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[Congressional Record: March 21, 2003 (Senate)]
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amendment no. 283
(Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate that the States and
localities should be reimbursed through the State Criminal Alien
Assistance Program for the fiscal burdens undocumented criminal aliens
place on their criminal justice systems)
On page 79, after line 22, insert the following:
SEC. ____. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON THE STATE CRIMINAL ALIEN
(a) Findings.--The Senate finds the following:
(1) The control of illegal immigration is a Federal
(2) In fiscal year 2002, however, State and local
governments spent more than $13,000,000,000 in costs
associated with the incarceration of undocumented criminal
(3) The Federal Government provided $565,000,000 in
appropriated funding to the State Criminal Alien Assistance
Program (SCAAP) to reimburse State and local governments for
(4) In fiscal year 2003, the fiscal burden of
incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens is likely to grow,
however, Congress provided only $250,000,000 to help cover
(5) The 56 percent cut in fiscal year 2003 funding for
SCAAP will place an enormous burden on State and local law
enforcement agencies during a time of heightened efforts to
secure our homeland.
(6) The Administration did not include funding for SCAAP
in its fiscal year 2004 budget.
(b) Sense of the Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate
(1) the functional totals underlying this resolution on
the budget assumes that the State Criminal Alien Assistance
Program be funded at $585,000,000 to reimburse State and
local law enforcement agencies for the burdens imposed in
fiscal year 2003 by the incarceration of undocumented
criminal aliens; and
(2) Congress enact a long-term reauthorization of the
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program beginning with the
authorization of $750,000,000 in fiscal year 2004 to
reimburse State and county governments for the burdens
undocumented criminal aliens have placed on the local
criminal justice system.
amendment no. 390
On page 8, between lines 13 and 14, insert the following:
(c) Social Security Administrative Expenses.--In the
Senate, the amounts of new budget authority and budget
outlays of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust
Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund for
administrative expenses are as follows:
Fiscal year 2003:
(A) New budget authority, $3,812,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $3,838,000,000.
Fiscal year 2004:
(A) New budget authority, $4,257,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,207,000,000.
Fiscal year 2005:
(A) New budget authority, $4,338,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,301,000,000.
Fiscal year 2006:
(A) New budget authority, $4,424,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,409,000,000.
Fiscal year 2007:
(A) New budget authority, $4,522,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,505,000,000.
Fiscal year 2008:
(A) New budget authority, $4,638,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,617,000,000.
Fiscal year 2009:
(A) New budget authority, $4,792,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,766,000,000.
Fiscal year 2010:
(A) New budget authority, $4,954,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $4,924,000,000.
Fiscal year 2011:
(A) New budget authority, $5,121,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $5,091,000,000.
Fiscal year 2012:
(A) New budget authority, $5,292,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $5,260,000,000.
Fiscal year 2013:
(A) New budget authority, $5,471,000,000.
(B) Outlays, $5,439,000,000.
amendment no. 388
(Purpose: To require annual reports on the liabilities and future costs
of the Federal Government and its programs)
At the end of subtitle A of title II, insert the following:
SEC. ____. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON REPORTS ON LIABILITIES AND
It is the sense of the Senate that The Congressional Budget
Office shall consult with the Committee on the Budget of the
Senate in order to prepare a report containing--
(1) an estimate of the unfunded liabilities of the Federal
(2) an estimate of the contingent liabilities of Federal
(3) an accrual-based estimate of the current and future
costs of Federal programs.
amendment no. 389
(Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate regarding the urgent need
for increased funding for the Corps of Engineers)
At the appropriate place, add the following:
SEC. ____. SENSE OF THE SENATE CONCERNING PROGRAMS OF THE
CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
(a) Findings.--The Senate finds that--
(1) the Corps of Engineers provides quality, responsive
engineering services to the United State, including planning,
designing, building, and operating invaluable water resources
and civil works projects;
(2) the ports of the United States are a vital component
of the economy of the United States, playing a critical role
in international trade and commerce and in maintaining the
energy supply of the United States;
(3) interruption of port operations would have a
devastating effect on the United States;
(4) the navigation program of the Corps enables
2,400,000,000 tons of commerce to move on navigable
(5) the Department of Transportation estimates that those
cargo movements have created jobs for 13,000,000 people;
(6) flood damage reduction structures provided and
maintained by the Corps save taxpayers $21,000,000,000 in
damages every year, in addition to numerous human lives;
(7) the Corps designs and manages the construction of
military facilities for the Army and Air Force while
providing support to the Department of Defense and other
(8) the Civil Works program of the Corps adds significant
value to the economy of the United States, including
recreation and ecosystem restoration;
(9) through contracting methods, the civil works program
employs thousands of private sector contract employees, as
well as Federal employees, in all aspects of construction,
science, engineering, architecture, management, planning,
design, operations, and maintenance; and
(10) the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that
$1,000,000,000 expended for the Civil Works program generates
approximately 40,000 jobs in support of construction
operation and maintenance activities in the United States.
