Amendment Text: S.Amdt.1928 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)

Shown Here:
Amendment as Proposed (10/23/2003)

This Amendment appears on page S13106 in the following article from the Congressional Record.


[Pages S13076-S13124]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 
                                  2004

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
proceed to the consideration of H.R. 2989, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 2989) making appropriations for the Department 
     of Transportation and Treasury, and independent agencies for 
     the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other 
     purposes.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SHELBY. Madam President, I send a substitute amendment to the 
desk at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1899.

  (The text of the amendment is printed in the Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  Mr. SHELBY. Madam President, I am pleased to present to the Senate 
the Transportation, Treasury, and general government appropriations 
bill for the fiscal year 2004.
  The reorganization of the Appropriations Committee earlier this year 
substantially changed the jurisdiction of this subcommittee. While the 
jurisdiction of this subcommittee is not as wholly different as the new 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the bill before the 
Senate is quite different from the bill the Senate has considered in 
the past.
  For the first time, programs outside the Department of Transportation 
have to directly compete against certain Transportation programs. This 
bill is within the subcommittee's 302(b) allocation. Despite being $300 
million below the President's request, I believe we have included 
adequate resources to meet our responsibilities in a balanced and 
responsible manner.
  The goal of the subcommittee is to allocate scarce resources to the 
administration and our Members' highest priorities, to glean out 
savings where possible, and to apply those savings to programs that 
save lives, improve America's competitiveness, and programs that create 
jobs. I am pleased to report that the bill before the Senate does just 
that.
  I wish to provide a brief overview of the highlights of the bill. The 
budget request proposes an 8-percent raise. I am proud to report that 
the bill rejects the proposal and has included a historically high 
$33.8 billion for highway infrastructure investment.
  It will come as no surprise to anybody that my highest priority for 
the Transportation portion of this bill is to provide adequate 
investment in our highway system. Highway investment creates jobs 
through infrastructure development, fuels economic growth by reducing 
the transportation costs associated with American goods and services, 
and improves the quality of life of our citizens and enhances their 
ability to move around this country easily.
  The bill before us also includes $20 million for AMBER Alert grants 
to expand and improve the Nation's ability to quickly recover missing 
children. We know the alert system has worked in Texas. This investment 
will provide additional infrastructure across the country to notify the 
public to immediately begin looking for missing children and suspects.
  While many of Treasury's law enforcement functions were transferred 
to the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury continues its 
important responsibility for combating terrorist financing and other 
financial crimes both domestically and abroad. The bill includes 
funding to establish the Office of Terrorist and Financial Crimes.
  We have also included additional resources to support Treasury's 
policy responsibilities pertaining to counterterrorist financing and 
financial crimes. I believe these are essential functions in our 
Nation's war against this fight on terrorism.
  The bill includes an additional $20 million for the HIDA Program. 
Over the years, the HIDA Program has been effective in coordinating 
Federal, State, and local law enforcement to disrupt drug trafficking. 
We have also included language to, once again, make the National Youth 
Antidrug Media Campaign an effective investment for the Federal 
Government.
  While a few of my colleagues may disagree with the direction the bill 
proposes to take in regard to the media campaign, there are many more 
who believe a more stringent approach is necessary. I believe this bill 
strikes the appropriate balance between responsible congressional 
oversight of the campaign and allowing it to move forward in an attempt 
to effect change among our Nation's youth. Further delay in the 
courthouse construction process would only hamper the effort to meet 
the growing caseload demands on the Federal judiciary.
  The bill includes $500 million to fund the Help America Vote Act. 
This funding, in addition to the $830 million appropriated in fiscal 
year 2003, will allow more than $1.3 billion to be distributed to 
States in fiscal year 2004. I am pleased the administration has finally 
sent up its nominations for the commissioner of the Election Assistance 
Commission.
  It is my understanding the Rules Committee plans to hold a hearing on 
these nominees next Tuesday. I believe it is important that the Senate 
expedite this process so the resources we appropriate can be 
distributed to the States in a reasonable manner.
  The recommendation also includes funding to continue the student and 
parent mock elections. I know many of my colleagues are very interested 
in this important program and truly believe in the merits of this 
valuable hands-on civic lesson. That is precisely why we have included 
the money.
  The bill retains the so-called pay parity provision for Federal 
employees and uniform personnel and sets the adjustment at 4.1 percent.
  Finally, the bill includes $1.3 billion for Amtrak. I reiterate what 
I said during the committee consideration. I am deeply concerned about 
the offsets that have been included in this bill to pay for the 
additional $400 million above the budget request. We are barely keeping 
up with the demand for transit, highway, and airport infrastructure 
investment and maintenance. Amtrak, on the other hand, can hardly keep 
up passenger demand for its current routes. That is not just rhetoric. 
Amtrak provides roughly the same number of passenger trips as it did 20 
years ago, while all other modes of transportation have more than 
tripled.
  I hope we can move this legislation quickly through the Senate and 
into the conference with the House. I look forward to working with the 
Senator from Washington, the former chairman of the committee, and also 
the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations, and 
with interested Members, to consider and pass this important 
legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Senate 
amendments to H.R. 2989, the Department of Transportation, Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2004. This is 
the first time that the Senate will debate an appropriations bill that 
combines these critically important Government functions.
  As my colleagues know, at the beginning of this year, the 
Appropriations Committee combined the Transportation Subcommittee with 
the former Treasury, Postal and General Government Subcommittee. We 
were particularly fortunate to have Senator Shelby as our chairman, 
especially since he is perhaps the only Senator who has chaired both 
the Transportation Subcommittee and Treasury Postal Subcommittee at 
different times.
  Ever since the Senate adopted this year's final budget resolution, I 
have worried that the Appropriations Committee would not have 
sufficient resources to meet our needs and to make the investments we 
must make to improve our country. Today it is clear that my concerns 
were well-founded, not only with this appropriations bill, but with 
others the Senate has debated this year. However, despite the limited

