsense recommendations to the Forest 
Service on how we go about cleaning up our forests. I am sorry it 
happened that way.
  I would say to my Agriculture leaders, to my farmers, and to the 
farmers in Kansas who, by the way, are not really interested in inside 
baseball here in Washington, DC--a 17-square-mile logic-free 
environment--they are interested in not only what the farm legislation 
that we passed late last spring would do for them but also how we deal 
with disasters. None of those issues were covered.
  But the Senator from Kansas is right on. We have all voted for 
disaster assistance until we have just run our little fingers to the 
bone only to find it blocked by other legislation or parliamentary 
procedures.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I would like to ask the Senator to 
yield for several additional questions. I am a little confused about 
this.
  Mr. BURNS. I yield.
  Mr. ROBERTS. I have a bone to pick. I want to see if the Senator from 
Montana shares the same bone.
  Let us go back to the original problem of why in the Great Plains and 
the great States of Montana, Wyoming--and move over into South Dakota, 
Nebraska, Kansas, which, yes, this year was the hardest hit State. Many 
other States incurred bad weather and disaster conditions. But why did 
this happen? The Good Lord was not willing. The Good Lord sometimes 
doesn't have the creeks rise too much, or there is too much water in 
terms of the creeks. From time to time we have disaster bills. They 
tend to come during even-numbered years, by the way.
  We have made a lot of progress in crop insurance. There has been crop 
insurance reform. But when you have a total disaster, and you lose your 
grain crop throughout the grain-producing areas, you would think you 
would have a disaster bill.

  Now, let me back up. I know one Senator from Kansas--this Senator 
from Kansas--who said, as we go through the consideration of the new 
farm bill, $180 billion--make that $200 billion really over 10 years 
because the budget was 10 years long--that you would at least think 
there would be some provision in there for a farmer who had no crops, 
no crops to harvest. The Senator knows that. You have gone through that 
up in Montana, how many years--1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years maybe?
  Now, what did the new farm bill, I would ask the Senator, have? We 
had four different components, four different payments, four different 
ways to invest in agriculture.
  We changed the old farm bill, which was a direct income supplement, 
to a price support farm bill, and there were four ways your farmers 
could be helped. No. 1, we increased the loan a tad. We decided the 
loan rate would become an income protection device but--guess what--the 
prices over the loan rate do not do you any good.
  Then you had something called a loan deficiency payment. That means 
if the price were below the loan rate, you would get that amount. 
Well--guess what--the price is above the loan rate, so you don't get 
the loan deficiency payment.
  Then you also had a target price deficiency payment. It is a little 
confusing, all this gobbledygook, with all the agricultural acronyms 
and everything to do with farm bills.
  But--guess what--the price was above the target price, so he did not 
get or the farmer did not get or she did not get or that person did not 
get any help from the target price deficiency payment. So we are zero 
for three.
  Then we had a direct payment.
  Now, in the wisdom of the farm bill conference, of which this member 
did not serve--I am not going to get into that, as to how that ratio 
came down, and who was prevented from being on the conference, and who 
was not; I could, but I will not--but in the wisdom of the conference, 
they said: We are going to keep a direct payment just to make sure that 
if these other things don't work, and the farmer still wouldn't have a 
crop, the price is increased. We are going to have a direct payment. 
That was 6 cents a bushel in regard to wheat. And the corresponding 
numbers were true in regard to corn and other crops--6 cents.
  Why do I mention that? Because all the way through this, both you and 
I said--Senator Cochran said, most of us on this side said--don't go 
down this road with this new farm bill and apply it to the 2002 crop 
year because any farm bill is too complex to really figure out, with 
all the fishhooks and all the saddle burrs, to try to get it in place 
for 2002.
  What we would have had under the old farm bill--much maligned by the 
other side, constantly, day after day after day, for 4 or 5 years--the 
Freedom to Farm Act was a direct payment called an AMTA payment. Then 
we were going to double that because of the problems we were having. 
That was 60 cents a bushel. Now, there is a big difference between 6 
cents and 60 cents.
  I have given this speech to my farmers. Why do I give it to my 
farmers? Because they are desperate. We had the worst drought since the 
1930s. It may have been hotter in some years, and it may have been 
dryer in some years, but it has never been hotter and dryer in the same 
year. So they lost all their

[[Page S11387]]

crops. Now, we were able to get some livestock assistance, but disaster 
assistance, as compared to the old farm bill, which would have provided 
them 60 cents a bushel, it did not happen.

  So all the critics on our side of the aisle, and some on the other 
side, who say, well, we have a new farm bill, we are going to give the 
farmer four mailboxes to open--the loan rate; nope, nothing there. The 
loan deficiency payment; nope, nothing there. Are we going to have the 
target price deficiency payment? No, nothing there. We are going to 
have a direct payment--6 cents, as compared to the 60 cents we would 
have had if we applied the new farm bill to 2003.
  Now, that is my bone to pick because my farmers are hurting. And now 
after having a $6 billion emergency disaster bill that I voted for, in 
regards to the Interior Appropriations Committee, we have those with 
the temerity and chutzpah who will come to the continuing resolution 
and say, we are going to do it now, unless we shut down Government?
  You know the administration is not going to support that. You know 
the House has already left town. You know the House Agriculture 
Committee, representing certain interests in agriculture, does not want 
to mess with the payment limitations. This is a horse going nowhere--
nowhere.
  The handling of this has been highly political. The election is over. 
There are some who wanted an issue and not a bill. They got the issue. 
And I guess the result in South Dakota proved that. OK, it is over. But 
why you bring up this particular effort for disaster assistance during 
this particular time is beyond me. It is not going anywhere. People 
crawl out of train wrecks faster than this bill will ever get passed 
and signed and provide real relief. And the farmers are not interested 
in this.
  The Senator pointed out a long time ago, our farmers are not 
interested in politics or agriculture gobbledygook or legislative 
parliamentary gobbledygook as well.
  I urge my colleagues who are thinking about this, don't do this. Now, 
when can we do this? We can do it in the omnibus bill.
  We had some indication from the administration they will be a little 
bit more forward thinking. I don't want to leave them out of my tirade 
here. I am not happy with this administration. I tried to explain that 
wheat country was in a dire situation, that the farm bill didn't work. 
And it was sort of: Oh, well, you know. And we are saving money we are 
not spending on the farm bill, so I think we could score it. But there 
is no way they are going to do that.
  So I just don't see why we are going through this exercise. And it 
has obviously got me mighty exercised because my farmers are hurting. 
Land values are starting to decline. Their lenders have already told 
them they hit their cap.
  We have farmers who are mortgaging their place and their equipment in 
order to stay in business, and we sit here and introduce an emergency 
disaster relief bill to the tune of $6 billion that is not going 
anywhere. That is not right, especially in a lame duck session.
  So I would ask the Senator, finally, a question. You are going to 
work with me, I know. I just talked to the majority leader about this, 
and I will talk to the minority leader about this. He is a good man. He 
has been on the Agriculture Committee on the House side. He has been 
the driving force in regards to the Agriculture Committee and the farm 
program policy in this session.
  Let's get it done in the omnibus bill when we have a chance to get it 
done. If we need offsets, we will find offsets. Otherwise, we are 
putting at great risk a lot of farmers in this part of the country on 
the Great Plains. Quite frankly, other people, other farmers, other 
farm groups, other commodity groups apparently don't care--apparently 
don't care. Well, by golly, I care. I know the Senator from Montana 
cares. So let's don't go down this road.
  What is going to happen is, you are going to have to vote against a 
$6 billion bill in a lame duck session of Congress, when the election 
is over, with no hope of actually getting the thing done. Farmers are 
damned tired of that, and so am I.
  So my question is, to the distinguished Senator from Montana, let's 
work together with the plan we have already put together during the 
omnibus bill.
  I just talked to the chairman-to-be of the Appropriations Committee, 
Senator Stevens, and he said, yes, he will work with us. The 
administration said they will work with us. And we can get some real 
help to farmers at the appropriate time.
  So would the Senator work with me in that regard? That is the 
question.
  Mr. BURNS. Madam President, I would be glad to work with him. But I 
am sure glad we didn't get him stirred up where he is really excited 
about this issue. No one gets exercised more than the good Senator from 
Kansas.
  That is the common-sense way to approach it. There is no question 
about it. I would like to see it happen that way.
  I just wish that we could do something on forest health. I think 
there is a chance of doing that this time.


                           Homeland Security

  Madam President, before I relinquish the floor, though, I just want 
to express my concerns again about homeland security, and in some 
areas.
  As you know, we have spent the last 3 years trying to pass a privacy 
bill. We have worked with Senator Hollings, the chairman of the 
Commerce Committee, and also working with the Judiciary Committee. I 
would hope we can now do a privacy bill coming up in the next Congress.
  I notice the Senator from New York is on the floor, and I am looking 
forward to working with her on the E-911 caucus because we know we have 
a lot of work to do on spectrum and spectrum management and how we 
apply our emergency first responders in the days to come because of 
this challenge we have before us. So I will be watching very closely as 
the administration rules are written on this piece of legislation. 
There it is right there. I can't even pack it back to the office. I 
probably couldn't understand most of what I read in there, if I did. 
But, nonetheless, those are the issues I think are very important.
  Americans value their freedom. They value the privileges of living in 
this country, but they also value something else; that is, their 
personal privacy. A database or anything else that could be done in 
this is a great mistake. Whenever we start doing R&D on technologies 
that would allow us to invade the privacy of an individual citizen, 
whether it be in wireless communications or in the Internet or the 
firewalls we might burn, and before that technology is transferred into 
the agency that is in charge of gathering intelligence, there should be 
a firewall in there.
  I hope whenever they write the administrative rules they will be 
sensitive to that and will allow congressional oversight before that 
technology is transferred. It is very sensitive.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.


                           Homeland Security

  Mrs. CLINTON. Madam President, I want to associate myself with the 
remarks of the Senator from Montana about the importance of the 
implementation of the Homeland Security Department, particularly as it 
affects the privacy issues that will be raised going forward. Further, 
I would like to add a few other cautionary notes to the legislative 
record as we are about to, in a few hours, vote on this Department.
  My friend from Montana raises some of the important issues, and there 
are indeed others as well that we will have to be vigilant about and 
hopefully involved in going forward.
  Mr. BURNS. Will the Senator yield so I could correct a terrible 
mistake I just made?
  Mrs. CLINTON. Certainly, I am happy to yield.
  Mr. BURNS. I think I identified her as the Senator from Arkansas when 
I should have said the Senator from New York.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I appreciate that correction.
  Mr. BURNS. I would like to correct it, if I could.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I thank the Senator. I appreciate that.
  Mr. BURNS. I thank the Senator for yielding.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I must confess I thought he was referring to the 
Senator from Arkansas who perhaps was in the Chamber.

[[Page S11388]]

  As I said, I appreciate the Senator's yellow, flashing lights about 
some of the issues we are about to contend with going forward in the 
Homeland Security Department. In the months following September 11, 
which are really the time period that has brought us to this day, we 
knew as a Nation we had to take some additional steps, some 
unprecedented steps to protect ourselves. I believe we have attempted 
to do so certainly with respect to our men and women in military 
uniform.
  I am very proud of the support we have given to our armed forces. I 
am proud to represent the 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York. 
When I go there, when I speak with the young officers and enlisted men 
who come to see me or when I go to Fort Drum to see them, I feel 
confident I can look them in the eye and tell them we are doing all we 
know to do to make sure they are ready, well equipped, and compensated 
appropriately. They are trained to the best of their abilities, and we 
are doing all as a Nation we can to support them.

  I do not have that same level of confidence when I go to my 
firehouses, my police stations, my emergency rooms throughout New York. 
I cannot look into the eyes of our firefighters, our police officers, 
our emergency responders and tell them we have done all we need to do 
to make sure they are as well prepared, well trained, and safe in their 
defense here in the homeland.
  So are we safer today than we were on the morning of September 11, 
2001? The answer is only marginally. Because somewhere along the way, 
we have not kept that laser-like focus we needed to match our will and 
our resources and to get those resources to the front lines at home as 
we have around the world.
  The people who we are going to count on to make our homeland safer 
are the ones who will pick up the phone when we dial 911. They will 
respond to the call. They will leave the firehouse and the police 
station. They will leave the emergency room. They will be there in 
order to protect us.
  The votes we cast this afternoon for the creation of a Homeland 
Security Department are just that. They are votes to create a 
Department here in Washington.
  My hope is the approval of this bill will set into motion a necessary 
reorganization process that will ultimately result in improved 
coordination, information sharing, and a stronger, safer America.
  But we have to be absolutely clear to the American people about what 
it is we are voting for. This bill has to do with structural 
reorganization. There are many things in this bill we absolutely need 
to make us safer. Unfortunately, there are many things in this bill 
that have absolutely nothing to do with our security.
  I am concerned that Americans will believe, because we have passed 
this bill, our Nation is safer. But when we pass it and when Americans 
read about it or see coverage about it on television, they need to know 
this measure does not increase patrols or technology along our northern 
borders. It does not give our firefighters, police officers, and 
emergency personnel the resources, training, and equipment they 
desperately need. It does not increase security measures at our ports, 
our railroads, our public transportation systems. It does not increase 
our capability of detecting biological, chemical, radiological, and 
nuclear weapons.
  What this bill does is fall short on many important measures. We had 
the opportunity to do this right, to do more than create a Department. 
The Senate's original bill coming out of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee under Senator Lieberman's leadership, on a bipartisan vote, 
would have included critical measures that would make our country safer 
today. In the end, we failed to act on those critical measures.
  There is a lot in this bill that secures the future for special 
interests at the expense of the security of the American people. I 
believe those who are using this legislation as a vehicle for their own 
particular commercial or special interest have done this country a 
grave disservice.
  That is why Congress cannot stop with this vote. As the distinguished 
Senator from Montana said: We have to watch this process with 
vigilance. We have to be involved in the rulemaking. We have to ask the 
hard questions about resources. We have to continue to fight to make 
sure every substantive measure we need to enhance our security gets 
passed in the next Congress.
  Let's start with the obvious. Let's support our first responders. 
They are the ones who are our front line soldiers at home. We need to 
do what we have been asked to do by mayors and police and fire 
commissioners. They have asked us for direct funding that they can best 
utilize to make sure those firehouses stay open, those hazardous 
material suits and equipment are bought and available. That is why I 
still believe we should pass legislation I introduced last November 
that would provide direct funding to local communities--the Homeland 
Security Block Grant Act.
  We also know the recent report by former Senators Hart and Rudman, 
the terrorism panel's report, clearly states we are not doing enough to 
support our first responders. That report expressed grave concern that 
650,000 local and State police officers still operate without close 
U.S. intelligence information to combat terrorists.
  We have not done enough to help local and state officials detect and 
respond to biological attacks. The report expressed concerns that our 
firefighters and local law enforcement agencies still--more than a year 
later--do not have the proper equipment to respond to a chemical or 
biological attack. And they don't even have the communications systems 
that will let them talk to each other--police departments, fire 
departments--across municipal and county lines in an emergency.
  Madam President, I was also greatly disappointed that the SAFER Act, 
which would have allowed our Nation to hire 25,000 more firefighters 
over the next couple years, was completely eliminated from the bill. 
This is the time to do more for our first responders, not less.
  We also have to act immediately to secure our Nation's nuclear power 
infrastructure. While the homeland security bill creates a new 
Department, it does not adequately address the real threat of terrorist 
capabilities and desires to destroy our nuclear powerplants. Last year, 
Senators Jeffords, Reid, and I introduced the Nuclear Security Act. We 
moved that act through the committee. It is unfortunate the bill does 
not address nuclear security, particularly with respect to our nuclear 
powerplants. We clearly have a problem there, as we do with 
radiological attacks from a a so-called dirty bomb.
  Every day that goes by without us having those resources available in 
local communities around our country to respond is a day I cannot look 
into the eyes of my constituents and say, yes, we are safer today than 
we were.
  We have all gone over the many provisions in the bill that have 
absolutely nothing to do with security. I regret deeply that they were 
included in this bill, and the impact of them will be known for years 
to come.
  Madam President, this bill, which does some good by helping us better 
focus here in Washington, does not do nearly enough of what needs to be 
done out in our country. I am particularly concerned that New York does 
not have a specific coordinator as the bill provides for Washington, 
DC. We know from every intelligence report that New York City is still 
a high-risk area.
  This bill has much that perhaps can make us safer, but nothing that 
will immediately do so; and it does not address the most serious issues 
with respect to the resources that are needed.
  There is an article in this day's Washington Post about how the fact 
that we have not funded the war on terrorism here at home means that 
money--even if it passes in January--will not get to the people who 
need it the most for quite some number of months.
  This is, unfortunately, a day where we have adopted a piecemeal 
approach to homeland security without the resources and the 
comprehensive strategy that many experts have recommended. I hope we 
will come back in January and address the gaps in our homeland defense 
strategy going forward.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time to the Senator from Idaho?
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I yield myself time from Senator 
Thompson's time.

[[Page S11389]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho is recognized.
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I came to the floor for two purposes this 
afternoon. I will briefly speak about H.R. 5005, our homeland security 
legislation, which will become law in a reasonable time, possibly 
today, to suggest I am really not going to play the political game that 
has been played with this bill for the last 2 months, and that is being 
caught up again in the rhetoric of the hour--that somehow you don't 
need to structurally change the way Government thinks, that you can 
spend billions of dollars ahead of time to get it done.
  You do need to change the way Government thinks. You do need to 
change the culture of the Federal bureaucracy. You do need to 
coordinate. That is what we are doing because, clearly, to anyone on 
this floor, or anyone in any of the committees that have spent the last 
several years analyzing what happened prior to 9/11, and following 9/
11, it became very clear our agencies did not connect, they did not 
coordinate, they did not communicate, and the culture of the day--and 
probably a prevailing attitude--was somehow what happened would not 
happen here, didn't allow us to come to attention.
  Well, we are now at attention. We have already spent billions of 
dollars getting there--both in the fine city of New York, which was 
tragically hit, and across this country. My State of Idaho alone--a 
State of 1.2 million people--for its first responders is going to get a 
couple million dollars more this year. That is significant money for 
beginning the process of coordinating and training and communicating, 
right hand to left hand, local responders to State responders to 
Federal responders.
  There is a long way to go, but to suggest that the step we are taking 
today is unnecessary, or for 2 months did not prevail and, therefore, 
the bill is no good, shame on those who want to play the politics of 
the moment, because the politics of the moment is this country has 
decided to make a major step in the right direction.
  I will tell you that I can pick the bill apart and say there are bits 
and pieces in there I don't like. I agree, in part, with the Senator 
from New York and the Senator from Montana that it will take due 
diligence, that we should not suspect that what we pass today goes on 
autopilot. My guess is we will be back next year making refinements in 
it. I am not quite confident that it protects the privacy of the 
citizens of our country in our pursuit for security in a fashion I 
would want to see happen.
  I am glad we gave the President the flexibility not to be tied up in 
the bureaucracy of the public employees unions, but to give them an 
ample opportunity to express their concern; but in the end, in a 
national crisis, to give the chief executive of our country the 
latitude he or she should have and must have to make this system work. 
That is what we finally won the day over.
  I am sorry the other side lost that fight, but the country won, and 
the legislation we bring today is a significant and appropriate step 
forward. I will probably be here on the floor within a couple of months 
offering some amendments, and my guess is my colleagues from both sides 
of the aisle will be doing the same. But to demagog our way into a new 
form of Government in the context of homeland security, shame on us.

  The politics of that day is over. The reality of what we must do is 
now at hand and this Senate is stepping forward, as it should, to get 
the job done.
  I said I came to the floor to talk about a couple of other issues. I 
have been watching from my office the great politics of agricultural 
drought disaster. What I heard on the floor was in itself a bit of a 
disaster. For one full month, we had a bill on the floor with drought 
assistance in it. When the bill was controlled by the other side, which 
had the majority, I innocently came to the floor and said, hey, why 
don't we add an amendment on forest health? Why don't we get to the 
business of thinning and cleaning the seven or eight million acres of 
land that is desperately in need of our caretakership and our 
stewardship that, by every estimation, is a tinderbox waiting to 
explode, like the seven million acres that burned this year across our 
public forest lands, that burned up 2,800 homes and cost us 25 lives.
  But for one full month, the other side refused to vote on it. Why? 
Because of the November 5 election. They didn't want to put their 
people at risk, or what they thought was risk, to vote for a good piece 
of legislation that would have passed the Interior bill and would have 
put forth the drought legislation and the money that was talked about 
on the floor.
  What I witnessed over the last hour is raw politics that won't get 
done. The Senator from Kansas came down a bit exercised a few moments 
ago, and he had every right to say, shame on them, it is politics, it 
won't happen--and it won't happen. What will happen is we are going to 
come back to a new Congress on the 7th of January called the 108th 
Congress. We are going to swear in some new Senators and convene, and 
we are going to have a new organizational resolution; we are going to 
have chairmen. And already, at that moment on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 
beyond, we are going to move, I believe, 11 appropriation bills that 
didn't get cared for this year, that somehow, on their watch, didn't 
happen. In those, we are going to take care of drought and a lot of 
other things that should have been done a long time ago. Sure, we have 
anxious farmers. They have every reason to be anxious. But now to blame 
us and bog up the works and put our Government in a stall at this 
moment, all in the name of agricultural politics, is, in itself, wrong. 
I have farmers who have suffered from drought. I want to help them, and 
we will help them. We will help them in January. Why do we come to the 
Chamber today and play the politics of the game that will not happen? I 
think we all know. It makes for good rhetoric and probably a few 
headlines back home. But it will not accomplish the mission at hand, 
and the mission at hand is to solve our agricultural drought problems, 
and to do so in a responsible, meaningful way that actually produces 
policy so the farmer can go to the farm service office and say: I have 
a problem and here is my loss. And that farm service officer can say: 
And here is the program, and here is how we can help you.

  That is not going to occur probably until we legislate it in January 
and it becomes law sometime in early February. Then, I say to my 
colleagues on the other side, pick up the phone and call your farmer 
and say: Go to the farm service office, take your records and your 
losses, and they will calculate what you deserve based on the program 
at hand. That is how one delivers a message home. That is how one 
solves a problem that exists.
  What has happened in this Chamber is the last moments of the last 
hour of the last day of the 107th, is that somehow a great amount of 
politics got played out. Some of it worked and some of it did not work, 
and we just heard some of it that will not work.
  We are about to vote, though, on homeland security, and in the end, 
over the course of the next 3 to 4 years, it will work because it must 
work. We must be able in a real way, in a material way, to say to our 
friends and neighbors and civilian populations at home that the world 
is a safer place, and we made it safer by the ability to craft a 
government a good deal more sensitive to the reality of our current 
circumstances, to change the culture of the CIA, the FBI, the Border 
Patrol, and the INS in a way that creates a level of communication that 
knows what the right hand and the left hand are doing in concert. Yes, 
allows us a level of training and expertise at the very local of levels 
so when that first responder goes out on the line, they have every bit 
the skill and the equipment necessary to determine if they and/or the 
population they serve are at risk because of a potential terrorist act.
  That is our charge. We do not do it overnight. It should have been 
done 2 months ago. The politics of the day would not have allowed that, 
but November 5 changed that, and that is why we are here and why we 
will pass this bill today in its whole form, and it will go to the 
President's desk for his signature.
  Then, frankly, the hard work begins. If I were the administrator 
selected to craft a homeland security agency out of the bureaucracies 
that will fight down to their very last bureaucratic breath to hang on 
to some authority, I would say it is a monstrous task. But we will be 
here helping that administrator along because we know it is so

[[Page S11390]]

necessary for our country to have an agency that can respond to a new 
threat to this Nation and to freedom-loving people all around the 
world.
  I hope out of the frustration of the day and the rhetoric that has 
occurred that, in the end, we will pass legislation and get on with the 
business at hand, but I thought it was incumbent upon myself to come to 
the Chamber to talk briefly about the idea that a drought has occurred, 
not just on farmlands across this country, but in the reality of the 
politics right here. And that drought is, we only have so much we are 
going to get done, and we better return come January and finish the 
work that should have been done months ago. This side is up to it, and 
I trust my colleagues on the other side will join us in a fair and 
bipartisan way to make that happen.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. I yield myself 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I am pleased to see that the Senate is 
finally ready to pass legislation creating a Department of Homeland 
Security. My colleagues and I on the Governmental Affairs Committee, 
under Senator Lieberman's leadership, began this process more than a 
year ago. When we first started out, I must admit that I had some 
reservations about making such dramatic changes to the way the Federal 
Government is organized. The hearings Senator Lieberman chaired during 
the first half of this year, however, showed me how truly ill prepared 
we really are to face the threat of terrorism. That is why I supported 
the original version of Senator Lieberman's homeland security bill when 
it came before the Governmental Affairs Committee on May 22, 2002, some 
time before President Bush released his proposed reorganization plan. I 
supported it again on July 24 after we incorporated a number of the 
President's recommendations into our original draft.
  I believe we need to create a strong Department of Homeland Security 
that brings together under one roof the various Federal agencies 
charged with preventing and responding to terrorist attacks. I am a 
little disappointed, however, that we appear ready to do so in a way 
that disregards a good deal of the hard work that went into the 
bipartisan bill we reported out of Governmental Affairs.
  Among other things, the bill before us today abandons a compromise 
arrived at in committee on information sharing and the Freedom of 
Information Act and includes INS restructuring language that is 
different from anything included in the President's proposal, the 
House-passed bill or anything that we have debated here in the Senate. 
It also includes some controversial provisions we have never seen 
before that seemingly appeared overnight. In the 108th Congress, we can 
and should have a debate on tort reform. We can and should have a 
debate on the safety of childhood vaccines. What we should not have 
done is hastily slip brand new provisions into this critically 
important bill without debate at the behest of special interests. There 
are three changes, however, that are of the most concern to me.
  First, there is the new personnel language. This bill gives the 
Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) almost total authority to rewrite Federal 
civil service laws for Department of Homeland Security employees 
related to hiring and firing, job classification, pay, rules for labor-
management relations, performance appraisal and employee appeals to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board. Thinking that the Secretary and OPM 
could not possibly know what kind of personnel system was needed at the 
new Department before they were able to start putting it together, our 
committee maintained current law and asked the Secretary to report on 
his or her progress in setting the Department up at least every 6 
months and to ask Congress for specific changes in civil service 
protections to meet specific Department needs.
  As a former Governor who had to reorganize parts of his own State's 
government, I can appreciate President Bush's desire to have as much 
flexibility as possible when creating something as large, complex and 
important as a Department of Homeland Security. However, I do not 
believe it's necessary to give him or his new Secretary the power to 
unilaterally change or waive workplace rules over the objections of 
Department employees and Congress. That is why I supported the 
compromise put forward by Senators Nelson, Breaux, and Chafee before we 
adjourned for the election. That language would have left the most 
important civil service protections related to union rights and 
employee appeals untouched and set up a system of binding arbitration 
so that the Secretary and OPM would have to work out any personnel 
system they draft with the employees who will be required to work under 
it. I wish that the personnel language in this bill was closer to that 
contained in Nelson-Breaux-Chafee bipartisan compromise.
  The second issue that is of concern to me in this bill is the 
language on collective bargaining rights. It says that the President 
can only use the authority he currently has to remove employees' 
collective bargaining rights on employees transferred into the new 
Department if their agency's mission materially changes and their 
duties involve intelligence, counterintelligence, or investigative work 
directly related to a terrorism investigation. It gives him broad 
authority to waive this test, however, and to use his authority 
regardless of whether or not the mission of the relevant agency has 
changed. Our committee-passed bill would have required the 
administration to go through the Federal Labor Relations Authority to 
remove employees' collective bargaining rights. I was comfortable with 
that provision, but even more so with the Nelson-Breaux-Chafee 
compromise on this issue, which includes the same restrictions on the 
President's authority included in this bill but which gives Department 
employees the assurances that their collective bargaining rights will 
not be taken away arbitrarily simply because they are working in 
something called the Department of Homeland Security. I wish this bill 
offered future employees of the Department of Homeland Security as much 
assurance that their rights would be protected.
  My greatest disappointment with this bill is the glaring omission of 
any meaningful provisions to improve the security of our Nation's 
railroads. It is inexplicable that we stand ready to create a 
Department of Homeland Security that does nothing to protect the 
millions of Americans who travel by rail every day. After the tragedy 
of September 11, this Congress and the President moved quickly to 
stabilize and secure our aviation system and to create the 
Transportation Security Administration with the mission of protecting 
all transportation modes.
  The Congress followed suit with the Maritime Transportation Security 
Act of 2002 to protect our ports and maritime industry, which 
successfully passed in the Senate last week. And now it seems that the 
Over-the-Road Bus Security legislation is poised to pass this body. Yet 
in all these efforts, we have done little to protect rail from 
terrorist attacks and security threats, creating an Achilles heel in 
our Nation's efforts to secure our transportation system. For all of 
our commendable focus and attention on preventing future attacks 
against the aviation industry, it is unconscionable that we would not 
work to ensure that the roughly 25 million intercity passengers and 
many millions more that commute aboard our trains are as safe as the 
ones in our skies.
  How can we ignore the FBI warnings made a few weeks ago that al-Qaida 
is considering directly targeting U.S. passenger trains and that 
operatives may try to destroy key rail bridges and sections of track to 
cause derailments? How could the Senate have voted to appropriate $2 
million to remove jars of formaldehyde and alcohol from the 
Smithsonian's buildings here on the Mall because of their threat to the 
Capitol and yet leave the rail tunnel traveling under the Senate and 
House office buildings and the Supreme Court unprotected from terrorist 
attack? How can we end the 107th Congress having approved increased and 
strengthened security programs for every single transportation mode 
except rail, a mode we know that al-Qaida may currently be targeting?

[[Page S11391]]

  In creating the Department of Homeland Security, we had the chance to 
address this omission. We could have included provisions to secure the 
nation's critical rail infrastructure and facilities and augment the 
mission of the Transportation Security Administration. Recognizing the 
obvious need for greater rail security early on, Senators Hollings, 
McCain and others worked within the Commerce Committee to produce a 
bipartisan rail security bill to protect Amtrak and our vital rail 
infrastructure from attack or sabotage. This bill, S. 1550, was 
supported by the Bush Administration and reported unanimously out of 
the committee.
  They understood the important role that Amtrak played immediately 
following the tragic events of September 11, when, with the aviation 
system shut down and our highways clogged or closed, Amtrak kept people 
safely moving in the northeast and across the country. They know it is 
essential that we provide Amtrak with the means to harden their 
physical assets and protect the safety and security of the traveling 
public if we want to ensure that Amtrak can serve the nation in the 
future as it did after September 11. They realized that more people use 
Amtrak's Pennsylvania Station in one day than use all of New York's 
three airports combined. They recognized that, like our other modes, 
our rail network is essential to the mobility, defense, and economic 
vitality of our nation. Yet their efforts have been blocked in this 
body and our railroads remain largely unprotected.
  Following the Commerce Committee's good work and seeing the logical 
role for rail security within the new Department, I offered, and the 
Committee voted to accept, a rail security amendment to Senator 
Lieberman's homeland security bill during the our markup in July. My 
amendment authorized funds through the Secretary of Homeland Security 
for critical security and safety needs across Amtrak's national 
network. Totaling $1.2 billion, my amendment authorized funds to assist 
the diligent efforts already being made by Amtrak's police force and 
other law enforcement agencies, giving them the tools to focus on real 
threats beyond the harmless rail fans police were chasing away as 
described in an article on the front page of the Washington Post last 
week. The amendment included: $375 million to finance systemwide 
security and safety enhancements. These funds would have been used to 
immediately address serious security risks by protecting 
infrastructure, stations, and facilities across the entire Amtrak 
system. Amtrak's top priorities to be addressed with these funds 
include:
  No. 1, securing tunnels, bridges, interlockings, towers, and yard and 
station facilities with surveillance equipment, perimeter fencing, 
security lighting, bomb detection equipment and bomb resistant 
trashcans for stations, vehicle barriers and other measures.
  No. 2, investing in passenger information systems to allow the 
creation of watch lists and passenger manifests for tracking purposes 
and data sharing between Amtrak Police Department and the FBI. 
Currently, Amtrak does not have the realtime ability to track who is 
onboard its trains.
  No. 3, communications and command/control upgrades to track and 
locate trains enroute, to ensure adequate radio coverage across the 
Amtrak system, and to provide automated data for incident response and 
crisis management;
  $778 million for life-safety and security improvements to the Amtrak 
tunnels in New York, Baltimore and Washington. The life-safety problems 
with the tunnels on the northeast corridor are well documented and 
require immediate action. The tunnels in New York, 1910, Baltimore, 
1872, and Washington 1904 are nearing, or are over 100 year olds and 
constitute safety hazards due to problems with emergency exits and 
ventilation. Of specific concern, is a possible terrorist action 
involving these tunnels, which have limited evacuation capacity, 
antiquated stairwells, and poor lighting. The results could be 
catastrophic. The funds will enhance life safety features within the 
tunnels, including:
  No. 1. Washington, $40 million: upgraded emergency access and egress, 
improved ventilation and communications. This tunnel sees 50 Amtrak/VRE 
trains a day and 2 million passengers annually. Additionally, these 
tunnels pass directly under the Supreme Court and House and Senate 
Office Buildings.
  No. 2, Baltimore, $60 million: New fire standpipes; improved lighting 
and communications, egress improvements; and a preliminary design study 
of tunnel replacement options. This tunnel sees 125 Amtrak/MARC trains 
a day.
  No. 3, New York, $678 million, 6 tunnels: upgraded ventilation, 
access, and egress through new stairways and shafts; structural 
rehabilitation for tunnel access, and improved lighting and signage. 
The 6 New York Amtrak tunnels provide access to Penn station for 
Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad. They are 
gateway to New York and the heart of the Northeast Corridor. Work on 
the tunnels has already begun with $220 million from the Long Island 
Railroad and the FRA, through $100 million from FY '02 DOD supplemental 
Appropriations Act. Funds authorized in this amendment would complete 
work on 3 of the 4 rebuilt ventilation and escapes shafts, dramatically 
improving the safety of passengers should an emergency occur in the 
tunnels;
  $55 million for wrecked equipment repair to ensure Amtrak adequate 
fleet capacity in the event of a national security emergency. At the 
time of my amendment, 96 damaged and wrecked cars and five locomotives, 
or nearly one out of every fifteen Amtrak cars, were sitting idle, out 
of service, and awaiting repair. Without these cars, Amtrak is in 
serious danger of being able to provide adequate equipment to service 
its current routes, let alone offer additional service should there be 
another national emergency. With these funds, Amtrak could have 
repaired about half of these, and have some equipment up and running 
again within 90 days. In our effort to strength the security of the 
homeland, that we must provide Amtrak with the equipment it needs to 
serve the existing routes and to handle increased traffic should 
another security crisis occur.
  After the Governmental Affairs markup and the inclusion of this 
amendment to the Lieberman substitute, I worked with Senators Hollings 
and McCain to create a bipartisan rail security package based on the 
previous Committee work and my amendment that would authorize needed 
resources while ensuring proper oversight and accountability. We agreed 
to work together to add this package to the homeland security 
legislation, in whatever form it took. I believe that Senator McCain 
spoke briefly about his commitment to enhancing the security of our 
railroads on the floor last week, and I want to thank him for working 
with us to create a sound security proposal. I know that he and Senator 
Hollings share my disappointment that we have not been able to get this 
package included in the current homeland security bill. Though we were 
unable to achieve success today, we are committed to doing so next 
year, and I urge my colleagues to join this effort. Until we have 
passed a rail security package, we cannot honestly say that we have 
secured our national transportation system.
  In conclusion, today we missed a tremendous opportunity to truly 
secure our entire transportation network. Surely, we all agree that 
doing so is one of the Federal government's chief responsibilities. 
Debates about the future of Amtrak should not stand in the way of this 
effort. The fact is that, today, several thousands of riders are on 
Amtrak trains and hundreds of thousands more use Amtrak's tracks for 
their daily commute to work. Securing these facilities and these 
services is not an issue that can wait. As the intelligence community 
has already warned, the risks to America's railroads are real and exist 
as we speak. We have a responsibility to act to protect our people and 
our nation. We must pass rail security legislation as soon as possible.
  Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I rise to discuss two provisions of the 
Homeland Security bill, those substantially transferring the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, ``ATF,'' to the Department of Justice 
and modifying and improving our explosives laws.
  A driving force behind the President's blueprint for the reorganized 
Government is the need for the various agencies and bureaus charged 
with enforcing Federal law to work more cooperatively and effectively 
in defending