(b) Budgetary Assumptions.--It is the sense of the Senate
(1) to perform vital functions described in subsection
(a), the Corps of Engineers requires additional funding; and
(2) the budgetary totals in this resolution assume that
the level of funding provided for programs of the Corps
described in subsection (a) will not be reduced below current
baseline spending levels established for the programs.
amendment no. 309
(Purpose: To provide the Committee on Finance of the Senate with
additional options to reform and improve medicaid without the need to
resort to block grant allotments with predetermined growth rates, which
fail to adjust for economic recessions, demographic changes, or
On page 63, beginning on line 12, strike ``through'' and
all that follows through ``rates'' on line 14.
amendment no. 296, as modified
(Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate that the Attorney General
should conduct a study on the need and cost to establish radio
interoperability between law enforcement agencies, fire departments,
and emergency medical services, and that Congress should authorize and
appropriate $20,000,000 for grants to local governments to assist fire
departments and emergency medical services agencies to establish radio
On page 79, after line 22, add the following:
SEC. 308. RADIO INTEROPERABILITY FOR FIRST RESPONDERS.
(a) Study.--It is the sense of the Senate that the
Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of
Homeland Security, should conduct a study of the need and
cost to make the radio systems used by fire departments and
emergency medical services agencies interoperable with those
used by law enforcement to the extent that interoperability
will not interfere with law enforcement operations.
(b) Grant Program.--It is the sense of the Senate that
Congress should authorize and appropriate $20,000,000 to
establish a grant program through which the Attorney General
would award grants to local governments to assist fire
departments and emergency medical services agencies to
establish radio interoperability.
amendment no. 283
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, this non-binding sense of the Senate
amendment expresses that the budget resolution before us should
accommodate an appropriation of $750 million for the State Criminal
Alien Assistance Program--SCAAP--for Fiscal Year 2004.
I am pleased that Senators Kyl, Bingaman, McCain, and Schumer have
joined me in introducing this important measure.
The bipartisan amendment I offer today with my colleagues would also
put the Senate on record as favoring a restoration of fiscal year 2003
funding for this important program, which does so much to help State
and county governments deal with the growing costs of incarcerating
undocumented criminal aliens.
Without adequate funding, this fiscal burden will continue to fall on
many of our local law enforcement agencies--including sheriffs, police
officers on the beat, anti-gang violence units, and district attorneys
The SCAAP program is based on the principle that when the Federal
Government falls short in its efforts to enforce the laws against
immigration violations, it must bear the responsibility for the
financial and human consequences of this failure.
Thus, the SCAAP program properly vests this burden with the Federal
Government when undocumented aliens commit serious crimes within our
It does so by providing Federal reimbursement funding to the States
and county governments for the direct costs associated with
incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens, who are convicted of
felonies or multiple misdemeanors.
Increasingly, State and county governments from all across the
country have made use of these funds over the years. In fact, in Fiscal
Year 2002, the number of State and local governments seeking SCAAP
funding jumped 25 percent from the previous fiscal year.
The combination of this increase, and the fact that all 50 States and
the District of Columbia receive some funding from the program,
suggests that no State is immune from the fiscal costs associated with
crimes committed by illegal aliens.
Today most States are encountering their largest deficits in more
than 60 years. Indeed, the fiscal consequences of illegal immigration
have contributed to this challenge.
In Fiscal Year 2002, State and county governments incurred more than
$13 billion in costs associated with incarcerating criminal illegal
aliens. These costs are expected to grow over the next several years,
given the new challenges of terrorism and our efforts to enhance
security within our Nation's borders.
California's border counties are among the hardest hit in terms of
dollars spent on incarceration, prosecution and court costs for those
in the United States illegally. I am greatly concerned about the
substantial burden these immigration-related costs impose on the
criminal justice system on our local communities, especially given the
limited tax base and fiscal resources State and local jurisdictions are
working with today.