[[Page S13077]]

allocation that was granted to our subcommittee, I think this bill is 
well-balanced in meeting the needs of many of the competing Government 
functions that we are required to fund.
  I would like to highlight a few elements of the bill, starting with 
funding for America's highways.
  I am especially proud that this bill proposes a highway obligation 
ceiling of $33.84 billion. That is real progress. It is almost $4.6 
billion more than the administration recommended, and it is $2.25 
billion more than fiscal year 2003. Just in the area of highway 
funding, our subcommittee has over the past 3 years has funded the 
Federal-aid Highway Program at $13 billion more than the levels 
recommended by the Bush administration. I have always recognized the 
critical importance of highway funding, and that is why, when I chaired 
the subcommittee, the bill we reported out restored every penny of the 
$8.6 billion cut that was proposed in the Bush administration's budget 
for that year. This year, under Senator Shelby's leadership, we are 
continuing our progress in addressing America's deteriorating highway 
infrastructure. Again this year, we propose a historically high level 
of highway funding of $33.84 billion. In addition, our bill increases 
funding for highway safety activities at the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration to try to reverse a disturbing increase in 
highway fatalities, especially deaths associated with drunk driving.
  For the Federal Aviation Administration, the bill proposes 
appropriations and obligation ceilings of just under $14 billion. That 
is roughly a half a billion dollar increase over the level approved for 
fiscal year 2003. I also want to note that our half a billion dollar 
increase includes a $100 million increase in the airport grants 
program.
  I want to take a moment to make some observations about Amtrak. The 
bill before us includes $1.346 billion for Amtrak. Let me put that 
number in context. It is $454 million below the level requested by 
Amtrak's board of directors and its president, David Gunn. It is $454 
million below the level that the Amtrak board says it needed to make 
progress on the railroad's deferred capital needs while operating the 
entire national system. And it is $454 million below the level assumed 
in the Senate-passed budget resolution.

  The Bush administration's budget for fiscal year 2004 singled out 
Amtrak for a 14 percent cut in funding down to the level of $900 
million. Amtrak's president has made it quite clear in testimony before 
several committees that adoption of the administration's proposed level 
of $900 million will mean certain bankruptcy of the railroad. It will 
mean the end of service to the thousands of daily Amtrak riders and the 
ten of thousands of mass transit riders whose commuter rail systems 
depend on continued Amtrak service. The level of funding recommended by 
the Appropriations Committee of $1.346 billion will be barely enough to 
enable Amtrak to operate all of its services for fiscal year 2004. This 
fact has been confirmed in testimony by the Department of 
Transportation Inspector General before the Senate Commerce Committee. 
The increase above last year is directed to accommodate the 
nondiscretionary cost increases that will burden the railroad in fiscal 
year 2004, including cost increases associated with mandated pay raises 
for employees under contract: and, automatic increases in debt service 
payments associated with debt that the railroad has already taken on.
  There is no question that the level of Amtrak funding in the bill is 
more than some Senators would like and less than other Senators would 
like. In my view, as the ranking member of this subcommittee, I do not 
believe that there are other areas in this bill where other Amtrak 
resources can be found. I believe the level of funding in this bill 
will allow the authorizing committees to continue to work on reform 
legislation and hopefully address the long-term financial needs of the 
railroad, including its sizable backlog of critical capital 
investments.
  I would like to mention a few other funding highlights concerning the 
IRS and GSA. For the IRS, the bill before us includes $10.35 billion, 
including very sizable amounts to help the IRS move forward in 
modernizing its information technology infrastructure. For the General 
Services Administration, the bill includes appropriations as well 
funding limitations in excess of $6.4 billion. The subcommittee was 
able to make progress on the construction on a limited number of new 
courthouses. We followed the recommendations of the Judicial 
Conference, even though these courthouses were not funded in the 
President's budget and were largely unfunded in the House-passed bill.
  So, in conclusion, I stand in strong support of this bill. While 
overall it does not have as many resources as I think are needed to 
address all of our transportation infrastructure, transportation 
safety, drug prevention, election reform, and other needs, I think it 
does an outstanding job addressing these competing needs in a balanced 
way, under the funded ceiling that was given to the subcommittee due to 
the budget resolution.
  I want to thank Chairman Shelby for the very cooperative and 
collegial approach that he always brings to this process. When it comes 
to allocating funds for Members' priority projects, whether it is for 
highways, mass transit or Federal building construction, Senator Shelby 
and I work together to meet Senators' highest priority requests. The 
process was balanced and fair, without regard to political affiliation 
or geography, and I continue to be indebted to him for the fair-
mindedness that he consistently brings to this process.
  I urge my colleagues to pass this bill and help our country make 
important progress in transportation, safety and critical 
infrastructure.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President this bill includes many projects that are 
important for my State of California, and I wish to take a minute to 
highlight those projects.
  For the Bay Area, $113.75 million in new funding is included for 
transportation improvements. The projects include $100 million for the 
BART extension to the San Francisco International Airport and $4 
million for upgrades to the Muni System.
  In addition, the bill includes: $3 million for AC Transit-CalWorks 
Job Center. This funding will continue successful Job Access programs 
and expand those services further for CalWorks recipients; $750,000 for 
the City of Palo Alto Intermodal Transit Center. These new funds will 
go toward the planning and design of a new regional intermodal transit 
center in Palo Alto.
  There is $1 million for Oyster Point Ferry Vessel. Funding will be 
used to build a ferry vessel to serve a new ferry route between San 
Mateo County and downtown San Francisco. This route will serve over 
2,000 passenger trips daily.
  There is $1 million for the Zero Emissions Bus--ZEB--Program. The 
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will use this funding to 
move away from using clean diesel technology to even cleaner Fuel Cell 
technology.
  There is $4 million for the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor. 
These funds will be used to extend the BART system to Santa Clara 
County.
  For the Sacramento region, $5.5 million in new funding is included to 
improve transportation. Most of these funds--$4 million--will be used 
for job access to help under-served communities get to work. The 
remaining funds will be used to improve the Intelligent Transportation 
System.
  For the residents of Los Angeles, $12.1 million is included to 
improve a variety of transportation projects, including $5 million for 
LA Eastside Corridor Light Rail. The new funds will be used to develop 
a six-mile, nine-station light rail system running through Little 
Tokyo, Boyle Heights, and East Los Angeles.
  There is $2 million for Alameda Corridor East. This funding will be 
used to help reduce traffic congestion for residents and businesses in 
the Alameda Corridor East and improve the shipment of goods from the 
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
  There is $3 million for the MTA Bus Program. These new funds will be 
used by MTA to make bus service in Los Angeles County more efficient. 
Improvements will be made to Metro Rapid Bus facilities and new 
technology will be utilized to upgrade traffic signals for more 
efficient bus service.
  There is $2.1 million for LA Metrolink San Bernardino Line: Platform 
Addition and Extensions. These funds will be used to improve commuter 
access and safety. The project