[[Page S11392]]

the country against terrorism. The President's plan shifted several 
agencies charged with different aspects of Federal law enforcement to 
the proposed Department of Homeland Security, including the Secret 
Service and the Bureau of Customs, both formerly housed in the 
Department of the Treasury.
  Unfortunately, this realignment of Treasury's law enforcement 
agencies left out one vitally important bureau, one that has as its 
primary mission the enforcement of the explosives and firearms laws. 
The ATF has been the cornerstone of the Federal law enforcement 
functions at Treasury for decades, but now under the President's plan, 
it would be left as the only major law enforcement presence in the 
entire Department.
  The Department of the Treasury is entrusted with responsibilities 
primarily in the area of monetary policy such as budgets, taxes, and 
currency production and circulation. In contrast, the ATF's mission 
consists of enforcing the firearms, arson, and explosives laws as well 
as the criminal and regulatory functions of the alcohol and tobacco 
laws. Clearly, these two missions do not jibe.
  ATF serves an important role not only in the enforcement of the 
criminal laws regarding firearms, explosives, alcohol and tobacco, but 
also in waging the war on terrorism. We only need to remember the 
litany of terrorist bombings from the first attack on the World Trade 
Centers to Beirut in 1982, the East Africa embassies, the U.S.S. Cole, 
Khobar Towers, and Oklahoma City, among others, to understand the 
importance of the ATF's expertise in explosives and firearms on the war 
on terrorism. Indeed, in the last 20 years, the vast majority of 
terrorist attacks with Americans as targets have used explosives or 
firearms. Any effort to strengthen our homeland security that does not 
take note of this fact is a half measure.
  This bill understands ATF's importance in the war on terrorism by 
moving it to the Department of Justice where it can coordinate its 
efforts more easily with the FBI, DEA, and the other premier Federal 
law enforcement agencies. In addition, the bill authorizes the ATF for 
the first time as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and 
Explosives, ATFE, and refocuses its mission. It will no longer be 
responsible for collecting alcohol and tobacco fees, but instead will 
focus entirely on the criminal enforcement of the explosives, firearms, 
arson, and tobacco and alcohol smuggling laws.
  The amendment makes clear that along with the transfer of enforcement 
of the explosives, firearms, and arson laws, the new ATFE will have 
jurisdiction over the criminal statutes in title 18 of the United 
States Code as they relate to tobacco or alcohol laws. These few 
criminal statutes are the extent of ATFE's jurisdiction over alcohol 
and tobacco. All alcohol and tobacco revenue collection and related 
regulatory functions performed by the current ATF will remain under the 
jurisdiction of the Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department.
  The renaming of the Bureau is more than simply symbolic. The addition 
of the ``E'' to the name of the Bureau demonstrates the importance of 
explosives in their mission. To coordinate better law enforcement 
training in explosives, we created the Explosives Training and Research 
Facility at Fort AP Hill, VA, where Federal, State and local law 
enforcement agents from around the country will be trained to 
investigate bombings.
  We trust that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice in 
conjunction with the Department of the Treasury will make ATFE's 
transition as efficient as possible. Moving a large law enforcement 
agency is not easily done. For that reason, the Homeland Security bill 
permits a sufficient time frame for the transitions to occur both to 
the new Department of Homeland Security as well as the ATFE's 
transition to the Department of Justice. It is our intent that the ATFE 
be permitted as much time to complete its transition as the other 
bureaus and agencies being shifted to the Department of Homeland 
Security.
  At the Department of Justice, the ATFE will have primary 
responsibility for the enforcement of the firearm, arson and explosives 
laws as well as criminal alcohol and tobacco laws. In that role, the 
ATFE will be able to work cooperatively with the FBI and the DEA in 
enforcing the criminal law while at the same time taking the lead when 
the case under investigation is primarily within their jurisdiction. 
According to recent news reports, the FBI and the ATF do not always 
have the best of relations. In fact, despite a long-standing memorandum 
of understanding between the two agencies allocating responsibilities, 
there is still a fair amount of competition between the two when it 
comes to areas where their respective jurisdiction overlaps. Now, with 
the ATFE working under the same leadership as the FBI, the Attorney 
General will be able to sort out these differences and maximize the 
cooperation between the two agencies. More cooperation will lead to a 
better focus on the war on terrorism.
  The establishment of the ATFE at the Department of Justice gives the 
Government a dynamic weapon in the war on terrorism and in the every 
day battle against violent crime involving explosives, firearms and 
arson. We look forward to the ATFE joining the Department of Justice 
and its other law enforcement agencies. We also look forward to the 
ATFE maximizing its capabilities in enforcing the explosives, firearms, 
and arson laws and fighting the war on terrorism.
  In addition to transferring ATF to the Department of Justice, this 
measure contains a subtitle that modifies our explosives laws. This 
provision is an amended version of S. 1956, the Safe Explosives Act, 
which was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Orrin Hatch and me and 
H.R. 4864, the Anti-Terrorism Explosives Act, which was introduced 
earlier this year by Chairman Sensenbrenner.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the measure this 
summer. I want to explain some of the provisions in this title of the 
bill and provide a more detailed section by section analysis of it.
  Following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade 
Center and the Pentagon, we have had a growing sense that Congress 
needs to close numerous gaps in Federal law to help prevent future 
disasters. The current explosives laws are effective, but the Safe 
Explosives Act closes some loopholes and significantly improves its 
administration.
  The Safe Explosives Act effects two major changes in our explosives 
laws: first, it creates a systematic method of enforcing our laws 
regarding who can and cannot purchase and possess explosives; and 
second, it makes some commonsense additions to the list of people who 
are barred from purchasing and possessing explosives.
  Creating a systematic method for enforcing our laws makes sense in 
the current environment. Most Americans would be stunned to learn that 
in some States it is easier to get enough explosives to take down a 
house than it is to buy a gun, get a driver's license, or even obtain a 
fishing license. Currently, it is too easy for would-be terrorists and 
criminals to obtain explosive materials. Although permits are required 
for interstate purchases of explosives, there are no current uniform 
national limitations on the purchase of explosives within a single 
state by a resident of that State. As a result, a patchwork quilt of 
State regulations covers the intrastate purchase of explosive 
materials. In some States, anyone can walk into a hardware store and 
buy plastique explosives or a box of dynamite. No background check is 
conducted, and no effort is made to check whether the purchaser knows 
how to properly use this deadly material. In at least 16 States, there 
are little to no restrictions on the intrastate purchase of explosives.
  By addressing the intrastate sale and possession of explosives, the 
Safe Explosives Act would help close one such loophole that allows 
potential terrorists and criminals easy access to explosive materials. 
Let me elaborate. As I said, under current law anyone who is involved 
in interstate shipment, purchase, or possession of explosives must have 
a Federal permit. This legislation creates the same requirement for 
intrastate purchases. It calls for two types of permits for these 
intrastate purchasers: user permits and limited user permits. The user 
permit lasts for 3 years and allows unlimited explosives purchases. The 
limited user permit also expires after 3 years, but only allows

[[Page S11393]]

six purchases per year. We created this two-tier system so that low-
volume users would not be burdened by regulations. The limited permit, 
like the user permit, imposes commonsense rules such as a background 
check, monitoring of explosives purchases, secure storage, and report 
of sale or theft of explosives. However, the Safe Explosives Act does 
not subject the limited user to the record keeping requirements 
currently required for full permit holders.
  In addition to closing the intrastate loophole, this measure expands 
slightly the class of people who are barred from purchasing or 
possessing explosives. Current federal law prohibits certain categories 
of people from purchasing and possessing explosives. However, some 
important categories, such as people in the United States on a tourist 
visa, are not included in current federal explosives law. The committee 
feels that in addition to being barred from obtaining a firearm, these 
people should also be prohibited from purchasing and possessing 
explosive materials.
  Overall, this measure strikes a reasonable balance between stopping 
dangerous people from getting explosives and helping legitimate users 
obtain and possess explosives. Most large commercial users already have 
explosives permits because they engage in interstate explosives 
transport. These users would not be significantly affected by our 
legislation. The low-volume users will be able to quickly and cheaply 
get a limited permit. And high-volume intrastate purchasers who are 
running businesses that require explosives should easily be able to get 
an unlimited user permit. Also, the measure will not affect those who 
use black or smokeless powder for recreation, as the legislation does 
not change current regulations on those particular materials.
  Our goal is simple. We must take all possible steps to keep deadly 
explosives out of the hands of dangerous individuals seeking to 
threaten our livelihood and security. The Safe Explosives Act is 
critical legislation, supported by the administration. It is designed 
solely to the interest of public safety. It will significantly enhance 
our efforts to limit the proliferation of explosives to would be 
terrorists and criminals. It will close a loophole that could 
potentially cause mass destruction of property and life.
  Let me thank the many people who assisted us in drafting these 
provisions. Senators Hatch and Leahy and Chairman Sensenbrenner were 
vital, as were Senators Baucus and Grassley. The staff and leadership 
of the Department of Treasury, the Department of Justice and the ATF 
were invaluable. We all worked together cooperatively and in close 
collaboration, and I believe that the finished product reflects the 
professionalism and dedication of the staff of those agencies. They are 
all to be congratulated.
  I ask unanimous consent that a section-by-section analysis of the 
measure be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          Section-by-Section Analysis of Title XI, Subtitle C

     Section 1121--Short title
       The short title of this bill is the ``Safe Explosives 
     Act.''
     Section 1122--Permits for purchasers of explosives
       First, the following terms referenced in the bill are 
     defined: permittee, alien, and responsible person.
       Second, this section would require all purchasers of 
     explosives to obtain a permit from the Treasury's Bureau of 
     Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), a process that includes 
     a background check, thereby reducing the availability of 
     explosives to terrorists, felons, and others prohibited by 
     law from possessing explosives. Although permits are now 
     required for interstate purchases, there are no current 
     Federal limitations on the purchase of explosives within a 
     single state by a resident of that state.
       The new permit requirement would significantly enhance the 
     government's ability to prevent the misuse and unsafe storage 
     of explosives. As part of the permit application and renewal 
     process, ATF would conduct background checks on all 
     individuals wishing to acquire or possess explosives 
     materials. Applicants would also be required to submit 
     photographs and fingerprints along with their applications, 
     to ensure that a thorough background check can be completed. 
     Fingerprints are not necessary to conduct a background check, 
     however it significantly reduces the work and amount of time 
     for the positive identification of applicants, and therefore 
     will greatly reduce the application turnaround time and 
     workload for ATF.
       In the case of a corporation, partnership or association, 
     the applicant would be required to submit fingerprints and 
     photographs of responsible persons, meaning those individuals 
     who possess the power to direct the management and policies 
     of the corporation, partnership or association pertaining to 
     explosive materials. Consistent with ATF's current policy, 
     this section does not require corporate applicants for 
     explosives licenses to list every single corporate director 
     or officer as a ``responsible person'' on its application for 
     a license or permit. Those officials within the corporation 
     who have no power to direct the management and policies of 
     the applicant with respect to explosive materials need not be 
     listed on the application. For example, in a large 
     corporation that uses explosives in just one of many business 
     activities, there may be many corporate officials who have no 
     responsibilities or authority in connection with the 
     explosives aspects of the company's business. These officials 
     would not be listed as ``responsible persons'' on the 
     application, and would not need to submit fingerprints or 
     photographs to ATF. Furthermore, if corporate bylaws provide 
     that certain high-level corporate officials do not have the 
     power or authority to direct the management and policies of 
     the corporation with respect to explosive materials, then 
     such officials will not be considered to be responsible 
     persons.
       We encourage the Secretary to strive for balanced 
     enforcement. In so doing, the Secretary should avoid imposing 
     unnecessary burdens on applicants for explosives licenses and 
     permits. There is no reason to require background checks for 
     corporate officials who have no responsibilities or authority 
     in connection with the explosives aspect of a company's 
     business. By the same token, companies have an obligation to 
     be forthright with the ATF, and we expect them to err on the 
     side of overinclusiveness in deciding who may be a 
     responsible person.
       This section will also require applicants to list the names 
     of all employees who will have possession of the explosive 
     materials, so that the ATF can verify that these individuals 
     are not prohibited from receiving or possessing explosives. 
     In order to prevent an overload of employee background checks 
     all at once for the ATF, current licenses and permits will 
     remain valid until that license or permit is revoked, 
     expires, or until a timely application for renewal is acted 
     upon. Under current law, it is too easy for would-be 
     terrorists and criminals to obtain access to explosive 
     materials by obtaining jobs (such as driving trucks) with 
     explosives licensees. These expanded requirements would also 
     apply to entities seeking to obtain a license to sell 
     explosives.
       It is the Committee's intention that ATF should work 
     closely with the regulated industry to develop guidance as to 
     which employees are considered to be in ``possession'' of 
     explosive materials in the course of their employment. 
     Applicants for explosives licenses or permits are not 
     required to list every single employee of the business. 
     Instead they are only required to list employees who are 
     expected to possess explosive materials as part of their 
     duties.
       In developing these standards, ATF should be guided by the 
     case law interpreting the term ``possession'' under the Gun 
     Control Act of 1968, GCA, as amended. It is well established 
     that possession under the GCA may be demonstrated through 
     either actual or constructive possession. Actual possession 
     exists when a person is in immediate possession or control of 
     an object, and includes instances where a person knowingly 
     has direct physical control over the object at a given time. 
     Thus, employees who physically handle explosive materials 
     would clearly be in possession of those materials. This would 
     include, among others, employees who handle explosive 
     materials, as defined by the law as part of a production 
     process; employees who handle explosive materials in order to 
     ship, transport, or sell them; and employees who actually use 
     the explosive materials. All of these employees, as well as 
     any other employees who actually possess explosive materials 
     as part of their duties, must be listed on the application 
     for a license or permit.
       Where direct physical contact is lacking, a person may 
     nonetheless have constructive possession where he or she 
     knowingly has the power and the intention at a given time to 
     exercise dominion and control over the explosives, either 
     directly or through others. Accordingly, this section would 
     require applicants for licenses or permits to list all 
     employees who will have constructive possession of explosive 
     materials as part of their duties. For example, an employee 
     who drives a truck with an explosives load is in constructive 
     possession of the explosives even though he may not 
     physically handle them. This individual has dominion and 
     control over the explosives while he transports them; 
     furthermore, he could easily divert them from their intended 
     destination. Such an individual should be subject to the 
     background check requirements of the amended law. Similarly, 
     a supervisor at a construction site who keeps the keys for 
     the building in which the explosives are stored, and directs 
     the use of explosives by other employees, would be in 
     constructive possession of those explosives.
       Finally, this section recognizes the distinction between 
     small individual users of explosives and large commercial 
     users by creating

[[Page S11394]]

     a new ``limited permit'' for those infrequent purchasers. The 
     limited permit allows a purchaser to make no more that six 
     purchases of explosives within a 12-month period, and the 
     permit is only valid for purchases within the purchaser's 
     state of residence. While limited permit holder must pass the 
     background check like all other permit applicants, they are 
     not subject to spot inspections imposed on full permit 
     holders. To ensure that holders of limited permits are not 
     violating law by acquiring explosive materials more than six 
     times a year, this section requires anyone selling explosives 
     to a limited permit holder to report the sale to the ATF. 
     This allows the ATF to monitor misuse by limited permit 
     holders, and investigate suspicious volume purchases by such 
     individuals, while allowing infrequent users to access more 
     than enough for their needs. Holders of limited permits would 
     also be required to report their distribution of excess 
     stocks of explosives to other permittees or licensees.
       All permittees, limited or otherwise, are subject to 
     inspection by the ATF to ensure that the explosives are being 
     properly stored. In the interest of minimizing the turnaround 
     time for approval of licenses and permits, and in order to 
     avoid overburdening ATF with an onrush of inspections 
     immediately after this act takes effect, the bill gives ATF 
     the discretion to defer immediate inspection of license and 
     permit applicants at the time of application. However, 
     because of concern for public safety, a provision requires 
     ATF to inspect both permitees and licensees within three 
     years of issuing a license or permit. Specifically, ATF must 
     inspect limited permitees prior to a third consecutive 
     renewal, and licensees or user permitees prior to the first 
     renewal. It also increases the amount of time ATF has to 
     approve or deny an application to 90 days. This will allow 
     ATF ample time to conduct thorough background checks, 
     especially important immediately following enactment of the 
     bill when there will likely be a surge in applications. These 
     provisions were put in the bill at the request of the House.
       This section also includes an important measure that 
     ensures privacy for employees or potential employees of a 
     company that applying for a user permit that are subject to a 
     background check. The provision requires the Secretary of the 
     Treasury to notify the employer as to whether or not an 
     employee passes the background check. However, should an 
     individual not pass the employer will not be told the reason 
     why. Rather, the employee will be notified as to the 
     reason(s) for not passing.
     Section 1123--Persons prohibited from receiving or possessing 
         explosive materials
       This proposal expands the list of those people who are 
     prohibited from purchasing or possessing explosives to 
     include: mental incompetents, aliens other than lawful 
     permanent resident aliens, people dishonorably discharged 
     from the military, and Americans who have renounced their 
     citizenship. The addition of such categories to the list of 
     prohibited persons recognizes the potential for terrorists or 
     other criminals to use explosives to carry out their attacks 
     and brings the explosives law in line with most categories of 
     prohibited people in the Gun Control Act.
       Congress has already determined that the possession of 
     firearms by the above categories of people is dangerous to 
     society. In order to combat terrorism and other violent 
     crime, it is essential that Federal law prohibit the receipt 
     or possession of explosive materials by such individuals 
     already deemed too dangerous to possess firearms. The 
     language relating to non-immigrant aliens differs slightly 
     from that in the Gun Control Act, as technical changes have 
     been made to improve the clarity of the provision.
     Section 1124--Requirement to provide samples of explosive 
         materials and ammonium nitrate
       This section would enhance the ATF's ability to solve cases 
     involving explosives by requiring Federally licensed 
     explosives manufacturers and importers and persons who 
     manufacture or import ammonium nitrate to provide to ATF, 
     upon request, with samples of, or chemical information on, 
     the products they manufacture or import. The ATF fulfills a 
     critical investigative role in the solving of crimes or acts 
     of terrorism committed by explosives. Such information is 
     essential to ATF's ability to prevent and solve bombings and 
     to trace explosive materials that are used in terrorist 
     activities and other violent crimes by matching residue with 
     the manufacturers' samples. Also, the ability to evaluate 
     such samples as well as information on the chemical 
     composition of these products will allow the ATF to 
     familiarize themselves with products that may be diverted to 
     criminal misuse.
     Section 1125--Destruction of property of institutions 
         receiving federal financial assistance
       This section expands ATF's authority to investigate 
     destruction of property by fire or explosion if the property 
     receives federal assistance.
     Section 1126--Relief from disabilities
       This section allows for a person who is prohibited from the 
     above mentioned explosive material possession, purchase, etc. 
     to apply to the Attorney General for relief from 
     disabilities. The Attorney General may grant that relief if 
     the circumstances regarding the disability are such that the 
     applicant is not likely to be dangerous to the public if 
     allowed to work with the above mentioned explosive materials, 
     and that it would not be contrary to the best interest of the 
     public.
     Section 1127--Theft reporting requirement
       According to this section, all licensees and permittees are 
     required to report the known theft of explosive materials 
     from that user no later than 24 hours after the discovery of 
     theft. Failure to do so can result in a fine not more than 
     $10,000, or imprisonment not more than 5 years, or both. It 
     is essential that ATF investigate theft of explosives in 
     order to prevent accidental or criminal misuse.
     Sec. 1128--Authorization of appropriations
       This section authorizes the appropriation to carry out the 
     provisions of the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. I yield myself 5 minutes from the time of Senator 
Thompson and 5 minutes from the time of the leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, this legislation to create a new 
Department of Homeland Security will result in the most significant 
transformation of the executive branch in over 50 years and is of 
fundamental importance to our national security. I believe that 
Congress has the responsibility to establish a new Department of 
Homeland Security this year, before we adjourn for we know that those 
wishing to do our nation harm will not wait for us to act.
  The longer we delay, the longer we leave vulnerabilities in place, 
the longer we consciously rely upon a fragmented system to guard our 
homeland. While creating a new department in and of itself will not be 
sufficient to safeguard our homeland, it will bring much needed focus 
and coordination to the task.
  In the year since the terrorist attack, much has been done to make 
our nation more secure. Congress has approved billions of dollars to 
secure our borders, protect critical infrastructure, train and equip 
first responders, and better detect and respond to biological or 
chemical attacks. Our brave men and women in uniform have fought 
valiantly in the war against terrorism and have secured important 
victories in Afghanistan.
  The creation of the Department of the Homeland Security is the next 
step in our efforts to secure our nation against another terrorist 
attack. The task before us is daunting. This sweeping reorganization 
dwarfs any corporate merger. It involves some 170,000 employees and a 
budget of nearly $40 billion.
  Despite the magnitude and challenge of the task, there should be no 
doubt about the need for this new cabinet department. Currently, as 
many as 100 Federal agencies are responsible for homeland security, but 
not one has homeland security as its primary mission. When that many 
entities are responsible, nobody is really accountable, and turf 
battles and bureaucratic disputes are inevitable.
  If we are to overcome these problems and create a workable national 
security structure, then we must unite the current patchwork of 
governmental entities into a new Department of Homeland Security. The 
new agency will work to secure U.S. borders, ports, and critical 
infrastructure. It will synthesize and analyze intelligence from 
multiple sources, lessening the possibility of intelligence 
communication breakdowns. And it will coordinate security activities 
now undertaken separately by agencies like the Customs Service, the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service so that the resulting effort will be greater 
than the sum of its parts. The new Department for Homeland Security 
will help to remedy many of the current organizational weaknesses and 
to protect us against future attacks.
  As a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which held 
extensive hearings on the reorganization, I had the opportunity to 
consider carefully myriad ideas and concepts about the creation of the 
Department. We heard testimony from Governor Ridge, from Director 
Mueller of the FBI, from Director Tenet of the CIA, and from numerous 
other experts. They all shed light on the problems that have impaired 
our ability to defend our homeland, and on the threats that we now face 
and that will inevitably challenge us in the future.
  While strongly supporting the creation of the Department, I believe 
that we also must protect the traditional roles of institutions and 
agencies that

[[Page S11395]]

are important to America's economic and social fabric. In particular, 
the Coast Guard's traditional functions--such as search and rescue and 
marine resource protection--must be maintained.

  Since the attacks of September 11, the Coast Guard's focus has 
shifted to homeland security. The Coast Guard plays an essential role 
in homeland security, and I believe that it should play a leading role 
in the new Department. If, however, the current resource allocation is 
maintained, and the Coast Guard continues to assume new 
responsibilities, its traditional missions may be jeopardized.
  Prior to September 11, port security accounted for approximately 2 
percent of the Coast Guard's resources. Immediately following the 
terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard deployed 59 percent of its resources 
to port safety and security missions. As a result, many of the aircraft 
and vessels used for search and rescue were far removed from their 
optimal locations for search and rescue. Even after the immediate 
impact of September 11 attacks subsided, its impact on the resources of 
the Coast Guard remained. Indeed, the Coast Guard continues to devote 
fewer hours to its traditional functions than it did before 9/11.
  Because of the Coast Guard's importance to coastal areas throughout 
our Nation, any reduction in its traditional functions is of great 
concern. Last year alone, the Coast Guard performed over 39,000 search 
and rescue missions and saved more than 4,000 lives. On a typical day, 
the Coast Guard saves 10 lives, interdicts 14 illegal immigrants, 
inspects and repairs 135 buoys, and helps more than 2,500 commercial 
ships navigate into and out of U.S. ports. In short, the Coast Guard's 
traditional missions are of vital importance and must be preserved.
  Let me take a minute to talk about the Coast Guard's importance in my 
home State of Maine. Each year, the Coast Guard performs about 300 
search and rescue missions in my State. These missions are literally a 
matter of life and death. Just a few weeks ago, the Coast Guard saved 
two Maine fishermen from their burning boat off the coast of 
Massachusetts after a 12 hour search.
  Since October 1999, fourteen fishermen have lost their lives off the 
coast of Maine. Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous of 
occupations. How many more fisherman or recreational boaters would have 
died or been injured if the nearest Coast Guard cutter were not in 
port? How many more will lose their lives if the local Coast Guard 
stations must devote the majority of their time to homeland security 
alone? I agree that the Coast Guard must perform homeland security 
functions. But it is critically important that it not do so at the 
expense of its traditional missions.
  Senator Stevens and I addressed these concerns during the 
Governmental Affairs Committee's mark-up of the original homeland 
security bill. We offered a successful amendment to preserve the 
traditional functions of the Coast Guard.
  The compromise bill ensures that the Coast Guard's non-homeland 
security functions will be maintained after its transfer into the new 
Department, and also provides for flexibility to ensure our national 
security. As our amendment provided, the compromise homeland security 
bill has the Commandant of the Coast Guard report directly to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, thus ensuring direct access for the 
Commandant's views. The protections for the Coast Guard will help 
safeguard our coastal communities' economies, way of life, and loved 
ones, while Americans, wherever they live, can rest assured that the 
Coast Guard will perform its necessary and vital homeland security 
functions.
  Similarly, I am pleased that the compromise bill incorporates a 
provision that Senator Levin and I proposed to create a Special 
Assistant position in the Secretary's office to promote public/private 
partnerships and to ensure that the business community has a place to 
go to ask questions, voice concerns, and provide feedback. It is 
important to bear in mind that our homeland security and economic 
security are closely linked, and that the failure of one jeopardizes 
the other. Our economic vitality makes us strong and capable of 
defending our nation against external and internal threats.
  The issue of personnel and management flexibility, unfortunately, 
became the most controversial issue in this homeland security debate. 
The creation of the new Department will transfer approximately 170,000 
current Government employees who are covered by a large number of 
different work rules, personnel systems, and labor agreements from 
other departments and agencies. Given the pressing importance of the 
new Department, and the vital functions it will perform, we need to 
grant the new Secretary appropriate but not unlimited authority to 
create a flexible, unified new personnel system that meets the 
Department's unique demands.
  This legislation strikes the right balance. Initially, the 
Administration sought power for the Secretary to unilaterally modify 
all of the civil service laws which I opposed. The administration 
compromised and will have flexibility in only those areas it deemed 
vital to the Department's efficient functioning.
  Also, I would note that there are many safeguards to prevent abuse of 
this authority that we are granting the Department, including a 
requirement I authored requiring that any changes made to the appeals 
rights of the Department's employees be made only to ``further the 
fair, efficient and expeditious resolution'' of workers' appeals. 
Additionally, any changes made will now be subject to mediation, unlike 
the Administration's initial proposal, which only called for 
notification.
  As we create a new Department of Homeland Security, it is critically 
important that we remember those on the front lines of any emergency: 
our police, our firefighters, our EMS personnel. I am disappointed that 
the compromise bill fails to include important amendments that I 
offered with Senators Feingold and Carper, and that were adopted both 
in committee and on the Senate floor.
  The compromise bill includes an Office for State and Local Government 
Coordination, but it lacks the provisions needed to ensure that the new 
Department coordinates and communicates adequately and efficiently with 
state and local first responders. Senators Feingold, Carper and I would 
have placed a Department liaison in each State, thereby enhancing the 
Department's ability to work effectively with first responders, who 
perform such a critical role in our homeland defense. In my role as 
chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, I plan next year to 
revisit this issue to ensure that the new Department and our first 
responders can work efficiently together not at cross purposes when 
emergencies arise.
  The new Department of Homeland Security is an essential component of 
our response to current and future threats. As the brutal attacks of 
September 11th demonstrated, distance from our enemies and the barrier 
of oceans no longer suffice to protect our nation. The bill that we are 
considering today is an important step in making our homeland more 
secure.
  I reserve any unused time for Senator Thompson.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Cantwell). The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. I will yield myself 15 minutes off the majority side. I 
would like to be notified by the Chair when 5 minutes have expired. I 
would like to separate the remarks: 5 minutes spent on the homeland 
security issue, and then 10 minutes on terrorism insurance, of which I 
will be yielding some brief time to colleagues who want to be heard on 
that matter. Senator Sarbanes, the chairman of the Banking Committee, 
will be coming to the floor at which time he will also have 15 minutes 
to talk about terrorism insurance or other matters he may want to 
raise, in which case we will try to have our remarks appear 
continuously, if we can, regarding terrorism insurance.
  On the issue of homeland security, I am going to vote for this bill 
in the end when we are called upon, in several hours, to do so.
  First of all, let me commend my colleague from Connecticut, who has 
been the manager of this bill along with Senator Thompson of Tennessee 
for the last number of weeks and months since this bill has been part 
of the debate in the Senate.
  I want to commend Joe Lieberman. My colleagues should know--and I am

[[Page S11396]]

sure they remember this--he introduced this legislation in October of 
last year. The committee marked up that bill, I think, with just 
Democratic votes out of the Government Affairs Committee to bring a 
homeland security bill to this Chamber.
  I am delighted to hear that we now have strong bipartisan support for 
this effort. But let us be clear about the history. The history is that 
Joe Lieberman offered this idea to this body. It was his committee 
under his leadership that marked up that bill and sent it to the floor 
on a partisan vote, unfortunately. We are now going to vote on it.
  I will vote for passage of the bill before the Senate today, but I 
will do so with deep reservations. I believe that the bill before us 
does far too little to adequately protect average Americans from the 
dangers posed by terrorists. And regrettably, it does far too much to 
protect special interests favored by the majority party in the other 
body. That having been said, I believe that, on the whole, the bill 
will make America marginally more secure and I would rather err on the 
side of improving security than on the side of inaction. I will to look 
for every opportunity to make improvements in Department of Homeland 
Security in the months ahead.
  This bill does take a step in the right direction by creating a 
unified department that can focus on security. Effectively reorganizing 
parts of the federal government can improve our security. The bill will 
allow the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate activities that 
have previously been conducted by two dozen separate agencies. This 
bill will allow the Administration to consolidate layers of government 
and if the Administration does this well, it should improve the way our 
government collects and shares information. By eliminating redundancy 
and conflicts within the government, the new department can make it 
easier to identify and respond quickly to threats as they emerge.
  Further, if the Administration wisely uses the authority granted to 
it in this bill, it should be able to improve security at our borders. 
This bill authorizes the administration to completely revamp our 
immigration and naturalization services. If the Administration uses 
this authority to truly modernize immigration services, it will be able 
to avoid problems like those we have all read about cases where the 
immigration and naturalization services issued student visas improperly 
because of computer errors, poor record-keeping, and lax analysis of 
information.
  Still, despite these and several other constructive provisions, this 
bill could have done more to strengthen homeland security. For example, 
it could have done more to foster better coordination and to better 
prepare local communities to respond to emergencies that may occur. I 
offered an amendment that would have authorized the Department of 
Homeland Security to establish a grant program to help local fire 
departments address the chronic understaffing problems that plague so 
many local departments. The International Association of Firefighters 
and the International Associate Fire Chiefs have estimated that we need 
at least 75,000 additional firefighters in this country just to meet 
pre-9/11 staffing needs. Since 9/11, firefighter labor shortages have 
become even more of a problem across the country. Senator Warner and I 
recognized the full extent of the problem of firefighter understaffing 
shortly after September 11, 2001, and we wrote legislation to help 
solve the problem. The amendment I offered was based on the bill that 
Senator Warner and I wrote. The amendment also built on the FIRE Act, 
which Senator DeWine and I authored in 2000. The FIRE Act, which became 
law thanks in large part to the effort of Senators Warner and Levin, 
has provided more than $400 million to train and equip tens of 
thousands of firefighters around the country. Understaffing has become 
such a problem, that according to the International Association of 
Firefighters, nearly \2/3\ of all fire departments cannot meet minimum 
safety standards.
  I also attempted to offer a second amendment to provide equitable pay 
for federal law enforcement officers. This amendment would have ensured 
that the federal government could retain highly-qualified and 
experienced law-enforcement professionals. All over the country, 
federal law enforcement officers are retiring from the federal service 
because they can make more money working in the private sector or for 
state and local governments. In New York, San Francisco, and Los 
Angeles, where living expenses are high, the FBI reported that 65% of 
its agents have been on the job for less than 5 years. This statistic 
reflects the fact that experienced officers would rather leave the 
Federal service than accept transfers to these expensive cities where 
they cannot provide adequately for their families.
  Don't get me wrong, all of the men and women who serve as Federal law 
enforcement officers do an outstanding job. But I also believe that 
experience is an invaluable asset and I think we need to make sure that 
the talent that comes with experience is available to the Federal 
government. Our Federal law enforcement services should be more than 
just a training ground--our law enforcement officers should be among 
the most experienced and highly skilled in the world so that they can 
provide the high degree of protection that the American people so 
rightly deserve.
  The bill before us would have been far better if it had more fully 
addressed the critically important needs of firefighters and federal 
law-enforcement officers. Sadly, however, their needs are all but 
ignored in this legislation. I intend to seek any and every opportunity 
in future to remedy this shortcoming. A homeland security bill that 
largely ignores the needs of these dedicated civil servants can only be 
considered a partial success.
  Instead of focusing on the interests of the American people and those 
of firefighters and law officers, the bill before us contains numerous 
special interest provisions that help large corporations and do nothing 
to ensure the safety of the American public. In fact, I believe that 
some of the provisions in this bill could potentially cause harm to the 
public.
  One provision of particular concern will bar parents from seeking 
legal redress from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs may have caused 
autism in their children. Parents would be barred from pursuing 
complaints through the courts and instead would be forced into the 
Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which limits damages to 
$250,000. I have supported reasonable tort reform in the past, but this 
provision changes the rules in the middle of the game for people who 
are already before the courts. Under this provision, pending lawsuits 
that have absolutely nothing to do with homeland security will likely 
be dismissed and parents who claim their children have become autistic 
due to corporate malfeasance will be denied their day in court.
  The homeland security bill before us also guts an amendment offered 
by Senator Wellstone, which would have prohibited the government from 
contracting with companies that have moved their headquarters overseas 
to avoid taxes in the United States. Under the current bill, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security has broad authority to contract with 
these corporate expatriates. This provision is a welcome relief to 
those companies that would dodge their patriotic duty at a time of war 
by relocating to foreign shores.
  I am concerned about another provision in the bill that exempts the 
new Department's advisory committees from the open meetings 
requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Agencies 
throughout government use advisory committees that function under open 
meetings rules and the open meetings law is careful to protect 
discussions and documents that involve sensitive information. The law 
currently applies to the Department of Defense, the Department of 
Justice, the State Department, the National Security Agency, and 
others. In my view, the administration has failed to make the case for 
exempting the Homeland Security Department from the requirement that 
records for committee meetings should make available to the public.
  Another blatantly unnecessary and misguided element of the bill would 
create a very narrow university-based homeland security research center 
program. Based on the criteria outlined in the bill, the research 
center that would be created is described so narrowly that it appears 
that only a handful of universities--including Texas A&M University--
might qualify to host the center. This provision amounts to Congress 
intervening to pick winners and

[[Page S11397]]

losers in the field of science. The Democratic amendment would have 
eliminated the list of highly specific criteria that appears to direct 
the science center program to particular universities. This bill would 
have been better if that amendment had succeeded.
  I invite anyone who may be interested to call up the Web site at the 
White House to get an idea about what the homeland security bill looks 
like. This is what it looks like. It is 35 pages long. This is the bill 
the White House submitted as the homeland security bill. That is what 
you will get if you call up the Web site. What we are actually going to 
vote on is this. The bill I just showed you is 35 pages long. The bill 
we are going to vote on is 484 pages long. Once the House leadership 
got their hands on this bill, it grew by 450 pages. Most of the 
extraneous material has nothing to do with homeland security. It has a 
lot to do with special interests, but not homeland security. When you 
call up that White House Web site and you ask for the bill, you are 
going to get the short version, but we are going to vote on this 
monstrosity of 484 pages.
  I am told that the White House and others are going to clean this up 
in the coming Congress. They have a major job to do.
  There are provisions in this bill that have no bearing and no 
relationship whatsoever to homeland security that were stuck in here in 
an act of arrogance by the leadership in the other body. They assumed 
they could put anything they wanted in here and then send it over and 
we would have to support it. Most of us know that these matters have no 
business being in this bill.
  There are a number of provisions, of course, in the bill that Senator 
Lieberman authored that are included here and therefore deserving of 
support.
  That is the quandary in which we find ourselves. There are good 
pieces here that truly deal with the necessity of bringing agencies of 
Government together so we can respond more effectively and efficiently 
to terrorists--a matter we have to confront. But it is a tragedy they 
have taken language and then added to it all of these other provisions 
in these 484 pages.
  There are some things that are left out as well. I want to commend my 
colleague from Maine, Senator Collins, as did our colleague from New 
York, Senator Clinton, for talking about the absence of dealing with 
first responders. It seems unfair, to put it mildly, that we are not 
dealing here with the police, firefighter, and emergency medical 
services personnel. We're not giving them the kind of support and 
backing that will be necessary if we are struck with another terrorist 
attack.
  I am hopeful as we reconvene the 108th Congress in January that we 
will be getting on with the business of doing what we can to see to it 
that those provisions to help first responders are going to become the 
law of the land.
  There have been provisions passed already that deal with homeland 
security, but, unfortunately, the President decided to sequester those 
funds.
  For those who may not understand what sequester is, that is 
tantamount to a veto--about $150 million--sitting down there just 
waiting for the President's signature which would become available to 
deal with homeland security.
  But again, there are good provisions in the original Lieberman 
proposal and many of those provisions remain intact. For those reasons, 
despite the fact that the bill includes a lot of things that do not 
deserve to be in here, and on the commitments we have received from the 
Republican leadership as well as the White House to scrub this 
legislation and get rid of a lot of these things that have been added 
on here, I will support this bill.
  But when you call up that Web site, you might ask them where the 
other 450 pages are which you won't get.
  In closing, I would have preferred to lend my support to a more 
focused, more effective, homeland security bill. I tried to improve 
this bill, but at the end of the day this is the best we could do given 
the opposition we faced. I presume that this is not the last 
opportunity Congress will have to address homeland security. In the 
months ahead, I will continue to fight for improvements to the 
department we are creating. I will continue to fight for cops, not 
corporations; firefighters, not firms. America's security from 
terrorism depends on the men and women who wake up every morning, put 
on uniforms from state and local agencies across the country, and place 
themselves at risk for our nation. We owe them--and the Americans they 
are sworn to protect--more than this bill provides. But to do nothing 
would be to provide even less, and that is not wise under the present 
circumstances. This bill is a start toward a more rational and 
effective approach to strengthening security for all Americans here at 
home. For that reason I will support this homeland security bill.


                    the terrorism risk insurance act

  Madam President, I rise today in support of the conference report on 
the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. This conference report 
represents a truly bipartisan, bicameral compromise. The Senate 
overwhelmingly supported the underlying legislation, which I 
introduced, along with Senators Sarbanes, Reid, and Schumer, in June of 
this year by a vote of 84-14.
  This conference report closely mirrors the Senate-passed bill, and in 
many regards has been improved by negotiations with the House.
  Late last week, the House passed this conference report by voice 
vote. It is my fervent hope that the Senate will move shortly to 
support it as well.
  In the 14 months since September 11, 2001, Congress has taken many 
important steps to protect our Nation from the new threat of terrorism. 
Most of these measures have focused on protecting our Nation's physical 
security--such as our new anti-terrorism laws, airport security 
legislation, and other initiatives to shore up our ``homeland 
defense.''
  But we cannot, and must not, fail to respond to the effects that the 
new threat of terrorism are having on our Nation's economic security.
  The goal of the September 11 terrorists was not simply to cause an 
enormous loss of life--it was also to derail America's economy; to 
undermine the consumer and investor confidence that serves as the 
cornerstone of our free enterprise system.
  It is, therefore, by no means an overstatement to say that a robust 
American economy, and continued American prosperity, are as vital to 
defeating the aims of terrorists as is protecting American lives.
  As a result of the September 11 attacks, during the past year, 
several critical sectors of the economy--real estate, commercial 
lending, aviation, construction, and others--have experienced 
significant disruptions because of the difficulty in finding terrorism 
insurance. By some estimates, this has cost American workers thousands 
of jobs and cost our economy tens of billions of dollars in economic 
growth activities--at a time our economy can surely use responsible 
economic stimulus.
  The bottom line is that the insurance which protects America's 
buildings, businesses, homes, and workers from terrorist acts is no 
longer readily available or affordable. The impact on our economy of 
the shortage and expense of terrorism insurance has been detrimental.
  According to the Real Estate Roundtable, over $15 billion worth of 
new real estate projects across the country have been stalled or 
canceled because of a continuing scarcity of terrorism insurance during 
the past year.
  The Risk Insurance Management Society, RIMS, recently released a 
survey which revealed that 71 percent of its membership found it very 
difficult or impossible to obtain adequate terrorism insurance. Also, 
84 percent felt that their companies were inadequately covered against 
a future terrorist attack, while nearly 70 percent had no terrorism 
coverage whatsoever.
  Rating agencies like Moody's have downgraded the credit ratings of 
nearly $5 billion in commercial mortgage backed securities because 
terrorism insurance could not be obtained on the underlying properties.
  It has estimated that the lack of terrorism insurance has caused 
construction workers to potentially lose up to 300,000 jobs because 
projects couldn't get financing without such insurance. According to 
Edward Sullivan, President of the Building and Construction Trades, 
AFL-CIO, ``The unavailability of terrorism risk insurance is hurting