The SCAPP program is not in place to prevent crime, but to fulfill
portion of the Federal Government's responsibility, so local
governments can use their limited resources for their own
responsibilities, such as funding jail enlargement or new homeland
security ventures at the local level.
At a time when cash-strapped State and local governments are being
asked to do even more to protect our homeland, we cannot afford to
eliminate vital funding that already falls far short of what local
governments spend to incarcerate undocumented criminal aliens. In
previous years, Congress has appropriated between $500 million and $585
million for SCAAP to alleviate some of the fiscal burdens placed on the
local criminal justice systems.
In Fiscal Year 2002, Congress appropriated $565 million for this
important program. Unfortunately, the prolonged debate over Fiscal Year
2003 appropriations produced budgetary pressures that resulted in a 53-
percent drop in SCAAP funding for FY 2003.
SCAAP payments have never matched the true costs to the States
dealing with this problem, but they have nevertheless been critical
additions to prison and jail budgets. They have also symbolized the
Federal Governments obligation to pay for the results of its failed
These are challenging times in our Nation's history. And, we want, to
the best extent possible, our constituents to feel secure in their
homes and in their communities.
At a time when the Nation is focused on enhancing security within our
borders, our States, and our local communities, a vital program like
SCAAP should not be vulnerable to being under-funded or eliminated
The control of illegal immigration is a Federal obligation and we owe
it to our States and local communities to provide them with the crucial
Federal assistance they need to continue doing their job.
Again, I wish to emphasize that while this amendment would put the
Senate on record as supporting this initiative, the amendment is not
binding and therefore, does not require any offsets.
Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I thank our colleagues for their
cooperation and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. DASCHLE. 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. DASCHLE. Mr. President, the caucus, for the information of our
Democratic Senators, will be in the LBJ Room, our normal caucus room.
I have something else, though, that I want to share with my
Congratulating Senator Paul Sarbanes on Casting his 10,000th Vote
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, at 3:45 this afternoon, our friend and
colleague, Paul Sarbanes, joined what is truly one of the most
exclusive clubs in the world. He cast his 10,000th vote as a United
Of the 1,875 people ever to serve in the Senate, only 20 others have
ever reached this remarkable milestone. Remarkably, eight of the 21
``10,000 vote'' Senators are serving in this Senate.
In addition to Senator Sarbanes, they include our friends Joe Biden,
Senator Byrd, Pete Domenici, Fritz Hollings, Dan Inouye, Ted Kennedy
and Ted Stevens. I'm proud to note that, at least in this very
distinguished caucus, Democrats still have a majority.
Reaching this historic milestone is just the latest remarkable
accomplishment in what has been, by anyone's standards, a remarkable
American success story. Paul Sarbanes is the proud son of Greek
immigrants. His parents, Spyros and Matina Sarbanes, emigrated from the
same town in Greece, but met in America. The Sarbanes family owned a
restaurant in Salisbury, MD. They gave it a quintessentially American
name: The Mayflower Restaurant. Paul worked in the restaurant, and he
and his family lived above it.
He graduated from a public high school and won a scholarship to
He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. After Oxford, he came
home and, in 1960, earned a law degree from Harvard. From Harvard, Paul
Sarbanes went to the White House, one of the ``best and brightest'' who
answered President Kennedy's call to public service. He worked as
Administrative Assistant to Water Heller, chairman of President
Kennedy's Council of Economic Advisors.
He won his first elected office in 1966, to the Maryland House of
Delegates, where he served for 4 years. In 1970, the people of Maryland
elected him to the House of Representatives. In 1976, he won his first
election to the United States Senate. In November 2000, he won his
fifth election to the Senate, making him the longest-serving Senator in
It's been said that there are two kinds of Senators: those who are
here to make headlines and those who are here to make history. Paul
Sarbanes is one of the history makers. He is one of the most modest men
I know. He is also one of the most intelligent. He was a voice of
reason on both the Whitewater and Iran-Contra committees. It was his
leadership and his refusal to accept defeat--more than anything--that
enabled us, in the last Congress, to pass the most far-reaching
corporate accountability reforms since the Securities and Exchange
Commission was created 70 years ago.
The Sarbanes-Oxley reforms will help prevent the kinds of corporate
abuses that have so damaged our economy and shaken people's faith in
the economic markets these last few years. They will protect people's
investments, and their economic futures.