[[Page S13078]]

consists of constructing new platforms, extending current platforms, 
and improving pedestrian access.
  For transportation projects in San Diego and the surrounding 
communities, $113 million is included. The new funding includes $65 
million for the extension of the San Diego Trolley's Blue Line from the 
Mission San Diego Station to an Orange Line connection near Baltimore 
Drive in La Mesa. The approximately 5.9-mile line will run adjacent to 
Interstate 8 and add four new stations.
  This extension will increase the efficiency of San Diego's public 
transportation, while reducing congestion and providing an 
environmentally-friendly alternative for commuters.
  The new funds also provide $48 million for the North County Transit 
District's Oceanside-Escondido Rail Project. This project will convert 
22 miles of freight rail corridor into a light rail system running east 
from Oceanside to Escondido.
  During our current time of economic uncertainty, all of these 
projects will help strengthen California's economy by improving 
infrastructure and creating new jobs. These improvements will move 
products and people more efficiently, while also promoting a cleaner 
and healthier environment.
  In addition to the various transportation projects, this bill 
includes $50 million for a new Federal courthouse in downtown Los 
Angeles. The Los Angeles area is experiencing an increase in cases that 
is stretching the existing courthouse beyond its limits.
  Currently, the Los Angeles court complex operates out of two separate 
buildings located several blocks apart, which causes delays, security 
concerns and general confusion. The two buildings cannot accommodate 
expected growth and high security trials--making them inadequate to 
handle modern judicial needs.
  The need for a new Los Angeles Courthouse is great. In order for the 
courts to effectively serve the public and provide adequate security, 
we need to provide them with the resources to get the job done. The 
construction of this courthouse is a step in the right direction.
  I thank Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Murray for their support 
to help improve California's transportation system.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I have concerns regarding this bill, the 
Transportation, Treasury, and general government appropriations bill 
for fiscal year 2004, as reported by the Senate Appropriations 
Committee. While the bill appears to contain fewer earmarks than in 
previous years, it still contains far too many earmarks and provisions 
to change current policies.
  The need for efficient and safe transportation in America has never 
been greater. Today, we as a Nation transport more people and goods 
than ever before. As our Nation's dependence on international trade 
grows, so does our Nation's dependence on a transportation system that 
can keep goods moving not only at our borders, but across the Nation. 
On top of our commercial needs, Americans in general are more mobile 
than ever before. Due to this reality, the safety and security of our 
highways, airways, railways, and waterways must be a national priority. 
And as legislators, it is our duty to ensure that important 
transportation programs are fully funded. The measure before the Senate 
takes important steps towards achieving that goal.
  At the same time, however, I am troubled by many provisions in H.R. 
2989, the fiscal year 2004 Transportation, Treasury, and general 
government appropriations bill as amended by Senate text in S. 1589. 
Once again, I find myself in familiar territory, rising in opposition 
to another appropriations bill that needlessly earmarks the hard-earned 
money of American taxpayers. While the bill in total is $300 million 
below the President's budget request, the transportation title of the 
bill alone contains over $7.5 billion in objectionable funding 
provisions that are either above the President's request for specific 
programs, locality-specific earmarks by appropriators, or both.
  The bill earmarks all intelligent transportation funds ($125 million) 
for 54 specific projects, including an intelligent transportation 
system for the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and a Weather Research 
Institute in North Dakota. The administration did not request any of 
the projects earmarked.
  The bill further would provide $1.3 billion for new fixed guideway 
systems. Under this funding, the bill alters the President's request by 
increasing or decreasing funding for 14 projects with full funding 
grant agreements already in place and earmarks funding for an 
additional 25 projects. The changes in funding levels for projects with 
grants agreements will have a significant impact on those projects, 
causing construction delays and cost overruns. The additional earmarks 
may very well affect the ability of other projects to receive full 
funding grant agreements in the future, because the earmarks are 
outside of the Federal Transit Administration's FTA review process and 
fund projects that are not ready or do not meet FTA's standards.
  The bill provides $18.4 million for the disposal of obsolete vessels 
in the National Defense Reserve Fleet of the Maritime Administration, 
$7 million above the President's request. While there is no question 
that these federally owned obsolete vessels pose serious environmental 
risks to the waters in which they are now moored, I cannot support 
funding above the President's request. The ship disposal program 
developed by the administration has taken into account not only the 
need to expedite disposal of these vessels, but also the limitations of 
the disposal market and other conditions for disposal. I do not believe 
the same can be said for the appropriators.
  Further, the bill as reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee, 
in what I have been told is a drafting error, increases the 
administrative ``take-down'' authorized in the Motor Carrier Safety 
Improvement Act to finance motor carrier safety programs and motor 
carrier safety research from .45 percent to 2.55 percent and decreases 
the administrative ``take-down'' authorized in TEA-21 to administer 
Federal highway programs from 2.65 to 1.05 percent. As I understand it, 
the Committee intended to increase both ``take-downs'' in order to make 
additional funds available for earmarks. Not only is this authorizing 
language in an appropriations bill, such a change was not requested by 
the administration.
  The Senate bill also contains a provision to direct the Secretary of 
Transportation to enter into an agreement with the State of Nevada and 
the State of Arizona or both to provide a method of funding for 
construction of a Hoover Dam bypass bridge from funds allocated for the 
Federal Lands Highway Program. While this clearly is authorizing 
language in an appropriations bill, what is really odd, is the language 
is already law, as it was contained in the Consolidated Appropriations 
Resolution for fiscal year 2003.
  The bill would appropriate over $1.3 billion for Amtrak, $446 million 
above the President's request and nearly $300 million above Amtrak's 
fiscal year 2003 appropriation. Repayment of Amtrak's $105 million loan 
from DOT, made in 2001 to avoid Amtrak's threatened shut-down, would be 
postponed for a second year. The appropriations bill also renews 
conditions on Amtrak's funding adopted last year, conditions I believe 
are the reason Amtrak has a $200 million carry-over from fiscal year 
2003 for next year.
  While I commend David Gunn, Amtrak's president, for his efforts to 
get Amtrak's costs under better control and exposing the costly 
mistakes made by his predecessor, I cannot support an appropriation for 
Amtrak above the President's request without real reform. Mr. Gunn 
refuses to make any changes to Amtrak's routes, many of which lose 
$200, $300, or even $400 for every passenger they carry. And while 
Amtrak is touting record ridership for fiscal year 2003, my colleagues 
need to realize that Amtrak still accounts for less than 1 percent of 
intercity travel. Amtrak's record ridership amounted to an increase of 
276,632 passengers--about 15 percent of daily airline boardings. And 
the harsh reality is that to attract this small number of additional 
riders, Amtrak slashed fares; and through July 2003, revenues were down 
$85 million compared to 2002. If Amtrak thought it would make up price 
cuts with the fares received from additional riders, it 
seriously miscalculated.