[[Page S11398]]

the construction industry by making the cost and risk of undertaking 
new building projects prohibitive. Building projects are being delayed 
or canceled for fear that they may be future terrorist targets. Lenders 
are refusing to go forward with previously planned projects where 
terrorism insurance coverage is no longer available. As a result, 
construction workers are losing job opportunities.''
  Just last week, a survey conducted by the New York City Comptroller 
cited the ``dramatic'' increases in commercial insurance premiums 
coupled with a ``significant decline'' in the availability of insurance 
since the September 11 attacks. The comptroller has urged the passage 
of federal legislation--such as that contained in this conference 
report.
  Without Federal action, the General Accounting Office has warned that 
another terrorist attack would seriously impact America's economy by 
exposing businesses and property owners to potentially enormous 
losses--losses that could wipe out those businesses as well as the 
businesses that insure them.
  No one wants to think about another terrorist attack. However, our 
free market system, in order to function efficiently, has to factor the 
risk of such an attack into its economic thinking.
  The fact is, experts are estimating that, should another attack 
comparable to the September 11 attacks take place, only about 20 
percent of the losses would be covered. This exposes our economy--and 
our entire country to a significant--and in the opinion of many, an 
unacceptable level of vulnerability.
  We are here today to address this vulnerability. The passage of this 
conference report will go a long way toward calming our nervous 
insurance marketplace, and allow American businesses to continue to 
invest, and expand--in short, to continue business as usual.
  This conference report makes sense because it calls upon the Federal 
Government to act only as an insurer of last resort. The private 
insurance industry will maintain front-line responsibility to do what 
it does best: calculate risk, assess premiums, and pay claims to 
policyholders.
  The insurance industry is paying off the losses from the September 11 
attacks, estimated to be roughly $30 billion--$40 billion. And the 
industry has made clear that despite this unprecedented loss, it 
remains strong and solvent.
  Insurance isn't something we think about every day, yet it is vital 
to the overall health of our economy. By protecting people and 
property, goods and services in every sector of America's $10 trillion 
economy, insurance provides the stability and certainty required to 
keep our economic engine humming. Every prospective homeowner needs 
insurance to obtain a mortgage from a bank. Similarly, industries as 
diverse as commercial real estate, shipping, construction, 
manufacturing, and even ``mom and pop'' retailers require insurance to 
obtain credit, loans, and investments necessary for their normal 
business operations.
  So although insurance isn't something we can touch and feel, its 
availability is as vital to rebuilding our economy in the aftermath of 
September 11 as bricks and beams will be to rebuilding lower Manhattan.
  But the private insurance market cannot at this time bear the full 
risks of future attacks. As part of our defense against terrorism, and 
specifically to maintain the strength of America's economy, our 
government must share, at least temporarily, some of the risk 
associated with damage from terrorist acts.
  And that's what the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 does--by 
establishing a temporary Federal program under which the government 
would share the risk of future terrorist attacks with the insurance 
industry for up to three years.
  In order to protect the American taxpayer, federal cost-sharing would 
become available only if total losses from terrorist attacks exceed $10 
billion in the first year of the program. Insurers and policyholders 
would retain responsibility for the initial $10 billion in losses. This 
industry retention increases gradually throughout the life of the 
program.
  For losses between $10 billion and $100 billion, the government would 
assume responsibility for 90 percent of the costs. Should losses top 
$100 billion, Congress would determine the appropriate mechanism for 
ensuring payment.
  For payments made by the federal government for insured losses during 
the course of a year, the Treasury Secretary will recoup the difference 
between total industry costs and $10 billion. The recoupment will be 
accomplished through a surcharge on policyholders.
  In order to insure that insurance consumers are both adequately 
informed and able to take full advantage of this program, several key 
consumer protections are included. Insurance companies are prohibited 
from discriminating amongst consumers in their offering of terrorism 
coverage. This conference report, like the Senate-passed bill, requires 
that insurers offer terrorism coverage in all of their property and 
casualty policies during the first 2 years of the program.
  Additionally, at the time that policies are offered, purchased, or 
renewed, insurers must provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure of 
the premiums charged for terrorism insurance. Insurance consumers may 
not be charged for coverage that is not explicitly disclosed.
  Lastly, nothing in this legislation prohibits state insurance 
regulators from retaining full authority to disapprove any rates or 
forms that violate state laws.
  Simply put, our bill would ensure that the federal government would 
provide a temporary backstop to bring stability to a part of the 
economy that was seriously destabilized on September 11, 2001 against 
future terrorist attacks. This is the only way to bring full confidence 
back into the insurance markets that are so vital to our Nation's 
overall economic health.
  This conference agreement is based on three important principles. 
First, it makes the American taxpayer the insurer of last resort. The 
insurance industry maintains front-line responsibility to do what it 
does best: calculate risk, assess premiums, and pay claims to 
policyholders.
  Second, it promotes competition in the current insurance marketplace. 
Competition is the best way to ensure that the private market assumes 
the entire responsibility for insuring against the risk of terrorism, 
without any direct government role, as soon as possible.
  Third, it ensures that all consumers and businesses can continue to 
purchase affordable coverage for terrorist acts.
  Some say such a plan would be an unwarranted ``bailout'' of the 
insurance industry. Far from it. Not only will this measure be 
temporary, but any money the Federal Government spends through the 
program will go to victims of terrorism, not insurance companies. This 
conference report is needed to protect insurance consumers--consumers 
who need and deserve the stability promoted by this conference report.
  America will win this war on terrorism. But to do so, our economic 
front must remain strong. Preserving the availability of terrorism 
insurance will act as ``homeland defense'' for our economy.
  We must remember, on September 11 the terrorists did not target just 
the World Trade Center and Pentagon--they targeted our entire Nation. 
And we must have a national response. This conference report is part of 
that response.
  Madam President, I would like to particularly thank, of course, the 
chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Sarbanes, for his leadership 
and support.
  I would also like to thank the President of the United States. We 
would not be passing terrorism insurance were it not for the efforts of 
the White House that weighed very significantly in trying to bring this 
bill to closure and fruition.
  This bill has been around for a long time--since October of last 
year. We have dealt at a number of levels with the physical security of 
our Nation since 9/11. But our Nation's security is complete without 
dealing with our economic security, and this terrorism insurance 
conference report is designed to do just that.
  As a result of the efforts of Senator Sarbanes, of Senator Corzine, 
and of my colleague, Senator Schumer from

[[Page S11399]]

New York, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island as well as others who have 
worked on this legislation.
  Additionally, I would like to thank Congressman Mike Oxley of Ohio, 
chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and John Lafalce, 
the ranking member for their efforts on this front as well.
  I thank the Members who worked so diligently on this legislation. We 
spent a great deal of time on liability issues. In the end, we were 
able to strike a fair compromise. It is truly a bipartisan bill. It is 
bicameral in that both Chambers have been involved in the structure of 
this language. At lot of hours were spent--until the wee hours of the 
morning on one particular night until 5 a.m. working with the House and 
Senate staff to work out the differences and come to a final agreement 
on a conference report.
  I know there are those in the other Chamber and some here who would 
have liked this bill to become the vehicle for tort reform. But the 
reality is we needed to deal with terrorism insurance and this 
legislation does just that.
  Again, I thank the President of the United States. I have been 
critical of the President on numerous occasions. He deserves 
commendation here. But for his efforts and his staff to pull this 
together, we would not be talking about a final product. I am very 
grateful to him and to my colleagues and staff for their work.
  I would like to particularly thank Alex Sternhell of my staff who 
worked tirelessly on this product for the past year to try to get us to 
a point where we can pass terrorism insurance.
  Again, I thank those who have contributed so much to this conference 
report.
  Senator Sarbanes, Chairman of the Banking Committee, has played an 
invaluable role. Other conferees, Senators Schumer and Jack Reed, were 
critical to reaching consensus on this important legislation. Senators 
Corzine, Clinton, and Ben Nelson also make important contributions.
  I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Senators Daschle 
and Reid, who tirelessly shepherded this bill through the legislative 
process. I would like to thank my colleagues in the House, Mike Oxley 
and John LaFalce.
  Also, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Undersecretary Peter Fisher 
and other members of the Treasury Department--Pat Cave, Laura Cox, Ed 
DeMarco, Mario Ugoletti--who put in long hours in order to ensure that 
the mechanics of the Federal backstop created in this conference report 
are sound.
  And lastly, I would like to thank the staffs of the Senate and House 
who played a critical role in this conference report:
  Sarah Kline, Aaron Klein, Didem Nasanci, Polly Trottenberg of the 
Senate Banking Committee.
  Terry Hains, Robert Gordon, Charles Symington, Michael Paese, and 
Lawranne Stewart of The House Financial Services Committee.
  I would also like to recognize two members of the Legislative 
Counsel's office Laura Ayoud and Paul Callen, who have performed their 
duties so capably and in a nonpartisan fashion that is so important to 
the legislative process.
  This conference report is about economic security. As important as 
our physical security is, our economic security is critically 
important. This conference report is an important piece of ensuring our 
nation's economic security. I look forward to the coming hours and days 
when the President will sign this bill into law.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I understand I have 15 minutes on this 
bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. SARBANES. Does the Senator also seek to speak on this bill?
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, if I may respond, I will seek 
recognition. I will be glad to wait until the Senator from Maryland 
concludes. I do intend to seek recognition to speak on the homeland 
security bill.
  Mr. SARBANES. Will the Senator allow us to use up the time that we 
have on this bill--I have 15 minutes and Senator Dodd has 5 left--so we 
can complete the consideration of that?
  Mr. SPECTER. I would be agreeable to that. If I might propound a 
unanimous consent that, at the conclusion of the 20 minutes referred to 
by the Senator from Maryland, I be recognized for 20 minutes which I 
have on homeland security.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. I thank the Chair. And I thank my colleague from 
Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, let me try to parcel out the time 
here.
  The Senator needs 3 minutes, as I understand it.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Yes.
  Mr. SARBANES. And the Senator from New Jersey needs 3 minutes. And 
the Senator from Rhode Island?
  Mr. REED. Three minutes.
  Mr. SARBANES. That is 9 minutes. And the Senator from Nebraska, 3 
minutes?
  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Yes.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I yield 3 minutes each to Senators 
Schumer, Corzine, Reed, and Nelson of Nebraska, and reserve the other 3 
minutes for myself. And then Senator Dodd, I think, still has just 
under 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SARBANES. I will use my time at the end.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Madam President.
  I thank my chairman of the Banking Committee for yielding. I want to 
make a few brief points both on terrorism insurance and on homeland 
security.


                           Homeland Security

  First, on homeland security, briefly, I will vote for the bill. I 
think it is a far-from-perfect measure. In fact, reorganizing the 
Government does not really do most of the job we need to do. It will 
not make the computers at the INS put those on a terrorist watch list 
on that list. It will not make the Coast Guard patrol out to 200 miles.
  We are going to have to spend some dollars. And we are going to have 
to do some work within the agencies after we reorganize them.
  So it is a first step. It is better than nothing, but I hope and pray 
that this Nation will understand that if we just do this on homeland 
security, and nothing else, we are woefully unprepared. When we come 
back in January, it ought to be our highest priority.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Madam President, on terrorism insurance, I, first, thank my 
colleagues from Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, 
Nebraska, and everyone else who worked so long and hard on this 
legislation. This is vital to our cities and our country.
  Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of construction jobs not 
filled because there is no terrorism insurance. There are billions of 
dollars worth of construction projects not being undertaken because we 
do not have terrorism insurance. And there are higher costs for even 
those who can get terrorism insurance, putting a large crimp in the 
economy.
  Right now, when our economy is swishy soft, this insurance bill is 
the shot in the arm the economy needs. Thankfully, at this last hour, 
after the perils-of-Pauline voyage that took over a year, this bill is 
about to pass this Chamber, be put on the President's desk, and be 
signed into law.
  It comes none too soon because we desperately need it. We need to 
allow our companies to know that if, God forbid, there is a second 
terrorist incident--we hope and pray there isn't--the Government will 
be there as a backup.
  To some of the ideologues who have opposed this bill, I would suggest 
to them that the Government has always been behind insurance in times 
of war. We have always had that. And this new terrorism is a time of 
war.
  To those who say, well, let the market take over, we never did that 
under huge and new circumstances out of the control of individuals, 
without any predictive ability. So insurance companies have no 
knowledge of what they face.
  We are going to have to do more. We are going to have to deal with 
life insurance. We are going to have to deal with workers' compensation 
insurance. All of these things, in this brave, new

[[Page S11400]]

post-9/11 world, need some Government help and Government involvement 
or the economy will come to a standstill.
  So I want to say, thank God we passed this bill. My city and State, 
many of the larger cities and States throughout the country, 
desperately need it. We hope it will move to the President's desk 
quickly and be signed into law and remove a major roadblock on the path 
to recovery that this country needs.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Madam President. Again, I thank the Senator 
from Maryland for his generous yielding of time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I thank Chairman Sarbanes for yielding me 
time. But also I thank and commend my colleagues who worked so 
diligently on this important legislation: Senators Schumer, Corzine, 
and Nelson of Nebraska, and particularly Senator Dodd. Senator Dodd 
really led the charge on this important effort, and together with his 
electoral reform legislation, he has made major contributions in this 
session. I commend him and thank him for his leadership.
  This is a vitally important issue. After September 11, the reaction 
of the insurance industry to the potential of terrorist attack was 
contraction coverage. Premiums went up, coverage has shrunk, and many 
organizations, particularly many properties, could not secure 
insurance. That inhibited economic growth, and that inhibition 
continues to weigh on our economy.
  This legislation, we hope, and I hope, will go a long way to start 
reviving activity, particularly construction activity and real estate 
activity. But the effects of this legislation go beyond simply the 
property market and the real estate market.
  One of the interesting aspects of the 9/11 attacks was the fact that 
workers' compensation insurance was put at risk because, as you 
realize, workers' compensation, under law, must cover practically all 
injuries to workers. And if there is a terrorist event in a particular 
locale, it is likely that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of workers 
could be injured. Those liabilities fall on very few companies. Without 
reinsurance, those companies cannot operate.
  In my home State of Rhode Island, there is one workers' compensation 
insurance company which is actually a quasi-governmental entity. It is 
supported by the State. If that company failed, literally the State of 
Rhode Island would be on the hook to provide the resources to pay 
workers' compensation claims. It would be a great blow to my State.
  This legislation also provides help and reinsurance for workers' 
compensation claims. So it is legislation whose effect, and beneficial 
effect, will go throughout our entire economy. It will help, I hope, to 
stimulate economic activity. And it certainly will give, I hope, 
business men and women the confidence to, once again, undertake real 
estate projects, undertake economic activity, and do those things which 
are so essential for our continued economic prosperity.
  Once again, this has been a long and arduous process. It has taken 
months. It has been the result of great effort and great diligence and 
great patience by my colleagues, again, particularly by Senator Dodd.
  I am pleased we are passing it this evening. I hope the President 
will sign it quickly. I hope we can get on to other legislation that 
will assist our economy in a material way, in a positive way.
  I thank the Senators, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.


                           Homeland Security

  Mr. CORZINE. Madam President, I, too, want to speak to the terrorism 
insurance legislation, but I also would like to make a brief comment 
with regard to homeland security.
  I will be voting to support the creation of the Department of 
Homeland Security. Like many of my colleagues, this was a close call. 
Unfortunately, there were far too many adds to what was presented to us 
in this 484-page document, things that were really special interests, 
not the people's interests. They have been enumerated with regard to 
pharmaceuticals, colleges and universities, et cetera. It is 
unfortunate. And there are many details that are left out with regard 
to chemical plant security, nuclear powerplants, railroads, other 
issues that I think are vital.
  Finally, we really have not dealt with the appropriations process to 
make sure that our first responders, the people who really are fighting 
the war on terrorism day to day have the resources to do their job. It 
is not even dealt with in this 484-page effort, and it is a serious 
shortcoming. It will move the ball down the field, but we are not where 
we should be. We have a lot of work to do. It is unfortunate that we 
have done it, in my view, in a halfhearted way here.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Madam President, with regard to terrorism insurance, this is about 
the economy. It really is quite simple. This was never about the 
insurance industry. This was about making sure that investments would 
go forward in the construction, commercial real estate field. It was 
about making sure there was not a tax on the consumer, on everything 
from whether you went to a football game, or any kind of process you 
needed to have terrorism insurance to make sure that our economy is 
working efficiently. This was missing since September 11. And it is 
absolutely essential that we got to this compromise.
  I cannot tell you, cannot tell my colleagues, how proud I am to have 
seen the tremendous work that both Senators Sarbanes and Dodd performed 
to try to get a compromise.
  The holdup on this was never about the need to push forward to 
protect our economy, to support our industry. This was about tort 
reform, issues that really were relevant to protecting the economic 
security of the American people. Their tenacity, their effectiveness in 
negotiating compromise has led to a great result. I can only say 
congratulations to them, to the others who helped bring it about. The 
President was certainly at the forefront.
  I hope my colleagues will support the terrorism insurance 
legislation. I am very appreciative of the help of my senior 
colleagues.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. I thank my esteemed colleague from Maryland 
for the opportunity to rise today in strong support of the conference 
report to S. 2600. I commend Senator Dodd and all those who have worked 
to bring this together after having passed it earlier. It is now a 
great opportunity for us to come back and pass it in its final form.
  It is about the economy; it is not simply about insurance. The 
economic impact of the events of September 11 have had a continuing 
devastating impact on our commercial real estate market, mortgage 
lenders, the construction industry, the investment community, and other 
segments of our economy. Many of these areas have yet to recover and do 
not look for recovery for a long time.
  Fundamentally, this is a jobs bill. It is just one small step 
Congress can take to help stimulate our weak economy by providing this 
Federal backstop--not a bailout--for catastrophic losses resulting from 
acts of terrorism in the future.
  It is estimated that the property damage alone from the attack on the 
World Trade Center is about $50 billion. While the carriers involved in 
this loss have indicated they could cover these losses while 
maintaining their solvency, we can only speculate as to where and when 
the next attack might come and the nature and extent of the damages. 
Without this backup, all insurers providing this coverage, if they do 
provide it, will only risk not being able to respond to the next loss.
  The underlying premise of insurance is the ability of the insurer to 
assess the nature and the extent of the loss, applying actuarial 
principles, the historical approach to determine the likelihood of 
loss, and then calculating the premiums necessary to build reserves 
sufficient to cover that loss. Clearly, under these circumstances, 
without a historical perspective, there is no way for insurers to 
realistically underwrite for the risk of terrorist attack.
  Who among us knows where or when the next event might occur, what the 
nature of the attack might be, and

[[Page S11401]]

what type and extent of loss might be sustained? Will it be primarily 
property damage? Will it be massive loss of life in a concentrated area 
such as we had with the World Trade Center? Will it be a chemical or 
biological agent released or will it be a dirty bomb? These are the 
questions to which we don't know the answers.
  The fact is, we cannot make those decisions without knowing what the 
opportunity will be for the next terrorist attack. We all hope there 
won't be one, but insurance is against that kind of loss that you don't 
necessarily expect but you anticipate could in fact happen. The long-
term effect on our industry would be devastating.
  I hope we will all rise today in support of this important 
legislation. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I am pleased that we will shortly, I 
assume, be passing this legislation, although I understand we have to 
go through a cloture vote prior to reaching the legislation itself. I 
wanted to underscore that this represents an extraordinary effort on 
the part of many people. I particularly recognize the leadership my 
able colleague from Connecticut, Senator Dodd, provided on this issue. 
We have been working at this now for about a year. So it has been a 
long time coming. It is fair to say that we would never have reached 
this point without Senator Dodd's commitment to this issue and his 
tireless efforts with respect to this legislation.
  I also thank the majority leader, Senator Daschle, who was 
consistently trying to get terrorism insurance legislation, despite 
efforts by many to turn it into something over and above that.
  Senators Schumer and Reed, our colleagues on the conference 
committee, made significant efforts to move the bill forward. And also 
Senator Corzine, although he wasn't on the conference committee, was 
very closely involved in developing this legislation. Of course, 
Chairman Oxley and Congressman LaFalce, our colleagues in the House, 
were obviously instrumental in moving the legislation through the other 
body.
  I also want to take a moment to underscore the outstanding work done 
by staff on this legislation. We come to the floor and, of course, 
Members are deeply involved. And I particularly underscore Senator 
Dodd's efforts in this regard. But there are staff who back us all up.
  I particularly want to recognize from the Banking Committee staff 
Sarah Kline, Aaron Klein, and Alex Sternhell, who worked literally day 
and night on this matter. Also Steve Harris, Marty Gruenberg and Steve 
Kroll, and the staff of our conferees: Didem Nisanci from Senator 
Reed's office, and Polly Trottenberg from Senator Schumer's office; and 
while he was not a conferee, Senator Corzine's staffer, Roger 
Hollingsworth, also participated throughout.
  I also want to recognize the hard work and the professionalism that 
our legislative counsels brought to this process: Laura Ayoud from the 
Senate legislative counsel's office, who is just an outstanding 
professional and renders great service to this body, and Paul Callen 
from the House legislative counsel's office. Laura Ayoud stayed up all 
night working on this legislation. I simply want to underscore that.
  We have had strong support for this legislation from the 
administration. The President has indicated that he will sign it. The 
administration was instrumental in dealing with some of the objections 
that were actually raised more with respect to items that are not in 
the legislation rather than items that are in it. In the course of 
this, we have developed a piece of legislation which I believe will 
address the challenge that confronts us.
  We have had troubling reports about the availability of terrorism 
insurance, and the impact of that upon the economy.
  Since the tragic attacks of September 11th, many property and 
casualty insurers are excluding coverage of losses from acts of 
terrorism from the policies they write. In those cases where terrorism 
insurance is available, it is often unaffordable, and very limited in 
the scope and amount of coverage. The Banking Committee explored this 
issue in two days of hearings shortly after the attacks, in which we 
heard from Treasury Secretary O'Neill, CEA Chairman R. Glenn Hubbard, 
insurance regulators, business and insurance leaders, and outside 
experts. The testimony of these witnesses helped to define the scope of 
the problem in the insurance marketplace and to shape our thinking on 
the appropriate solution.
  The fact that so many properties are uninsured or underinsured 
against the risk of terrorism could have a negative effect on our 
economy and our recovery if there were to be another terrorist attack. 
In the event of another attack, many properties would have to absorb 
any loses themselves, without the support of insurance. As a result, 
the GOA has observed, ``another terrorist attack similar to that 
experienced on September 11th could have significant economic effects 
on the marketplace and the public at large.''
  But even in the absence of another attack, the lack of insurance can 
hinder economic activity. The GAO has found example of ``large projects 
canceling or experiencing delays . . . with a lack of terrorism 
coverage being cited as a principal contributing factor.''
  Most industry observes are of the opinion that, given time, the 
insurance industry will develop the capacity and the experience that 
will allow them to underwrite the terrorist risk. However, those 
conditions do not appear to exist today. In the interim experts believe 
that a Federal reinsurance backstop of limited duration would give the 
insurance markets the necessary time to stabilize.
  The conference report before us establishes a temporary, three-year 
backstop under which the Federal Government will share the risk of loss 
from future terrorist attacks with the insurance industry. The program 
is triggered when the Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with 
the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, certifies that an 
event meets the definition of an act of terrorism provided in the 
legislation.
  The Terrorism Insurance Program requires that insurers pay a share of 
losses before Federal assistance becomes available. Each insure that 
suffers losses in a terrorist attack will be responsible for paying out 
a certain amount in claims--an insurer deductible--based on a 
percentage of that insurer's direct earned premiums from the previous 
calendar year. Beyond their deductibles, insurance companies will 
continue to have `skin in the game,' as they will be liable for a 
copayment for additional losses. For losses above an insurer's 
deductible, the Federal government will cover 90 percent while the 
insurer will pay 10 percent.
  These provisions are intended to create partnership between insurers 
and the Federal Government in the event that losses occur. By requiring 
companies both to cover initial losses and to continue to share in 
additional losses, this program provides the coverage and the certainty 
of the Federal backstop while also providing incentives to promote a 
healthy private market. And while no system is perfect, the legislation 
grants the Treasury Secretary certain powers, such as the ability to 
audit and inspect claims, that are necessary to protect the government 
against unscrupulous behavior. It is our intent that insurers do not 
alter their behavior in an attempt to procure more value from this 
program than they would otherwise receive from the course of their 
natural business practices.
  In addition to limiting the exposure of individual insurance 
companies, the legislation also includes certain mechanisms to limit 
the exposure of the Federal Government, first by requiring the 
insurance marketplace as a whole to absorb a prescribed amount of any 
terrorism losses--$10 billion for year 1; $12.5 billion for year 2; and 
$15 billion for year 3--and second, by capping total losses covered by 
the program at $100 billion per year. Any Federal payments made before 
the prescribed insurance marketplace retention is reached must be 
recouped by the Secretary of the Treasury through a policyholder 
surcharge.
  One of the guiding principles of this bill is that, to the extent 
possible, state insurance law should not be overridden. To that end, 
the bill respects

[[Page S11402]]

the role of the state insurance commissioners as the appropriate 
regulators of policy terms and rates. Each state commissioner currently 
has the responsibility to ensure that insurance rates are not 
inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, or excessive, and this legislation 
does not change that responsibility.
  At the same time, in order to ensure that the Federal program will 
work as intended, certain Federal requirements are needed to ensure 
that consumers of terrorism insurance will benefit from this program.
  For example, insurance companies will be prohibited from 
discriminating amongst their policyholders by picking and choosing 
which ones to cover for terrorism. The bill requires that insurance 
companies must offer terrorism coverage in all of their property and 
casualty policies during the first two years of the program. The 
Secretary has discretion to extend their important requirement to the 
third year of the program.
  In addition, insurers must provide policyholders with clear and 
conspicuous disclosure of the premium charged for terrorism coverage 
and the existence of a sizeable Federal backstop. This disclosure is 
intended to enhance the competitiveness of the marketplace by allowing 
consumers to comparison-shop for the best rate on terrorism insurance. 
In addition, the disclosure is intended to make policyholders aware 
that the Federal Government will be sharing the costs of terrorism 
losses with their insurers, to help the policyholders assess the 
appropriateness of the premium being offered.
  Moreover, the bill ensures that the State regulators and the Federal 
Government will have access to the information needed to assess the 
impact of this program on insurance consumers. The Secretary is 
required to compile annually information on the terrorism risk premiums 
being charged by insurers].
  This is a limited bill in duration. Of course, the objective is that 
by the end of that time, the insurance market will have come fully back 
into play and that these matters can be dealt with in a more 
traditional way.
  But as the Senator from Connecticut has pointed out frequently, as we 
have addressed the issue over the course of this last year, we face 
extraordinary circumstances created by the risk of terrorism. This 
legislation represents a reasonable and rational response to this 
challenge.
  I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 2 minutes.
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. I have 2 minutes remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two and a half minutes remaining.
  Mr. DODD. Madam President, let me again thank my colleagues for their 
work. I mentioned Mike Oxley of Ohio, chairman of the House Banking 
Committee, and John LaFalce. John LaFalce and I were elected to 
Congress together back in the 1970s. He has made a decision to retire 
from his service in the Congress. I thank him for a remarkable record 
of public service over the more than 2\1/2\ decades.
  I also thank some of the White House staff in addition to our own 
staff here. I include all the names in the remarks I have already 
submitted. I want to thank Nick Calio and Matt Kirk of the White House 
legislative operations. I commend them for their efforts.
  They helped to broker this final agreement. You need to have people 
at the executive branch who are willing to try to put pieces together. 
They are two very professional staff people. The President is fortunate 
to have them working with him. I know that in the process of doing so, 
they disappointed some. I know how they strongly agreed with some of 
the people they disappointed on substantive matters but believe they 
are serving their President and the country well in coming to a final 
conclusion that is fair to all. I thank them for their professionalism 
and straightforwardness in dealing with these difficult matters.
  I thank Senator Daschle and Senator Lott for their leadership as 
well. Both leaders have done a very fine job.
  Mark Childress of Senator Daschle's staff was tremendously helpful on 
this legislation. Senator Sarbanes is absolutely correct that we don't 
often give those staff members who put in countless hours on matters 
like this the credit they deserve. But were it not for Mark and Senator 
Daschle's other staff members working with Alex Sternhell of my office, 
and Senator Sarbanes' staff, we would not have been able to achieve 
this result.
  This conference report is about economic security. As important as 
our physical security is, our economic security is critically 
important. This conference report is an important piece of ensuring our 
nation's economic security. I look forward to the coming hours and days 
when the President will sign this bill into law.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I have sought recognition to comment 
about the legislation on homeland security, which I believe the Senate 
is about to pass. It has been accurately characterized as historic 
legislation. It reorganizes the Government of the United States of 
America to meet the threat of terrorism.
  On September 11, 2001, this country sustained a devastating loss, a 
loss deeply emblazoned on the minds of all Americans. With the attacks 
on the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the plane 
that went down in Somerset County, PA, it was obvious that we faced a 
very extraordinary threat.
  We should have taken action against al-Qaida long before September 
11. There were many warning signals available. Osama bin Laden was well 
known for his jihad against the West, against our values, against our 
civilization. Osama bin Laden was indicted for killing Americans in 
Mogadishu in 1993. Osama bin Laden was indicted for blowing up the U.S. 
embassies in Africa in 1998. He was known to have been involved with 
al-Qaida and the terrorism against the destroyer Cole, and he had made 
his announcement of his worldwide jihad.
  But the United States has historically been reluctant to take 
preemptive action. We did little in responding to the attacks on the 
embassies of August 20, 1998. When we sent a missile to Afghanistan, it 
went to an empty factory. When we put a missile in a factory in the 
Sudan, it may or may not have been a factory with chemical weapons. But 
then, with the events of 9/11, it became apparent that we had to 
respond, and we had to respond very dramatically and emphatically.
  Senator Lieberman and I introduced legislation on October 11, 2001--
exactly 1 month after the 9/11 attack. It was apparent to many of us at 
that time that we needed to have an office of homeland defense and a 
Secretary with power to deal with the many agencies that would be 
involved. First and foremost among those agencies, in my view, was the 
coordination of activities among our intelligence agencies.
  When I was chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the 104th 
Congress, I introduced legislation in 1996 to bring all of the 
intelligence agencies under one umbrella, under the Director of Central 
Intelligence. That had been the spot that was supposed to coordinate 
all of the intelligence activities.
  But the fact of the matter was that the Director of the CIA did not 
have that authority because there were too many independent agencies--
the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the 
counterintelligence of the FBI, intelligence units in the State 
Department, and intelligence units spread throughout the Government--
and there were fierce battles on turf, and the coordination was not 
undertaken.
  As a result of not having all of the intelligence agencies under one 
umbrella, the United States paid a very heavy price. It is my view that 
had all of the dots been on the board, had there been coordination at 
all of these intelligence agencies under one umbrella, we might well 
have prevented September 11.
  After the fact, we learned that in July there was a very important 
FBI report coming out of Phoenix, AZ, about a suspicious man taking 
flight training, and he had a big picture of Osama bin Laden in his 
living quarters. That memorandum was buried somewhere in the FBI 
headquarters. We found out after the fact that the CIA had information 
on two al-Qaida agents at Kuala Lumpur. The CIA did not tell the FBI or 
the Immigration

[[Page S11403]]

and Naturalization Service that those agents came into the United 
States, and they were two of the suicide bombers on 9/11.
  There was information about a man named Zacarias Moussaoui. The FBI 
field office in Minneapolis made an effort to get a warrant under the 
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They never got the warrant. They 
were using the wrong standard. They were using a standard of probable 
cause of 51 percent. The FBI agent testified that the U.S. attorney in 
Minneapolis thought he had to have a 75- to 80-percent probability.
  The fact is that, under the law, Gates v. Illinois, an opinion by 
Justice Rehnquist--now the Chief Justice, then an Associate Justice on 
the Court--says that probable cause is judged by the totality of the 
circumstances and suspicion, and had the warrant been obtained under 
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the computer of Zacarias 
Moussaoui was a virtual treasure trove of information.
  Then a man named Murad, a Pakistani, a member of al-Qaida, gave a 
statement in 1995 that al-Qaida had plans in 1995 to load explosives on 
an airplane and fly them into the White House or into the CIA. Then you 
had the experience with the trade towers themselves, attacked in 1993 
by al-Qaida's agents. They had made an effort to blow up one of the 
towers to try to topple into the other tower to destroy them both. It 
was known that they were very unhappy about their failure.
  So the risks were present, but there was not coordination. We didn't 
bring all of those dots onto one screen. When FBI Director Mueller 
testified before the Judiciary Committee in early June, I asked him 
about all of these facts and concluded that there was a veritable 
blueprint had all of these dots been put together. That is what we have 
an opportunity to do now with homeland security, under the direction of 
the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  I had submitted an amendment, which would have given the Secretary 
greater authority than is present in the existing bill. The Secretary 
of Homeland Defense, under the existing legislation, may request that 
the agencies coordinate, but the Secretary does not have the authority 
to direct, and I believe that is a significant failing in this bill.
  When the House of Representatives passed a homeland security bill 
last Wednesday and, in effect, left town, sending a bill to the Senate, 
it was pretty much a matter of take it or leave it. If I had pressed my 
amendment to do what I thought was a very important improvement, to 
give the Secretary authority to direct all of these agencies, the bill 
would have had to go back to conference, and the Members of the House 
of Representatives had dispersed. They are present only in pro forma 
session. They can take some technical amendments without reconvening, 
but to press a substantive amendment would have sent the matter back 
for a conference, and it would have delayed the matter perhaps as long 
as April of next year.

  I had a long discussion on this matter with homeland security 
adviser, former Governor Tom Ridge, and pressed the point. Then I 
discussed the matter with Vice President Cheney and sought some sort of 
a commitment that the administration would look favorably upon this 
kind of an amendment when we reconvened. The Vice President said he 
could not speak for the President. I talked to President Bush, who 
urged me not to press the amendment, and I told him I would not because 
I did not want to tie up the bill. I did not want to put on a 
substantive amendment that would have required a conference.
  Early in the 108th Congress, I will refile that amendment to give the 
Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to direct these agencies 
because I am still concerned about their turf battles. Turf battles in 
Washington, DC are endemic and epidemic. It is too serious a matter to 
engage in turf battles any longer. Now is the time where we have to use 
all of our resources to prevent another attack.
  We have made very significant advances on a number of lines--on the 
Border Patrol, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We put up $3 
billion last year on serums to deal with smallpox and anthrax, such as 
Cipro. That came through the Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human 
Services, and Education. Senator Harkin, then the chairman, and I, 
ranking member, took the lead in putting up that money. All of these 
precautions in building up the hospital infrastructure and giving 
assistance to the fire departments is vital. Having coordination with 
Federal, State, and local authorities is vital, but if we have to 
respond to an attack, if we do not prevent an attack, then we will be 
in very bad shape. That is why I do believe our efforts have to be 
directed to preventing another attack.
  I discussed also with the administration, with Governor Ridge, Vice 
President Cheney, and President Bush the labor-management relations 
issue. I believe we could have worked out an accommodation which would 
have been satisfactory to all parties.
  When we had the amendment offered by the Senator from Nebraska, Mr. 
Nelson, cosponsored by Senator Chafee and Senator Breaux, there was 
initial confusion as to whether the two paragraphs of the Breaux 
amendment, which incorporated the so-called Morella amendment from the 
House bill, was in place of, substituted for, or in addition to.
  In a colloquy with the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, we 
established the amendment was in addition to and did not remove the 
President's national security authority to take steps if national 
security was endangered. That model could have been applied to the 
other five chapters on flexibility.
  The Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education will 
schedule hearings promptly when we reconvene the 108th Congress to go 
into these issues, to have a thorough airing, have people from the 
Office of Personnel Management come in and explain what they need; to 
have labor representatives come in and explain what they have in mind, 
in order to work out an accommodation which is satisfactory for all 
parties to maintain a high level of morale.
  We also have to be concerned about provisions in this bill which 
could have the effect of trampling on civil liberties 
and constitutional rights. There is no doubt about the danger posed by 
al-Qaida, but there is similarly no doubt that we cannot give up our 
civil liberties and our constitutional rights in our efforts to combat 
al-Qaida. If we do that, if we give up our civil liberties, al-Qaida 
would have, in effect, won.

  There is an ongoing responsibility for oversight, and that 
responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee and the Judiciary Committee to see to it that the detention 
of aliens is based upon some reason; to see to it that if American 
citizens are tried in a military court that there is an observance of 
constitutional rights. There is grave concern in America that we be 
protected from another terrorist attack, but there is also grave 
concern that we be careful in the preservation of our civil liberties.
  Madam President, how much of my 20 minutes remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Six minutes and 26 seconds.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I notice the Senator from Connecticut 
has come to the Chamber. In his absence, I had commented that the 
Senator from Connecticut, Senator Lieberman, and I, had introduced 
homeland security back on October 11, 2001.
  There was resistance in many quarters to having a Department of 
Homeland Security. Governor Ridge, at that time, and I had discussed 
the matter. I have worked very closely with Tom Ridge for many years--
12 years in the Congress and two terms as Pennsylvania's distinguished 
Governor. Governor Ridge said he was sure the people would not say no 
to the President; he could walk down the hall, and he could solve the 
problems.
  I had a view, having been chairman of the Intelligence Committee and 
knowing what goes on in the CIA, that it was not going to be that easy; 
that the man in charge of homeland security really needed some muscle.
  Having worked on the Judiciary Committee chairing the oversight 
committee on the FBI, I knew the problems there. I knew the turf 
battles, and I thought the adviser in charge of homeland security 
needed some muscle.