I learned a Greek word from Paul Sarbanes: ``idiotes.'' It is the
Greek root for the English word ``idiot.'' But it has a different
meaning in Greek. It means ``someone who takes no part in the affairs
of his community.'' In the Sarbanes family, it was almost a curse.
Paul Sarbanes' parents taught him that serving one's nation is a
noble calling. I know they would be proud of him. So are we. I
congratulate my friend on casting his 10,000th vote in the Senate--and
on his long and exemplary career. I look forward to seeing him cast a
few thousand more votes.
Mr. President, I yield the floor and congratulate our colleague.
(Applause, Senators rising.)
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, I thank our distinguished leader for his
very kind comments about the 10,000 votes I have cast in the Senate. I
must say, if we keep doing these vote-a-ramas, everyone can aspire to
reaching this goal in short order.
Our very able leader was very kind and generous in his remarks. I
appreciate them very much.
I wish to register my deep appreciation to the people of my State who
sent me to the Senate now for my fifth term and, therefore, made it
possible for me to be here exercising my judgment on important issues
that come before us. I certainly hope that people, looking back over
that record, will think there was some quality in those votes as well
I thank my colleagues for their constant support and the ability to
interact with them as we deal with important matters of public policy.
Even though we sometimes differ, we support one another in a very
unique and, to some, not understandable way. I am in my 27th year in
the Senate, and I am pleased to be in the company of those who our
leader enumerated that have also passed the 10,000 mark. I particularly
want to acknowledge my respect for Senator Byrd, who I think has cast
more votes than anyone who has ever served in the Senate, and continues
to be an example to us all.
I also would be remiss if I did not thank my family, my wife in
particular, for their strong support over these many years now. And
finally, I would like to thank the many staff members who have served
me so well for these past 27 years.
Again, I thank all of those who have been so gracious to me in
extending their best wishes and congratulations. And, in particular, I
thank our leader, Senator Daschle.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, while Senator Sarbanes is still here, I
want to congratulate him.
Mr. SARBANES. I appreciate that.
Mr. DOMENICI. I am on that list. I just want to tell you, 10,000 is
just the beginning.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I wish to join our colleagues in
congratulating Senator Sarbanes on the milestone, and his
accomplishments in the Senate.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I announce we now have a Democratic caucus
in the LBJ Room. If all Democratic Senators can move over there, it
would be greatly appreciated.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the
quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in
morning business for 5 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, we are all following, on a moment-by-
moment basis, the developments in Iraq and the sad reality that this
war is upon us, but we also have the great feeling of support for our
men and women in uniform.
I was notified today that one of the first casualties in the war was
from my home State. His name is Ryan Beaupre from Saint Anne, IL, a 30-
year-old Marine Corps captain who was a pilot on the helicopter that
went down with eight British commandos and four marines, a wonderful
young man by all reports from a good family who attended Bishop
MacNamara High School in Kankakee and then Illinois Wesleyan and
enlisted in the Marine Corps and served his country so well. I have
called his family today. Of course, they are grief-stricken, as is
everyone in the community.
A special tribute was given to him today at his old high school, and
I am sure there will be many more. Our hearts go out to the Beaupre
family and all of their friends at this great loss.
We are fortunate in this country to have young men and women like
him, willing to volunteer and to risk their lives for their Nation. We
should remember the cost of war and remember how much we owe those who
will step forward to defend this Nation in time of need.
I hope, before this debate on the budget resolution is over, to ask
my colleagues in the Senate to consider an amendment which I hope to
offer. If someone asked you today how much
combat pay do we pay to the marines and sailors and soldiers and airmen
for fighting the war in Iraq, most Americans would not know the answer.
But combat pay for our soldiers and those who are risking their lives
now in Iraq is $5 a day--$5 a day--$150 a month. That is combat pay for
those who are in active military, as well as those who are activated.
Also, you might be interested in knowing how much we pay the families
when we separate people and send them off to war. What kind of monthly
supplement do we provide for the families who now have someone
important in their lives gone for a period of time and have to struggle
to try to keep things together when it comes to child care and added
responsibility and added expenses? How much do we give to these
military families? About $3.30 a day; $100 a month.
The amendment I am going to offer to the budget resolution will raise
those two amounts, not to what they truly deserve but to show that we
have not forgotten that they need more, to $500 a month for combat pay,
and $500 a month to families who are separated because of this war.