  The report that accompanies the bill earmarks $1 million for the city 
of Crowley, LA's Historic Parkerson Avenue Redevelopment project. This 
is in

[[Page S13079]]

addition to $500,000 given to the project 2 years ago. I'm sure that 
Crowley is a lovely community. But there are thousands of small towns 
just like Crowley that are equally deserving of redevelopment. What 
makes Crowley more deserving of a Federal grant than every other small 
town in America?
  The report also contains a provision earmarking $250,000 for a 
towboat display in Oklahoma. A retired towboat will be sandblasted, 
cleaned, painted and refurbished with a classroom area. Do you really 
think taxpayers would want their hard-earned dollars spent on this 
display? Is next year's appropriations bill going to contain funding to 
promote tourism so taxpayers all across America will know that they can 
come see a new towboat display in Oklahoma? While I say that 
sarcastically, one has to wonder how taxpayers are going to know that 
they have paid for and should visit such a display in Oklahoma.
  The report sets an all-time record for the amount of airport specific 
earmarks for the Airport Improvement Program by listing 241 airports. 
In the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003 there were 164, 
in fiscal year 2002 there were 101, and in fiscal year 2001 there were 
158.
  There is also an unauthorized transfer of $100 million from the FAA's 
modernization account to the Airport Improvement Program. This transfer 
of $100 million is then set aside for--surprise, surprise--
discretionary grants that can be used to fund projects at the 241 
airports that are listed. So we are taking money from the program that 
funds air traffic control modernization--such as newer and better 
radars--to fund the 241 airport earmarks.
  The bill appropriates $52 million for the airport and airway trust 
fund for the essential air service program. This is not authorized and 
was not requested by the President. The trust fund was specifically 
established to fund the capital and operating expenses of the Federal 
Aviation Administration, FAA, not to subsidize airline service.
  In addition to the Transportation funding, the bill contains 
appropriations for Treasury and general government. I do want to 
acknowledge that the appropriators seem to have kept parochial spending 
to a minimum in the Treasury and general government appropriations 
titles of the bill. However, I have identified approximately $283 
million in locality-specific earmarks in these titles.
  While the amounts associated with each individual earmark may not 
seem extravagant, taken together, they represent a serious diversion of 
taxpayers' hard-earned dollars at the expense of numerous programs that 
have undergone the appropriate merit-based selection process. It is my 
view that the officials who run these programs should be the ones who 
decide how best to spend the appropriated funds. After all, they know 
what their most pressing needs are.
  For example, the Treasury and general government titles include the 
following earmarks or special treatment: Language urging the IRS to 
make no staffing reductions at the Martinsburg National Computing 
Center and the programmed level at the Administrative Services Center 
in Beckley, WV; $350,000 to continue the Upper Great Plains Native 
American Telehealth Program at the University of North Dakota; $2.025 
million to acquire land in Anchorage, AK, to build a new regional 
archives and records facility for the National Archives and Records 
Administration; $500,000 for the Ruffner Mountain Educational Facility 
in Alabama; $500,000 for the Saenger Theatre Restoration Project in 
Alabama; $500,000 for the State of Alaska to assist in preparation for 
its statehood celebration; and $500,000 for the State of Hawaii to 
assist in preparation for its statehood celebration. There are more 
projects on the list that I have compiled, which will be available on 
my Senate Web site.
  In closing, I am encouraged that the appropriators have begun to curb 
their appetite for earmarking in this bill, however there are still 
hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary earmarks that severely 
restrict the authority granted the agencies charged with carrying out 
the policy goals established by Congress. In addition, there are 
numerous statutory provisions that infringe on the jurisdiction of the 
authorizing committees, and circumvent the authorizing process. Both 
the authorizing committees and appropriations committee must renew 
their commitment to work through the long established legislative 
process of authorizing programs and then appropriating funds 
accordingly. We can and must do better in providing oversight and 
establishing policies that grant the administration the funding and 
flexibility it needs to move our nation forward.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
substitute amendment be adopted and considered original text for the 
purpose of further amendment, with no points of order being waived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 1899) was agreed to.
  Mr. SHELBY. 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. DORGAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 1900

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask 
for its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from North Dakota [Mr. Dorgan], for himself, 
     Mr. Enzi, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Craig, and Mr. Dodd, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1900.