[[Page S11404]]

  Senator Lieberman and I constructed that bill, when we had hearings. 
We reintroduced an updated version last May, and it has had a number of 
developments. I do believe it is going to be necessary to revisit some 
provisions. I mentioned two--the authority of the Secretary to direct 
the intelligence agencies to consolidate under one umbrella, and a 
refinement of some of the provisions on labor-management relations.
  Then the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday and sent 
it to the Senate on Thursday. Senator Lieberman offered an amendment to 
strike which was voted upon earlier today.
  I agreed with a great deal of what Senator Lieberman had to say. I 
felt it necessary to vote against Senator Lieberman's amendment because 
that would have called for a conference, the appointment of conferees, 
and great delay. It could have been delayed until April.
  We have been asked a lot of questions about this. Yesterday in 
Pennsylvania in a number of meetings, a number of people asked me about 
it. I told them about the old statement: You never want to see 
legislation or sausage made. If you saw what the House of 
Representatives did, the bill they sent over here and some of its 
provisions gave sausage a bad name. But we are going to work through 
it. We are going to pass the bill.
  It is not unusual for the Congress, for the Senate to be confronted 
with a bill which has a lot of clunkers, which has a lot of problems, a 
lot of major disadvantages. Then we have to make a public policy 
determination as to whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
  In my judgment, it is not even a close call at this point. We have to 
have a Department of Homeland Security to protect America.
  Again, I compliment my colleague from Connecticut. I compliment the 
Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Thompson, for the tremendous job he has 
done on the bill, and the Senator from Texas, Mr. Gramm, and his swan 
song. It is a tough legislative battle, but before the stroke of 
midni[Congressional Record: November 19, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S11374-S11404]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr19no02-94]                         



 
                HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana is recognized.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, what is the pending business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. We are postcloture on H.R. 5005.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I may soon 
make a unanimous consent request that the time be charged against the 
pending measure.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            Disaster Relief

  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, soon, I am going to ask unanimous consent 
to take up the emergency disaster relief bill that the Senate passed 
earlier with over 79 votes on September 10, 2002.
  The only difference between my consent request today and that 
amendment is today's bill reimburses the $752 million of section 32 
funds that were used to pay for the livestock compensation program 
earlier this year. This all really stems from the agricultural disaster 
our country has been facing for the last year and, frankly, in 
preceding years.
  In 1996, not too many years ago--that is the year before the drought 
began in Montana--our producers earned $847 million from wheat sales. 
In 2001, 4 years later into the drought--we have had a series of 
droughts in Montana--producers made just $317 million from wheat sales, 
a 62-percent decline.
  That 62-percent decline in sales is through absolutely no fault of 
Montana wheat producers. These farmers haven't been cooking the books. 
This is not an Enron matter or a WorldCom matter. They have not been 
taking exorbitant bonuses at the expense of their shareholders. They 
have been farmers and ranchers working the soil and doing their very 
best, in many cases, just to survive. They are dedicated, honest, plain 
folks, raising livestock for our country and the world, raising 
agricultural and grain products to try to make ends meet. They need our 
help.
  The drought is no longer touching only isolated pockets of our 
country; it has become an epidemic that is affecting a majority of our 
Nation.
  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 49 percent of our 
Nation's counties were declared an agricultural disaster in 2001; 78 
percent of our counties were declared a disaster in 2002; 38 percent of 
those counties were declared a disaster in both 2001 and 2002.
  So it is in many parts of the country. In fact, a map I displayed in 
this body earlier showed that the western half of the United States 
basically is experiencing drought conditions, and the eastern United 
States as well. Now, there are also pockets. In Montana, for example, 
there are some counties where farmers are devastated and other counties 
where they harvested a bit of a crop.
  In any event, if you are a farmer who has lost his crop continuously 
and you are having a very difficult time making ends meet, I say you 
deserve our help.
  According to the New York Times, on May 3 of this year:

       In eastern Montana, more than a thousand wheat farmers have 
     called it quits rather than try to coax another crop out of 
     ground that has received less rain in the last 12 months than 
     many deserts get in a year.

  It is anticipated that another 1,300 wheat producers will call it 
quits this year if disaster assistance is not provided.
  Continuing, Mr. President, that same New York Times article--this is 
an eastern newspaper, not Montana:

       Those people, small businesses and rural communities have 
     been devastated by an unpredictable and uncontrollable 
     national phenomenon.

  On September 3, 2002, the Wall Street Journal also printed an 
article:

       The United States may be looking at the most expensive 
     drought in its history inflicting economic damage far beyond 
     the farm belt.

  Producers every day hope, plead, ask that Congress help them a little 
bit.
  I could go on at great length. I am not going to go on at great 
length except to say many times we have brought up this measure. It 
passed the Senate by a large margin both times, and the other body has 
said no, basically because the White House has said no. That is a fact. 
Nobody denies that fact. I will ask again today; we still do have time 
today or tomorrow, however long we are here, to help our farmers. This 
is a disaster payment; it is an emergency disaster payment. This is 
what America does. If we have hurricanes, we provide disaster 
assistance. If we have floods, we provide disaster assistance. We have 
other natural disaster phenomena in this country, and the Government 
provides assistance to help the people get back on their feet. That is 
all we are asking.
  If we pass this legislation today, the other body can take it up and 
pass it, and the President can sign it. It is that simple.
  As we near the end of this session and approach the holiday season, 
the very least we can do is provide disaster assistance to our farmers 
and ranchers, many of whom are either going out of business or about to 
go out of business because of an agricultural disaster, in most cases, 
drought and in some parts of our country it is flooding.
  I see our distinguished majority leader on the floor. I am quite 
certain he wants to speak on this matter as well. It is a huge issue in 
many parts of our country. It is very much hoped we can take disaster 
assistance up and pass it at this time. I yield now to my colleague 
from South Dakota.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I commend the distinguished Senator from 
Montana. He has been at this now for over a year. The very first 
conversation I had about drought assistance was with Senator Baucus 
over a year ago. I believe it was in connection with the economic 
stimulus package of a year ago. It has been 278 days since the Senate 
acted. So he has been at it for over a year. We, as a Senate, have been 
at it now for 278 days.
  I must say, we can go all the way back to a year ago when Senator 
Baucus made the case that if you want

[[Page S11375]]

economic stimulus in our part of the country, there is no better 
economic stimulus than to provide some drought assistance.
  I would use the word economic salvation. This is more than stimulus 
in our part of the country. This is salvation. This is the only way we 
can provide some salvation to ranchers and farmers who otherwise will 
not be here a year from now. We have done everything we know how to do. 
We have passed amendments. We have passed legislation in various forms. 
We have offered the House an opportunity to negotiate with us. We have 
suggested to the White House: Act alone. It does not matter, use 
whatever vehicle you will, but get it done.
  How in the name of economic stimulus can we ignore a large part of 
our geographic population, a large part geographically of our country? 
If these people are without this assistance, the rural communities 
associated with these people simply cannot survive.
  I thank the Senator from Montana for his leadership and for again 
coming to the floor to remind our colleagues of the import of this 
question, of the urgency that we get something done before we leave. 
This may be the last day. We may not be in session after today. If we 
do not do it today, we will not do it. What kind of a message does that 
send to rural America, to farmers and ranchers who have been waiting 
now 278 days for the Congress to complete its work?
  We voted, as he said, overwhelmingly--overwhelmingly, Republicans and 
Democrats. I would hope we were not doing that just for a political 
cover because this is far more important than political cover. This is 
economic survival. This will provide the only salvation to the farmers 
and ranchers who are desperately looking to Washington for help. Let's 
do it right. Let's provide this assistance. Let's agree with this 
request. Let's get this assistance to them quickly. Let's save them 
before it is too late. I hope we will do that this afternoon.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are many Senators who wish to speak 
on this because it is so important. I ask unanimous consent that I be 
able to yield to other Senators without losing my right to the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I yield to my good friend from Minnesota.
  Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished senior Senator 
from Montana for his leadership on this matter. As the majority leader 
said, the Senator has been superb in his leadership on this for now 
over a year and has been speaking out not only on behalf of Montana 
farmers but on behalf of thousands of Minnesota farmers who have also 
been devastated over the last 2 years and have not seen $1 of disaster 
aid provided to our State.
  The message is: If you are a pharmaceutical company and you have that 
kind of political clout, you will be taken care of by the Congress. If 
you are a company that has run away from this Nation to hide your tax 
obligation, you get a special consideration stuck in the bill that came 
over from the House of Representatives which we just voted on this 
morning. If you are a farmer in Minnesota, however, Montana, or 
elsewhere and you have been devastated by conditions beyond your 
control, the Congress is going to turn its back on you, the 
administration is going to turn its back on you.
  As the Senator pointed out, this Senate has not turned its back on 
farmers on disaster aid. The 2002 farm bill--and I served with the 
Senator from Montana on the Senate Agriculture Committee--had 
agriculture disaster assistance in that measure, but, again, the House 
and the administration turned a cold shoulder and had no funding 
whatsoever, and the conference report came back after many days of 
negotiation with the House unyielding and the administration unyielding 
in their position of not providing disaster assistance.
  The farmers in my State of Minnesota have lost over three quarters of 
a billion dollars in crop devastation in the last 2 years--three-
quarters of a billion dollars in 2 years, and not $1 back from the 
Federal Government. That is why people lose their faith and trust in 
Government because we do the wrong things for the wrong people and we 
do not do the right things for the right people. By ``we,'' I mean the 
collective bodies, because this Senator and the majority of the Senate 
have said again and again: We want to stand with those farmers who are 
suffering the greatest losses, who are being wiped out.
  Over half the crops in my region have been wiped out over each of the 
last 2 years.
  I say let's stand with the farmers. I stand proudly with the Senator 
from Montana. I thank him for his leadership. Let's make one last plea 
to this body and the House and the administration to do what is right 
and do what is urgently needed on behalf of farmers in my State and 
elsewhere in this country.
  I thank the Chair, and I thank the Senator from Montana for yielding 
to me.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I now yield as much time as he consumes to 
the Senator from North Dakota, an ardent fighter on behalf of 
agriculture, I might add.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Montana for 
bringing this issue before the Senate again and again.
  It is interesting what people consider a priority in this Congress. 
We have voted on this issue of drought relief and disaster assistance 
for farmers in the Senate. Seventy-nine Members of the Senate voted to 
do something. We passed legislation for $5.9 billion. Let me tell you 
why we did that.
  This map shows what happened to a major part of the country. A major 
part of our country suffered a devastating drought. In my State, we had 
that extreme drought in the southwestern corner. We also had extreme 
moisture and therefore flooding in the northeastern corner.

  Let me show a picture of two farmers in the same State. This farmer 
is standing on his land that looks like a moonscape. Put seeds in that 
ground and nothing grows. Is that a disaster? It is if you put all your 
hopes, dreams, and capital into the ground. We had literally a 
moonscape. No pasture, no crops in these areas.
  In the same State, flooded land. Drought and flooding. No crop.
  Now, when family farmers suffer this circumstance, they cannot make 
it from one year to the next. One of my colleagues said we really ought 
to name droughts. We do name hurricanes. If a hurricane came through 
tomorrow and it took a portion of the country and flattened it, 
immediately airplanes would leave Washington, DC, FEMA would be on the 
airplane, other governmental offices would be on the plane, and they 
would be rushing there. Why? Because Hurricane Andrew, Emma, or 
Hurricane Myrtle hit land. We would all understand this was a disaster. 
All of the mechanisms of the Federal Government racheting up to try to 
deal with disasters would be on the way to help.
  But this gripping, relentless drought that occurred in our country, 
with flooding in some other parts, is something that happens over time. 
So there are enough people in Congress--including the President of the 
United States--who decided we do not want to do anything; we want to 
block this. We passed disaster assistance by 79 votes in the Senate. 
Bipartisan. The Speaker of the House and the President say, We do not 
want it, we will not do it.
  My colleague from Minnesota made an appropriate point. What did they 
have time to do? As to the question of whose side are you on, at least 
part of the answer this morning is we are on the side of corporations 
who want to renounce their citizenship and move offshore to stop paying 
taxes to the United States Government, or at least minimize those 
taxes. We would like to become citizens of Bermuda, some corporations 
say. So this morning the vote in the Senate was to say, at least by the 
majority, regrettably, we would like to help those companies. The 
Senate already voted to say if you want to renounce your American 
citizenship, you ought not be getting American contracts with the 
Federal Government.
  In the homeland security bill they have stuck in a little piece that 
says let's make it easier for corporations that renounce their 
citizenship to get

[[Page S11376]]

these contracts. That was a priority. It was a priority, for those 
corporations that renounce their citizenship, to help them out. We had 
the time and the will by some in Congress to help them out.
  It is interesting, exactly the same people who do not want to lift a 
finger to help family farmers are saying we would like to help out 
these poor corporations that renounce their citizenship.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. DORGAN. I yield the floor.
  Mr. BAUCUS. How many family farmers in North Dakota are able to move 
offshore to Bermuda and not pay income taxes? How many would you guess 
could do this?
  Mr. DORGAN. The answer is zero. But the answer would be zero if every 
farmer had the opportunity to do it. Do you know why? Because our 
farmers are Americans. They do not want to move anywhere. They do not 
want to become citizens of Bermuda. They do not want to avoid paying 
income taxes. They would love to pay income taxes for a change. They 
would like an opportunity to have an income to pay income tax.
  There is no income with a moonscape farm or when your crop is under 
water. Our farmers would not move to Bermuda for tax purposes.
  Mr. BAUCUS. And that means they do not have to pay income tax.
  Mr. DORGAN. Yes. They consider that unpatriotic.
  The question is, why does Congress have time to help those 
corporations that renounce their citizenship but it does not have time 
to pass a piece of legislation that deals with disaster?
  The point the Senator from Minnesota made is an important point. They 
have the opportunity and the will, apparently, to help drug companies 
but not family farmers.
  It was Tom Paxon a couple of decades ago, when Congress gave some 
financial assistance to Poland, who wrote a song that said, ``I'm 
changing my name to Poland.''
  Well, the question is, What is important to the Congress? Do you have 
to change your name to get some help? My farmers are named Johnson, 
Olson, Christianson, Larson. And they are out there and they put 
everything they have in the ground in North Dakota. They do it on a 
hope and a prayer that somehow it will rain enough, not rain too much, 
the insects will not come, the disease will not come, and they raise a 
crop and take it out of the ground and take it to the elevator for some 
money. That is a hope beyond hope with a natural disaster.
  We have a responsibility, if we care about rural America, care about 
family farmers and care about the special culture they provide for this 
country and contribution they make to this country, we have a 
responsibility to help in tough times. That is what we ought to do, to 
extend a helping hand to say, we would like to help you during these 
tough times.
  Yet, I regret, in answer to the question, Whose side are you on, too 
many decided to block this. They blocked it at the White House, blocked 
it at the speaker's office in the other body. The Senator from Montana 
has been on the floor before--again and again and again. I am proud to 
have been here with him to say this is a priority for us. This is not a 
giveaway. It is not something that is not desperately needed. This is a 
responsibility as Americans to say to others in this country when they 
need help, here is a helping hand.
  I am proud to have served in both the House of Representatives and 
the Senate. In every circumstance on every occasion where someone in 
this country has been injured, hurt, or disadvantaged by fires and 
floods and earthquakes and tornados and so many natural disasters, I am 
proud to say I have voted to provide disaster assistance to them 
because I believe that is the best of what we should do in this 
country.
  I will never, ever vote against that kind of assistance to people who 
are down and out and need help. That is why I would have expected this 
Congress and this President to join us, 79 Members of the Senate, 
Republicans and Democrats, to provide disaster help now when it is 
needed.

  I regret we may now, in the waning hours, leave this session with an 
objection to the unanimous consent request, after it has already passed 
the Senate by 79 votes and after the House is somewhere scattered 
across America--done with their business, they will have left this 
Congress and left undone a significant piece of legislation that should 
have been saying to America's family farmers, beset by disaster, that 
this country cares about you and this country wants to help you in a 
time of need.
  Again, let me say thanks to the Senator from Montana for his effort 
today. I fully support him.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I thank the Senator. I notice my colleagues are coming 
over. This is an important matter, and we have an opportunity and we 
owe it to our people to get this legislation passed.
  I yield to my friend from Michigan, Senator Stabenow.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Montana who has 
been such a leader on this issue. We have all joined on the floor time 
and time again to talk about the need for emergency assistance, for 
disaster assistance in our States. As a member of the Senate 
Agriculture Committee, I stand with my colleagues to indicate that 
Michigan has been under a disaster from flooding, from drought, from 
changing temperatures. We had our cherry growers this past year find 
extraordinarily high temperatures in April, only to see freezes just a 
few weeks later. This has stopped the ability for practically any 
cherries to end up on the trees this year. It is incredible, the fact 
that they have essentially been wiped out, not including what has 
happened the last 2 years for our grape growers, what has consistently 
been the battle for our apple growers, what we have seen from dry beans 
in Michigan, asparagus.
  I could go on and on. We have had harmed numerous crops in Michigan. 
We have seen consistent emergencies come as a result of weather.
  This is not only an issue for our family farmers but for the business 
community as well. When we do not have the cherries on the trees, our 
processors do not have any business. We are seeing processing plants 
that are cutting back or closing. This is a ripple effect throughout 
the economy in Michigan. I am sure in other States, as well.
  This is truly a disaster. As my colleagues have said, if this were a 
hurricane, if this were a tornado, if this were another circumstance, 
we would all be joined together to help communities that find 
themselves in a disaster situation because of no fault of their own. 
This is no less a disaster. It is no less a situation out of the 
control of our farmers and all of those involved in agriculture.
  I thank the Senator from Montana again and stand, as I have 
throughout this process, with the Senator. This is our last opportunity 
to do this and to indicate to our family farmers, to agriculture across 
this country, that we understand what you are going through; that we 
support you and we will provide the same assistance we would for any 
other disaster and emergency that might occur.

  I strongly hope we will be able to prevail in getting some action 
today.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I might ask a question of the Senator. Did the Senator by 
any chance vote for disaster assistance to aid other parts of the 
country, such as, say, New York City?
  Ms. STABENOW. Absolutely. As our leader has just indicated, we are 
consistently coming together on a bipartisan basis to support important 
efforts. I was proud to stand with all my colleagues in the time of 
need of New York and New Jersey and all those who were affected after 
9/11. We consistently have requests from FEMA that come forward, to 
which it is necessary that we respond, and we do that and we step up 
together. Honestly, for the life of me, I do not understand why, when 
it comes to our farmers, we do not have the same bipartisan support nor 
the same support from the administration. It is deeply concerning.
  I very much hope as we come to the end of the session that we could 
come together and stand up for those who fight hard every day against 
the elements. They are in a tough job. They cannot control whether it 
rains or shines. Yet they are putting food on our tables, as well as 
around the world, and providing for a very important part of our 
economy. I hope we stand up for them at this time.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from South Dakota.

[[Page S11377]]

  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I thank Senator Baucus of Montana; 
Senators Dorgan and Conrad of North Dakota; Senator Stabenow of 
Michigan; my colleague, Tom Daschle of South Dakota; and others who 
have risen on the floor to talk about the urgent need for disaster 
relief to the agricultural sector of our economy. It seems 
extraordinary to me that at a time when we have passed disaster relief 
for earthquakes in California, hurricanes in Florida or New York or 
whatever--whenever there is a natural disaster that has occurred, our 
country has come together. Our colleague, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, 
suggests perhaps we ought to give names to these droughts. If it was 
Drought Hugo or Drought Andrew, perhaps there would be a different 
perception at the White House.
  I was profoundly disappointed this summer when President Bush 
traveled all the way to Mount Rushmore, in fact, to announce to the 
agricultural sector that there would be no relief other than what 
meager amount there might be available in the farm bill. That was never 
designed to address natural disasters. We have always dealt with 
disasters in the agricultural sector or any other sector of the economy 
on an individual basis. Some years we have them, some we do not. There 
is no slush fund in the farm bill designed to be utilized for a 
disaster relief. It is simply not put together that way.
  Yet we know we could do a full $6 billion level of drought relief and 
do it in a fiscally responsible fashion because, in fact, the farm 
bill, over the course of this next year, is going to be using less 
countercyclical payments, and those payments will not be required, and 
that will come to around a $6 billion savings. It is not a technical 
offset, we know that, but it is a fiscally responsible way we can go 
about doing this.
  But to single out agriculture for the first time ever in this 
unprecedented way strikes me as an extraordinarily bad precedent. 
Republican and Democratic administrations alike in the past have 
supported disaster relief when disasters occur. It is not like we seek 
relief every time we have a little shortage of rain or a little problem 
of one kind or another. That is the nature of agriculture. But what we 
have here is a devastating circumstance that has damaged agriculture in 
a significant way in some 37 different States, at least, across the 
country. Yet we have an administration for the first time ever saying 
we will help tornado victims, we will help hurricane victims, will help 
earthquake victims, but if you are in the agricultural sector, forget 
about it. We are not going to be there for you. That is a precedent 
that is of profound consequence to the agricultural sector all across 
our country.
  In South Dakota, the State university tells us the loss to the 
economy is already in excess of $2 billion in our small State. 
Obviously this ripples up and down every Main Street of every 
community. Those who are the least capitalized, the younger producers, 
are the first to be forced off the land at a time when we have a 
demographic problem as it is in terms of keeping our young people and 
young leaders in our rural communities. It has an enormous impact. We 
will be feeling the effects for years and years to come. Even if we 
were to have this disaster relief, as Senator Baucus well knows, this 
would not make people whole. This would not make it as though the 
disaster had not occurred. This would simply get people by through the 
winter so they can know whether they have to continue to disperse their 
herds or whether they would continue to farm at all--they would have 
that knowledge. They would be in the hope next year things would turn 
better.
  As it is, we have had a 2001 and 2002 drought, 2 years back to back. 
On top of that, we have unfair trade policy, concentration in the 
agricultural sector, and all kinds of conditions at work to lower the 
price that our producers get in too many cases and it simply gangs up 
on our producers to the point where income is falling off a radical 
level this year--down at least 23 percent this year; last year it 
wasn't good. What we are going to find is a depopulation of this part 
of the country.
  If we were seeking something unique and special for the agricultural 
sector that no other sector gets, it would be one thing, but what we 
are looking for is equity, fairness. I ask my good friend, the Senator 
from Montana, who has played such a lead role in helping to raise this 
issue, is there any logic, is there any equity in singling out the 
agricultural sector to be devoid of any kind of disaster relief as 
opposed to any other sector that faces a natural disaster in America? 
Why should agriculture be the one sector that is told to drop dead when 
you have a natural disaster in your region?
  Mr. BAUCUS. I thank my friend. Frankly, I was going to ask him 
roughly the same question; namely, what possible reason could the 
administration have, the other side of the body have, for saying no? 
What possible reason? Can you even think of a reason? The only one I 
can think of is, perhaps, that it costs money. That cannot be a reason 
when we spend so much money in so many areas where there is no 
disaster, no emergency. This is black and white. This is so easy. As 
the Senator has so articulately said, in so many instances it is the 
American way to help parts of the country that suffer natural 
disasters, America is there. America has a big heart. We are there. We 
are Americans. We work together to help other Americans who suffer 
disasters.
  The Senator has mentioned earthquakes. We know of the devastating 
earthquakes, say in California and we were there. We know of the 
devastating hurricanes in Florida or on the eastern coast, and we have 
been there. We know of other floods and we have been there. All of us 
together have been there. As the Senator said, it has been nonpartisan, 
it has just been America.
  But for some reason, and I cannot fathom what the reason is, the 
White House said no to this disaster; said no. The other body, on the 
other side, said no. The only possible reason I can think of, as the 
Senator has suggested, for some reason they think they can get away 
from it because farmers and ranchers are kind of stoic. They are good 
people. They do not raise the rafters. They don't take to the streets. 
They are good, solid people.
  I think the Senator from Minnesota made a good point earlier. He 
said, and frankly this is very poignant, it is ironic: When our beloved 
late departed colleague, Senator Wellstone, often said, there are other 
people--there are law firms, lobbyists, who can represent big companies 
in Washington, DC. But he, Senator Wellstone, was there to represent 
the people who don't have big lobbyists and well-heeled people. He, 
Senator Wellstone, is there to represent the people. That is our job. 
It is the job of both sides of the aisle, to represent the people. It 
is the job of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to represent the people.
  Now we have our nation's farmers and ranchers, down and out--there 
are not better, more decent, hard-working, wonderful, people in America 
than our farmers and our ranchers. They don't complain. They work 
really hard. They do their very best. Yet the administration and the 
other body is turning their backs to them.
  It reminds me sometimes of New York. The current occupant of the 
Chair from New Jersey certainly knows this phenomenon. Certainly, when 
an administration or Congress says no to something New York wants, the 
headlines are: Drop dead. The administration says drop dead.
  Clearly this administration, the other party, to our farmers and 
ranchers has said: Drop dead.
  The Senator made another excellent point; namely, the farm bill is 
not designed to take care of natural disasters. You must have a crop to 
participate in the Farm Bill. There is no slush fund, the Senator said, 
in the farm bill.
  The farm bill is irrelevant to this phenomenon, this disaster, we are 
facing. For the life of me, I cannot understand. Maybe drought is just 
a ``silent killer,'' as some of our colleagues mentioned earlier. It is 
not on the front pages. It is the silent killer in different parts of 
the country. You do not see it coming slowly, but it just as pernicious 
and devastating, if not more so.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for his insight 
because I think he is exactly right. While the damage is as great as 
with any other disaster, it takes a matter of days and weeks and months 
for this to occur, as opposed to the headline-grabbing earthquake or 
tornado or hurricane that may take a day or two and grab headlines.
  I invite my colleagues from the House who have refused to even hold

[[Page S11378]]

hearings on this issue, much less have a vote of any kind on disaster 
relief, and I invite the administration to come to my part of the 
country to look at what has happened to those fields, to those farms, 
and to those ranches. The liquidation of herds has already taken place. 
The equity built up for generations has been lost over the course of 
this last year. Again, we find a stone wall relative to disaster relief 
for agriculture.
  I applaud the leadership of my colleague from Montana, and my 
colleague from South Dakota, Senator Daschle, and Senators Dorgan, 
Conrad, Nelson, and others who have done so much to highlight the 
equity and the common sense of this action. It is my hope that before 
we leave this place, we can in fact see to it that our rural parts of 
America get the same kind of attention, the same kind of concern, and 
the same kind of compassion that every other part of America and every 
other sector gets when they have unmitigated disasters facing them.
  I yield my time.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I have the floor. Before I yield time to 
the Senator from North Dakota, I see the distinguished minority leader. 
I ask if he can wait for a short while so the Senator from North Dakota 
can give his statement, if that is OK with the Senator from 
Mississippi.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I would be glad to withhold. I hope it 
doesn't take too long.
  Mr. BAUCUS. I am giving him in a little nudge.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Montana. I thank 
the Republican leader. I appreciate that.
  As you can imagine, this is deadly serious for the people I 
represent. This picture says it all. This is what southwestern North 
Dakota looks like. It looks like a moonscape. Nothing grew this year. 
It is the most devastating drought that many have faced since the 
1930s. Many would say it is an even more devastating drought than we 
had in the 1930s because absolutely nothing grew this year. It is a 
devastation.
  One of the newspapers in our State published this headline: 
``Disaster Aid Just Common Sense.'' This is my hometown newspaper. They 
said: Look, this is a circumstance that demands a response. Always 
before, we have given disaster assistance to every other part of the 
country in every other circumstance, but not here.
  The President of the United States says take the aid out of the farm 
bill. There is no disaster aid in the farm bill. That was specifically 
precluded. But the farm bill can provide the funding because the 
savings from the farm bill will directly provide the amount of money 
necessary for disaster assistance.
  Here is the circumstance we face, according to the USDA. Net farm 
income is going to go down 21 percent even though prices are higher. 
Even though farm program payments will be lower, farm income is going 
to plunge. It is going to plunge because of natural disasters in every 
part of the country. Obviously, it is very acute in the Midwest--
especially Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
  I end by reminding colleagues of what Senator Wellstone, who so 
tragically died, said in his last days. He was fighting for disaster 
aid. He said: ``Politics delays aid for northwest Minnesota farmers.''
  Senator Wellstone may be prophetic in what he said because he was 
afraid that politics would kill the disaster assistance that is so 
desperately needed.
  In my State, literally hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of farm 
families will be forced off the land if we don't do what we have always 
done in the past; that is, provide disaster assistance--a disaster 
package that can be fully offset and fully funded by savings out of the 
farm bill. Because of these natural disasters, and because we have had 
drought and floods, production is less and prices are higher. That 
means payments are less from the farm bill. That money could be used to 
pay for disaster assistance that is so desperately needed.
  I plead with my colleagues. I plead with them. Let us do now what we 
have always done in the past. When any part of the country suffered a 
disaster, we helped. We should do no less now.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of S. 3099, the bill to provide emergency 
disaster assistance to agricultural producers, that the bill be read a 
third time and passed, that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the 
table, and that any statements thereon be printed in the Record.
  Mr. President, before I ask the Chair to put that question, let me 
just say that I plead with my good friend, the minority leader--soon to 
become the majority leader--from Mississippi. I know he is about to 
object. But I urge him to not object at this point.
  Maybe there is a way to work something out here. I say that because 
this is not a political gesture. As the Senator well knows, Mississippi 
farmers are hurt for various reasons. As a final good-faith, bipartisan 
way to work something out with the White House, if he can possibly 
figure it out--I don't want to put the Senator on the spot. Believe me. 
I don't. I am only putting it this way because this could be the last 
day we are in session, and we still have an opportunity here. I wonder 
if the Senator might not object. As the Senator from North Dakota 
pointed out very well, there really is no cost to this because the farm 
bill costs will be about this amount less because of the way the farm 
bill works; namely, with the drought we have less production and higher 
prices and much less in government payments made to farmers, it works 
out to be very close to the amount of disaster assistance to farmers 
and ranchers who suffer from a natural disaster.
  I know it is a long shot. I am still going to make the request. We 
haven't given up around here trying to help our people.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I have no 
doubt about the seriousness of the sponsors of this effort. Also, I am 
sure the administration and the Congress are going to continue to look 
at this to find ways to be of assistance in every way that is possible 
and that is needed.
  There are a couple of serious problems with this, though. First of 
all, we do not really know what the cost will be. We are being told it 
wouldn't cost anything because it would come out of the agriculture 
bill. I thought I heard another Senator say you can't take it out of 
the agriculture bill that we passed because it is prohibited. I am not 
sure exactly how that would work.
  Second, this bill came straight to the floor. It didn't come through 
the committee. I have a lot of faith, even though I disagree sometimes 
with the leadership on the Agriculture Committee. My colleague from 
Mississippi, Senator Cochran, is certainly sensitive to agricultural 
disasters. He will be the chairman of the Agriculture Committee next 
year. We will have a chance to revisit this. But no committee 
considered it; it was just brought straight to the floor.
  For those reasons and others, and the fact that the House will not 
have an opportunity to fully consider it, or even take it up at this 
late date, I would have to object. So I do object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I am gravely disappointed that there is 
objection.
  Our farmers cannot wait, frankly, until next year. It looks like they 
are going to have to wait now. Those who are still farming, those who 
are still raising livestock are going to have to somehow dig deeper, if 
you pardon the pun, to make a living, scratching off the land.
  I am baffled. I am totally baffled. This case is so clear. With all 
due respect to my colleague from Mississippi, he made two inconsistent 
points. I heard no real reason, just an objection, as is any Senator's 
right under the rules of the Senate.
  But, nevertheless, we have spoken. And I will fight this in January; 
that is, we will figure out some way to help our farmers and ranchers 
who are suffering from these disasters, just as other people around the 
country get aid when they experience disasters.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Edwards). The Senator from Nebraska.

[[Page S11379]]

  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, I thank you for this 
opportunity to speak today regarding the importance of disaster relief 
yet this year.
  Now, in just the last few minutes it became fairly clear this is now 
going to have to carry over. And I respectfully disagree with the 
Republican leader that this should be carried over. I do understand the 
rules and will have to abide by them, but I think it is important to 
point out that while the legislation may wait, the people who need 
these funds for their very survival are not going to be able to wait. 
They are going to sell off their land. Many are selling their herds 
right now. They will not wait because they can't wait. We will have to 
wait for this legislation and do the best we can.
  But I would like to quickly thank Senator Baucus and certainly 
Senator Daschle for their tireless efforts to provide drought 
assistance. And I certainly associate myself with the comments made by 
Senator Conrad from North Dakota, who I think very eloquently laid out 
the numbers and what the implications are relative to the need for this 
disaster relief in his State.
  Nebraska isn't much different. Much of our land looks like a 
moonscape because the pastures have had inadequate precipitation for a 
number of months and, in many cases, years, and they do not come back 
quickly. Without water, without snow, without the precipitation 
required, the grass simply will not grow.
  This body has twice passed drought assistance--twice. We first passed 
it as drought relief. Then we passed it as part of the Interior 
appropriations process. We tried to include it in the farm bill.
  Yet as we come to the conclusion of this 107th Congress, the House 
has failed to act. We must try one more time to get the point across so 
that, as the year turns from 2002 to 2003, there will still be a 
recollection that just because the year has changed, the conditions 
have not changed; they continue, unfortunately.
  We are here not to make a point, although a point must, in fact, be 
made, but to get the necessary drought assistance for our farmers and 
ranchers in those areas of our country that are experiencing a 
continuing drought, a multiyear drought, that is devastating to their 
economic well-being today and threatens to be even more devastating in 
the days ahead.
  Some are worried, apparently, about the cost. I, too, as a fiscal 
conservative, am worried about the cost. But I must ask, what would we 
do if it was a different kind of natural disaster, let's say a 
hurricane or a flood or an earthquake, some other kind of disaster?
  It is not that the people in this body are not worried about the 
cost; it is that when we have emergencies, we respond to those 
emergencies without looking for offsets because we recognize 
emergencies are special situations. They cannot be simply provided for 
within the current budget or in a future budget.
  On disaster relief, the Congressional Budget Office has said 
Government spending is down, almost enough to pay for this disaster 
relief, because of this year's high commodity prices. Why cannot we see 
our way clear, in some manner, before the end of the year, or right 
after the beginning of the new year, to put disaster relief on the 
continuing resolution or be the first order of business in the next 
Congress?
  If some believe this drought is really not as damaging as other 
natural disasters, I invite them to come to Nebraska and visit with our 
farmers and our ranchers and take a look at the landscape and begin to 
understand that if our farmers and ranchers are unable to make it 
financially, the lenders will require them to sell their land, to sell 
their herds, to go into bankruptcy.
  This damaging drought is not only a problem for farmers and ranchers, 
but it devastates main street Nebraska, main street North Dakota, the 
main street in any community that depends primarily for its existence 
on successful agriculture. If you talk to the merchants in these small 
communities, they will tell you what is happening to their business. 
They are going under. They are not making it. They are worried about 
not only next year but making it this year. Because if you don't have 
money coming from agriculture, these communities are going to wither, 
and they are not going to be able to make it.
  So I only suggest, half in jest, that we begin to label droughts, 
because if this was ``Drought Andrew'' or ``Drought Margaret,'' it 
would have some identity that could attract emergency aid for a 
disaster. We make a mistake in not having these droughts named after an 
individual, as we do with hurricanes, because then these natural 
disasters, these natural events, that occur over a continuing period of 
time might have a substance that could attract the attention of those 
who are today saying: Well, let's put it off until next year.
  I can assure you, if we had another type of disaster today, it is 
very unlikely it would be put over until next year. If we had had a 
hurricane last month or the month before, I can absolutely assure you, 
it would not have been put over until next year.
  I don't think it can be any more clear to me that America's farmers 
and ranchers need this effort in our Senate to go forward. We need the 
House to pass disaster relief. I have seen so much of the damage 
firsthand. I have been across the State. I see the reports. This summer 
I was on a dryland farm that has had crops--some good, some bad--for 70 
years. During the Dust Bowl years that farm produced a crop. This year 
there is no crop--for the first time in 70 years, and perhaps long 
before that, certainly in the recollection of the owners of that farm. 
They can only go back 70 years. But they know there has never been a 
year until this year where they have not had a crop.

  A family farmer in my hometown of McCook, NE, Dale Dueland, whom I 
have known since the days he crawled across his family's floor--he is 
not going to like me saying that, but I remember when he was that 
little boy in that farmhouse, and today he is a man with children, and 
with a successful farming operation, except for the drought. It is not 
simply because of prices but because it does not matter what the price 
is if you do not have a crop.
  He does not have a crop. He said he would have a zero yield on his 
900 acres of dryland corn. It would not matter if corn went to $5; if 
you don't have anything to sell because of a disaster of this kind, you 
are not going to be able to make it. His poor crop performance is not 
the result of poor planning or poor farming or nondrought-related 
weather. This is the result of a natural disaster that has been going 
on in some cases for over 2 years.
  For much of my State, this is, in fact, a no-yield year or, at best, 
a low-yield year.
  Al Davis from Hyannis, NE, told me that ``each day places another 
nail in the coffin of many individual ranchers in Nebraska and on the 
Great Plains. Many ranchers have already thrown in the towel and are 
liquidating portions of their herds,'' which will have an impact not 
only today but tomorrow, the next year, and the next year, because 
rebuilding herds is not a singular event that occurs in a short 
timeframe. It takes years to build a herd. It takes only days to 
liquidate a herd.

  Annette Dubas, who owns a ranch and farm in western Nance County in 
Nebraska, told me that after the third year in a row of drought 
conditions, some farmers in her area have already been forced out while 
others have been working two jobs just to be able to keep their farm 
going. That is neither a happy situation nor is that a good thought 
about what the future is going to hold. They are going to have to be 
able to sell or they are going to have to be able to have a crop or 
they are simply going to go out of business.
  These are not big time corporate farms. Nebraska law bans corporate 
farming. These are family farmers who are being driven out of business 
for the first time in generations. These farms have been in their 
families for many generations; in some cases, 100 years or more. 
Farmers and ranchers have not only been let down by Mother Nature, they 
have been let down by those in the Senate and House who have blocked 
efforts to provide disaster relief despite its severity and despite 
CBO's savings indications.
  We can't keep denying relief to those in need. Maybe the procedure is 
that it be put over for another couple months. But it must be one of 
the first things, if not the first thing, that this Senate

[[Page S11380]]

and the House take up after the beginning of the year in the new 
Congress. We cannot allow the House to remain idle on the issue. We 
need the White House to support this bill, and we cannot allow 
objections from those few who don't understand that this drought is no 
different than a flood or a hurricane or an earthquake to stop us from 
providing relief. We must, in fact, recognize the savings from the farm 
bill are there. And if need be, we need to get it as part of this 
drought assistance.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I want to say, before the Senator from 
Nebraska leaves the floor, that the statement made by the Senator from 
Nebraska, former Governor, should be a primer for someone trying to lay 
out a case. He laid out a case as well as I have ever heard. He talked 
about the State itself, about individual people. It is compelling.
  Nevada, of course, does not have large agricultural interests. We 
have some agricultural interests. But the Senator from Nebraska has 
done as good a job as I have ever heard in presenting a case.
  I hope the people of Nebraska know what an advocate they have in the 
Senator from Nebraska. When students study how to lay out a case, 
whether it is for farm aid or whether it is for anything else, 
reviewing the statement of the Senator from Nebraska makes the case in 
point.
  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Nevada. 
The challenge we have in Nebraska is laid out by the fact that this is 
about the present but also the future. The future will be dim if we are 
not able to take care of the problems that have developed in the past 
and continue today. It is about young people, the future of the State, 
and the future food needs for the people of this country. Everybody 
will be continually adversely affected if we don't remedy this 
situation as soon as possible. If it can't be before January 7 of this 
coming year, it would still be early enough.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.


          Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim Settlement Act

  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss another bill, a 
very important bill to communities in Michigan, a bill I introduced 
earlier this year, S. 2986, the Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim 
Settlement Act. I also, on a personal note, thank Patty Bouch of my 
staff for her excellent work on this issue. She has been diligently 
focused for a number of months now in working with all those interested 
in this issue.
  S. 2986 provides for congressional approval of a land claim 
settlement agreement reached earlier this year by the State of 
Michigan, Governor Engler, and the Bay Mills Indian community of 
Brimley, MI. The agreement settles the tribe's longstanding claim to 
over 110 acres of land that was once deeded to the Governor of the 
State to hold in trust for the ancestral bands of the Bay Mills Indian 
community.
  This land, now called Charlotte Beach, MI, was later sold for unpaid 
taxes and without the knowledge of the bands or consent of the State. 
In agreeing to extinguish the historical land claim in the area, the 
Bay Mills Indian community will be granted alternative lands in the 
State as outlined in the settlement agreement. These alternative lands 
are located in Port Huron, MI, and would become part of the reservation 
of the Bay Mills Indian community.
  Furthermore, the legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
take these alternative lands into trust as land obtained in a 
settlement of a land claim under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The 
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S. 2986 on October 
10 of this year. I am very appreciative of Chairman Inouye's 
willingness to hold the hearing, particularly that week, in light of 
the fact that the Iraq resolution was being debated at that time on the 
floor. It was a very serious week with much happening. I am grateful 
for his willingness to hold the hearing and to work with me on this 
issue as we have moved through the process.
  The hearing afforded me and House colleagues in attendance and my 
constituents a forum to explain the merits and the need for the 
legislation. I appreciate the fact my House colleagues, Congressman 
Bart Stupak and Congressman Dave Bonior, were in attendance. They 
testified in support of S. 2986 as it directly affects their current 
congressional districts.
  Before the committee, Congressman Stupak discussed his past efforts 
to remedy this land claim for the Charlotte Beach landowners in his 
district. He has worked on the issue for the last 8 years. He has been 
trying to resolve it. He believes that S. 2986 will grant the clear 
property title to the landowners in Charlotte Beach, MI who have 
inadvertently been involved in an issue greater than themselves.
  The settlement of this land claim will also greatly benefit a 
community in Michigan. Port Huron, MI is a community that is in great 
need of new economic development and jobs. The citizens of Port Huron 
can look directly across the waters at a casino in Canada--right across 
the bridge. There is a large bridge that goes from Port Huron to 
Sarnia. They watch every day as people drive across that bridge, 
citizens of Michigan and the United States taking their dollars to 
Canada where there are more jobs now as a result of that establishment.
  On the other side we have a community desperately in need of jobs. 
This community has wrestled with economic development and what to do. 
In June of 2001, they had a referendum and the voters of that 
community, after thoughtful discussion and debate, voted by a 55 to 45 
percent margin to show their support for potential gaming activities in 
their community.
  This was done, as in any community, with thoughtfulness about what 
the alternatives are. I know they are very frustrated at the fact that 
they can look at job loss, economic loss right across the river from 
them.
  Should my legislation pass this Congress, Port Huron could be the 
last U.S.-Canadian border crossing in my State to have gaming, which 
would provide some desperately needed economic development and job 
creation for a community where the unemployment rate exceeds both the 
State and the national unemployment rate.
  Unemployment in Port Huron is nearly 12 percent and the community 
desperately needs new economic development and jobs. They have a plan 
now. Community leaders have come together and developed a plan that 
will work for them. It will create jobs in the building and 
construction industry, and it will create long-term jobs in the service 
industry as it relates to this project. They are urgently asking us to 
pass this legislation. They are ready to go to work and get it done. 
They ask that we pass this now in the final day of the session. It is 
very important to them that this be passed this year and not next year.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on Indian 
Affairs be discharged from further consideration of S. 2986 and the 
Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of the bill; that the 
bill be read the third time, passed; and that the motion to reconsider 
be laid upon the table, without any intervening action or debate.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, first, let me 
say to my dear friend, the junior Senator from Michigan, I don't oppose 
Indian gaming. I am responsible for writing the Indian Gaming Act. It 
was done many years ago. I am still a member of the Indian Affairs 
Committee. I haven't liked the way the law has gone with the Indian 
Gaming Act, but I follow what the courts have decreed.
  I think there have been some very good things happening in the 
country in Indian gaming. They have been taken advantage of on a number 
of occasions, but that is the way it is in a lot of different 
businesses. I don't oppose Indian gaming, I repeat. While I had some 
concerns initially, they basically have been met, and I have had some 
very good relations with Indian gaming operators and operations across 
the country.
  I oppose this legislation that my friend from Michigan has asked be 
passed by voice vote today. I oppose it for a number of reasons, not 
the least of which is that the legislation would undermine the gaming 
compacts that were approved by the Michigan State Legislature after 
years of careful and deliberate negotiations.

[[Page S11381]]

  Senator Stabenow's bill would circumvent the terms negotiated in all 
11 tribal-State compacts, including the compact to which Bay Mills is a 
party, which prohibits off-reservation gaming in the absence of a 
revenuesharing agreement involving all of Michigan's Federally 
recognized tribes.
  Additionally, in recent gaming compacts, the tribes involved all 
agreed to limit themselves to one gaming site for each tribe; yet this 
legislation would allow Bay Mills, which already has two gaming 
facilities, to open still another facility hundreds of miles from its 
reservation and in direct competition with the tribes in the lower 
peninsula.
  Secondly, allowing a tribe to settle a land claim and receive trust 
land hundreds of miles from their reservation for the express purpose 
of establishing a gaming facility sets a very dangerous precedent.
  This pursuit of off-reservation gaming operations should continue to 
follow the procedures outlined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 
Public Law 100-497, which authorizes tribal gaming operations on off-
reservation ``after-acquired lands'' where the land to be acquired has 
no relationship to the land upon which the claim was based.
  Let me say that the first gaming compact ever approved with an Indian 
tribe in the history of the country was done in Nevada. So it is not as 
if Nevada is here opposing this request. The first compact ever 
approved in the country was in Nevada. That is still an ongoing 
operation and a very successful one.
  The proposed casino would be located just north of Detroit on a major 
link to Ontario that is in the lower corner of the lower peninsula. Bay 
Mills is located in the upper peninsula. The legislation is 
fundamentally flawed because it allows Bay Mills to establish gaming 
facilities under the guise of settling a land claim.
  The land claim is simply--and everybody knows this--an excuse to take 
land into trust for off-reservation gaming.
  I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted 
to speak for up to 15 minutes and that the time be charged postcloture.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


              Health Care That Works for All Americans Act

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, recently I introduced with Senator Hatch 
health care legislation, the Health Care that Works for All Americans 
Act. I come to the floor today because I think many Senators are 
frustrated about the inability to make more progress on the health care 
issue in this session of the Senate. I want to take a few minutes and 
talk about what I think the key principles are for this country to make 
headway with respect to health care.
  The three principles that I believe are central on this health care 
issue are, first and foremost, to make sure the public is involved from 
the ground floor. Again and again, what we have seen is health care 
legislation proposed that is attacked by special interest groups, and 
then it goes nowhere. The public gets understandably confused about the 
discussion, and the bill dies.
  Under the Wyden-Hatch legislation, the public would get the first 
crack at looking at the key issues, which are: What are the essential 
services that people feel strongly about? How much would they cost? And 
who would pay for them?
  The second feature of our legislation is that it establishes a 
process to ensure that Congress actually votes for meaningful and 
comprehensive health reform. The last time Congress took a crack at 
this, almost a decade ago, there were not even votes in Congress on the 
legislation.
  The third principle we ought to zero in on with respect to health 
care for the future is that it has to be bipartisan. The Wyden-Hatch 
legislation is literally the first bipartisan effort in comprehensive 
health reform in a decade.
  I come to the Chamber today to say those three principles--involving 
the public at the outset, ensuring there will be an actual vote by the 
Congress on comprehensive legislation, and that the bill be 
bipartisan--ought to be the core of the Senate's effort to reform the 
health care system.

  Today I wish to take a couple of minutes to talk about a central part 
of our legislation, and that is what to do about rising health care 
costs in America.
  Rising costs in American health care are a runaway train, and the 
American people have literally been tied to the track. Again and again, 
small businesses come up to us and say they have been subjected to 15-, 
20-, 25-percent rate hikes year after year. This is all before the 
demographic tsunami comes in 2010 and 2011 when we will have millions 
of baby boomers, and right now millions of working families, some with 
insurance, some without, that cannot afford doctor visits and disease 
treatments and the drugs they need. So certainly at the center of any 
effort to reform health care has to be putting the brakes on those 
rising costs that are literally a runaway train in our society.
  There are going to be tough choices. If resources are limited, we 
have to make some tough calls about how to allocate those resources and 
to focus on some of the ethical and moral questions that are inherent 
in rising costs. The tough moral and ethical considerations that will 
be necessary to contain them are stark realities, but they have to be 
faced if this country's health care system is going to work for all.
  My colleague from Utah, Senator Hatch, and I have proposed in our 
legislation, the Health Care that Works for All Americans Act, a 
specific plan so that citizens can face those realities and fashion a 
better health care system.
  Under our proposal, the American people will have a chance--a chance 
they have not had in 57 years since health care reform was tackled by 
Harry Truman in the 81st Congress--the American people will have a 
chance, before the special interest groups have at it, to talk about 
the kind of health care system they believe makes sense for them.
  Our legislation has two major components: A public participation 
process at the outset over a relatively short period of time, and a 
guaranteed vote in both Houses of the Congress on the people's 
recommendations.
  When it comes to health care costs, there is a lot for the public to 
examine. We are now spending 15 percent of our gross domestic product 
on health care. The last time it was looked at, the country spent more 
than $1.4 trillion on medical care, a 10-percent increase from the 
previous year.
  If you divide $1.4 trillion by the number of people in this country, 
it comes to almost $5,000 for every man, woman, and child. Tens of 
millions of our citizens, in addition, slip through the cracks every 
day, even as our Nation pours more and more money into health care.
  We are going to have to take a look at where the money is going. A 
study that has now been published on the Web site of the journal Health 
Affairs attributes spending increases primarily to higher hospital 
costs and prescription drugs. Hospitals are raising prices to make up 
for declining insurance, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, and the 
money they lose treating patients with no insurance at all. Moreover, a 
backlash against the tight hospitalization controls of managed care has 
clearly contributed to rising costs.
  There are a host of relentless forces converging on American health 
care. Technological innovations seem to be coming at us from every 
area, and each miracle cure comes with a high cost. More and more 
health information is available through the Internet through sites such 
as WebMD and health.gov. It shows up on the ticker on all the 24-hour 
news channels, and each new discovery drives up the demand for care. If 
CNN runs a story on a medical breakthrough at 9:30 in the morning, it 
seems that an hour or so later we will be getting calls at our offices 
asking if Medicare or Medicaid or various insurance plans will pick up 
that coverage.

[[Page S11382]]

  We have an extraordinary appetite for health care, for new 
treatments, but sometimes when we order these, we are not sure we are 
getting what is medically effective. We are not sure we are getting 
services that are worth the money. And most importantly, there is no 
way to measure it.

  This is all compounded by the baby boomer explosion. Already, elderly 
people make up 15 percent of the population and spend 40 percent of our 
health care dollars. Folks are not just getting older, they are living 
longer. Those additional lives and the care that is necessary is going 
to require more funding. Life expectancy has risen more in the last 50 
years than it did in the preceding 5,000. In the last months of their 
longer lives, Americans are spending more money than ever on health 
care. But money does not always give the best results for a suffering 
individual.
  As a direct result of health spending increases in 2001, the Health 
Affair Study that I noted said health insurance costs have risen 
sharply, but at the same time coverage is getting harder and harder for 
many to get. The costs have gone up two ways. The first is with simple 
premium increases. Insurance companies are asking purchasers to pay 
more for the policies. The second way is through something called 
buydown. Employers who subsidize insurance reduce available benefits 
and ask employees to pay a higher share of the subsidized premium. 
Employees often get lower wages, even as they pay more for health 
insurance, with no guarantee their insurance will meet their needs. 
When you combine that significant hike in premiums--12 percent has been 
one assessment by the Kaiser Foundation--with a 3-percent increase in 
the number of cases of the buydown, the total cost of insurance has 
risen about 15 percent this year.
  Nationally, businesses are still paying three-quarters or more of 
employees' premium costs, but it is harder and harder for companies and 
individuals to absorb those cost increases year after year. Fully 60 
percent of those who have no insurance work for small businesses. For 
the self-employed or for those who have to buy their own insurance, 
premium increases at this point have priced many plans out of reach.
  If someone is listening today and saying, ``The health care system 
works fine for me,'' let's also reflect on the fact that while it may 
work for you, it is not working for tens of millions of others. The 
fact is, every single day in America those who have no coverage, those 
who are going without, in effect, get subsidized by those who do have 
coverage.
  If an individual listens today and says, ``I am in pretty good shape; 
things are going well for me,'' I only point out for the millions who 
do not have coverage right now, those people are subsidized by those 
who think everything is fine.
  The fact is, it is just not right to leave millions of Americans in 
this country with a feeling of helplessness and a sense that when they 
go to bed at night they can see that train, that runaway train of 
health care costs I have mentioned bearing down on them.
  The legislation Senator Hatch and I have proposed gives Americans the 
power to put the brakes on rising costs. It offers regular citizens the 
opportunity to make tough choices about spiraling medical bills. We 
will be addressing, if our bill can pass, the tough questions of health 
care directly related to our families: The question of what kind of 
care do people believe is most essential; how much are people willing 
to pay; how do you contain the costs without sacrificing quality of 
care; what about the government or private business being required to 
pay part of the cost.
  My bottom line is pretty simple. It is time, finally, after 57 years 
of trying the same thing--writing bills in Washington, DC, only to have 
them attacked by special interests--it is time to try something 
different, and that is to give the people of this country a chance to 
make the judgment on calls with respect to what kind of health services 
they want, how much those services are going to cost, and who is going 
to pay. The alternative is to continue to spend more and more on a 
system that, while scientifically prodigious, is flawed in many of the 
administrative ways in which it is carried out.

  At a time when America is becoming a nation of health care haves and 
have-nots, this country can do better. We have many of our providers 
and businesses already making tough choices as they try to deal with 
growing costs. I know scores of small businesses in Oregon and across 
this country who are dying to offer their people good coverage, and 
they have had difficulty offering it without effective policies to 
contain those rising costs.
  Senator Hatch and I believe with a different approach it will be 
possible to reign in the costs, but it all has to begin--and begin in a 
fashion that has not been tried for 57 years--with the American people 
being given the opportunity to make some of the tough calls. The fact 
is, the options in the cost containment area do involve hard calls. The 
Kaiser Commission, for example, on the uninsured, on Medicaid, recently 
laid out a number of cost containment measures currently employed by 
our public health programs. They range from some that I think are 
progressive to some that I think would make the problems that we have 
today in health care even more serious.
  According to Kaiser, the main way public health programs are cutting 
costs is by cutting payments to providers. Private insurers then follow 
suit, paying less to providers for each patient seen and for each 
procedure performed or for each bed the hospital provides. Then, in 
effect, the Robin Hood approach kicks in in a dramatic way with those 
who do get payments, in effect, giving services to those who lack it. 
But when the cutbacks get severe, when the reimbursements continue to 
go down as we have seen in so many facilities, those providers, those 
health care facilities that have a great sense of community and caring, 
just cannot offer the services anymore. Instead of or even in addition 
to cutting provider payments, some insurers and public health programs 
are cutting back on what services they will cover, reducing the 
availability of some services. Unfortunately, services are often cut 
with no regard to their overall effectiveness--only for their cost.

  Many types of health care programs are asking patients to pay more at 
the time of service--higher copayments. Higher copayments are also 
becoming a regular feature at the pharmacy, as prescription drugs are 
one of the biggest reasons behind rising costs. Options include those 
higher copays, requiring more prior authorization for prescriptions, 
requiring or covering only generics, or even limiting the number of 
covered prescriptions per month.
  I want to pause to note a couple of issues here--first, that 
prescription drugs are on the table in the Wyden-Hatch legislation, 
just as long-term care and Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance 
are. Senator Hatch and I are placing no limits on what the American 
people can discuss and decide to change. And second, efforts to cut 
rising drug costs are perfect example of the range of choices that 
folks will face in this national discussion. Some of the choices for 
cutting costs seem good and fair. Some seem punitive and unfair. 
Senator Hatch and I just believe that Americans have enough sense to 
tell the difference.
  People participating in the health care discussion prescribed in our 
bill will take a look at some of the toughest cost-cutters being 
employed today. In the case of private insurance, companies refuse to 
cover pre-existing conditions. They deny policies to people whose care 
is likely to be expensive. In the case of public insurance, States make 
last-ditch efforts to cut costs by limiting the number of people to 
whom coverage is available.
  All across America today, mothers will tell their children that you 
don't always get everything you want in this life. That's the stark 
reality people are going to have to face when it comes to reforming the 
health care system. The key will be to find solutions that do the best 
job of splitting the difference, cutting costs and providing essential, 
effective health care services.
  Cost containment is not enough. Our health care dollars must buy 
quality care, that not only treats disease but also prevents it 
whenever possible. That's the best cost containment. Failing that, care 
that manages diseases to slow or prevent their progression may be the 
next best thing. Disease management is a growing component of health 
care today. Instead of allowing

[[Page S11383]]

months to go by between doctor visits, patients with chronic illnesses 
meet or speak regularly with nurses or other health care providers to 
monitor their specific condition. Doctors have concerns about their 
patients being treated or advised by others, and all the kinks aren't 
worked out of this system yet. But the result, in many cases, is a 
reduction in the number of expensive complications and hospital stays.
  I want to see Americans educated about disease management, preventive 
care, and every other option available for reforming health care. 
That's why the Wyden-Hatch Act calls for the publication of a Citizens' 
Guide to the Health Care System. A panel that's a cross-section of 
Americans using and running the health care system today will produce 
it. It will be designed so folks can be fully informed when the public 
participation portion of the process begins.
  To me, some of these cost containment methods seem fairer than 
others; some seem more sensible than others. The American people should 
have the change to decide--because what's being done now isn't working. 
Benefits are usually considered in terms of cost-benefit, which 
basically measures how much money you save for every dollar you spend. 
Another way of looking at procedures and practices is their cost-
effectiveness, which is how much good you do with every dollar.
  Let me explain why I believe it is folly to continue to address 
questions of health care and health coverage as purely economic 
considerations. The problem is, and families know this, it doesn't all 
boil down to money. You're not just dealing with a bottom line. You're 
talking about maintaining people's health and about the basic care they 
have a right to expect. Sometimes you're literally talking about life 
and death. It's time America started recognizing its ethical and moral 
responsibilities with respect to health care, and acting on them.
  This is not the seismic shift it sounds to be. Just as individual 
insurers and state health administrators are making choices about how 
to contain costs, American citizens are making moral choices around 
their kitchen tables every day. People already have to answer questions 
like, it okay to put off the colorectal screening my insurance won't 
cover because I really need to pay for my mother's prescription 
medicines? If we pay for Jennifer's broken arm, does Bobby have to wait 
a year to get braces?
  Doctors and hospitals are already making ethical choices about what 
care to get and give, or how much cost the hospital is willing to 
absorb before cutting services. The question that must be answered is 
still the same: do Americans want these choices made as they are now, 
in a back-door way? Or do they want a chance to discuss these issues at 
the front door, decide on them as a community, and then ask Congress to 
deliver a health care system based on the country's values?
  A better way to make decisions is to look at what we are and are not 
able to do on a societal level, instead of deciding what we are and are 
not able to do for a give patient at a given time. If that sounds 
tough, it is. But Mr. President, I'm here to urge that America tackle 
these issues head on and turn them to the advantage of as many people 
as possible. That's far better plan then letting back-door decisions 
suck away more funds and resources and deny people decent care.
  It's time to look at questions on a broader scale. Is $315,000 of 
public money better spent on one liver transplant and follow-up care 
for a 70-year old man with cirrhosis, or on 3,00 preventive well-baby 
visits costing about $100 each? Does a woman with known risk factors 
for breast cancer have a right to a mammogram every year even if I have 
to help pay for it?

  Because these choices are so tough, a variety of think tanks and 
great minds have tackled these issues, including Arthur Kaplan at the 
University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Callahan at the Hastings Center and 
others. I admire their thoughtful work. Their conclusions and study 
have provided valuable direction on these issues.
  I believe that at the end of the day, only the citizens of this 
country can make the fundamental choices that affect their health and 
their well-being--and health and well-being of the society in which 
they live.
  Researchers shows that Americans believe that there are certain basic 
rights when it comes to health care and no one should be forced to go 
without. If it's been confirmed that the American people feel that way, 
the key is to find out what the basics are and go from there. This 
country won't get anywhere on health care reform until we do.
  Let me explain a little further. Most Americans operate on the idea 
that they should have the latest tests and treatments on demand. That's 
possible--if America spends more of its dollars on health care and 
other budget items like educations take the hit. But spending more 
doesn't necessarily buy better health care. More and more people are 
being let without even the essential health care services, let alone 
the latest drugs and procedures.
  Let me be clear. I'm not talking about keeping people from spending 
their own money on whatever kind of health care they want. If someone 
wants to rebuild himself limb by limb and has the money to pay for it, 
I say go for it. But when it comes to the health care system as a 
whole, we can't just spend money for the sake of spending money. Health 
care dollars must be used in better ways, or the people of this country 
must decide that it's okay to keep spending and keep leaving people 
out.
  I don't believe that's the way America wants it to work. As Marcia 
Angell wrote in the New York Times, there are some essential services 
in which we all agree the public has stake, and health care should be 
one of them. For example, no one I know thinks of our country as a 
place where it's okay for babies to go untreated because Mom and Dad 
are in financial straits.
  Postponing care sometimes places more strain on the health care 
system. If a baby doesn't get treated at the beginning of an ear 
infection, he may have to be treated as it goes further along, probably 
in the emergency room at a much higher cost than if he'd had a 
pediatrician to see in the first place. If he's not treated, and ends 
up with hearing damage, the costs will skyrocket not only in the health 
care system, but also in the educational system to meet his special 
needs.
  More than a decade ago, the people in my home State of Oregon 
realized the interconnectedness of everyone in the health care system. 
Folks realized that no amount of money would ever be enough to pay for 
all the health care Oregonians wanted, and that too many people were 
doing without health care at all. So the people of my state took on the 
tough task of sitting down and deciding what the basics were, what 
health care no one should have to do without.

  That may sound like an easy task; if you could just sit and make a 
list of all the things you'd like health care coverage to pay for, you 
would be able to do that without much trouble. But there's a flip side. 
The question Oregonians faced over and over again was, okay: if we want 
this fundamental service covered, what do we have to give up? What 
can't we afford to cover for anyone, if we want everyone to have at 
least some help? Those questions sometimes translated into 
heartbreaking real-life situations, where people using public health 
care couldn't get the latest and greatest innovations on demand. But 
lives were saved because people using public health care were able to 
get the basic when they needed them. That tradeoff, for the most part, 
made the tough choices worthwhile.
  Now, Senator Hatch and I are not asking America to come up with a 
list of 880 health procedures in order of importance. But we are 
looking for a general idea of people's priorities--so that Congress can 
act on them when it's time for health care reform.
  I believe there are some priorities our people already agree on. I 
think they agree that 18,000 Americans shouldn't have to die every year 
just because they can't get health insurance and health care. I believe 
280 million people will agree they'd rather cover the cost of 
preventive services than get stuck with the much higher costs of 
preventable diseases that go unchecked. I think with some serious 
discussion, they can agree on some basic concepts of how and where our 
limited health care dollars should be spent to help the most people. I 
believe 280 million people can agree on a lot more than you think.

[[Page S11384]]

  Some might say Americans aren't going to want to talk about this, 
that the idea of not paying for someone's liver transplant to take care 
of babies isn't fit talk for the public. But I believe Americans have a 
right to this discussion. These choices are going to get made, one way 
or the other, and I want them made in the open with the input of the 
people I'm here to represent. The stakes are just too high not to 
include the American people. And I believe they're up to the task.
  To help Americans understand what's at stake, and make informed 
decisions, the dissemination of information will be key. I believe the 
Citizens' Health Guide will be a real eye-opener for most people--for 
instance, when they find out this: Medicare Part A will pay for 
prescription drugs when a patient is in the hospital. Part B will pay 
nothing for those same drugs on an outpatient basis. Some doctors are 
sticking patients in the hospital to the tune of thousands of dollars 
just to get their medicine to them. That money can't be spent, then, on 
preventive services or any other more beneficial health care concerns. 
Don't you think when people see the connection, they will insist on 
making a change?
  Health care works like an ecosystem in this country. The consequence 
of every decision, and every reform effort, snakes through the system 
as a whole. Addressing health care properly, that, means addressing it 
as a system entire. Ad hoc is not going to work.
  Just as a good doctor wouldn't prescribe a medicine that would treat 
one symptom but leave the disease to run rampant, it's time to stop 
with the piecemeal reforms that put a Band-Aid on the sucking chest 
wound of the health care system. To be most effective, you can't just 
make decisions on broken bones one day, organ transplants the next and 
something else the next day like they don't have any effect on each 
other. This country needs a way to consider the moral and ethical 
choices already being made that affect not just one person or one 
family, but the entire health care system. As hard as it's going to be, 
it must be done. The Wyden-Hatch bill provides a path to do that.
  Yes, there are economic choices to be made about health care in this 
country. The runaway train of rising costs must be stopped somehow. And 
there are moral questions underlying every economic decision. The 
Wyden-Hatch proposal is built around the idea that these questions are 
simply too important to duck any longer. People deserve the chance to 
discuss their own moral and ethical priorities when it comes to health 
care, and to decide what's best for them and for our society as a 
whole. Only then can Congress deliver health care reform that truly 
works for all.
  That's why our bill, the Health Care that Works for All Americans 
Act, centers on that public participation portion, and then guarantees 
the people a vote in both houses of Congress.
  Perhaps the people of this country will choose one or more cost-
containment measures being used today. Perhaps in examining their own 
ethics, they'll come up with new ideas. What Senator Hatch and I want 
to guarantee is that their voices will be heard--and that this Congress 
will act, with a mandatory vote in both houses--to make the people's 
vision for health care come to pass. I believe that if Congress chooses 
to put the people in charge, Americans will choose to fight rising 
costs, make tough moral choices, and direct this country toward better 
health care for everyone.
  That is the point at which we have reached. That is why it is not 
right to leave so many underserved in so many communities without 
adequate health care.
  I urge, finally, that as we leave and reflect on what is needed to 
reform the health care system in the next session, that the three 
principles in the Wyden-Hatch legislation of involving the money, 
forcing a vote in the Congress on the reforms that come from the 
people, and making it bipartisan guide our work in the next session.
  I yield the floor.


                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that all time, 
postcloture, be considered expired except for the following: 60 minutes 
under the control of Senator Byrd, 70 minutes under the control of 
Senator Lieberman, 70 minutes under the control of Senator Thompson or 
their designees; that 20 minutes of Senator Thompson's time be under 
the control of Senator Specter; that 15 minutes of the time of Senator 
Lieberman be under the control of Senator Dodd; 15 minutes be under the 
control of Senator Sarbanes; 10 minutes under the control of Senator 
Carper; and 10 minutes under the control of Senator Clinton; leaving 
Senator Lieberman, I believe, 20 minutes.
  Again, it will be 70 minutes under the control of Senator Lieberman; 
Senator Dodd would have 15 minutes, Senator Sarbanes 15 minutes, 
Senator Carper 10 minutes, Senator Clinton 10 minutes, leaving Senator 
Lieberman 15 minutes, with Senator Daschle having the final 5 minutes 
to close the debate.
  That upon the use or yielding back of all time, the bill be read the 
third time, and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill; 
provided further that the 10 minutes prior to the vote be controlled by 
the two leaders, with the majority leader controlling the final 5 
minutes, without further intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, if I could further ask the Chair to consider 
this unanimous consent request.
  I ask unanimous consent that upon the adoption of the conference 
report to accompany H.R. 3210, the terrorism risk insurance bill, the 
Senate then proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 762, H.J. Res. 
124, the continuing resolution; that no amendments or motion be in 
order to the joint resolution; that there be up to 3 hours for debate, 
with the time equally divided and controlled between the chairman, 
Senator Byrd, and the ranking member, Senator Stevens, of the 
Appropriations Committee, or their designees; that upon the use or 
yielding back of time, with no intervening action or debate, the joint 
resolution be read a third time and the Senate vote on passage of the 
joint resolution.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the only thing I would ask is I hope, 
because I did move quite hurriedly here, that the time, the 70 minutes 
that Senator Lieberman has adds up to 70 minutes. I am quite sure that 
it does.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It does.
  Mr. REID. I appreciate everyone's cooperation. I ask unanimous 
consent that the time I have just enunciated not start running until 4 
o'clock so people have time to get over here. But at 4 o'clock, I ask 
that the time I have outlined here would begin to run and that anyone 
who has the floor at 4 o'clock, they would have to yield to one of 
these individuals who control the time at that hour.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be allowed 
to speak for up to 10 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator might speak for up to 8 minutes.


                Honoring the Generosity of Andre Agassi

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, when I was first considering a run for 
office almost 10 years ago, I found a quote from Chaplain Lloyd John 
Ogilvie to be especially inspirational in helping me make my decision. 
Chaplain Ogilvie once said:

       You may only make a small difference, but that does not 
     relieve you of the responsibility to make that difference.

  I want to tell you today about a constituent of mine who continues to 
raise the standard for how much difference one person can make.
  The world knows this man as a top-ranked tennis star whose 
personality and success of the court have made him an American 
favorite. In Las Vegas, however, he's admired for his generosity and 
dedication to making a difference in the lives of our children.
  Andre Agassi was born and raised in Las Vegas. Although he started 
playing tennis as a toddler, he won his first professional title in 
1987. He has won at each of the four major professional tennis 
tournaments, and he holds a gold medal from the 1996 Olympics. As much 
as Las Vegans love to watch their ``son'' winning on the court, our 
hearts hold a special place for his devotion to underprivileged, 
abused, and at-risk children in Las Vegas.
  You see, a top-ranked tennis player who has won as many tournaments 
as

[[Page S11385]]

Andre has accumulates a good amount of wealth. Throw in a few lucrative 
endorsement deals, and you have someone who could live extremely 
comfortably for the rest of his life. He could become his own island 
with very few cares in the world. Unfortunately, many successful people 
do just that.
  Andre Agassi, on the other hand, created the Andre Agassi Charitable 
Foundation. Its Board of Directors is impressive and is led by another 
son of Las Vegas, Andre's best friend and president of Agassi 
Enterprises, Perry Rogers. I can't think of many other organizations 
that have made the impact that this one has. Its goal is simple:

       To assist those underprivileged, abused and abandoned 
     children who may be deprived of basic options in life. The 
     foundation funds a combination of emotional, physical and 
     academic programs designed to enhance a child's character, 
     self-esteem and career possibilities.

  Among the programs funded by the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation 
are the Agassi Center for Education and the Andre Agassi Cottage for 
Medically Fragile Children at Clark County's public shelter for abused 
and neglected children. The Agassi Boys and Girls Club, which sees over 
2,000 members during the year and features a tennis team and a 
basketball program, provides a safe after-school facility and a 
wonderful learning environment.
  The Foundation, through the Assistance League of Las Vegas, provides 
the means for new clothes for well over 2,000 destitute and homeless 
children; helps to send 20 physically challenged or disadvantaged 
children to camp for a week each summer; and introduces fourth and 
fifth graders to symphonic music.
  There are many more programs funded by the Andre Agassi Charitable 
Foundation, but I want to tell you about the Andre Agassi College 
Preparatory Academy, known in Las Vegas as Agassi Prep, and located in 
the heart of an at-risk community.
  Agassi Prep is a charter school that focuses on technology, college 
preparation, cultural activities, and expanded involvement in community 
affairs. It also seeks to enhance character, respect, motivation, and 
self-discipline.
  While HUD and the State of Nevada contributed significantly to the 
school, the core funding came from Andre Agassi's Foundation. The 
school's principal, Wayne Tanaka, is a distinguished educator who, in 
line with the goals of the Foundation, will truly impact the students 
who are fortunate enough to benefit from Andre Agassi's generosity and 
dedication.
  I also want to share with you the reach of Andre Agassi's deep-seated 
concern for Las Vegas' at-risk children.
  Since 1995, the Foundation has held the Grand Slam for Children 
concert benefits. The yearly event continues to draw some of the 
biggest names in entertainment, hundreds of volunteers, and crowds of 
almost 10,000. As someone who looks forward to this event every year, I 
can assure you--there is no better show on earth. This year's benefit 
featured Elton John, Martina McBride, Carlos Santana, Robin Williams, 
Babyface, and Rod Stewart. And that's just the entertainment.
  A live and silent auction before the show included sports items from 
Shaquille O'Neal, Wayne Gretzky, Greg Maddux, Muhammed Ali, and tennis 
lessons from Agassi and his wife, Stefanie Graf. I share these names 
with you because they are a testament to the respect that Andre Agassi 
and his Foundation have earned from so many different people.
  When I tell you that Andre Agassi continues to raise the standard for 
how much difference one person can make, I mean it literally. Since its 
inception in 1995, the Foundation has raised $23.6 million to help at-
risk children. That includes $5.6 million from this year's Grand Slam 
for Children--$1.4 million more than last year.
  That's $23.6 million over 7 years, with every penny going to assist 
children. All administrative and overhead costs are funded through 
contributions made by Andre Agassi or Agassi Enterprises, Inc. When you 
step back and think about the enormous impact that this man has had in 
Las Vegas, it is incredible.
  I share the story of Andre Agassi's impact on Las Vegas with the hope 
that it will challenge and inspire other successful people to make 
their own difference in this world. We all have a responsibility to 
leave this world a better place, even if--as Chaplain Ogilvie stated--
we make only a ``small difference.''
  Words are not enough to thank Andre for the way he has changed the 
lives of so many children. But Andre, your acts of loving kindness will 
touch not just the children you help today. They will make a difference 
for generations to come. Thank you for making a difference in our 
community and for setting an example for us all.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BURNS. Might I inquire of the business before the Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 2 minutes remaining on general 
debate.
  Mr. BURNS. I ask unanimous consent that the time I use be a part of 
the Thompson amendment of the homeland security bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Homeland Security

  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I rise today after talking with staff and 
going through what we are going to do with homeland security. This 
legislation provides the framework of the largest reorganization of 
Government in many, many years; in fact, going all the way back to the 
Depression days in the 1930s. But it is done because we are facing one 
of the greatest security challenges that this country has faced in its 
26-year history from an enemy that identifies with no specific nation, 
an enemy that has shown us that fear is really something that erodes 
our freedoms--and we learn how fragile they are and how fragile our 
economy is.
  Is it a perfect piece of legislation to leave the Congress and go 
downtown to be signed by the President? It is legislation that he has 
wanted and it has taken us too long to pass.
  There are parts of this piece of legislation that concern most of us. 
We have been around here long enough to know that once we pass a piece 
of legislation--no matter what the subject might be--we find that the 
administrative rule writers interpret it differently than we do. 
Sometimes the net result is not exactly how we envisioned it, and maybe 
not even how the President envisioned it.
  There are sections in here which I am very concerned about. I think 
as legislators in this body we must pay attention to how the 
administrative rules are written and how some of the Departments are 
moved into one called Homeland Security.


                           Drought Assistance

  I was interested a while ago in the statement on the floor about 
drought assistance to our farmers. No State has been hit harder than my 
State of Montana. No one can argue that there is a need. In fact, we 
have worked for over a year and a half with our colleagues here in the 
Senate, in the House of Representatives, and with the administration to 
get relief to our farmers and ranchers. We have been unsuccessful to 
date for a variety of reasons.
  There is drought assistance already in the appropriations process 
that this Senate this year did not get passed--some $500 billion in 
rounded figures. But it wasn't allowed to move because of the debate on 
forest health.
  Maybe this is the wrong place to talk about forest health. 
Nonetheless, I could see no logic at all in every night turning on the 
television, looking at the news, and watching America's forests go up 
in flames, and then denying the money and the change in policy--a 
change in policy that would have allowed us to prevent or at least take 
away some of the possibilities for such catastrophic fires as we have 
experienced in the last 2 years.
  We were denied that--commonsense things, the relatively minor 
commonsense things that we have to do to our forests in order to make 
them healthy and productive and beautiful, as America envisions its 
national forests.
  I am reluctant to raise false hopes for our farmers right now and say 
this is going to be done in the closing hours of the 107th Congress--
unless it is done in January, or whenever we take up the appropriations 
bills. We have 11 more of them to pass. I imagine we will again try to 
develop some drought assistance for those States that have been hit 
hard this year by drought, and to help my farmers who are in the fifth 
year of drought in that part of the country.

[[Page S11386]]

  We see a little bit of posturing going on here on the floor today. I 
do not like it. That wasn't the reason I was going to stand up here and 
talk in the first place. Nonetheless, I had to discuss this topic.
  I notice that my friend from Kansas has come to the floor, and he has 
a problem, too, in Kansas. I think his State was probably the hardest 
hit this year of any State.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Stabenow). The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, would the distinguished Senator from 
Montana yield for a question?
  Mr. BURNS. I will.
  Mr. ROBERTS. The Senator really alerted me to this. And I apologize 
for not watching on our closed-circuit television. Apparently some of 
our distinguished colleagues across the aisle are thinking about 
resurrecting the $6 billion emergency disaster relief package and 
putting it on the continuing resolution. Is that the case?
  Mr. BURNS. That was the case, plus I think there have been a couple 
of suggestions made by our colleagues across the aisle. That is part of 
it. With the House being gone and not coming back, it would seem that 
this would be an exercise that could not be successful.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I would like to ask if the Senator 
would yield for another question.
  Mr. BURNS. I will yield.
  Mr. ROBERTS. How on Earth do you take a $6 billion disaster relief 
bill, which I happened to vote for, that was part of the Interior 
appropriations bill, as I recall--and, as I recall, the majority 
leadership filled the legislative tree and basically prevented this 
Senator from introducing an alternative to the $6 billion package that 
this Senator thought might stand a chance of approval from the 
administration, might stand a chance in regard to the hurdle that any 
disaster bill faces to get through the House Agriculture Committee.
  I am going to be very candid. There were certain farm groups and 
certain commodity organizations that did not want to consider any 
disaster legislation for fear of opening up the farm bill and having 
something happen to their payment limits. So you had the leadership of 
the House Agriculture Committee saying no. You had the administration 
saying no in regard to further expenditures over and above the $180 
billion we spent on a 10-year farm bill. You had the emergency 
assistance bill--not on Agriculture appropriations but on Interior 
appropriations.
  Then, all of a sudden, we couldn't get any action on the Interior 
appropriations bill because there was a controversy in regard to forest 
management. Is that not the case?
  I know the Senator worked very hard, because of the State he 
represents, in regard to forest management as part of that Interior 
appropriations bill. But the disaster relief money was attached to the 
Interior appropriations bill, and then we couldn't move it. We couldn't 
get any action on this floor.
  Is that about correct?
  Mr. BURNS. Madam President, the Senator is correct. I am ranking 
member on that Interior Appropriations Committee. There was money to 
replenish the U.S. Forest Service for the moneys they had expended on 
firefighting. That was also in there and needed, and would have passed. 
But we got into a situation on forest health, and the other side would 
not budge on some very commonsense recommendations to the Forest 
Service on how we go about cleaning up our forests. I am sorry it 
happened that way.
  I would say to my Agriculture leaders, to my farmers, and to the 
farmers in Kansas who, by the way, are not really interested in inside 
baseball here in Washington, DC--a 17-square-mile logic-free 
environment--they are interested in not only what the farm legislation 
that we passed late last spring would do for them but also how we deal 
with disasters. None of those issues were covered.
  But the Senator from Kansas is right on. We have all voted for 
disaster assistance until we have just run our little fingers to the 
bone only to find it blocked by other legislation or parliamentary 
procedures.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I would like to ask the Senator to 
yield for several additional questions. I am a little confused about 
this.
  Mr. BURNS. I yield.
  Mr. ROBERTS. I have a bone to pick. I want to see if the Senator from 
Montana shares the same bone.
  Let us go back to the original problem of why in the Great Plains and 
the great States of Montana, Wyoming--and move over into South Dakota, 
Nebraska, Kansas, which, yes, this year was the hardest hit State. Many 
other States incurred bad weather and disaster conditions. But why did 
this happen? The Good Lord was not willing. The Good Lord sometimes 
doesn't have the creeks rise too much, or there is too much water in 
terms of the creeks. From time to time we have disaster bills. They 
tend to come during even-numbered years, by the way.
  We have made a lot of progress in crop insurance. There has been crop 
insurance reform. But when you have a total disaster, and you lose your 
grain crop throughout the grain-producing areas, you would think you 
would have a disaster bill.