It is a small token. It should be much more. But I hope my colleagues
will seriously consider that amendment. As we all feel so good and so
strong about the contribution of the men and women in uniform, let us
not forget they deserve a helping hand and the combat pay differential
as well as the assistance to their families.
I yield the floor.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I wish to elaborate on Amendment No.
277, which would provide an additional $16 billion next year to fund
our urgent homeland security needs. Because of the failure of the
Schumer amendment--which would have provided a substantial but smaller
increase in homeland security funding next year--it is clear that my
amendment will not carry the Senate. Nevertheless, I would like to set
forth the following statement on the reasons behind my amendment and
the urgency of dramatically increasing our investment in homeland
America has the greatest military in the world--as we are witnessing
in Iraq today--and we have it because we pay for it. For generation
after generation, presidents, members of Congress, and the American
people have come together across partisan divides and every other
conceivable divide to invest what's necessary in our military, and in
the men and women in uniform who make our military what it is.
If we want the best domestic defenses, we'll have to pay for them,
too. But consider this comparison. Under the resolution before us,
between this year's and next year's budgets, defense spending would be
increased by some $19 billion. I support that increase. But over the
same period, this resolution would invest only $300 million more in
improving our homeland defenses.
Why? One reason and one reason only: the President's unaffordable,
unfair, and unfocused tax cuts are leaving no room for necessary
investments. They're crowding out every other priority. It's bad enough
that they haven't done anything to create jobs, to grow the economy, to
expand the middle class. On top of that, they have raided the national
There's little money left for urgent needs--not for healthcare, not
for education, not for Social Security or homeland security. Little
money left for smart tax cuts that will spur real growth and
innovation. Little money left to keep down the deficit at a time when
we're looking at $2 trillion in additional debt.
I urge my colleagues to stop and think about this for a second. The
President's budget would have us spend about $100 billion next year
alone on brand new tax cuts for those who need them least. $100 billion
of our national treasure on unfocused, unaffordable and unfair tax cuts
when we are at war against terrorism here at home, forced to marshal
our strength to defend against a ruthless and unpredictable new enemy.
And that's to say nothing of the cost of the war to disarm Iraq, the
peace that will follow, or every other critical need facing our country
from healthcare to education to Social Security.
For this administration and those who support this resolution, all of
those needs are down the list. Those needs can wait. Those needs can
suffer. As long as someone preserves the precious new tax cuts--which
will do little if anything to create new jobs--they're happy.
That's crazy. It's irresponsible. And it's downright unfair to those
who are working day and night to protect us, and who desperately need
new resources to do their job well.
My father ran his own small store and, like any decent businessman,
he understood that making a good living and paying the bills started
with sound and honest budget planning. If he needed to put a new lock
on the door, he would set aside some money to do it.
Those who run our government now don't seem to get it. They
underestimate or hide serious expenses. They squander money when
business is bad. They overestimate revenue. And they seem to think that
our security will magically fund itself, rather than setting aside
money for it, as my Dad would have.
It's time for this administration and those who back this resolution
to show some economic common sense. It's time for them to let go of
their pet tax cuts and dedicate some resources to our critical common
This amendment would do that. Rather than giving homeland security
short shrift by settling for a paltry $300 million increase, it would
start to put real dollars where the danger is. After extensive study
and consultation with experts, I've determined it will take $16 billion
to start truly raising our guard in the next fiscal year. That's what
this amendment would provide.
How will we pay for it? It's an important question--and unlike this
administration, we'll answer it. Because we understand, as the American
people understand, that we can't have it all. Leadership is about
making tough choices--about tradeoffs.
So we propose paying for this new investment in homeland security by
redirecting $32 billion in new tax cuts proposed by the President. Half
of that money will go toward deficit reduction--to start digging
ourselves and our children out of the ditch of debt in which we now
find ourselves. And half of it will pay for urgent homeland security
Aren't those two common goals, both of which will broadly benefit the
American people, a far, far better use of our precious resources than
brand new unfocused, unaffordable, and ineffective tax cuts to those
who need them least? The answer is obvious to me. I hope it's clear to
others in this chamber as well.
Let me now talk about some of the critical security needs that this
$16 billion would help us meet.
Our commitment needs to start with first responders, who are our
frontline troops in this homefront war. In communities across the
country, our firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical
technicians are struggling for the funds they need to meet the new
threats we face. It's time for us to give them the support they need
and their jobs demand.