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To prohibit the enforcment of the ban on travel to Cuba)

       On page 155, between lines 21 and 22, insert the following:
       Sec. 643. (a) None of the funds made available in this Act 
     may be used to administer or enforce part 515 of title 31, 
     Code of Federal Regulations (the Cuban Assets Control 
     Regulations) with respect to any travel or travel-related 
     transaction.
       (b) The limitation established in subsection (a) shall not 
     apply to the administration of general or specific licenses 
     for travel or travel-related transactions, shall not apply to 
     section 515.204, 515.206, 515.332, 515.536, 515.544, 515.547, 
     515.560(c)(3), 515.569, 515.571, or 515.803 of such part 515, 
     and shall not apply to transactions in relation to any 
     business travel covered by section 515.560(g) of such part 
     515.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.


                Amendment No. 1901 to Amendment No. 1900

  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I send a second-degree amendment to the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Idaho [Mr. Craig], for himself, Mr. 
     Dorgan, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Baucus, and Mr. Dodd 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1901 to amendment No. 1900.

  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To prohibit the enforcment of the ban on travel to Cuba)

       In the amendment strike all after ``Sec. 643.'' and insert 
     the following:
       (a) None of the funds made available in this Act may be 
     used to administer or enforce part 515 of title 31, Code of 
     Federal Regulations (the Cuban Assets Control Regulations) 
     with respect to any travel or travel-related transaction.
       (b) The limitation established in subsection (a) shall not 
     apply to the administration of general or specific licenses 
     for travel or travel-related transactions, shall not apply to 
     section 515.204, 515.206, 515.332, 515.536, 515.544, 515.547, 
     515.560(c)(3), 515.569, 515.571, or 515.803 of such part 515, 
     and shall not apply to transactions in relation to any 
     business travel covered by section 515.560(g) of such part 
     515.
       (c) This section shall take effect one day after date of 
     enactment.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, my colleague, Senator Craig, on behalf of 
other colleagues, including Senator Enzi from Wyoming--and I will send 
the list to the desk in a few moments--

[[Page S13080]]

has offered an amendment this morning that deals with a recognized 
controversial subject but, nonetheless, a very important subject. It 
deals with the right of the American people to travel freely. It deals 
with the issue of travel to Cuba. I want to describe to you why this 
amendment, which is bipartisan--three Democrats and three Republicans 
are offering this amendment and the second-degree amendment--is 
important and exactly what the amendment does.
  First, what does the amendment do? This amendment is identical to an 
amendment that was passed by the House of Representatives--identical. 
It is the same wording, and the House of Representatives very simply 
said the Office of Foreign Asset Control shall not use funds in this 
bill to enforce the travel ban with respect to Cuba. Let me explain why 
that is important.
  The travel ban with respect to the country of Cuba is unique and 
different than other travel circumstances or restrictions that exist. 
We have over the years indicated that the best approach for dealing 
with Communist countries is engagement.
  We have a great debate in the Congress about how do we deal with 
Communist China. We say: Engage them in trade and travel; engage them; 
engagement is constructive. The same is true with Vietnam, a Communist 
country. Engagement through travel and trade inevitably will lead them 
toward a more open society, democratic reforms, and market systems. So 
we have said engagement is constructive, and engagement with China and 
Vietnam is something that has been a part of the philosophy of this 
Congress and Presidents for some long while now. Frankly, it has been 
constructive. I think it has produced results.
  The different issue here is with respect to Cuba. We have had an 
embargo on Cuba for 40 years, through Republican and Democratic 
Presidents. We slapped an embargo on trade and travel in Cuba. Now we 
have lifted the veil just a bit with respect to trade, and we are able 
to sell some food in the Cuban marketplace, and the Cubans are required 
to pay cash for that food. For the first time in 42 years, we are 
actually selling food in Cuba. Twenty-two train car loads of dried peas 
left North Dakota farms to go to Cuba, paid for with cash. That makes 
sense. It doesn't make sense to have an embargo on food. I never felt 
it made any sense for anybody to slap an embargo on food. Food should 
not be used as a weapon in foreign policy. So we have opened the 
restrictions just a bit.
  The other issue is travel in Cuba. As the Presiding Officer and my 
colleagues know, we have a restriction on travel. We do not allow the 
American people, except by a specific license, to travel in Cuba. 
Currently, American citizens are banned from traveling in Cuba. That is 
different than virtually anywhere else in the world. It just applies to 
Cuba.
  What is the result of that ban? The result is we don't have the kind 
of engagement with Cuba we have with China and with Vietnam, leading 
them toward democratic reforms, undermining their governments, 
undermining the Communist government with the movement and the flow of 
goods and communications and travelers from a great democracy such as 
this country.
  Here is the result of what is now happening with the travel ban. I 
have described this previously. Let me say again, this is a policy that 
cannot be defended. It just does not make any sense.