  Now, let me back up. I know one Senator from Kansas--this Senator 
from Kansas--who said, as we go through the consideration of the new 
farm bill, $180 billion--make that $200 billion really over 10 years 
because the budget was 10 years long--that you would at least think 
there would be some provision in there for a farmer who had no crops, 
no crops to harvest. The Senator knows that. You have gone through that 
up in Montana, how many years--1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years maybe?
  Now, what did the new farm bill, I would ask the Senator, have? We 
had four different components, four different payments, four different 
ways to invest in agriculture.
  We changed the old farm bill, which was a direct income supplement, 
to a price support farm bill, and there were four ways your farmers 
could be helped. No. 1, we increased the loan a tad. We decided the 
loan rate would become an income protection device but--guess what--the 
prices over the loan rate do not do you any good.
  Then you had something called a loan deficiency payment. That means 
if the price were below the loan rate, you would get that amount. 
Well--guess what--the price is above the loan rate, so you don't get 
the loan deficiency payment.
  Then you also had a target price deficiency payment. It is a little 
confusing, all this gobbledygook, with all the agricultural acronyms 
and everything to do with farm bills.
  But--guess what--the price was above the target price, so he did not 
get or the farmer did not get or she did not get or that person did not 
get any help from the target price deficiency payment. So we are zero 
for three.
  Then we had a direct payment.
  Now, in the wisdom of the farm bill conference, of which this member 
did not serve--I am not going to get into that, as to how that ratio 
came down, and who was prevented from being on the conference, and who 
was not; I could, but I will not--but in the wisdom of the conference, 
they said: We are going to keep a direct payment just to make sure that 
if these other things don't work, and the farmer still wouldn't have a 
crop, the price is increased. We are going to have a direct payment. 
That was 6 cents a bushel in regard to wheat. And the corresponding 
numbers were true in regard to corn and other crops--6 cents.
  Why do I mention that? Because all the way through this, both you and 
I said--Senator Cochran said, most of us on this side said--don't go 
down this road with this new farm bill and apply it to the 2002 crop 
year because any farm bill is too complex to really figure out, with 
all the fishhooks and all the saddle burrs, to try to get it in place 
for 2002.
  What we would have had under the old farm bill--much maligned by the 
other side, constantly, day after day after day, for 4 or 5 years--the 
Freedom to Farm Act was a direct payment called an AMTA payment. Then 
we were going to double that because of the problems we were having. 
That was 60 cents a bushel. Now, there is a big difference between 6 
cents and 60 cents.
  I have given this speech to my farmers. Why do I give it to my 
farmers? Because they are desperate. We had the worst drought since the 
1930s. It may have been hotter in some years, and it may have been 
dryer in some years, but it has never been hotter and dryer in the same 
year. So they lost all their

[[Page S11387]]

crops. Now, we were able to get some livestock assistance, but disaster 
assistance, as compared to the old farm bill, which would have provided 
them 60 cents a bushel, it did not happen.

  So all the critics on our side of the aisle, and some on the other 
side, who say, well, we have a new farm bill, we are going to give the 
farmer four mailboxes to open--the loan rate; nope, nothing there. The 
loan deficiency payment; nope, nothing there. Are we going to have the 
target price deficiency payment? No, nothing there. We are going to 
have a direct payment--6 cents, as compared to the 60 cents we would 
have had if we applied the new farm bill to 2003.
  Now, that is my bone to pick because my farmers are hurting. And now 
after having a $6 billion emergency disaster bill that I voted for, in 
regards to the Interior Appropriations Committee, we have those with 
the temerity and chutzpah who will come to the continuing resolution 
and say, we are going to do it now, unless we shut down Government?
  You know the administration is not going to support that. You know 
the House has already left town. You know the House Agriculture 
Committee, representing certain interests in agriculture, does not want 
to mess with the payment limitations. This is a horse going nowhere--
nowhere.
  The handling of this has been highly political. The election is over. 
There are some who wanted an issue and not a bill. They got the issue. 
And I guess the result in South Dakota proved that. OK, it is over. But 
why you bring up this particular effort for disaster assistance during 
this particular time is beyond me. It is not going anywhere. People 
crawl out of train wrecks faster than this bill will ever get passed 
and signed and provide real relief. And the farmers are not interested 
in this.
  The Senator pointed out a long time ago, our farmers are not 
interested in politics or agriculture gobbledygook or legislative 
parliamentary gobbledygook as well.
  I urge my colleagues who are thinking about this, don't do this. Now, 
when can we do this? We can do it in the omnibus bill.
  We had some indication from the administration they will be a little 
bit more forward thinking. I don't want to leave them out of my tirade 
here. I am not happy with this administration. I tried to explain that 
wheat country was in a dire situation, that the farm bill didn't work. 
And it was sort of: Oh, well, you know. And we are saving money we are 
not spending on the farm bill, so I think we could score it. But there 
is no way they are going to do that.
  So I just don't see why we are going through this exercise. And it 
has obviously got me mighty exercised because my farmers are hurting. 
Land values are starting to decline. Their lenders have already told 
them they hit their cap.
  We have farmers who are mortgaging their place and their equipment in 
order to stay in business, and we sit here and introduce an emergency 
disaster relief bill to the tune of $6 billion that is not going 
anywhere. That is not right, especially in a lame duck session.
  So I would ask the Senator, finally, a question. You are going to 
work with me, I know. I just talked to the majority leader about this, 
and I will talk to the minority leader about this. He is a good man. He 
has been on the Agriculture Committee on the House side. He has been 
the driving force in regards to the Agriculture Committee and the farm 
program policy in this session.
  Let's get it done in the omnibus bill when we have a chance to get it 
done. If we need offsets, we will find offsets. Otherwise, we are 
putting at great risk a lot of farmers in this part of the country on 
the Great Plains. Quite frankly, other people, other farmers, other 
farm groups, other commodity groups apparently don't care--apparently 
don't care. Well, by golly, I care. I know the Senator from Montana 
cares. So let's don't go down this road.
  What is going to happen is, you are going to have to vote against a 
$6 billion bill in a lame duck session of Congress, when the election 
is over, with no hope of actually getting the thing done. Farmers are 
damned tired of that, and so am I.
  So my question is, to the distinguished Senator from Montana, let's 
work together with the plan we have already put together during the 
omnibus bill.
  I just talked to the chairman-to-be of the Appropriations Committee, 
Senator Stevens, and he said, yes, he will work with us. The 
administration said they will work with us. And we can get some real 
help to farmers at the appropriate time.
  So would the Senator work with me in that regard? That is the 
question.
  Mr. BURNS. Madam President, I would be glad to work with him. But I 
am sure glad we didn't get him stirred up where he is really excited 
about this issue. No one gets exercised more than the good Senator from 
Kansas.
  That is the common-sense way to approach it. There is no question 
about it. I would like to see it happen that way.
  I just wish that we could do something on forest health. I think 
there is a chance of doing that this time.


                           Homeland Security

  Madam President, before I relinquish the floor, though, I just want 
to express my concerns again about homeland security, and in some 
areas.
  As you know, we have spent the last 3 years trying to pass a privacy 
bill. We have worked with Senator Hollings, the chairman of the 
Commerce Committee, and also working with the Judiciary Committee. I 
would hope we can now do a privacy bill coming up in the next Congress.
  I notice the Senator from New York is on the floor, and I am looking 
forward to working with her on the E-911 caucus because we know we have 
a lot of work to do on spectrum and spectrum management and how we 
apply our emergency first responders in the days to come because of 
this challenge we have before us. So I will be watching very closely as 
the administration rules are written on this piece of legislation. 
There it is right there. I can't even pack it back to the office. I 
probably couldn't understand most of what I read in there, if I did. 
But, nonetheless, those are the issues I think are very important.
  Americans value their freedom. They value the privileges of living in 
this country, but they also value something else; that is, their 
personal privacy. A database or anything else that could be done in 
this is a great mistake. Whenever we start doing R&D on technologies 
that would allow us to invade the privacy of an individual citizen, 
whether it be in wireless communications or in the Internet or the 
firewalls we might burn, and before that technology is transferred into 
the agency that is in charge of gathering intelligence, there should be 
a firewall in there.
  I hope whenever they write the administrative rules they will be 
sensitive to that and will allow congressional oversight before that 
technology is transferred. It is very sensitive.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.


                           Homeland Security

  Mrs. CLINTON. Madam President, I want to associate myself with the 
remarks of the Senator from Montana about the importance of the 
implementation of the Homeland Security Department, particularly as it 
affects the privacy issues that will be raised going forward. Further, 
I would like to add a few other cautionary notes to the legislative 
record as we are about to, in a few hours, vote on this Department.
  My friend from Montana raises some of the important issues, and there 
are indeed others as well that we will have to be vigilant about and 
hopefully involved in going forward.
  Mr. BURNS. Will the Senator yield so I could correct a terrible 
mistake I just made?
  Mrs. CLINTON. Certainly, I am happy to yield.
  Mr. BURNS. I think I identified her as the Senator from Arkansas when 
I should have said the Senator from New York.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I appreciate that correction.
  Mr. BURNS. I would like to correct it, if I could.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I thank the Senator. I appreciate that.
  Mr. BURNS. I thank the Senator for yielding.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I must confess I thought he was referring to the 
Senator from Arkansas who perhaps was in the Chamber.

[[Page S11388]]

  As I said, I appreciate the Senator's yellow, flashing lights about 
some of the issues we are about to contend with going forward in the 
Homeland Security Department. In the months following September 11, 
which are really the time period that has brought us to this day, we 
knew as a Nation we had to take some additional steps, some 
unprecedented steps to protect ourselves. I believe we have attempted 
to do so certainly with respect to our men and women in military 
uniform.
  I am very proud of the support we have given to our armed forces. I 
am proud to represent the 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York. 
When I go there, when I speak with the young officers and enlisted men 
who come to see me or when I go to Fort Drum to see them, I feel 
confident I can look them in the eye and tell them we are doing all we 
know to do to make sure they are ready, well equipped, and compensated 
appropriately. They are trained to the best of their abilities, and we 
are doing all as a Nation we can to support them.

  I do not have that same level of confidence when I go to my 
firehouses, my police stations, my emergency rooms throughout New York. 
I cannot look into the eyes of our firefighters, our police officers, 
our emergency responders and tell them we have done all we need to do 
to make sure they are as well prepared, well trained, and safe in their 
defense here in the homeland.
  So are we safer today than we were on the morning of September 11, 
2001? The answer is only marginally. Because somewhere along the way, 
we have not kept that laser-like focus we needed to match our will and 
our resources and to get those resources to the front lines at home as 
we have around the world.
  The people who we are going to count on to make our homeland safer 
are the ones who will pick up the phone when we dial 911. They will 
respond to the call. They will leave the firehouse and the police 
station. They will leave the emergency room. They will be there in 
order to protect us.
  The votes we cast this afternoon for the creation of a Homeland 
Security Department are just that. They are votes to create a 
Department here in Washington.
  My hope is the approval of this bill will set into motion a necessary 
reorganization process that will ultimately result in improved 
coordination, information sharing, and a stronger, safer America.
  But we have to be absolutely clear to the American people about what 
it is we are voting for. This bill has to do with structural 
reorganization. There are many things in this bill we absolutely need 
to make us safer. Unfortunately, there are many things in this bill 
that have absolutely nothing to do with our security.
  I am concerned that Americans will believe, because we have passed 
this bill, our Nation is safer. But when we pass it and when Americans 
read about it or see coverage about it on television, they need to know 
this measure does not increase patrols or technology along our northern 
borders. It does not give our firefighters, police officers, and 
emergency personnel the resources, training, and equipment they 
desperately need. It does not increase security measures at our ports, 
our railroads, our public transportation systems. It does not increase 
our capability of detecting biological, chemical, radiological, and 
nuclear weapons.
  What this bill does is fall short on many important measures. We had 
the opportunity to do this right, to do more than create a Department. 
The Senate's original bill coming out of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee under Senator Lieberman's leadership, on a bipartisan vote, 
would have included critical measures that would make our country safer 
today. In the end, we failed to act on those critical measures.
  There is a lot in this bill that secures the future for special 
interests at the expense of the security of the American people. I 
believe those who are using this legislation as a vehicle for their own 
particular commercial or special interest have done this country a 
grave disservice.
  That is why Congress cannot stop with this vote. As the distinguished 
Senator from Montana said: We have to watch this process with 
vigilance. We have to be involved in the rulemaking. We have to ask the 
hard questions about resources. We have to continue to fight to make 
sure every substantive measure we need to enhance our security gets 
passed in the next Congress.
  Let's start with the obvious. Let's support our first responders. 
They are the ones who are our front line soldiers at home. We need to 
do what we have been asked to do by mayors and police and fire 
commissioners. They have asked us for direct funding that they can best 
utilize to make sure those firehouses stay open, those hazardous 
material suits and equipment are bought and available. That is why I 
still believe we should pass legislation I introduced last November 
that would provide direct funding to local communities--the Homeland 
Security Block Grant Act.
  We also know the recent report by former Senators Hart and Rudman, 
the terrorism panel's report, clearly states we are not doing enough to 
support our first responders. That report expressed grave concern that 
650,000 local and State police officers still operate without close 
U.S. intelligence information to combat terrorists.
  We have not done enough to help local and state officials detect and 
respond to biological attacks. The report expressed concerns that our 
firefighters and local law enforcement agencies still--more than a year 
later--do not have the proper equipment to respond to a chemical or 
biological attack. And they don't even have the communications systems 
that will let them talk to each other--police departments, fire 
departments--across municipal and county lines in an emergency.
  Madam President, I was also greatly disappointed that the SAFER Act, 
which would have allowed our Nation to hire 25,000 more firefighters 
over the next couple years, was completely eliminated from the bill. 
This is the time to do more for our first responders, not less.
  We also have to act immediately to secure our Nation's nuclear power 
infrastructure. While the homeland security bill creates a new 
Department, it does not adequately address the real threat of terrorist 
capabilities and desires to destroy our nuclear powerplants. Last year, 
Senators Jeffords, Reid, and I introduced the Nuclear Security Act. We 
moved that act through the committee. It is unfortunate the bill does 
not address nuclear security, particularly with respect to our nuclear 
powerplants. We clearly have a problem there, as we do with 
radiological attacks from a a so-called dirty bomb.
  Every day that goes by without us having those resources available in 
local communities around our country to respond is a day I cannot look 
into the eyes of my constituents and say, yes, we are safer today than 
we were.
  We have all gone over the many provisions in the bill that have 
absolutely nothing to do with security. I regret deeply that they were 
included in this bill, and the impact of them will be known for years 
to come.
  Madam President, this bill, which does some good by helping us better 
focus here in Washington, does not do nearly enough of what needs to be 
done out in our country. I am particularly concerned that New York does 
not have a specific coordinator as the bill provides for Washington, 
DC. We know from every intelligence report that New York City is still 
a high-risk area.
  This bill has much that perhaps can make us safer, but nothing that 
will immediately do so; and it does not address the most serious issues 
with respect to the resources that are needed.
  There is an article in this day's Washington Post about how the fact 
that we have not funded the war on terrorism here at home means that 
money--even if it passes in January--will not get to the people who 
need it the most for quite some number of months.
  This is, unfortunately, a day where we have adopted a piecemeal 
approach to homeland security without the resources and the 
comprehensive strategy that many experts have recommended. I hope we 
will come back in January and address the gaps in our homeland defense 
strategy going forward.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time to the Senator from Idaho?
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I yield myself time from Senator 
Thompson's time.

[[Page S11389]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho is recognized.
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I came to the floor for two purposes this 
afternoon. I will briefly speak about H.R. 5005, our homeland security 
legislation, which will become law in a reasonable time, possibly 
today, to suggest I am really not going to play the political game that 
has been played with this bill for the last 2 months, and that is being 
caught up again in the rhetoric of the hour--that somehow you don't 
need to structurally change the way Government thinks, that you can 
spend billions of dollars ahead of time to get it done.
  You do need to change the way Government thinks. You do need to 
change the culture of the Federal bureaucracy. You do need to 
coordinate. That is what we are doing because, clearly, to anyone on 
this floor, or anyone in any of the committees that have spent the last 
several years analyzing what happened prior to 9/11, and following 9/
11, it became very clear our agencies did not connect, they did not 
coordinate, they did not communicate, and the culture of the day--and 
probably a prevailing attitude--was somehow what happened would not 
happen here, didn't allow us to come to attention.
  Well, we are now at attention. We have already spent billions of 
dollars getting there--both in the fine city of New York, which was 
tragically hit, and across this country. My State of Idaho alone--a 
State of 1.2 million people--for its first responders is going to get a 
couple million dollars more this year. That is significant money for 
beginning the process of coordinating and training and communicating, 
right hand to left hand, local responders to State responders to 
Federal responders.
  There is a long way to go, but to suggest that the step we are taking 
today is unnecessary, or for 2 months did not prevail and, therefore, 
the bill is no good, shame on those who want to play the politics of 
the moment, because the politics of the moment is this country has 
decided to make a major step in the right direction.
  I will tell you that I can pick the bill apart and say there are bits 
and pieces in there I don't like. I agree, in part, with the Senator 
from New York and the Senator from Montana that it will take due 
diligence, that we should not suspect that what we pass today goes on 
autopilot. My guess is we will be back next year making refinements in 
it. I am not quite confident that it protects the privacy of the 
citizens of our country in our pursuit for security in a fashion I 
would want to see happen.
  I am glad we gave the President the flexibility not to be tied up in 
the bureaucracy of the public employees unions, but to give them an 
ample opportunity to express their concern; but in the end, in a 
national crisis, to give the chief executive of our country the 
latitude he or she should have and must have to make this system work. 
That is what we finally won the day over.
  I am sorry the other side lost that fight, but the country won, and 
the legislation we bring today is a significant and appropriate step 
forward. I will probably be here on the floor within a couple of months 
offering some amendments, and my guess is my colleagues from both sides 
of the aisle will be doing the same. But to demagog our way into a new 
form of Government in the context of homeland security, shame on us.

  The politics of that day is over. The reality of what we must do is 
now at hand and this Senate is stepping forward, as it should, to get 
the job done.
  I said I came to the floor to talk about a couple of other issues. I 
have been watching from my office the great politics of agricultural 
drought disaster. What I heard on the floor was in itself a bit of a 
disaster. For one full month, we had a bill on the floor with drought 
assistance in it. When the bill was controlled by the other side, which 
had the majority, I innocently came to the floor and said, hey, why 
don't we add an amendment on forest health? Why don't we get to the 
business of thinning and cleaning the seven or eight million acres of 
land that is desperately in need of our caretakership and our 
stewardship that, by every estimation, is a tinderbox waiting to 
explode, like the seven million acres that burned this year across our 
public forest lands, that burned up 2,800 homes and cost us 25 lives.
  But for one full month, the other side refused to vote on it. Why? 
Because of the November 5 election. They didn't want to put their 
people at risk, or what they thought was risk, to vote for a good piece 
of legislation that would have passed the Interior bill and would have 
put forth the drought legislation and the money that was talked about 
on the floor.
  What I witnessed over the last hour is raw politics that won't get 
done. The Senator from Kansas came down a bit exercised a few moments 
ago, and he had every right to say, shame on them, it is politics, it 
won't happen--and it won't happen. What will happen is we are going to 
come back to a new Congress on the 7th of January called the 108th 
Congress. We are going to swear in some new Senators and convene, and 
we are going to have a new organizational resolution; we are going to 
have chairmen. And already, at that moment on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 
beyond, we are going to move, I believe, 11 appropriation bills that 
didn't get cared for this year, that somehow, on their watch, didn't 
happen. In those, we are going to take care of drought and a lot of 
other things that should have been done a long time ago. Sure, we have 
anxious farmers. They have every reason to be anxious. But now to blame 
us and bog up the works and put our Government in a stall at this 
moment, all in the name of agricultural politics, is, in itself, wrong. 
I have farmers who have suffered from drought. I want to help them, and 
we will help them. We will help them in January. Why do we come to the 
Chamber today and play the politics of the game that will not happen? I 
think we all know. It makes for good rhetoric and probably a few 
headlines back home. But it will not accomplish the mission at hand, 
and the mission at hand is to solve our agricultural drought problems, 
and to do so in a responsible, meaningful way that actually produces 
policy so the farmer can go to the farm service office and say: I have 
a problem and here is my loss. And that farm service officer can say: 
And here is the program, and here is how we can help you.

  That is not going to occur probably until we legislate it in January 
and it becomes law sometime in early February. Then, I say to my 
colleagues on the other side, pick up the phone and call your farmer 
and say: Go to the farm service office, take your records and your 
losses, and they will calculate what you deserve based on the program 
at hand. That is how one delivers a message home. That is how one 
solves a problem that exists.
  What has happened in this Chamber is the last moments of the last 
hour of the last day of the 107th, is that somehow a great amount of 
politics got played out. Some of it worked and some of it did not work, 
and we just heard some of it that will not work.
  We are about to vote, though, on homeland security, and in the end, 
over the course of the next 3 to 4 years, it will work because it must 
work. We must be able in a real way, in a material way, to say to our 
friends and neighbors and civilian populations at home that the world 
is a safer place, and we made it safer by the ability to craft a 
government a good deal more sensitive to the reality of our current 
circumstances, to change the culture of the CIA, the FBI, the Border 
Patrol, and the INS in a way that creates a level of communication that 
knows what the right hand and the left hand are doing in concert. Yes, 
allows us a level of training and expertise at the very local of levels 
so when that first responder goes out on the line, they have every bit 
the skill and the equipment necessary to determine if they and/or the 
population they serve are at risk because of a potential terrorist act.
  That is our charge. We do not do it overnight. It should have been 
done 2 months ago. The politics of the day would not have allowed that, 
but November 5 changed that, and that is why we are here and why we 
will pass this bill today in its whole form, and it will go to the 
President's desk for his signature.
  Then, frankly, the hard work begins. If I were the administrator 
selected to craft a homeland security agency out of the bureaucracies 
that will fight down to their very last bureaucratic breath to hang on 
to some authority, I would say it is a monstrous task. But we will be 
here helping that administrator along because we know it is so

[[Page S11390]]

necessary for our country to have an agency that can respond to a new 
threat to this Nation and to freedom-loving people all around the 
world.
  I hope out of the frustration of the day and the rhetoric that has 
occurred that, in the end, we will pass legislation and get on with the 
business at hand, but I thought it was incumbent upon myself to come to 
the Chamber to talk briefly about the idea that a drought has occurred, 
not just on farmlands across this country, but in the reality of the 
politics right here. And that drought is, we only have so much we are 
going to get done, and we better return come January and finish the 
work that should have been done months ago. This side is up to it, and 
I trust my colleagues on the other side will join us in a fair and 
bipartisan way to make that happen.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. I yield myself 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I am pleased to see that the Senate is 
finally ready to pass legislation creating a Department of Homeland 
Security. My colleagues and I on the Governmental Affairs Committee, 
under Senator Lieberman's leadership, began this process more than a 
year ago. When we first started out, I must admit that I had some 
reservations about making such dramatic changes to the way the Federal 
Government is organized. The hearings Senator Lieberman chaired during 
the first half of this year, however, showed me how truly ill prepared 
we really are to face the threat of terrorism. That is why I supported 
the original version of Senator Lieberman's homeland security bill when 
it came before the Governmental Affairs Committee on May 22, 2002, some 
time before President Bush released his proposed reorganization plan. I 
supported it again on July 24 after we incorporated a number of the 
President's recommendations into our original draft.
  I believe we need to create a strong Department of Homeland Security 
that brings together under one roof the various Federal agencies 
charged with preventing and responding to terrorist attacks. I am a 
little disappointed, however, that we appear ready to do so in a way 
that disregards a good deal of the hard work that went into the 
bipartisan bill we reported out of Governmental Affairs.
  Among other things, the bill before us today abandons a compromise 
arrived at in committee on information sharing and the Freedom of 
Information Act and includes INS restructuring language that is 
different from anything included in the President's proposal, the 
House-passed bill or anything that we have debated here in the Senate. 
It also includes some controversial provisions we have never seen 
before that seemingly appeared overnight. In the 108th Congress, we can 
and should have a debate on tort reform. We can and should have a 
debate on the safety of childhood vaccines. What we should not have 
done is hastily slip brand new provisions into this critically 
important bill without debate at the behest of special interests. There 
are three changes, however, that are of the most concern to me.
  First, there is the new personnel language. This bill gives the 
Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) almost total authority to rewrite Federal 
civil service laws for Department of Homeland Security employees 
related to hiring and firing, job classification, pay, rules for labor-
management relations, performance appraisal and employee appeals to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board. Thinking that the Secretary and OPM 
could not possibly know what kind of personnel system was needed at the 
new Department before they were able to start putting it together, our 
committee maintained current law and asked the Secretary to report on 
his or her progress in setting the Department up at least every 6 
months and to ask Congress for specific changes in civil service 
protections to meet specific Department needs.
  As a former Governor who had to reorganize parts of his own State's 
government, I can appreciate President Bush's desire to have as much 
flexibility as possible when creating something as large, complex and 
important as a Department of Homeland Security. However, I do not 
believe it's necessary to give him or his new Secretary the power to 
unilaterally change or waive workplace rules over the objections of 
Department employees and Congress. That is why I supported the 
compromise put forward by Senators Nelson, Breaux, and Chafee before we 
adjourned for the election. That language would have left the most 
important civil service protections related to union rights and 
employee appeals untouched and set up a system of binding arbitration 
so that the Secretary and OPM would have to work out any personnel 
system they draft with the employees who will be required to work under 
it. I wish that the personnel language in this bill was closer to that 
contained in Nelson-Breaux-Chafee bipartisan compromise.
  The second issue that is of concern to me in this bill is the 
language on collective bargaining rights. It says that the President 
can only use the authority he currently has to remove employees' 
collective bargaining rights on employees transferred into the new 
Department if their agency's mission materially changes and their 
duties involve intelligence, counterintelligence, or investigative work 
directly related to a terrorism investigation. It gives him broad 
authority to waive this test, however, and to use his authority 
regardless of whether or not the mission of the relevant agency has 
changed. Our committee-passed bill would have required the 
administration to go through the Federal Labor Relations Authority to 
remove employees' collective bargaining rights. I was comfortable with 
that provision, but even more so with the Nelson-Breaux-Chafee 
compromise on this issue, which includes the same restrictions on the 
President's authority included in this bill but which gives Department 
employees the assurances that their collective bargaining rights will 
not be taken away arbitrarily simply because they are working in 
something called the Department of Homeland Security. I wish this bill 
offered future employees of the Department of Homeland Security as much 
assurance that their rights would be protected.
  My greatest disappointment with this bill is the glaring omission of 
any meaningful provisions to improve the security of our Nation's 
railroads. It is inexplicable that we stand ready to create a 
Department of Homeland Security that does nothing to protect the 
millions of Americans who travel by rail every day. After the tragedy 
of September 11, this Congress and the President moved quickly to 
stabilize and secure our aviation system and to create the 
Transportation Security Administration with the mission of protecting 
all transportation modes.
  The Congress followed suit with the Maritime Transportation Security 
Act of 2002 to protect our ports and maritime industry, which 
successfully passed in the Senate last week. And now it seems that the 
Over-the-Road Bus Security legislation is poised to pass this body. Yet 
in all these efforts, we have done little to protect rail from 
terrorist attacks and security threats, creating an Achilles heel in 
our Nation's efforts to secure our transportation system. For all of 
our commendable focus and attention on preventing future attacks 
against the aviation industry, it is unconscionable that we would not 
work to ensure that the roughly 25 million intercity passengers and 
many millions more that commute aboard our trains are as safe as the 
ones in our skies.
  How can we ignore the FBI warnings made a few weeks ago that al-Qaida 
is considering directly targeting U.S. passenger trains and that 
operatives may try to destroy key rail bridges and sections of track to 
cause derailments? How could the Senate have voted to appropriate $2 
million to remove jars of formaldehyde and alcohol from the 
Smithsonian's buildings here on the Mall because of their threat to the 
Capitol and yet leave the rail tunnel traveling under the Senate and 
House office buildings and the Supreme Court unprotected from terrorist 
attack? How can we end the 107th Congress having approved increased and 
strengthened security programs for every single transportation mode 
except rail, a mode we know that al-Qaida may currently be targeting?

[[Page S11391]]

  In creating the Department of Homeland Security, we had the chance to 
address this omission. We could have included provisions to secure the 
nation's critical rail infrastructure and facilities and augment the 
mission of the Transportation Security Administration. Recognizing the 
obvious need for greater rail security early on, Senators Hollings, 
McCain and others worked within the Commerce Committee to produce a 
bipartisan rail security bill to protect Amtrak and our vital rail 
infrastructure from attack or sabotage. This bill, S. 1550, was 
supported by the Bush Administration and reported unanimously out of 
the committee.
  They understood the important role that Amtrak played immediately 
following the tragic events of September 11, when, with the aviation 
system shut down and our highways clogged or closed, Amtrak kept people 
safely moving in the northeast and across the country. They know it is 
essential that we provide Amtrak with the means to harden their 
physical assets and protect the safety and security of the traveling 
public if we want to ensure that Amtrak can serve the nation in the 
future as it did after September 11. They realized that more people use 
Amtrak's Pennsylvania Station in one day than use all of New York's 
three airports combined. They recognized that, like our other modes, 
our rail network is essential to the mobility, defense, and economic 
vitality of our nation. Yet their efforts have been blocked in this 
body and our railroads remain largely unprotected.
  Following the Commerce Committee's good work and seeing the logical 
role for rail security within the new Department, I offered, and the 
Committee voted to accept, a rail security amendment to Senator 
Lieberman's homeland security bill during the our markup in July. My 
amendment authorized funds through the Secretary of Homeland Security 
for critical security and safety needs across Amtrak's national 
network. Totaling $1.2 billion, my amendment authorized funds to assist 
the diligent efforts already being made by Amtrak's police force and 
other law enforcement agencies, giving them the tools to focus on real 
threats beyond the harmless rail fans police were chasing away as 
described in an article on the front page of the Washington Post last 
week. The amendment included: $375 million to finance systemwide 
security and safety enhancements. These funds would have been used to 
immediately address serious security risks by protecting 
infrastructure, stations, and facilities across the entire Amtrak 
system. Amtrak's top priorities to be addressed with these funds 
include:
  No. 1, securing tunnels, bridges, interlockings, towers, and yard and 
station facilities with surveillance equipment, perimeter fencing, 
security lighting, bomb detection equipment and bomb resistant 
trashcans for stations, vehicle barriers and other measures.
  No. 2, investing in passenger information systems to allow the 
creation of watch lists and passenger manifests for tracking purposes 
and data sharing between Amtrak Police Department and the FBI. 
Currently, Amtrak does not have the realtime ability to track who is 
onboard its trains.
  No. 3, communications and command/control upgrades to track and 
locate trains enroute, to ensure adequate radio coverage across the 
Amtrak system, and to provide automated data for incident response and 
crisis management;
  $778 million for life-safety and security improvements to the Amtrak 
tunnels in New York, Baltimore and Washington. The life-safety problems 
with the tunnels on the northeast corridor are well documented and 
require immediate action. The tunnels in New York, 1910, Baltimore, 
1872, and Washington 1904 are nearing, or are over 100 year olds and 
constitute safety hazards due to problems with emergency exits and 
ventilation. Of specific concern, is a possible terrorist action 
involving these tunnels, which have limited evacuation capacity, 
antiquated stairwells, and poor lighting. The results could be 
catastrophic. The funds will enhance life safety features within the 
tunnels, including:
  No. 1. Washington, $40 million: upgraded emergency access and egress, 
improved ventilation and communications. This tunnel sees 50 Amtrak/VRE 
trains a day and 2 million passengers annually. Additionally, these 
tunnels pass directly under the Supreme Court and House and Senate 
Office Buildings.
  No. 2, Baltimore, $60 million: New fire standpipes; improved lighting 
and communications, egress improvements; and a preliminary design study 
of tunnel replacement options. This tunnel sees 125 Amtrak/MARC trains 
a day.
  No. 3, New York, $678 million, 6 tunnels: upgraded ventilation, 
access, and egress through new stairways and shafts; structural 
rehabilitation for tunnel access, and improved lighting and signage. 
The 6 New York Amtrak tunnels provide access to Penn station for 
Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad. They are 
gateway to New York and the heart of the Northeast Corridor. Work on 
the tunnels has already begun with $220 million from the Long Island 
Railroad and the FRA, through $100 million from FY '02 DOD supplemental 
Appropriations Act. Funds authorized in this amendment would complete 
work on 3 of the 4 rebuilt ventilation and escapes shafts, dramatically 
improving the safety of passengers should an emergency occur in the 
tunnels;
  $55 million for wrecked equipment repair to ensure Amtrak adequate 
fleet capacity in the event of a national security emergency. At the 
time of my amendment, 96 damaged and wrecked cars and five locomotives, 
or nearly one out of every fifteen Amtrak cars, were sitting idle, out 
of service, and awaiting repair. Without these cars, Amtrak is in 
serious danger of being able to provide adequate equipment to service 
its current routes, let alone offer additional service should there be 
another national emergency. With these funds, Amtrak could have 
repaired about half of these, and have some equipment up and running 
again within 90 days. In our effort to strength the security of the 
homeland, that we must provide Amtrak with the equipment it needs to 
serve the existing routes and to handle increased traffic should 
another security crisis occur.
  After the Governmental Affairs markup and the inclusion of this 
amendment to the Lieberman substitute, I worked with Senators Hollings 
and McCain to create a bipartisan rail security package based on the 
previous Committee work and my amendment that would authorize needed 
resources while ensuring proper oversight and accountability. We agreed 
to work together to add this package to the homeland security 
legislation, in whatever form it took. I believe that Senator McCain 
spoke briefly about his commitment to enhancing the security of our 
railroads on the floor last week, and I want to thank him for working 
with us to create a sound security proposal. I know that he and Senator 
Hollings share my disappointment that we have not been able to get this 
package included in the current homeland security bill. Though we were 
unable to achieve success today, we are committed to doing so next 
year, and I urge my colleagues to join this effort. Until we have 
passed a rail security package, we cannot honestly say that we have 
secured our national transportation system.
  In conclusion, today we missed a tremendous opportunity to truly 
secure our entire transportation network. Surely, we all agree that 
doing so is one of the Federal government's chief responsibilities. 
Debates about the future of Amtrak should not stand in the way of this 
effort. The fact is that, today, several thousands of riders are on 
Amtrak trains and hundreds of thousands more use Amtrak's tracks for 
their daily commute to work. Securing these facilities and these 
services is not an issue that can wait. As the intelligence community 
has already warned, the risks to America's railroads are real and exist 
as we speak. We have a responsibility to act to protect our people and 
our nation. We must pass rail security legislation as soon as possible.
  Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I rise to discuss two provisions of the 
Homeland Security bill, those substantially transferring the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, ``ATF,'' to the Department of Justice 
and modifying and improving our explosives laws.
  A driving force behind the President's blueprint for the reorganized 
Government is the need for the various agencies and bureaus charged 
with enforcing Federal law to work more cooperatively and effectively 
in defending