This budget resolution would provide virtually no new funding for our
first responders. Virtually no new funding--at this time of
unprecedented need and danger. That's unacceptable. There is equipment
to buy. There are professionals to hire. There are people to train. All
of that--like it or not--takes money.
This amendment provides for $10 billion in FY 04--$6.5 billion above
the President's request--to help first responders prepare for and
combat terrorism, including attacks involving weapons of mass
destruction. Additionally, the amendment provides for $1 billion in FY
04 for firefighter grants, money that would be available to hire
additional firefighters. This is the first installment of the SAFER
Act--of which I am an enthusiastic supporter--which would provide more
than $7.5 billion over 7 years to help communities hire badly needed
new firefighters. Unlike in the President's proposed budget, I believe
that new funds should not come at the expense of existing programs for
first responders like the COPS program, the Local Law Enforcement
Grants, or the Byrne Grant program.
Within this overall commitment, $4 billion should be dedicated to
helping first responders obtain interoperable equipment--a vital
challenge that has been estimated to cost $18 billion overall.
Nor should we wait for the FY 04 appropriations cycle to help our
first responders. The recently-approved FY 03 omnibus spending bill
comes up far short for first responders. We will need to seize every
opportunity to fix that, and I am cosponsoring amendments today to
ensure that this happens. I will fight also for more money for first
responders in the supplemental appropriations process.
Our second critical unmet priority is shoring up port security--which
my amendment would accomplish by committing a $2 billion investment
above the pending resolution.
About 7 million containers arrive at these ports each year, yet only
a tiny fraction are searched. This poses a risk not only at the ports,
but also inland--as many of those containers travel many miles to their
final destination without being searched.
Yet the administration's budget proposal and this budget resolution
mostly ignore the physical security of our ports. The Coast Guard has
estimated that it will cost $4.4 billion to improve basic physical
security at the nation's ports, starting with close to $1 billion the
first year. In addition, the Maritime Security Act mandates certain
security measures without providing a funding mechanism. In an effort
to jumpstart these vital improvements, this amendment provides $1.2
billion in port security grants for fiscal year 2004.
Because the ports themselves are a potential target, we do not want
to wait until dangerous containers arrive to investigate. Rather, we
must ``push the borders back'' and identify and inspect as much high-
risk cargo as possible before it enters our harbors. The Customs
Service has made some valuable strides in this direction through the
Container Security Initiative. This program stations Customs officers
at overseas ports to allow for inspection of some containers before
they begin their voyage to the U.S. Yet the Administration is not
expanding this valuable program as forcefully as circumstances require.
President Bush has requested $62 million for this program in fiscal
year 2004, a request that is echoed in this budget resolution. My
amendment would provide an additional $100 million to allow for
aggressive and effective expansion of this program, and for related
initiatives to inspect and track containers as close as possible to
their point of origin.
Moving beyond physical security, my amendment would enable the Coast
Guard to step up its supervision of the ports and adjacent maritime
areas. I believe we must accelerate efforts to recapitalize the Coast
Guard fleet--specifically, to speed up implementation of the long-
planned Deepwater Initiative to upgrade and integrate the Coast Guard's
fleet and related communications equipment. The budget resolution
before us, following the President's budget proposal, has proposed $500
million for this project in fiscal year 2004, which is only enough to
complete the project in 20 years or longer--the timetable outlined
before the September 11 attacks. Clearly, current circumstances call
for greater urgency. This amendment would provide an additional $700
million, for a total of $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2004, to complete
the Deepwater Initiative in closer to 10 years.
In addition to the port security initiatives I have outlined, we must
strengthen other components of our border security. In particular, the
amendment calls for an additional $1 billion in FY 04 to increase
border personnel and to improve information technology systems for the
border. On personnel, we must strengthen the presence of Customs and
immigration inspectors and of Border Patrol agents in key areas.
Indeed, some of these enhancements were mandated by the Patriot Act and
the Border Security Act but have not been funded and filled to date. I
would allocate additional funds to hire at least 2,000-3,000 new border
personnel. With respect to technology, it is especially critical that
we expedite implementation of the biometric document system as mandated
by the Patriot Act and Border Security Act. The biometric document
system will include biologically unique identifiers for immigrants,
reducing the risk that immigrants will enter illegally or under an
assumed identity. The budget resolution before us clearly has not
allocated significant new resources to achieve this new system in the
required timeframe, or anything close to it. The additional $1 billion
in my amendment would allow us to make significant progress on these
border security needs.
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