  This is a woman named Joan Slote. I have mentioned Joan Slote. She is 
a wonderful woman. She is retired, in her midseventies. As you can see 
by the photograph here, Joan Slote is wearing a bicycle helmet. She is 
wearing her bicycling outfit. She is a senior olympian. She bicycles 
around the world. She loves to do it and is apparently very good at it. 
She went bicycling in Cuba. She answered an advertisement by a Canadian 
cycling magazine and joined a group of people to bicycle in Cuba. She 
didn't know it was illegal for an American to travel in Cuba. She 
didn't know our policy to punish Fidel Castro is actually restricting 
the rights of the American citizen. So she went bicycling in Cuba and 
she came back from Cuba and got a letter from the Department of the 
Treasury, an organization called OFAC, Office of Foreign Assets 
Control.
  By the way, that is the organization that is supposed to be tracking 
terrorists. This is the organization that is supposed to be taking 
apart all these streams of money moving back and forth across the world 
to track down terrorists, but they have some people down there at 
Treasury who were, in fact, tracking people such as Joan Slote who rode 
a bicycle in Cuba with a bicycle club.
  So Joan was in Europe, bicycling in Europe, and she got notice that 
her son had brain cancer, had a brain tumor. She rushed back, 
apparently packed very quickly from her apartment, and went down to 
visit with her son, to spend time with her son, who was very ill. Her 
son subsequently died from this brain tumor.
  In the middle of all of this, a letter had shown up at her place, 
although she was gone, saying: You are being fined by the Federal 
Government for traveling in Cuba. You are being fined $7,636. She 
didn't get that letter. It was sent to her but she didn't receive it 
because she was gone.
  Then she got a notice from the Department of the Treasury, Office of 
Foreign Asset Control, the organization that is supposed to be tracking 
terrorists. She got a notice saying, you better pay up or you are in 
big trouble. She has gotten subsequent notices from a collection 
agency. She has gotten notices that they are going to attach her Social 
Security check and garnish her Social Security payments.
  In fact, interestingly enough, she finally settled for a $1,900 fine. 
That is after I shamed OFAC, saying, How dare you go after these old 
ladies? She settled for $1,900.
  After she sent them the check, a month and a half after she sent them 
the check, she got a letter from them saying they were going to attach 
her Social Security payments because they had no record of her payment. 
They couldn't even keep that straight.
  The point is this: She represents a lot of people. She represents 
people from this country who have traveled in Cuba, not knowing it was 
illegal to do so. We have had the Office of Foreign Assets Control down 
at Treasury busy with their green eyeshades trying to track down 
persons who travel in Cuba to see if they can slap them around with a 
fine.
  Kevin Allen, from Washington State, his dad had been a minister in 
Cuba who moved to this country and died and he asked that his ashes be 
deposited on the grounds of the church where he ministered in Cuba. So 
Kevin Allen left Washington State with his deceased father's ashes to 
take them to Cuba. He was a Pentecostal minister in prerevolutionary 
Cuba.

  OFAC decided they should fine this fellow $20,000 for taking his 
deceased father's ashes to be buried on the grounds of his former 
church.
  Marilyn Meister is a 72-year-old Wisconsin retired schoolteacher. She 
took a trip to Cuba. She took it with some Canadians. She said it was 
wonderful until she encountered a customs agent on the way home. She 
said he ``flew into a rage . . . and made me feel like a horrible 
criminal'' when he found out I had been in Cuba. They tried to fine her 
$7,500.
  Donna Schutz, a 64-year-old retired social worker from Chicago, went 
to Cuba with a group from Toronto--a $7,650 fine from the Department of 
the Treasury.
  I mentioned Joan Slote's case.
  One of the more interesting cases for me is Tom Warner, a 77-year-old 
World War II veteran. He posted on his Web site the schedule for the 
February 2002 conference, the United States-Cuba Sister Cities 
Association in Havana. OFAC accused this 77-year-old World War II 
veteran of ``organizing, arranging, promoting and otherwise 
facilitating the attendance of persons at the conference'' without a 
license. This veteran never even went to Cuba. He didn't attend the 
conference. The conference, incidentally, was licensed by OFAC but he 
didn't go. All he did was give the information on his Web site.
  He was given 20 days to tell OFAC everything he knew about the 
conference and the organizations that participated in it and now he has 
to hire a lawyer.
  Aside from this, what are they doing down in Treasury? We have 
organizations such as the American Farm Bureau. They want to sell 
agricultural products into Cuba because it is now legal, in a very 
narrow way, to do that.

[[Page S13081]]

It is legal because we in the Senate made it legal. We passed 
legislation that made it legal to sell agricultural products into Cuba.
  Last year they had an expo with farm groups going to Cuba. The result 
has been very beneficial and very positive for American farmers and 
ranchers.
  This year they applied for a license to do the same thing, to go down 
to promote agricultural products grown in this country and raised in 
this country to be sold in Cuba. They are now denied a license to go to 
Cuba to promote those products.
  There has been a new crackdown now on all of this just in the last 
couple of weeks. This is the Web site for the Department of Homeland 
Security. They have been asked by the President to crack down on this. 
They are going to use Department of Homeland Security intelligence and 
investigative resources. They are going to use Homeland Security 
intelligence and investigative resources to go track down people who 
travel to Cuba.
  Look, we are trying desperately to prevent another terrorist act from 
occurring in this country. God forbid it should happen. We want to find 
those who are planning terrorist acts against this country and stop 
them. That is what homeland security is.
  Mr. President, 5.6 million containers come into this country every 
year on container ships. Just 5 or 6 percent of them are now inspected; 
95 percent are not. We have so much to do in homeland security. All of 
a sudden, now, the new mission on the Web site at Homeland Security is 
going to use intelligence and investigative resources to identify 
travelers or businesses engaged in activities in Cuba.