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the country against terrorism. The President's plan shifted several 
agencies charged with different aspects of Federal law enforcement to 
the proposed Department of Homeland Security, including the Secret 
Service and the Bureau of Customs, both formerly housed in the 
Department of the Treasury.
  Unfortunately, this realignment of Treasury's law enforcement 
agencies left out one vitally important bureau, one that has as its 
primary mission the enforcement of the explosives and firearms laws. 
The ATF has been the cornerstone of the Federal law enforcement 
functions at Treasury for decades, but now under the President's plan, 
it would be left as the only major law enforcement presence in the 
entire Department.
  The Department of the Treasury is entrusted with responsibilities 
primarily in the area of monetary policy such as budgets, taxes, and 
currency production and circulation. In contrast, the ATF's mission 
consists of enforcing the firearms, arson, and explosives laws as well 
as the criminal and regulatory functions of the alcohol and tobacco 
laws. Clearly, these two missions do not jibe.
  ATF serves an important role not only in the enforcement of the 
criminal laws regarding firearms, explosives, alcohol and tobacco, but 
also in waging the war on terrorism. We only need to remember the 
litany of terrorist bombings from the first attack on the World Trade 
Centers to Beirut in 1982, the East Africa embassies, the U.S.S. Cole, 
Khobar Towers, and Oklahoma City, among others, to understand the 
importance of the ATF's expertise in explosives and firearms on the war 
on terrorism. Indeed, in the last 20 years, the vast majority of 
terrorist attacks with Americans as targets have used explosives or 
firearms. Any effort to strengthen our homeland security that does not 
take note of this fact is a half measure.
  This bill understands ATF's importance in the war on terrorism by 
moving it to the Department of Justice where it can coordinate its 
efforts more easily with the FBI, DEA, and the other premier Federal 
law enforcement agencies. In addition, the bill authorizes the ATF for 
the first time as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and 
Explosives, ATFE, and refocuses its mission. It will no longer be 
responsible for collecting alcohol and tobacco fees, but instead will 
focus entirely on the criminal enforcement of the explosives, firearms, 
arson, and tobacco and alcohol smuggling laws.
  The amendment makes clear that along with the transfer of enforcement 
of the explosives, firearms, and arson laws, the new ATFE will have 
jurisdiction over the criminal statutes in title 18 of the United 
States Code as they relate to tobacco or alcohol laws. These few 
criminal statutes are the extent of ATFE's jurisdiction over alcohol 
and tobacco. All alcohol and tobacco revenue collection and related 
regulatory functions performed by the current ATF will remain under the 
jurisdiction of the Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department.
  The renaming of the Bureau is more than simply symbolic. The addition 
of the ``E'' to the name of the Bureau demonstrates the importance of 
explosives in their mission. To coordinate better law enforcement 
training in explosives, we created the Explosives Training and Research 
Facility at Fort AP Hill, VA, where Federal, State and local law 
enforcement agents from around the country will be trained to 
investigate bombings.
  We trust that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice in 
conjunction with the Department of the Treasury will make ATFE's 
transition as efficient as possible. Moving a large law enforcement 
agency is not easily done. For that reason, the Homeland Security bill 
permits a sufficient time frame for the transitions to occur both to 
the new Department of Homeland Security as well as the ATFE's 
transition to the Department of Justice. It is our intent that the ATFE 
be permitted as much time to complete its transition as the other 
bureaus and agencies being shifted to the Department of Homeland 
Security.
  At the Department of Justice, the ATFE will have primary 
responsibility for the enforcement of the firearm, arson and explosives 
laws as well as criminal alcohol and tobacco laws. In that role, the 
ATFE will be able to work cooperatively with the FBI and the DEA in 
enforcing the criminal law while at the same time taking the lead when 
the case under investigation is primarily within their jurisdiction. 
According to recent news reports, the FBI and the ATF do not always 
have the best of relations. In fact, despite a long-standing memorandum 
of understanding between the two agencies allocating responsibilities, 
there is still a fair amount of competition between the two when it 
comes to areas where their respective jurisdiction overlaps. Now, with 
the ATFE working under the same leadership as the FBI, the Attorney 
General will be able to sort out these differences and maximize the 
cooperation between the two agencies. More cooperation will lead to a 
better focus on the war on terrorism.
  The establishment of the ATFE at the Department of Justice gives the 
Government a dynamic weapon in the war on terrorism and in the every 
day battle against violent crime involving explosives, firearms and 
arson. We look forward to the ATFE joining the Department of Justice 
and its other law enforcement agencies. We also look forward to the 
ATFE maximizing its capabilities in enforcing the explosives, firearms, 
and arson laws and fighting the war on terrorism.
  In addition to transferring ATF to the Department of Justice, this 
measure contains a subtitle that modifies our explosives laws. This 
provision is an amended version of S. 1956, the Safe Explosives Act, 
which was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Orrin Hatch and me and 
H.R. 4864, the Anti-Terrorism Explosives Act, which was introduced 
earlier this year by Chairman Sensenbrenner.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the measure this 
summer. I want to explain some of the provisions in this title of the 
bill and provide a more detailed section by section analysis of it.
  Following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade 
Center and the Pentagon, we have had a growing sense that Congress 
needs to close numerous gaps in Federal law to help prevent future 
disasters. The current explosives laws are effective, but the Safe 
Explosives Act closes some loopholes and significantly improves its 
administration.
  The Safe Explosives Act effects two major changes in our explosives 
laws: first, it creates a systematic method of enforcing our laws 
regarding who can and cannot purchase and possess explosives; and 
second, it makes some commonsense additions to the list of people who 
are barred from purchasing and possessing explosives.
  Creating a systematic method for enforcing our laws makes sense in 
the current environment. Most Americans would be stunned to learn that 
in some States it is easier to get enough explosives to take down a 
house than it is to buy a gun, get a driver's license, or even obtain a 
fishing license. Currently, it is too easy for would-be terrorists and 
criminals to obtain explosive materials. Although permits are required 
for interstate purchases of explosives, there are no current uniform 
national limitations on the purchase of explosives within a single 
state by a resident of that State. As a result, a patchwork quilt of 
State regulations covers the intrastate purchase of explosive 
materials. In some States, anyone can walk into a hardware store and 
buy plastique explosives or a box of dynamite. No background check is 
conducted, and no effort is made to check whether the purchaser knows 
how to properly use this deadly material. In at least 16 States, there 
are little to no restrictions on the intrastate purchase of explosives.
  By addressing the intrastate sale and possession of explosives, the 
Safe Explosives Act would help close one such loophole that allows 
potential terrorists and criminals easy access to explosive materials. 
Let me elaborate. As I said, under current law anyone who is involved 
in interstate shipment, purchase, or possession of explosives must have 
a Federal permit. This legislation creates the same requirement for 
intrastate purchases. It calls for two types of permits for these 
intrastate purchasers: user permits and limited user permits. The user 
permit lasts for 3 years and allows unlimited explosives purchases. The 
limited user permit also expires after 3 years, but only allows

[[Page S11393]]

six purchases per year. We created this two-tier system so that low-
volume users would not be burdened by regulations. The limited permit, 
like the user permit, imposes commonsense rules such as a background 
check, monitoring of explosives purchases, secure storage, and report 
of sale or theft of explosives. However, the Safe Explosives Act does 
not subject the limited user to the record keeping requirements 
currently required for full permit holders.
  In addition to closing the intrastate loophole, this measure expands 
slightly the class of people who are barred from purchasing or 
possessing explosives. Current federal law prohibits certain categories 
of people from purchasing and possessing explosives. However, some 
important categories, such as people in the United States on a tourist 
visa, are not included in current federal explosives law. The committee 
feels that in addition to being barred from obtaining a firearm, these 
people should also be prohibited from purchasing and possessing 
explosive materials.
  Overall, this measure strikes a reasonable balance between stopping 
dangerous people from getting explosives and helping legitimate users 
obtain and possess explosives. Most large commercial users already have 
explosives permits because they engage in interstate explosives 
transport. These users would not be significantly affected by our 
legislation. The low-volume users will be able to quickly and cheaply 
get a limited permit. And high-volume intrastate purchasers who are 
running businesses that require explosives should easily be able to get 
an unlimited user permit. Also, the measure will not affect those who 
use black or smokeless powder for recreation, as the legislation does 
not change current regulations on those particular materials.
  Our goal is simple. We must take all possible steps to keep deadly 
explosives out of the hands of dangerous individuals seeking to 
threaten our livelihood and security. The Safe Explosives Act is 
critical legislation, supported by the administration. It is designed 
solely to the interest of public safety. It will significantly enhance 
our efforts to limit the proliferation of explosives to would be 
terrorists and criminals. It will close a loophole that could 
potentially cause mass destruction of property and life.
  Let me thank the many people who assisted us in drafting these 
provisions. Senators Hatch and Leahy and Chairman Sensenbrenner were 
vital, as were Senators Baucus and Grassley. The staff and leadership 
of the Department of Treasury, the Department of Justice and the ATF 
were invaluable. We all worked together cooperatively and in close 
collaboration, and I believe that the finished product reflects the 
professionalism and dedication of the staff of those agencies. They are 
all to be congratulated.
  I ask unanimous consent that a section-by-section analysis of the 
measure be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          Section-by-Section Analysis of Title XI, Subtitle C

     Section 1121--Short title
       The short title of this bill is the ``Safe Explosives 
     Act.''
     Section 1122--Permits for purchasers of explosives
       First, the following terms referenced in the bill are 
     defined: permittee, alien, and responsible person.
       Second, this section would require all purchasers of 
     explosives to obtain a permit from the Treasury's Bureau of 
     Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), a process that includes 
     a background check, thereby reducing the availability of 
     explosives to terrorists, felons, and others prohibited by 
     law from possessing explosives. Although permits are now 
     required for interstate purchases, there are no current 
     Federal limitations on the purchase of explosives within a 
     single state by a resident of that state.
       The new permit requirement would significantly enhance the 
     government's ability to prevent the misuse and unsafe storage 
     of explosives. As part of the permit application and renewal 
     process, ATF would conduct background checks on all 
     individuals wishing to acquire or possess explosives 
     materials. Applicants would also be required to submit 
     photographs and fingerprints along with their applications, 
     to ensure that a thorough background check can be completed. 
     Fingerprints are not necessary to conduct a background check, 
     however it significantly reduces the work and amount of time 
     for the positive identification of applicants, and therefore 
     will greatly reduce the application turnaround time and 
     workload for ATF.
       In the case of a corporation, partnership or association, 
     the applicant would be required to submit fingerprints and 
     photographs of responsible persons, meaning those individuals 
     who possess the power to direct the management and policies 
     of the corporation, partnership or association pertaining to 
     explosive materials. Consistent with ATF's current policy, 
     this section does not require corporate applicants for 
     explosives licenses to list every single corporate director 
     or officer as a ``responsible person'' on its application for 
     a license or permit. Those officials within the corporation 
     who have no power to direct the management and policies of 
     the applicant with respect to explosive materials need not be 
     listed on the application. For example, in a large 
     corporation that uses explosives in just one of many business 
     activities, there may be many corporate officials who have no 
     responsibilities or authority in connection with the 
     explosives aspects of the company's business. These officials 
     would not be listed as ``responsible persons'' on the 
     application, and would not need to submit fingerprints or 
     photographs to ATF. Furthermore, if corporate bylaws provide 
     that certain high-level corporate officials do not have the 
     power or authority to direct the management and policies of 
     the corporation with respect to explosive materials, then 
     such officials will not be considered to be responsible 
     persons.
       We encourage the Secretary to strive for balanced 
     enforcement. In so doing, the Secretary should avoid imposing 
     unnecessary burdens on applicants for explosives licenses and 
     permits. There is no reason to require background checks for 
     corporate officials who have no responsibilities or authority 
     in connection with the explosives aspect of a company's 
     business. By the same token, companies have an obligation to 
     be forthright with the ATF, and we expect them to err on the 
     side of overinclusiveness in deciding who may be a 
     responsible person.
       This section will also require applicants to list the names 
     of all employees who will have possession of the explosive 
     materials, so that the ATF can verify that these individuals 
     are not prohibited from receiving or possessing explosives. 
     In order to prevent an overload of employee background checks 
     all at once for the ATF, current licenses and permits will 
     remain valid until that license or permit is revoked, 
     expires, or until a timely application for renewal is acted 
     upon. Under current law, it is too easy for would-be 
     terrorists and criminals to obtain access to explosive 
     materials by obtaining jobs (such as driving trucks) with 
     explosives licensees. These expanded requirements would also 
     apply to entities seeking to obtain a license to sell 
     explosives.
       It is the Committee's intention that ATF should work 
     closely with the regulated industry to develop guidance as to 
     which employees are considered to be in ``possession'' of 
     explosive materials in the course of their employment. 
     Applicants for explosives licenses or permits are not 
     required to list every single employee of the business. 
     Instead they are only required to list employees who are 
     expected to possess explosive materials as part of their 
     duties.
       In developing these standards, ATF should be guided by the 
     case law interpreting the term ``possession'' under the Gun 
     Control Act of 1968, GCA, as amended. It is well established 
     that possession under the GCA may be demonstrated through 
     either actual or constructive possession. Actual possession 
     exists when a person is in immediate possession or control of 
     an object, and includes instances where a person knowingly 
     has direct physical control over the object at a given time. 
     Thus, employees who physically handle explosive materials 
     would clearly be in possession of those materials. This would 
     include, among others, employees who handle explosive 
     materials, as defined by the law as part of a production 
     process; employees who handle explosive materials in order to 
     ship, transport, or sell them; and employees who actually use 
     the explosive materials. All of these employees, as well as 
     any other employees who actually possess explosive materials 
     as part of their duties, must be listed on the application 
     for a license or permit.
       Where direct physical contact is lacking, a person may 
     nonetheless have constructive possession where he or she 
     knowingly has the power and the intention at a given time to 
     exercise dominion and control over the explosives, either 
     directly or through others. Accordingly, this section would 
     require applicants for licenses or permits to list all 
     employees who will have constructive possession of explosive 
     materials as part of their duties. For example, an employee 
     who drives a truck with an explosives load is in constructive 
     possession of the explosives even though he may not 
     physically handle them. This individual has dominion and 
     control over the explosives while he transports them; 
     furthermore, he could easily divert them from their intended 
     destination. Such an individual should be subject to the 
     background check requirements of the amended law. Similarly, 
     a supervisor at a construction site who keeps the keys for 
     the building in which the explosives are stored, and directs 
     the use of explosives by other employees, would be in 
     constructive possession of those explosives.
       Finally, this section recognizes the distinction between 
     small individual users of explosives and large commercial 
     users by creating

[[Page S11394]]

     a new ``limited permit'' for those infrequent purchasers. The 
     limited permit allows a purchaser to make no more that six 
     purchases of explosives within a 12-month period, and the 
     permit is only valid for purchases within the purchaser's 
     state of residence. While limited permit holder must pass the 
     background check like all other permit applicants, they are 
     not subject to spot inspections imposed on full permit 
     holders. To ensure that holders of limited permits are not 
     violating law by acquiring explosive materials more than six 
     times a year, this section requires anyone selling explosives 
     to a limited permit holder to report the sale to the ATF. 
     This allows the ATF to monitor misuse by limited permit 
     holders, and investigate suspicious volume purchases by such 
     individuals, while allowing infrequent users to access more 
     than enough for their needs. Holders of limited permits would 
     also be required to report their distribution of excess 
     stocks of explosives to other permittees or licensees.
       All permittees, limited or otherwise, are subject to 
     inspection by the ATF to ensure that the explosives are being 
     properly stored. In the interest of minimizing the turnaround 
     time for approval of licenses and permits, and in order to 
     avoid overburdening ATF with an onrush of inspections 
     immediately after this act takes effect, the bill gives ATF 
     the discretion to defer immediate inspection of license and 
     permit applicants at the time of application. However, 
     because of concern for public safety, a provision requires 
     ATF to inspect both permitees and licensees within three 
     years of issuing a license or permit. Specifically, ATF must 
     inspect limited permitees prior to a third consecutive 
     renewal, and licensees or user permitees prior to the first 
     renewal. It also increases the amount of time ATF has to 
     approve or deny an application to 90 days. This will allow 
     ATF ample time to conduct thorough background checks, 
     especially important immediately following enactment of the 
     bill when there will likely be a surge in applications. These 
     provisions were put in the bill at the request of the House.
       This section also includes an important measure that 
     ensures privacy for employees or potential employees of a 
     company that applying for a user permit that are subject to a 
     background check. The provision requires the Secretary of the 
     Treasury to notify the employer as to whether or not an 
     employee passes the background check. However, should an 
     individual not pass the employer will not be told the reason 
     why. Rather, the employee will be notified as to the 
     reason(s) for not passing.
     Section 1123--Persons prohibited from receiving or possessing 
         explosive materials
       This proposal expands the list of those people who are 
     prohibited from purchasing or possessing explosives to 
     include: mental incompetents, aliens other than lawful 
     permanent resident aliens, people dishonorably discharged 
     from the military, and Americans who have renounced their 
     citizenship. The addition of such categories to the list of 
     prohibited persons recognizes the potential for terrorists or 
     other criminals to use explosives to carry out their attacks 
     and brings the explosives law in line with most categories of 
     prohibited people in the Gun Control Act.
       Congress has already determined that the possession of 
     firearms by the above categories of people is dangerous to 
     society. In order to combat terrorism and other violent 
     crime, it is essential that Federal law prohibit the receipt 
     or possession of explosive materials by such individuals 
     already deemed too dangerous to possess firearms. The 
     language relating to non-immigrant aliens differs slightly 
     from that in the Gun Control Act, as technical changes have 
     been made to improve the clarity of the provision.
     Section 1124--Requirement to provide samples of explosive 
         materials and ammonium nitrate
       This section would enhance the ATF's ability to solve cases 
     involving explosives by requiring Federally licensed 
     explosives manufacturers and importers and persons who 
     manufacture or import ammonium nitrate to provide to ATF, 
     upon request, with samples of, or chemical information on, 
     the products they manufacture or import. The ATF fulfills a 
     critical investigative role in the solving of crimes or acts 
     of terrorism committed by explosives. Such information is 
     essential to ATF's ability to prevent and solve bombings and 
     to trace explosive materials that are used in terrorist 
     activities and other violent crimes by matching residue with 
     the manufacturers' samples. Also, the ability to evaluate 
     such samples as well as information on the chemical 
     composition of these products will allow the ATF to 
     familiarize themselves with products that may be diverted to 
     criminal misuse.
     Section 1125--Destruction of property of institutions 
         receiving federal financial assistance
       This section expands ATF's authority to investigate 
     destruction of property by fire or explosion if the property 
     receives federal assistance.
     Section 1126--Relief from disabilities
       This section allows for a person who is prohibited from the 
     above mentioned explosive material possession, purchase, etc. 
     to apply to the Attorney General for relief from 
     disabilities. The Attorney General may grant that relief if 
     the circumstances regarding the disability are such that the 
     applicant is not likely to be dangerous to the public if 
     allowed to work with the above mentioned explosive materials, 
     and that it would not be contrary to the best interest of the 
     public.
     Section 1127--Theft reporting requirement
       According to this section, all licensees and permittees are 
     required to report the known theft of explosive materials 
     from that user no later than 24 hours after the discovery of 
     theft. Failure to do so can result in a fine not more than 
     $10,000, or imprisonment not more than 5 years, or both. It 
     is essential that ATF investigate theft of explosives in 
     order to prevent accidental or criminal misuse.
     Sec. 1128--Authorization of appropriations
       This section authorizes the appropriation to carry out the 
     provisions of the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. I yield myself 5 minutes from the time of Senator 
Thompson and 5 minutes from the time of the leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, this legislation to create a new 
Department of Homeland Security will result in the most significant 
transformation of the executive branch in over 50 years and is of 
fundamental importance to our national security. I believe that 
Congress has the responsibility to establish a new Department of 
Homeland Security this year, before we adjourn for we know that those 
wishing to do our nation harm will not wait for us to act.
  The longer we delay, the longer we leave vulnerabilities in place, 
the longer we consciously rely upon a fragmented system to guard our 
homeland. While creating a new department in and of itself will not be 
sufficient to safeguard our homeland, it will bring much needed focus 
and coordination to the task.
  In the year since the terrorist attack, much has been done to make 
our nation more secure. Congress has approved billions of dollars to 
secure our borders, protect critical infrastructure, train and equip 
first responders, and better detect and respond to biological or 
chemical attacks. Our brave men and women in uniform have fought 
valiantly in the war against terrorism and have secured important 
victories in Afghanistan.
  The creation of the Department of the Homeland Security is the next 
step in our efforts to secure our nation against another terrorist 
attack. The task before us is daunting. This sweeping reorganization 
dwarfs any corporate merger. It involves some 170,000 employees and a 
budget of nearly $40 billion.
  Despite the magnitude and challenge of the task, there should be no 
doubt about the need for this new cabinet department. Currently, as 
many as 100 Federal agencies are responsible for homeland security, but 
not one has homeland security as its primary mission. When that many 
entities are responsible, nobody is really accountable, and turf 
battles and bureaucratic disputes are inevitable.
  If we are to overcome these problems and create a workable national 
security structure, then we must unite the current patchwork of 
governmental entities into a new Department of Homeland Security. The 
new agency will work to secure U.S. borders, ports, and critical 
infrastructure. It will synthesize and analyze intelligence from 
multiple sources, lessening the possibility of intelligence 
communication breakdowns. And it will coordinate security activities 
now undertaken separately by agencies like the Customs Service, the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service so that the resulting effort will be greater 
than the sum of its parts. The new Department for Homeland Security 
will help to remedy many of the current organizational weaknesses and 
to protect us against future attacks.
  As a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which held 
extensive hearings on the reorganization, I had the opportunity to 
consider carefully myriad ideas and concepts about the creation of the 
Department. We heard testimony from Governor Ridge, from Director 
Mueller of the FBI, from Director Tenet of the CIA, and from numerous 
other experts. They all shed light on the problems that have impaired 
our ability to defend our homeland, and on the threats that we now face 
and that will inevitably challenge us in the future.
  While strongly supporting the creation of the Department, I believe 
that we also must protect the traditional roles of institutions and 
agencies that

[[Page S11395]]

are important to America's economic and social fabric. In particular, 
the Coast Guard's traditional functions--such as search and rescue and 
marine resource protection--must be maintained.

  Since the attacks of September 11, the Coast Guard's focus has 
shifted to homeland security. The Coast Guard plays an essential role 
in homeland security, and I believe that it should play a leading role 
in the new Department. If, however, the current resource allocation is 
maintained, and the Coast Guard continues to assume new 
responsibilities, its traditional missions may be jeopardized.
  Prior to September 11, port security accounted for approximately 2 
percent of the Coast Guard's resources. Immediately following the 
terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard deployed 59 percent of its resources 
to port safety and security missions. As a result, many of the aircraft 
and vessels used for search and rescue were far removed from their 
optimal locations for search and rescue. Even after the immediate 
impact of September 11 attacks subsided, its impact on the resources of 
the Coast Guard remained. Indeed, the Coast Guard continues to devote 
fewer hours to its traditional functions than it did before 9/11.
  Because of the Coast Guard's importance to coastal areas throughout 
our Nation, any reduction in its traditional functions is of great 
concern. Last year alone, the Coast Guard performed over 39,000 search 
and rescue missions and saved more than 4,000 lives. On a typical day, 
the Coast Guard saves 10 lives, interdicts 14 illegal immigrants, 
inspects and repairs 135 buoys, and helps more than 2,500 commercial 
ships navigate into and out of U.S. ports. In short, the Coast Guard's 
traditional missions are of vital importance and must be preserved.
  Let me take a minute to talk about the Coast Guard's importance in my 
home State of Maine. Each year, the Coast Guard performs about 300 
search and rescue missions in my State. These missions are literally a 
matter of life and death. Just a few weeks ago, the Coast Guard saved 
two Maine fishermen from their burning boat off the coast of 
Massachusetts after a 12 hour search.
  Since October 1999, fourteen fishermen have lost their lives off the 
coast of Maine. Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous of 
occupations. How many more fisherman or recreational boaters would have 
died or been injured if the nearest Coast Guard cutter were not in 
port? How many more will lose their lives if the local Coast Guard 
stations must devote the majority of their time to homeland security 
alone? I agree that the Coast Guard must perform homeland security 
functions. But it is critically important that it not do so at the 
expense of its traditional missions.
  Senator Stevens and I addressed these concerns during the 
Governmental Affairs Committee's mark-up of the original homeland 
security bill. We offered a successful amendment to preserve the 
traditional functions of the Coast Guard.
  The compromise bill ensures that the Coast Guard's non-homeland 
security functions will be maintained after its transfer into the new 
Department, and also provides for flexibility to ensure our national 
security. As our amendment provided, the compromise homeland security 
bill has the Commandant of the Coast Guard report directly to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, thus ensuring direct access for the 
Commandant's views. The protections for the Coast Guard will help 
safeguard our coastal communities' economies, way of life, and loved 
ones, while Americans, wherever they live, can rest assured that the 
Coast Guard will perform its necessary and vital homeland security 
functions.
  Similarly, I am pleased that the compromise bill incorporates a 
provision that Senator Levin and I proposed to create a Special 
Assistant position in the Secretary's office to promote public/private 
partnerships and to ensure that the business community has a place to 
go to ask questions, voice concerns, and provide feedback. It is 
important to bear in mind that our homeland security and economic 
security are closely linked, and that the failure of one jeopardizes 
the other. Our economic vitality makes us strong and capable of 
defending our nation against external and internal threats.
  The issue of personnel and management flexibility, unfortunately, 
became the most controversial issue in this homeland security debate. 
The creation of the new Department will transfer approximately 170,000 
current Government employees who are covered by a large number of 
different work rules, personnel systems, and labor agreements from 
other departments and agencies. Given the pressing importance of the 
new Department, and the vital functions it will perform, we need to 
grant the new Secretary appropriate but not unlimited authority to 
create a flexible, unified new personnel system that meets the 
Department's unique demands.
  This legislation strikes the right balance. Initially, the 
Administration sought power for the Secretary to unilaterally modify 
all of the civil service laws which I opposed. The administration 
compromised and will have flexibility in only those areas it deemed 
vital to the Department's efficient functioning.
  Also, I would note that there are many safeguards to prevent abuse of 
this authority that we are granting the Department, including a 
requirement I authored requiring that any changes made to the appeals 
rights of the Department's employees be made only to ``further the 
fair, efficient and expeditious resolution'' of workers' appeals. 
Additionally, any changes made will now be subject to mediation, unlike 
the Administration's initial proposal, which only called for 
notification.
  As we create a new Department of Homeland Security, it is critically 
important that we remember those on the front lines of any emergency: 
our police, our firefighters, our EMS personnel. I am disappointed that 
the compromise bill fails to include important amendments that I 
offered with Senators Feingold and Carper, and that were adopted both 
in committee and on the Senate floor.
  The compromise bill includes an Office for State and Local Government 
Coordination, but it lacks the provisions needed to ensure that the new 
Department coordinates and communicates adequately and efficiently with 
state and local first responders. Senators Feingold, Carper and I would 
have placed a Department liaison in each State, thereby enhancing the 
Department's ability to work effectively with first responders, who 
perform such a critical role in our homeland defense. In my role as 
chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, I plan next year to 
revisit this issue to ensure that the new Department and our first 
responders can work efficiently together not at cross purposes when 
emergencies arise.
  The new Department of Homeland Security is an essential component of 
our response to current and future threats. As the brutal attacks of 
September 11th demonstrated, distance from our enemies and the barrier 
of oceans no longer suffice to protect our nation. The bill that we are 
considering today is an important step in making our homeland more 
secure.
  I reserve any unused time for Senator Thompson.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Cantwell). The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. I will yield myself 15 minutes off the majority side. I 
would like to be notified by the Chair when 5 minutes have expired. I 
would like to separate the remarks: 5 minutes spent on the homeland 
security issue, and then 10 minutes on terrorism insurance, of which I 
will be yielding some brief time to colleagues who want to be heard on 
that matter. Senator Sarbanes, the chairman of the Banking Committee, 
will be coming to the floor at which time he will also have 15 minutes 
to talk about terrorism insurance or other matters he may want to 
raise, in which case we will try to have our remarks appear 
continuously, if we can, regarding terrorism insurance.
  On the issue of homeland security, I am going to vote for this bill 
in the end when we are called upon, in several hours, to do so.
  First of all, let me commend my colleague from Connecticut, who has 
been the manager of this bill along with Senator Thompson of Tennessee 
for the last number of weeks and months since this bill has been part 
of the debate in the Senate.
  I want to commend Joe Lieberman. My colleagues should know--and I am

[[Page S11396]]

sure they remember this--he introduced this legislation in October of 
last year. The committee marked up that bill, I think, with just 
Democratic votes out of the Government Affairs Committee to bring a 
homeland security bill to this Chamber.
  I am delighted to hear that we now have strong bipartisan support for 
this effort. But let us be clear about the history. The history is that 
Joe Lieberman offered this idea to this body. It was his committee 
under his leadership that marked up that bill and sent it to the floor 
on a partisan vote, unfortunately. We are now going to vote on it.
  I will vote for passage of the bill before the Senate today, but I 
will do so with deep reservations. I believe that the bill before us 
does far too little to adequately protect average Americans from the 
dangers posed by terrorists. And regrettably, it does far too much to 
protect special interests favored by the majority party in the other 
body. That having been said, I believe that, on the whole, the bill 
will make America marginally more secure and I would rather err on the 
side of improving security than on the side of inaction. I will to look 
for every opportunity to make improvements in Department of Homeland 
Security in the months ahead.
  This bill does take a step in the right direction by creating a 
unified department that can focus on security. Effectively reorganizing 
parts of the federal government can improve our security. The bill will 
allow the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate activities that 
have previously been conducted by two dozen separate agencies. This 
bill will allow the Administration to consolidate layers of government 
and if the Administration does this well, it should improve the way our 
government collects and shares information. By eliminating redundancy 
and conflicts within the government, the new department can make it 
easier to identify and respond quickly to threats as they emerge.
  Further, if the Administration wisely uses the authority granted to 
it in this bill, it should be able to improve security at our borders. 
This bill authorizes the administration to completely revamp our 
immigration and naturalization services. If the Administration uses 
this authority to truly modernize immigration services, it will be able 
to avoid problems like those we have all read about cases where the 
immigration and naturalization services issued student visas improperly 
because of computer errors, poor record-keeping, and lax analysis of 
information.
  Still, despite these and several other constructive provisions, this 
bill could have done more to strengthen homeland security. For example, 
it could have done more to foster better coordination and to better 
prepare local communities to respond to emergencies that may occur. I 
offered an amendment that would have authorized the Department of 
Homeland Security to establish a grant program to help local fire 
departments address the chronic understaffing problems that plague so 
many local departments. The International Association of Firefighters 
and the International Associate Fire Chiefs have estimated that we need 
at least 75,000 additional firefighters in this country just to meet 
pre-9/11 staffing needs. Since 9/11, firefighter labor shortages have 
become even more of a problem across the country. Senator Warner and I 
recognized the full extent of the problem of firefighter understaffing 
shortly after September 11, 2001, and we wrote legislation to help 
solve the problem. The amendment I offered was based on the bill that 
Senator Warner and I wrote. The amendment also built on the FIRE Act, 
which Senator DeWine and I authored in 2000. The FIRE Act, which became 
law thanks in large part to the effort of Senators Warner and Levin, 
has provided more than $400 million to train and equip tens of 
thousands of firefighters around the country. Understaffing has become 
such a problem, that according to the International Association of 
Firefighters, nearly \2/3\ of all fire departments cannot meet minimum 
safety standards.
  I also attempted to offer a second amendment to provide equitable pay 
for federal law enforcement officers. This amendment would have ensured 
that the federal government could retain highly-qualified and 
experienced law-enforcement professionals. All over the country, 
federal law enforcement officers are retiring from the federal service 
because they can make more money working in the private sector or for 
state and local governments. In New York, San Francisco, and Los 
Angeles, where living expenses are high, the FBI reported that 65% of 
its agents have been on the job for less than 5 years. This statistic 
reflects the fact that experienced officers would rather leave the 
Federal service than accept transfers to these expensive cities where 
they cannot provide adequately for their families.
  Don't get me wrong, all of the men and women who serve as Federal law 
enforcement officers do an outstanding job. But I also believe that 
experience is an invaluable asset and I think we need to make sure that 
the talent that comes with experience is available to the Federal 
government. Our Federal law enforcement services should be more than 
just a training ground--our law enforcement officers should be among 
the most experienced and highly skilled in the world so that they can 
provide the high degree of protection that the American people so 
rightly deserve.
  The bill before us would have been far better if it had more fully 
addressed the critically important needs of firefighters and federal 
law-enforcement officers. Sadly, however, their needs are all but 
ignored in this legislation. I intend to seek any and every opportunity 
in future to remedy this shortcoming. A homeland security bill that 
largely ignores the needs of these dedicated civil servants can only be 
considered a partial success.
  Instead of focusing on the interests of the American people and those 
of firefighters and law officers, the bill before us contains numerous 
special interest provisions that help large corporations and do nothing 
to ensure the safety of the American public. In fact, I believe that 
some of the provisions in this bill could potentially cause harm to the 
public.
  One provision of particular concern will bar parents from seeking 
legal redress from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs may have caused 
autism in their children. Parents would be barred from pursuing 
complaints through the courts and instead would be forced into the 
Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which limits damages to 
$250,000. I have supported reasonable tort reform in the past, but this 
provision changes the rules in the middle of the game for people who 
are already before the courts. Under this provision, pending lawsuits 
that have absolutely nothing to do with homeland security will likely 
be dismissed and parents who claim their children have become autistic 
due to corporate malfeasance will be denied their day in court.
  The homeland security bill before us also guts an amendment offered 
by Senator Wellstone, which would have prohibited the government from 
contracting with companies that have moved their headquarters overseas 
to avoid taxes in the United States. Under the current bill, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security has broad authority to contract with 
these corporate expatriates. This provision is a welcome relief to 
those companies that would dodge their patriotic duty at a time of war 
by relocating to foreign shores.
  I am concerned about another provision in the bill that exempts the 
new Department's advisory committees from the open meetings 
requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Agencies 
throughout government use advisory committees that function under open 
meetings rules and the open meetings law is careful to protect 
discussions and documents that involve sensitive information. The law 
currently applies to the Department of Defense, the Department of 
Justice, the State Department, the National Security Agency, and 
others. In my view, the administration has failed to make the case for 
exempting the Homeland Security Department from the requirement that 
records for committee meetings should make available to the public.
  Another blatantly unnecessary and misguided element of the bill would 
create a very narrow university-based homeland security research center 
program. Based on the criteria outlined in the bill, the research 
center that would be created is described so narrowly that it appears 
that only a handful of universities--including Texas A&M University--
might qualify to host the center. This provision amounts to Congress 
intervening to pick winners and

[[Page S11397]]

losers in the field of science. The Democratic amendment would have 
eliminated the list of highly specific criteria that appears to direct 
the science center program to particular universities. This bill would 
have been better if that amendment had succeeded.
  I invite anyone who may be interested to call up the Web site at the 
White House to get an idea about what the homeland security bill looks 
like. This is what it looks like. It is 35 pages long. This is the bill 
the White House submitted as the homeland security bill. That is what 
you will get if you call up the Web site. What we are actually going to 
vote on is this. The bill I just showed you is 35 pages long. The bill 
we are going to vote on is 484 pages long. Once the House leadership 
got their hands on this bill, it grew by 450 pages. Most of the 
extraneous material has nothing to do with homeland security. It has a 
lot to do with special interests, but not homeland security. When you 
call up that White House Web site and you ask for the bill, you are 
going to get the short version, but we are going to vote on this 
monstrosity of 484 pages.
  I am told that the White House and others are going to clean this up 
in the coming Congress. They have a major job to do.
  There are provisions in this bill that have no bearing and no 
relationship whatsoever to homeland security that were stuck in here in 
an act of arrogance by the leadership in the other body. They assumed 
they could put anything they wanted in here and then send it over and 
we would have to support it. Most of us know that these matters have no 
business being in this bill.
  There are a number of provisions, of course, in the bill that Senator 
Lieberman authored that are included here and therefore deserving of 
support.
  That is the quandary in which we find ourselves. There are good 
pieces here that truly deal with the necessity of bringing agencies of 
Government together so we can respond more effectively and efficiently 
to terrorists--a matter we have to confront. But it is a tragedy they 
have taken language and then added to it all of these other provisions 
in these 484 pages.
  There are some things that are left out as well. I want to commend my 
colleague from Maine, Senator Collins, as did our colleague from New 
York, Senator Clinton, for talking about the absence of dealing with 
first responders. It seems unfair, to put it mildly, that we are not 
dealing here with the police, firefighter, and emergency medical 
services personnel. We're not giving them the kind of support and 
backing that will be necessary if we are struck with another terrorist 
attack.
  I am hopeful as we reconvene the 108th Congress in January that we 
will be getting on with the business of doing what we can to see to it 
that those provisions to help first responders are going to become the 
law of the land.
  There have been provisions passed already that deal with homeland 
security, but, unfortunately, the President decided to sequester those 
funds.
  For those who may not understand what sequester is, that is 
tantamount to a veto--about $150 million--sitting down there just 
waiting for the President's signature which would become available to 
deal with homeland security.
  But again, there are good provisions in the original Lieberman 
proposal and many of those provisions remain intact. For those reasons, 
despite the fact that the bill includes a lot of things that do not 
deserve to be in here, and on the commitments we have received from the 
Republican leadership as well as the White House to scrub this 
legislation and get rid of a lot of these things that have been added 
on here, I will support this bill.
  But when you call up that Web site, you might ask them where the 
other 450 pages are which you won't get.
  In closing, I would have preferred to lend my support to a more 
focused, more effective, homeland security bill. I tried to improve 
this bill, but at the end of the day this is the best we could do given 
the opposition we faced. I presume that this is not the last 
opportunity Congress will have to address homeland security. In the 
months ahead, I will continue to fight for improvements to the 
department we are creating. I will continue to fight for cops, not 
corporations; firefighters, not firms. America's security from 
terrorism depends on the men and women who wake up every morning, put 
on uniforms from state and local agencies across the country, and place 
themselves at risk for our nation. We owe them--and the Americans they 
are sworn to protect--more than this bill provides. But to do nothing 
would be to provide even less, and that is not wise under the present 
circumstances. This bill is a start toward a more rational and 
effective approach to strengthening security for all Americans here at 
home. For that reason I will support this homeland security bill.


                    the terrorism risk insurance act

  Madam President, I rise today in support of the conference report on 
the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. This conference report 
represents a truly bipartisan, bicameral compromise. The Senate 
overwhelmingly supported the underlying legislation, which I 
introduced, along with Senators Sarbanes, Reid, and Schumer, in June of 
this year by a vote of 84-14.
  This conference report closely mirrors the Senate-passed bill, and in 
many regards has been improved by negotiations with the House.
  Late last week, the House passed this conference report by voice 
vote. It is my fervent hope that the Senate will move shortly to 
support it as well.
  In the 14 months since September 11, 2001, Congress has taken many 
important steps to protect our Nation from the new threat of terrorism. 
Most of these measures have focused on protecting our Nation's physical 
security--such as our new anti-terrorism laws, airport security 
legislation, and other initiatives to shore up our ``homeland 
defense.''
  But we cannot, and must not, fail to respond to the effects that the 
new threat of terrorism are having on our Nation's economic security.
  The goal of the September 11 terrorists was not simply to cause an 
enormous loss of life--it was also to derail America's economy; to 
undermine the consumer and investor confidence that serves as the 
cornerstone of our free enterprise system.
  It is, therefore, by no means an overstatement to say that a robust 
American economy, and continued American prosperity, are as vital to 
defeating the aims of terrorists as is protecting American lives.
  As a result of the September 11 attacks, during the past year, 
several critical sectors of the economy--real estate, commercial 
lending, aviation, construction, and others--have experienced 
significant disruptions because of the difficulty in finding terrorism 
insurance. By some estimates, this has cost American workers thousands 
of jobs and cost our economy tens of billions of dollars in economic 
growth activities--at a time our economy can surely use responsible 
economic stimulus.
  The bottom line is that the insurance which protects America's 
buildings, businesses, homes, and workers from terrorist acts is no 
longer readily available or affordable. The impact on our economy of 
the shortage and expense of terrorism insurance has been detrimental.
  According to the Real Estate Roundtable, over $15 billion worth of 
new real estate projects across the country have been stalled or 
canceled because of a continuing scarcity of terrorism insurance during 
the past year.
  The Risk Insurance Management Society, RIMS, recently released a 
survey which revealed that 71 percent of its membership found it very 
difficult or impossible to obtain adequate terrorism insurance. Also, 
84 percent felt that their companies were inadequately covered against 
a future terrorist attack, while nearly 70 percent had no terrorism 
coverage whatsoever.
  Rating agencies like Moody's have downgraded the credit ratings of 
nearly $5 billion in commercial mortgage backed securities because 
terrorism insurance could not be obtained on the underlying properties.
  It has estimated that the lack of terrorism insurance has caused 
construction workers to potentially lose up to 300,000 jobs because 
projects couldn't get financing without such insurance. According to 
Edward Sullivan, President of the Building and Construction Trades, 
AFL-CIO, ``The unavailability of terrorism risk insurance is hurting