  There is an amendment that has passed the House on exactly the same 
appropriations bill. This amendment is a reasonable approach to deal 
with this in the interim. It prohibits the use of funds by OFAC to 
enforce this travel ban with respect to this travel in Cuba. It will 
avert these problems. It will allow the Department of Homeland Security 
to use the scarce resources it has to focus on protecting and securing 
our homeland.
  I hope my colleagues will agree with me that it is productive and 
constructive to allow our farmers to promote agricultural goods in 
Cuba. It is not constructive at all to decide to try to slap around 
Fidel Castro by imposing limits on the right of American people to 
travel.
  I have no brief to offer, no positive brief, certainly, for the 
Castro regime in Cuba. The quicker it is gone the better. The quicker 
we bring Democratic reforms to Cuba the better.
  I have been to Cuba. I have met with the dissidents in Cuba. Those 
dissidents, in almost all cases, say they believe there would be a 
hastening of the day when there are Democratic reforms in Cuba and a 
new government in Cuba, through trade and travel and engagement--just 
as our policies exist with respect to China, Vietnam, and other similar 
countries. I hope one day we will have a policy of that type.
  The Senators who have joined me are Senator Craig, Senator Enzi, 
Senator Baucus, Senator Hagel, and Senator Dodd--and let me also ask 
unanimous consent to have Senator Bingaman to be added as a cosponsor 
of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DORGAN. Let me again point out I offered a first-degree 
amendment. My colleague, Senator Craig, has offered a second-degree 
amendment.
  I now yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I stand here as cosponsor of the first-
degree amendment and offered the second-degree amendment to modify it 
slightly. But I certainly join with my colleague from North Dakota on 
this issue, as do many of our colleagues, in recognizing the critical 
need for change in our current policy. I, along with other Senators, 
including Senator Dorgan, have for about 4 years here in the Senate 
Chamber worked to change our trade relationship with Cuba, a trade 
relationship that is now bringing literally hundreds of millions of new 
dollars a year to our shores from Cuba for agricultural foodstuffs 
trade and medical supplies, all of it done largely in cash, and 
certainly no credit from the United States taxpayer because it is not 
allowed.
  What we are offering today is a very clean amendment, which passed in 
the House, to significantly disallow OFAC, which is the Office on 
Foreign Assets Control, from utilizing resources for the purpose of 
enforcement of the Cuba travel ban.
  What I think is important this morning is for my colleagues to 
understand what the mission of OFAC is. The Office of Foreign Assets 
Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces 
economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national 
security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, 
international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities 
related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers as 
well as authority granted by specific legislation to impose controls on 
transactions and freezes foreign assets under U.S. jurisdiction. Many 
of the transactions are based on United Nations resolutions or United 
Nations or other international mandates which are multilateral in scope 
and involve close cooperation with allied governments. That is a very 
substantial mission during a very critical time in our country when we 
are seeking out not only on our shores but other shores around the 
world terrorists and those who traffic in narcotics.
  Yet 10 percent of OFAC's budget is used to track down little old 
grandmas from the west coast who, through a Canadian travel agency, 
choose to bike in Cuba. Ten percent of their budget is on United States 
citizens who seek to travel in Cuba--probably 99.999 percent of them 
for recreational and vacation purposes only.
  You talk about the wise expenditure of money. You talk about the 
appropriate allocation of public resources for the purpose of tracking 
down terrorists and narcotics traffickers. OFAC, get your mission 
straight. What are you doing? Why are you spending all of your money, 
or at least 10 percent of your money in that category? We suggest it is 
not a wise expenditure of money. And the amendment would disallow them 
spending their money for these purposes.
  My colleague has talked about the reality we face with the island of 
Cuba off our shores. For over 40 years, the United States Government 
has placed an embargo on Cuba and prohibited Americans from traveling 
to the island. For about 35 of those years, I supported them 
aggressively and openly--at least in my years here in Congress--up 
until a few years ago when it was obvious that the embargo wasn't 
working anymore, or that it was working very poorly, or that it was 
penalizing our producers from access to an available cash market. I am 
talking about agricultural goods and medical supplies. I began to work 
to change that. That policy did change, and now in a very smooth way 
there is work and there are negotiations with Cuba on those issues.

  I am from Idaho. Ernest Hemingway once made his home in Idaho as well 
as in Cuba. Ernest Hemingway died in Idaho. His legacy remains there. 
Our State is very proud of this citizen and his great literary legacy. 
Yet when professors from the University of Idaho chose to go Cuba for 
an exchange, to find out more about Ernest Hemingway and his works, 
OFAC said: No; well, maybe; well, possibly. Finally, after we 
intervened, they said OK. Upstanding citizens of the State of Idaho and 
professors at the university were denied the right to go there, to the 
home of Ernest Hemingway where many of his works still remain. In fact, 
I understand the home has been preserved and is kind of a time capsule 
of Ernest Hemingway and his work because when he left Cuba and came 
back to the States and began to reside in Ketchum, ID, he literally 
packed a bag and walked away, and much is still there, including a 
notebook lying open on his desk with a pen and some of his personal 
handwritings visible in the notebook. The Cuban Government didn't touch 
it; they left it alone.
  None of us agrees with Fidel Castro. That is really not the issue 
here. The issue is, Is our policy working or are we suggesting that 
OFAC is not spending its money at a critical time in our Nation's 
history for the purpose of tracking down terrorism or for the purpose 
of the interdiction of narcotics traffickers?

[[Page S13082]]

  In 40 years, you want to assess policy. We live in a dynamic world 
and times change. It is now time, in my opinion, to assess that policy 
with Cuba. I have worked very closely with Cuban Americans in this 
country. We have made sure that we have worked with them to get it 
right when it comes to agricultural foodstuffs and medical supplies. We 
have worked closely with them on this issue. The Cuban community is 
split. I don't disagree with their feelings and concerns as they relate 
to the issue of travel to Cuba. But many Cuban Americans who are United 
States citizens now want to go to Cuba to visit and see what their 
homeland was once like because Cuba itself, I am told, is a time 
capsule of the 1950s. Much of the Cuban attitude and certainly their 
fiscal policies have stopped that country from growing and expanding.
  Exchange, opening the door, turning on the lights, and allowing our 
citizens the opportunity to travel there is the right way to change a 
country.
  Historically, even during the coldest times of the cold war and 
except in the rarest of circumstances did we deny or totally embargo 
the ability of U.S. citizens to travel to Communist countries because 
we believed it critical that we engage and stay engaged and continue 
dialog. If Ronald Reagan were able to be involved in this debate today, 
my guess is that he might suggest it was that dialog and that openness 
and that recognition on the part of the Soviet Union that they could no 
longer continue in the direction they were going because we were simply 
overpowering them both militarily and economically, and the Soviet 
Union crumbled. The Wall came tumbling down, and the rest is history. 
Most of us on this floor have had the wonderful opportunity to witness 
that history. It was not isolation, it was engagement that changed and 
wrote that history.
  I am suggesting that this simple move--this very clear move to allow 
travel--to disallow our Government's aggressive enforcement and to 
disallow this agency's spending of 10 percent of their resources for 
this purpose is a step in that direction.
  I hope our colleagues will join the Senator from North Dakota, 
myself, others--and the Presiding Officer is a cosponsor--in this vote 
and that we begin to work with the administration to change that 
relationship as it relates to engagement with the Cuban Government and 
with the island of Cuba and, most importantly, its citizens.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I strongly support the amendment that 
would suspend the absurd restrictions against travel by United States 
citizens in Cuba. When you stop and think about it, why should the U.S. 
Government restrict the freedom of U.S. citizens to 
travel? Particularly we should end the restriction on travel to Cuba.