[[Page S11398]]

the construction industry by making the cost and risk of undertaking 
new building projects prohibitive. Building projects are being delayed 
or canceled for fear that they may be future terrorist targets. Lenders 
are refusing to go forward with previously planned projects where 
terrorism insurance coverage is no longer available. As a result, 
construction workers are losing job opportunities.''
  Just last week, a survey conducted by the New York City Comptroller 
cited the ``dramatic'' increases in commercial insurance premiums 
coupled with a ``significant decline'' in the availability of insurance 
since the September 11 attacks. The comptroller has urged the passage 
of federal legislation--such as that contained in this conference 
report.
  Without Federal action, the General Accounting Office has warned that 
another terrorist attack would seriously impact America's economy by 
exposing businesses and property owners to potentially enormous 
losses--losses that could wipe out those businesses as well as the 
businesses that insure them.
  No one wants to think about another terrorist attack. However, our 
free market system, in order to function efficiently, has to factor the 
risk of such an attack into its economic thinking.
  The fact is, experts are estimating that, should another attack 
comparable to the September 11 attacks take place, only about 20 
percent of the losses would be covered. This exposes our economy--and 
our entire country to a significant--and in the opinion of many, an 
unacceptable level of vulnerability.
  We are here today to address this vulnerability. The passage of this 
conference report will go a long way toward calming our nervous 
insurance marketplace, and allow American businesses to continue to 
invest, and expand--in short, to continue business as usual.
  This conference report makes sense because it calls upon the Federal 
Government to act only as an insurer of last resort. The private 
insurance industry will maintain front-line responsibility to do what 
it does best: calculate risk, assess premiums, and pay claims to 
policyholders.
  The insurance industry is paying off the losses from the September 11 
attacks, estimated to be roughly $30 billion--$40 billion. And the 
industry has made clear that despite this unprecedented loss, it 
remains strong and solvent.
  Insurance isn't something we think about every day, yet it is vital 
to the overall health of our economy. By protecting people and 
property, goods and services in every sector of America's $10 trillion 
economy, insurance provides the stability and certainty required to 
keep our economic engine humming. Every prospective homeowner needs 
insurance to obtain a mortgage from a bank. Similarly, industries as 
diverse as commercial real estate, shipping, construction, 
manufacturing, and even ``mom and pop'' retailers require insurance to 
obtain credit, loans, and investments necessary for their normal 
business operations.
  So although insurance isn't something we can touch and feel, its 
availability is as vital to rebuilding our economy in the aftermath of 
September 11 as bricks and beams will be to rebuilding lower Manhattan.
  But the private insurance market cannot at this time bear the full 
risks of future attacks. As part of our defense against terrorism, and 
specifically to maintain the strength of America's economy, our 
government must share, at least temporarily, some of the risk 
associated with damage from terrorist acts.
  And that's what the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 does--by 
establishing a temporary Federal program under which the government 
would share the risk of future terrorist attacks with the insurance 
industry for up to three years.
  In order to protect the American taxpayer, federal cost-sharing would 
become available only if total losses from terrorist attacks exceed $10 
billion in the first year of the program. Insurers and policyholders 
would retain responsibility for the initial $10 billion in losses. This 
industry retention increases gradually throughout the life of the 
program.
  For losses between $10 billion and $100 billion, the government would 
assume responsibility for 90 percent of the costs. Should losses top 
$100 billion, Congress would determine the appropriate mechanism for 
ensuring payment.
  For payments made by the federal government for insured losses during 
the course of a year, the Treasury Secretary will recoup the difference 
between total industry costs and $10 billion. The recoupment will be 
accomplished through a surcharge on policyholders.
  In order to insure that insurance consumers are both adequately 
informed and able to take full advantage of this program, several key 
consumer protections are included. Insurance companies are prohibited 
from discriminating amongst consumers in their offering of terrorism 
coverage. This conference report, like the Senate-passed bill, requires 
that insurers offer terrorism coverage in all of their property and 
casualty policies during the first 2 years of the program.
  Additionally, at the time that policies are offered, purchased, or 
renewed, insurers must provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure of 
the premiums charged for terrorism insurance. Insurance consumers may 
not be charged for coverage that is not explicitly disclosed.
  Lastly, nothing in this legislation prohibits state insurance 
regulators from retaining full authority to disapprove any rates or 
forms that violate state laws.
  Simply put, our bill would ensure that the federal government would 
provide a temporary backstop to bring stability to a part of the 
economy that was seriously destabilized on September 11, 2001 against 
future terrorist attacks. This is the only way to bring full confidence 
back into the insurance markets that are so vital to our Nation's 
overall economic health.
  This conference agreement is based on three important principles. 
First, it makes the American taxpayer the insurer of last resort. The 
insurance industry maintains front-line responsibility to do what it 
does best: calculate risk, assess premiums, and pay claims to 
policyholders.
  Second, it promotes competition in the current insurance marketplace. 
Competition is the best way to ensure that the private market assumes 
the entire responsibility for insuring against the risk of terrorism, 
without any direct government role, as soon as possible.
  Third, it ensures that all consumers and businesses can continue to 
purchase affordable coverage for terrorist acts.
  Some say such a plan would be an unwarranted ``bailout'' of the 
insurance industry. Far from it. Not only will this measure be 
temporary, but any money the Federal Government spends through the 
program will go to victims of terrorism, not insurance companies. This 
conference report is needed to protect insurance consumers--consumers 
who need and deserve the stability promoted by this conference report.
  America will win this war on terrorism. But to do so, our economic 
front must remain strong. Preserving the availability of terrorism 
insurance will act as ``homeland defense'' for our economy.
  We must remember, on September 11 the terrorists did not target just 
the World Trade Center and Pentagon--they targeted our entire Nation. 
And we must have a national response. This conference report is part of 
that response.
  Madam President, I would like to particularly thank, of course, the 
chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Sarbanes, for his leadership 
and support.
  I would also like to thank the President of the United States. We 
would not be passing terrorism insurance were it not for the efforts of 
the White House that weighed very significantly in trying to bring this 
bill to closure and fruition.
  This bill has been around for a long time--since October of last 
year. We have dealt at a number of levels with the physical security of 
our Nation since 9/11. But our Nation's security is complete without 
dealing with our economic security, and this terrorism insurance 
conference report is designed to do just that.
  As a result of the efforts of Senator Sarbanes, of Senator Corzine, 
and of my colleague, Senator Schumer from

[[Page S11399]]

New York, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island as well as others who have 
worked on this legislation.
  Additionally, I would like to thank Congressman Mike Oxley of Ohio, 
chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and John Lafalce, 
the ranking member for their efforts on this front as well.
  I thank the Members who worked so diligently on this legislation. We 
spent a great deal of time on liability issues. In the end, we were 
able to strike a fair compromise. It is truly a bipartisan bill. It is 
bicameral in that both Chambers have been involved in the structure of 
this language. At lot of hours were spent--until the wee hours of the 
morning on one particular night until 5 a.m. working with the House and 
Senate staff to work out the differences and come to a final agreement 
on a conference report.
  I know there are those in the other Chamber and some here who would 
have liked this bill to become the vehicle for tort reform. But the 
reality is we needed to deal with terrorism insurance and this 
legislation does just that.
  Again, I thank the President of the United States. I have been 
critical of the President on numerous occasions. He deserves 
commendation here. But for his efforts and his staff to pull this 
together, we would not be talking about a final product. I am very 
grateful to him and to my colleagues and staff for their work.
  I would like to particularly thank Alex Sternhell of my staff who 
worked tirelessly on this product for the past year to try to get us to 
a point where we can pass terrorism insurance.
  Again, I thank those who have contributed so much to this conference 
report.
  Senator Sarbanes, Chairman of the Banking Committee, has played an 
invaluable role. Other conferees, Senators Schumer and Jack Reed, were 
critical to reaching consensus on this important legislation. Senators 
Corzine, Clinton, and Ben Nelson also make important contributions.
  I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Senators Daschle 
and Reid, who tirelessly shepherded this bill through the legislative 
process. I would like to thank my colleagues in the House, Mike Oxley 
and John LaFalce.
  Also, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Undersecretary Peter Fisher 
and other members of the Treasury Department--Pat Cave, Laura Cox, Ed 
DeMarco, Mario Ugoletti--who put in long hours in order to ensure that 
the mechanics of the Federal backstop created in this conference report 
are sound.
  And lastly, I would like to thank the staffs of the Senate and House 
who played a critical role in this conference report:
  Sarah Kline, Aaron Klein, Didem Nasanci, Polly Trottenberg of the 
Senate Banking Committee.
  Terry Hains, Robert Gordon, Charles Symington, Michael Paese, and 
Lawranne Stewart of The House Financial Services Committee.
  I would also like to recognize two members of the Legislative 
Counsel's office Laura Ayoud and Paul Callen, who have performed their 
duties so capably and in a nonpartisan fashion that is so important to 
the legislative process.
  This conference report is about economic security. As important as 
our physical security is, our economic security is critically 
important. This conference report is an important piece of ensuring our 
nation's economic security. I look forward to the coming hours and days 
when the President will sign this bill into law.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I understand I have 15 minutes on this 
bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. SARBANES. Does the Senator also seek to speak on this bill?
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, if I may respond, I will seek 
recognition. I will be glad to wait until the Senator from Maryland 
concludes. I do intend to seek recognition to speak on the homeland 
security bill.
  Mr. SARBANES. Will the Senator allow us to use up the time that we 
have on this bill--I have 15 minutes and Senator Dodd has 5 left--so we 
can complete the consideration of that?
  Mr. SPECTER. I would be agreeable to that. If I might propound a 
unanimous consent that, at the conclusion of the 20 minutes referred to 
by the Senator from Maryland, I be recognized for 20 minutes which I 
have on homeland security.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. I thank the Chair. And I thank my colleague from 
Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, let me try to parcel out the time 
here.
  The Senator needs 3 minutes, as I understand it.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Yes.
  Mr. SARBANES. And the Senator from New Jersey needs 3 minutes. And 
the Senator from Rhode Island?
  Mr. REED. Three minutes.
  Mr. SARBANES. That is 9 minutes. And the Senator from Nebraska, 3 
minutes?
  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Yes.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I yield 3 minutes each to Senators 
Schumer, Corzine, Reed, and Nelson of Nebraska, and reserve the other 3 
minutes for myself. And then Senator Dodd, I think, still has just 
under 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SARBANES. I will use my time at the end.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Madam President.
  I thank my chairman of the Banking Committee for yielding. I want to 
make a few brief points both on terrorism insurance and on homeland 
security.


                           Homeland Security

  First, on homeland security, briefly, I will vote for the bill. I 
think it is a far-from-perfect measure. In fact, reorganizing the 
Government does not really do most of the job we need to do. It will 
not make the computers at the INS put those on a terrorist watch list 
on that list. It will not make the Coast Guard patrol out to 200 miles.
  We are going to have to spend some dollars. And we are going to have 
to do some work within the agencies after we reorganize them.
  So it is a first step. It is better than nothing, but I hope and pray 
that this Nation will understand that if we just do this on homeland 
security, and nothing else, we are woefully unprepared. When we come 
back in January, it ought to be our highest priority.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Madam President, on terrorism insurance, I, first, thank my 
colleagues from Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, 
Nebraska, and everyone else who worked so long and hard on this 
legislation. This is vital to our cities and our country.
  Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of construction jobs not 
filled because there is no terrorism insurance. There are billions of 
dollars worth of construction projects not being undertaken because we 
do not have terrorism insurance. And there are higher costs for even 
those who can get terrorism insurance, putting a large crimp in the 
economy.
  Right now, when our economy is swishy soft, this insurance bill is 
the shot in the arm the economy needs. Thankfully, at this last hour, 
after the perils-of-Pauline voyage that took over a year, this bill is 
about to pass this Chamber, be put on the President's desk, and be 
signed into law.
  It comes none too soon because we desperately need it. We need to 
allow our companies to know that if, God forbid, there is a second 
terrorist incident--we hope and pray there isn't--the Government will 
be there as a backup.
  To some of the ideologues who have opposed this bill, I would suggest 
to them that the Government has always been behind insurance in times 
of war. We have always had that. And this new terrorism is a time of 
war.
  To those who say, well, let the market take over, we never did that 
under huge and new circumstances out of the control of individuals, 
without any predictive ability. So insurance companies have no 
knowledge of what they face.
  We are going to have to do more. We are going to have to deal with 
life insurance. We are going to have to deal with workers' compensation 
insurance. All of these things, in this brave, new

[[Page S11400]]

post-9/11 world, need some Government help and Government involvement 
or the economy will come to a standstill.
  So I want to say, thank God we passed this bill. My city and State, 
many of the larger cities and States throughout the country, 
desperately need it. We hope it will move to the President's desk 
quickly and be signed into law and remove a major roadblock on the path 
to recovery that this country needs.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Madam President. Again, I thank the Senator 
from Maryland for his generous yielding of time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I thank Chairman Sarbanes for yielding me 
time. But also I thank and commend my colleagues who worked so 
diligently on this important legislation: Senators Schumer, Corzine, 
and Nelson of Nebraska, and particularly Senator Dodd. Senator Dodd 
really led the charge on this important effort, and together with his 
electoral reform legislation, he has made major contributions in this 
session. I commend him and thank him for his leadership.
  This is a vitally important issue. After September 11, the reaction 
of the insurance industry to the potential of terrorist attack was 
contraction coverage. Premiums went up, coverage has shrunk, and many 
organizations, particularly many properties, could not secure 
insurance. That inhibited economic growth, and that inhibition 
continues to weigh on our economy.
  This legislation, we hope, and I hope, will go a long way to start 
reviving activity, particularly construction activity and real estate 
activity. But the effects of this legislation go beyond simply the 
property market and the real estate market.
  One of the interesting aspects of the 9/11 attacks was the fact that 
workers' compensation insurance was put at risk because, as you 
realize, workers' compensation, under law, must cover practically all 
injuries to workers. And if there is a terrorist event in a particular 
locale, it is likely that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of workers 
could be injured. Those liabilities fall on very few companies. Without 
reinsurance, those companies cannot operate.
  In my home State of Rhode Island, there is one workers' compensation 
insurance company which is actually a quasi-governmental entity. It is 
supported by the State. If that company failed, literally the State of 
Rhode Island would be on the hook to provide the resources to pay 
workers' compensation claims. It would be a great blow to my State.
  This legislation also provides help and reinsurance for workers' 
compensation claims. So it is legislation whose effect, and beneficial 
effect, will go throughout our entire economy. It will help, I hope, to 
stimulate economic activity. And it certainly will give, I hope, 
business men and women the confidence to, once again, undertake real 
estate projects, undertake economic activity, and do those things which 
are so essential for our continued economic prosperity.
  Once again, this has been a long and arduous process. It has taken 
months. It has been the result of great effort and great diligence and 
great patience by my colleagues, again, particularly by Senator Dodd.
  I am pleased we are passing it this evening. I hope the President 
will sign it quickly. I hope we can get on to other legislation that 
will assist our economy in a material way, in a positive way.
  I thank the Senators, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.


                           Homeland Security

  Mr. CORZINE. Madam President, I, too, want to speak to the terrorism 
insurance legislation, but I also would like to make a brief comment 
with regard to homeland security.
  I will be voting to support the creation of the Department of 
Homeland Security. Like many of my colleagues, this was a close call. 
Unfortunately, there were far too many adds to what was presented to us 
in this 484-page document, things that were really special interests, 
not the people's interests. They have been enumerated with regard to 
pharmaceuticals, colleges and universities, et cetera. It is 
unfortunate. And there are many details that are left out with regard 
to chemical plant security, nuclear powerplants, railroads, other 
issues that I think are vital.
  Finally, we really have not dealt with the appropriations process to 
make sure that our first responders, the people who really are fighting 
the war on terrorism day to day have the resources to do their job. It 
is not even dealt with in this 484-page effort, and it is a serious 
shortcoming. It will move the ball down the field, but we are not where 
we should be. We have a lot of work to do. It is unfortunate that we 
have done it, in my view, in a halfhearted way here.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Madam President, with regard to terrorism insurance, this is about 
the economy. It really is quite simple. This was never about the 
insurance industry. This was about making sure that investments would 
go forward in the construction, commercial real estate field. It was 
about making sure there was not a tax on the consumer, on everything 
from whether you went to a football game, or any kind of process you 
needed to have terrorism insurance to make sure that our economy is 
working efficiently. This was missing since September 11. And it is 
absolutely essential that we got to this compromise.
  I cannot tell you, cannot tell my colleagues, how proud I am to have 
seen the tremendous work that both Senators Sarbanes and Dodd performed 
to try to get a compromise.
  The holdup on this was never about the need to push forward to 
protect our economy, to support our industry. This was about tort 
reform, issues that really were relevant to protecting the economic 
security of the American people. Their tenacity, their effectiveness in 
negotiating compromise has led to a great result. I can only say 
congratulations to them, to the others who helped bring it about. The 
President was certainly at the forefront.
  I hope my colleagues will support the terrorism insurance 
legislation. I am very appreciative of the help of my senior 
colleagues.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.


                          Terrorism Insurance

  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. I thank my esteemed colleague from Maryland 
for the opportunity to rise today in strong support of the conference 
report to S. 2600. I commend Senator Dodd and all those who have worked 
to bring this together after having passed it earlier. It is now a 
great opportunity for us to come back and pass it in its final form.
  It is about the economy; it is not simply about insurance. The 
economic impact of the events of September 11 have had a continuing 
devastating impact on our commercial real estate market, mortgage 
lenders, the construction industry, the investment community, and other 
segments of our economy. Many of these areas have yet to recover and do 
not look for recovery for a long time.
  Fundamentally, this is a jobs bill. It is just one small step 
Congress can take to help stimulate our weak economy by providing this 
Federal backstop--not a bailout--for catastrophic losses resulting from 
acts of terrorism in the future.
  It is estimated that the property damage alone from the attack on the 
World Trade Center is about $50 billion. While the carriers involved in 
this loss have indicated they could cover these losses while 
maintaining their solvency, we can only speculate as to where and when 
the next attack might come and the nature and extent of the damages. 
Without this backup, all insurers providing this coverage, if they do 
provide it, will only risk not being able to respond to the next loss.
  The underlying premise of insurance is the ability of the insurer to 
assess the nature and the extent of the loss, applying actuarial 
principles, the historical approach to determine the likelihood of 
loss, and then calculating the premiums necessary to build reserves 
sufficient to cover that loss. Clearly, under these circumstances, 
without a historical perspective, there is no way for insurers to 
realistically underwrite for the risk of terrorist attack.
  Who among us knows where or when the next event might occur, what the 
nature of the attack might be, and

[[Page S11401]]

what type and extent of loss might be sustained? Will it be primarily 
property damage? Will it be massive loss of life in a concentrated area 
such as we had with the World Trade Center? Will it be a chemical or 
biological agent released or will it be a dirty bomb? These are the 
questions to which we don't know the answers.
  The fact is, we cannot make those decisions without knowing what the 
opportunity will be for the next terrorist attack. We all hope there 
won't be one, but insurance is against that kind of loss that you don't 
necessarily expect but you anticipate could in fact happen. The long-
term effect on our industry would be devastating.
  I hope we will all rise today in support of this important 
legislation. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, I am pleased that we will shortly, I 
assume, be passing this legislation, although I understand we have to 
go through a cloture vote prior to reaching the legislation itself. I 
wanted to underscore that this represents an extraordinary effort on 
the part of many people. I particularly recognize the leadership my 
able colleague from Connecticut, Senator Dodd, provided on this issue. 
We have been working at this now for about a year. So it has been a 
long time coming. It is fair to say that we would never have reached 
this point without Senator Dodd's commitment to this issue and his 
tireless efforts with respect to this legislation.
  I also thank the majority leader, Senator Daschle, who was 
consistently trying to get terrorism insurance legislation, despite 
efforts by many to turn it into something over and above that.
  Senators Schumer and Reed, our colleagues on the conference 
committee, made significant efforts to move the bill forward. And also 
Senator Corzine, although he wasn't on the conference committee, was 
very closely involved in developing this legislation. Of course, 
Chairman Oxley and Congressman LaFalce, our colleagues in the House, 
were obviously instrumental in moving the legislation through the other 
body.
  I also want to take a moment to underscore the outstanding work done 
by staff on this legislation. We come to the floor and, of course, 
Members are deeply involved. And I particularly underscore Senator 
Dodd's efforts in this regard. But there are staff who back us all up.
  I particularly want to recognize from the Banking Committee staff 
Sarah Kline, Aaron Klein, and Alex Sternhell, who worked literally day 
and night on this matter. Also Steve Harris, Marty Gruenberg and Steve 
Kroll, and the staff of our conferees: Didem Nisanci from Senator 
Reed's office, and Polly Trottenberg from Senator Schumer's office; and 
while he was not a conferee, Senator Corzine's staffer, Roger 
Hollingsworth, also participated throughout.
  I also want to recognize the hard work and the professionalism that 
our legislative counsels brought to this process: Laura Ayoud from the 
Senate legislative counsel's office, who is just an outstanding 
professional and renders great service to this body, and Paul Callen 
from the House legislative counsel's office. Laura Ayoud stayed up all 
night working on this legislation. I simply want to underscore that.
  We have had strong support for this legislation from the 
administration. The President has indicated that he will sign it. The 
administration was instrumental in dealing with some of the objections 
that were actually raised more with respect to items that are not in 
the legislation rather than items that are in it. In the course of 
this, we have developed a piece of legislation which I believe will 
address the challenge that confronts us.
  We have had troubling reports about the availability of terrorism 
insurance, and the impact of that upon the economy.
  Since the tragic attacks of September 11th, many property and 
casualty insurers are excluding coverage of losses from acts of 
terrorism from the policies they write. In those cases where terrorism 
insurance is available, it is often unaffordable, and very limited in 
the scope and amount of coverage. The Banking Committee explored this 
issue in two days of hearings shortly after the attacks, in which we 
heard from Treasury Secretary O'Neill, CEA Chairman R. Glenn Hubbard, 
insurance regulators, business and insurance leaders, and outside 
experts. The testimony of these witnesses helped to define the scope of 
the problem in the insurance marketplace and to shape our thinking on 
the appropriate solution.
  The fact that so many properties are uninsured or underinsured 
against the risk of terrorism could have a negative effect on our 
economy and our recovery if there were to be another terrorist attack. 
In the event of another attack, many properties would have to absorb 
any loses themselves, without the support of insurance. As a result, 
the GOA has observed, ``another terrorist attack similar to that 
experienced on September 11th could have significant economic effects 
on the marketplace and the public at large.''
  But even in the absence of another attack, the lack of insurance can 
hinder economic activity. The GAO has found example of ``large projects 
canceling or experiencing delays . . . with a lack of terrorism 
coverage being cited as a principal contributing factor.''
  Most industry observes are of the opinion that, given time, the 
insurance industry will develop the capacity and the experience that 
will allow them to underwrite the terrorist risk. However, those 
conditions do not appear to exist today. In the interim experts believe 
that a Federal reinsurance backstop of limited duration would give the 
insurance markets the necessary time to stabilize.
  The conference report before us establishes a temporary, three-year 
backstop under which the Federal Government will share the risk of loss 
from future terrorist attacks with the insurance industry. The program 
is triggered when the Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with 
the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, certifies that an 
event meets the definition of an act of terrorism provided in the 
legislation.
  The Terrorism Insurance Program requires that insurers pay a share of 
losses before Federal assistance becomes available. Each insure that 
suffers losses in a terrorist attack will be responsible for paying out 
a certain amount in claims--an insurer deductible--based on a 
percentage of that insurer's direct earned premiums from the previous 
calendar year. Beyond their deductibles, insurance companies will 
continue to have `skin in the game,' as they will be liable for a 
copayment for additional losses. For losses above an insurer's 
deductible, the Federal government will cover 90 percent while the 
insurer will pay 10 percent.
  These provisions are intended to create partnership between insurers 
and the Federal Government in the event that losses occur. By requiring 
companies both to cover initial losses and to continue to share in 
additional losses, this program provides the coverage and the certainty 
of the Federal backstop while also providing incentives to promote a 
healthy private market. And while no system is perfect, the legislation 
grants the Treasury Secretary certain powers, such as the ability to 
audit and inspect claims, that are necessary to protect the government 
against unscrupulous behavior. It is our intent that insurers do not 
alter their behavior in an attempt to procure more value from this 
program than they would otherwise receive from the course of their 
natural business practices.
  In addition to limiting the exposure of individual insurance 
companies, the legislation also includes certain mechanisms to limit 
the exposure of the Federal Government, first by requiring the 
insurance marketplace as a whole to absorb a prescribed amount of any 
terrorism losses--$10 billion for year 1; $12.5 billion for year 2; and 
$15 billion for year 3--and second, by capping total losses covered by 
the program at $100 billion per year. Any Federal payments made before 
the prescribed insurance marketplace retention is reached must be 
recouped by the Secretary of the Treasury through a policyholder 
surcharge.
  One of the guiding principles of this bill is that, to the extent 
possible, state insurance law should not be overridden. To that end, 
the bill respects

[[Page S11402]]

the role of the state insurance commissioners as the appropriate 
regulators of policy terms and rates. Each state commissioner currently 
has the responsibility to ensure that insurance rates are not 
inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, or excessive, and this legislation 
does not change that responsibility.
  At the same time, in order to ensure that the Federal program will 
work as intended, certain Federal requirements are needed to ensure 
that consumers of terrorism insurance will benefit from this program.
  For example, insurance companies will be prohibited from 
discriminating amongst their policyholders by picking and choosing 
which ones to cover for terrorism. The bill requires that insurance 
companies must offer terrorism coverage in all of their property and 
casualty policies during the first two years of the program. The 
Secretary has discretion to extend their important requirement to the 
third year of the program.
  In addition, insurers must provide policyholders with clear and 
conspicuous disclosure of the premium charged for terrorism coverage 
and the existence of a sizeable Federal backstop. This disclosure is 
intended to enhance the competitiveness of the marketplace by allowing 
consumers to comparison-shop for the best rate on terrorism insurance. 
In addition, the disclosure is intended to make policyholders aware 
that the Federal Government will be sharing the costs of terrorism 
losses with their insurers, to help the policyholders assess the 
appropriateness of the premium being offered.
  Moreover, the bill ensures that the State regulators and the Federal 
Government will have access to the information needed to assess the 
impact of this program on insurance consumers. The Secretary is 
required to compile annually information on the terrorism risk premiums 
being charged by insurers].
  This is a limited bill in duration. Of course, the objective is that 
by the end of that time, the insurance market will have come fully back 
into play and that these matters can be dealt with in a more 
traditional way.
  But as the Senator from Connecticut has pointed out frequently, as we 
have addressed the issue over the course of this last year, we face 
extraordinary circumstances created by the risk of terrorism. This 
legislation represents a reasonable and rational response to this 
challenge.
  I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 2 minutes.
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. I have 2 minutes remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two and a half minutes remaining.
  Mr. DODD. Madam President, let me again thank my colleagues for their 
work. I mentioned Mike Oxley of Ohio, chairman of the House Banking 
Committee, and John LaFalce. John LaFalce and I were elected to 
Congress together back in the 1970s. He has made a decision to retire 
from his service in the Congress. I thank him for a remarkable record 
of public service over the more than 2\1/2\ decades.
  I also thank some of the White House staff in addition to our own 
staff here. I include all the names in the remarks I have already 
submitted. I want to thank Nick Calio and Matt Kirk of the White House 
legislative operations. I commend them for their efforts.
  They helped to broker this final agreement. You need to have people 
at the executive branch who are willing to try to put pieces together. 
They are two very professional staff people. The President is fortunate 
to have them working with him. I know that in the process of doing so, 
they disappointed some. I know how they strongly agreed with some of 
the people they disappointed on substantive matters but believe they 
are serving their President and the country well in coming to a final 
conclusion that is fair to all. I thank them for their professionalism 
and straightforwardness in dealing with these difficult matters.
  I thank Senator Daschle and Senator Lott for their leadership as 
well. Both leaders have done a very fine job.
  Mark Childress of Senator Daschle's staff was tremendously helpful on 
this legislation. Senator Sarbanes is absolutely correct that we don't 
often give those staff members who put in countless hours on matters 
like this the credit they deserve. But were it not for Mark and Senator 
Daschle's other staff members working with Alex Sternhell of my office, 
and Senator Sarbanes' staff, we would not have been able to achieve 
this result.
  This conference report is about economic security. As important as 
our physical security is, our economic security is critically 
important. This conference report is an important piece of ensuring our 
nation's economic security. I look forward to the coming hours and days 
when the President will sign this bill into law.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I have sought recognition to comment 
about the legislation on homeland security, which I believe the Senate 
is about to pass. It has been accurately characterized as historic 
legislation. It reorganizes the Government of the United States of 
America to meet the threat of terrorism.
  On September 11, 2001, this country sustained a devastating loss, a 
loss deeply emblazoned on the minds of all Americans. With the attacks 
on the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the plane 
that went down in Somerset County, PA, it was obvious that we faced a 
very extraordinary threat.
  We should have taken action against al-Qaida long before September 
11. There were many warning signals available. Osama bin Laden was well 
known for his jihad against the West, against our values, against our 
civilization. Osama bin Laden was indicted for killing Americans in 
Mogadishu in 1993. Osama bin Laden was indicted for blowing up the U.S. 
embassies in Africa in 1998. He was known to have been involved with 
al-Qaida and the terrorism against the destroyer Cole, and he had made 
his announcement of his worldwide jihad.
  But the United States has historically been reluctant to take 
preemptive action. We did little in responding to the attacks on the 
embassies of August 20, 1998. When we sent a missile to Afghanistan, it 
went to an empty factory. When we put a missile in a factory in the 
Sudan, it may or may not have been a factory with chemical weapons. But 
then, with the events of 9/11, it became apparent that we had to 
respond, and we had to respond very dramatically and emphatically.
  Senator Lieberman and I introduced legislation on October 11, 2001--
exactly 1 month after the 9/11 attack. It was apparent to many of us at 
that time that we needed to have an office of homeland defense and a 
Secretary with power to deal with the many agencies that would be 
involved. First and foremost among those agencies, in my view, was the 
coordination of activities among our intelligence agencies.
  When I was chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the 104th 
Congress, I introduced legislation in 1996 to bring all of the 
intelligence agencies under one umbrella, under the Director of Central 
Intelligence. That had been the spot that was supposed to coordinate 
all of the intelligence activities.
  But the fact of the matter was that the Director of the CIA did not 
have that authority because there were too many independent agencies--
the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the 
counterintelligence of the FBI, intelligence units in the State 
Department, and intelligence units spread throughout the Government--
and there were fierce battles on turf, and the coordination was not 
undertaken.
  As a result of not having all of the intelligence agencies under one 
umbrella, the United States paid a very heavy price. It is my view that 
had all of the dots been on the board, had there been coordination at 
all of these intelligence agencies under one umbrella, we might well 
have prevented September 11.
  After the fact, we learned that in July there was a very important 
FBI report coming out of Phoenix, AZ, about a suspicious man taking 
flight training, and he had a big picture of Osama bin Laden in his 
living quarters. That memorandum was buried somewhere in the FBI 
headquarters. We found out after the fact that the CIA had information 
on two al-Qaida agents at Kuala Lumpur. The CIA did not tell the FBI or 
the Immigration

[[Page S11403]]

and Naturalization Service that those agents came into the United 
States, and they were two of the suicide bombers on 9/11.
  There was information about a man named Zacarias Moussaoui. The FBI 
field office in Minneapolis made an effort to get a warrant under the 
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They never got the warrant. They 
were using the wrong standard. They were using a standard of probable 
cause of 51 percent. The FBI agent testified that the U.S. attorney in 
Minneapolis thought he had to have a 75- to 80-percent probability.
  The fact is that, under the law, Gates v. Illinois, an opinion by 
Justice Rehnquist--now the Chief Justice, then an Associate Justice on 
the Court--says that probable cause is judged by the totality of the 
circumstances and suspicion, and had the warrant been obtained under 
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the computer of Zacarias 
Moussaoui was a virtual treasure trove of information.
  Then a man named Murad, a Pakistani, a member of al-Qaida, gave a 
statement in 1995 that al-Qaida had plans in 1995 to load explosives on 
an airplane and fly them into the White House or into the CIA. Then you 
had the experience with the trade towers themselves, attacked in 1993 
by al-Qaida's agents. They had made an effort to blow up one of the 
towers to try to topple into the other tower to destroy them both. It 
was known that they were very unhappy about their failure.
  So the risks were present, but there was not coordination. We didn't 
bring all of those dots onto one screen. When FBI Director Mueller 
testified before the Judiciary Committee in early June, I asked him 
about all of these facts and concluded that there was a veritable 
blueprint had all of these dots been put together. That is what we have 
an opportunity to do now with homeland security, under the direction of 
the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  I had submitted an amendment, which would have given the Secretary 
greater authority than is present in the existing bill. The Secretary 
of Homeland Defense, under the existing legislation, may request that 
the agencies coordinate, but the Secretary does not have the authority 
to direct, and I believe that is a significant failing in this bill.
  When the House of Representatives passed a homeland security bill 
last Wednesday and, in effect, left town, sending a bill to the Senate, 
it was pretty much a matter of take it or leave it. If I had pressed my 
amendment to do what I thought was a very important improvement, to 
give the Secretary authority to direct all of these agencies, the bill 
would have had to go back to conference, and the Members of the House 
of Representatives had dispersed. They are present only in pro forma 
session. They can take some technical amendments without reconvening, 
but to press a substantive amendment would have sent the matter back 
for a conference, and it would have delayed the matter perhaps as long 
as April of next year.

  I had a long discussion on this matter with homeland security 
adviser, former Governor Tom Ridge, and pressed the point. Then I 
discussed the matter with Vice President Cheney and sought some sort of 
a commitment that the administration would look favorably upon this 
kind of an amendment when we reconvened. The Vice President said he 
could not speak for the President. I talked to President Bush, who 
urged me not to press the amendment, and I told him I would not because 
I did not want to tie up the bill. I did not want to put on a 
substantive amendment that would have required a conference.
  Early in the 108th Congress, I will refile that amendment to give the 
Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to direct these agencies 
because I am still concerned about their turf battles. Turf battles in 
Washington, DC are endemic and epidemic. It is too serious a matter to 
engage in turf battles any longer. Now is the time where we have to use 
all of our resources to prevent another attack.
  We have made very significant advances on a number of lines--on the 
Border Patrol, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We put up $3 
billion last year on serums to deal with smallpox and anthrax, such as 
Cipro. That came through the Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human 
Services, and Education. Senator Harkin, then the chairman, and I, 
ranking member, took the lead in putting up that money. All of these 
precautions in building up the hospital infrastructure and giving 
assistance to the fire departments is vital. Having coordination with 
Federal, State, and local authorities is vital, but if we have to 
respond to an attack, if we do not prevent an attack, then we will be 
in very bad shape. That is why I do believe our efforts have to be 
directed to preventing another attack.
  I discussed also with the administration, with Governor Ridge, Vice 
President Cheney, and President Bush the labor-management relations 
issue. I believe we could have worked out an accommodation which would 
have been satisfactory to all parties.
  When we had the amendment offered by the Senator from Nebraska, Mr. 
Nelson, cosponsored by Senator Chafee and Senator Breaux, there was 
initial confusion as to whether the two paragraphs of the Breaux 
amendment, which incorporated the so-called Morella amendment from the 
House bill, was in place of, substituted for, or in addition to.
  In a colloquy with the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, we 
established the amendment was in addition to and did not remove the 
President's national security authority to take steps if national 
security was endangered. That model could have been applied to the 
other five chapters on flexibility.
  The Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education will 
schedule hearings promptly when we reconvene the 108th Congress to go 
into these issues, to have a thorough airing, have people from the 
Office of Personnel Management come in and explain what they need; to 
have labor representatives come in and explain what they have in mind, 
in order to work out an accommodation which is satisfactory for all 
parties to maintain a high level of morale.
  We also have to be concerned about provisions in this bill which 
could have the effect of trampling on civil liberties 
and constitutional rights. There is no doubt about the danger posed by 
al-Qaida, but there is similarly no doubt that we cannot give up our 
civil liberties and our constitutional rights in our efforts to combat 
al-Qaida. If we do that, if we give up our civil liberties, al-Qaida 
would have, in effect, won.

  There is an ongoing responsibility for oversight, and that 
responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee and the Judiciary Committee to see to it that the detention 
of aliens is based upon some reason; to see to it that if American 
citizens are tried in a military court that there is an observance of 
constitutional rights. There is grave concern in America that we be 
protected from another terrorist attack, but there is also grave 
concern that we be careful in the preservation of our civil liberties.
  Madam President, how much of my 20 minutes remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Six minutes and 26 seconds.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I notice the Senator from Connecticut 
has come to the Chamber. In his absence, I had commented that the 
Senator from Connecticut, Senator Lieberman, and I, had introduced 
homeland security back on October 11, 2001.
  There was resistance in many quarters to having a Department of 
Homeland Security. Governor Ridge, at that time, and I had discussed 
the matter. I have worked very closely with Tom Ridge for many years--
12 years in the Congress and two terms as Pennsylvania's distinguished 
Governor. Governor Ridge said he was sure the people would not say no 
to the President; he could walk down the hall, and he could solve the 
problems.
  I had a view, having been chairman of the Intelligence Committee and 
knowing what goes on in the CIA, that it was not going to be that easy; 
that the man in charge of homeland security really needed some muscle.
  Having worked on the Judiciary Committee chairing the oversight 
committee on the FBI, I knew the problems there. I knew the turf 
battles, and I thought the adviser in charge of homeland security 
needed some muscle.

[[Page S11404]]

  Senator Lieberman and I constructed that bill, when we had hearings. 
We reintroduced an updated version last May, and it has had a number of 
developments. I do believe it is going to be necessary to revisit some 
provisions. I mentioned two--the authority of the Secretary to direct 
the intelligence agencies to consolidate under one umbrella, and a 
refinement of some of the provisions on labor-management relations.
  Then the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday and sent 
it to the Senate on Thursday. Senator Lieberman offered an amendment to 
strike which was voted upon earlier today.
  I agreed with a great deal of what Senator Lieberman had to say. I 
felt it necessary to vote against Senator Lieberman's amendment because 
that would have called for a conference, the appointment of conferees, 
and great delay. It could have been delayed until April.
  We have been asked a lot of questions about this. Yesterday in 
Pennsylvania in a number of meetings, a number of people asked me about 
it. I told them about the old statement: You never want to see 
legislation or sausage made. If you saw what the House of 
Representatives did, the bill they sent over here and some of its 
provisions gave sausage a bad name. But we are going to work through 
it. We are going to pass the bill.
  It is not unusual for the Congress, for the Senate to be confronted 
with a bill which has a lot of clunkers, which has a lot of problems, a 
lot of major disadvantages. Then we have to make a public policy 
determination as to whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
  In my judgment, it is not even a close call at this point. We have to 
have a Department of Homeland Security to protect America.
  Again, I compliment my colleague from Connecticut. I compliment the 
Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Thompson, for the tremendous job he has 
done on the bill, and the Senator from Texas, Mr. Gramm, and his swan 
song. It is a tough legislative battle, but before the stroke of 
midnight, I believe we will have moved ahead. I am told by the White 
House that the President intends to sign this bill early next week. He 
is not going to let any grass grow under anybody's feet. We are going 
to do our best to protect America and try to prevent another terrorist 
attack.
  I yield the floor.



ght, I believe we will have moved ahead. I am told by the White 
House that the President intends to sign this bill early next week. He 
is not going to let any grass grow under anybody's feet. We are going 
to do our best to protect America and try to prevent another terrorist 
attack.
  I yield the floor.





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