  Over 25 colleagues of mine have cosponsored legislation that says we 
should end the travel ban, something I very much agree with. When we 
have the vote, not too far from now, it is my expectation and certainly 
my hope the majority of my colleagues will agree it does not make sense 
for the U.S. Government to restrict the travel of United States 
citizens to Cuba.
  Why do I say that? First, it limits one of our basic freedoms, the 
freedom of United States citizens to travel. How ironic it is that 
democracy in the United States of America, which purports to be a 
country that encourages democracy around the world, basically restricts 
American liberties. Why restrict American liberties in order to 
encourage democracies in other countries?
  The administration's restriction of United States citizens' travel to 
Cuba affects our ability to fight the war on terrorism. Why do I say 
that? Because the Treasury Department must waste scarce and valuable 
resources to enforce these travel restrictions. It is maddening to me 
the administration is trying to administer resources for that effort 
instead of fighting terrorism, which is much more pernicious and where 
we must spend much more.
  Another reason it makes no sense to restrict United States citizens' 
travel to Cuba is it makes it harder for Americans to establish 
business relationships, to sell products to Cuba, to get to know the 
Cuban people and put deals together. People in other countries can 
travel to Cuba--the French, Germans, Canadians. Their governments say 
sure, great, we want our citizens to travel to Cuba. But we are 
preventing our American farmers, our ranchers, our American citizens 
from selling products to Cuba and getting to know the Cuban people. It 
makes no sense. I believe we should lift the travel restrictions. It 
would increase sales of American products to Cuba, increase contact 
with Cuba, increase the ability of American citizens to develop 
relationships with people in Cuba which inure to the benefit certainly 
of the United States and to the Cuban people.
  I also add parenthetically that earlier this year the Treasury 
Department, under the guidance of the State Department, went an extra 
step in pursuing their wrongheaded approach in restricting travel of 
United States citizens to Cuba by refusing to allow a license for a 
second United States agribusiness expedition in Cuba. The first 
expedition was very successful, resulting in $92 million in sales. That 
is $92 million of agriculture sales forfeited because our own 
Government would not allow United States citizens to travel as farmers 
and ranchers and businessmen particularly to organize the expedition.
  Worst of all, restricting American citizens from going to Cuba also 
hurts Cubans. The travel ban shelters the Castro regime and protects 
them from American influence, limiting the opportunity for Cubans to 
interact with Americans. The infamous arrests of 75 dissidents last 
spring is a case in point. They were arrested because they got, 
allegedly, too close to Americans. In other words, the arrests indicate 
the Cuban Government fears increasing contacts between dissidents and 
American citizens. More evidence and more contact between Americans and 
Cuban citizens will help encourage democracy.
  Our country has fallen into the mistaken belief that we should have 
carrots and sticks with Cuba; that is, reward Cuba for doing good 
things and punish Cuba for doing bad things. That gives Cuba veto power 
over United States foreign policy with respect to Cuba and puts the 
policy in the hands of Castro and lets him decide what we Americans do 
or do not do, lets him decide whether we can allow American citizens to 
travel to Cuba. It makes no sense whatever. Yet that is a policy this 
administration encourages.

  The long and short of this is--and I am repeating arguments others 
are making--coolly and calmly stand back and ask what is right, what 
makes sense. Should the U.S. Government prevent American citizens from 
traveling to Cuba? What will be accomplished by maintaining that 
restriction? What is to be accomplished if we let American citizens 
travel? One thing we certainly know, over the last 40 years restricting 
the travel of American citizens to Cuba and the embargo we have against 
trade in Cuba has not worked. It has not changed the Castro regime. 
Fidel Castro is still president. It has not worked.
  If something has not worked, why not try something else, try 
something that seems logical? What seems logical is to engage Cubans. 
Cuba is a country. The United States is a country. Cuba is not a threat 
to the United States of America. Certainly Fidel Castro is in many 
respects not anybody we look up to particularly when he has such a 
repressionist regime, but it makes sense to engage Cuba. That will 
probably accelerate the changes in Cuba if we want; that is, the 
changes toward a more democratic system.
  I have traveled to Cuba a couple of times. I was there recently with 
good Montanans, farmers and ranchers. I was struck with the poverty 
that exists in Cuba. The Castro dictatorship has decimated the Cuban 
economy, which is all the more reason why if we were to let Americans 
visit Cuba certainly with respect to food and agricultural products and 
trade with Cuba, that would help the Cuban people as well as give the 
United States farmers and ranchers another business opportunity.
  It is time for a change. I understand the politics of this issue. We 
all know the politics. We also know politics are probably wrong. The 
reasons why the U.S. Government still has this travel ban are for 
political reasons that are not right. It is an opportunity for the 
United States and Congress to go on

[[Page S13083]]

the right course, the right direction, and put those political 
considerations aside and not be held hostage by the political interests 
but, rather, allow American citizens to travel to Cuba.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Craig). The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I am fortunate in that I represent the least 
populous State in the United States; the advantage allows me the 
opportunity to meet almost everybody in the State. It has given me an 
opportunity to talk to the entire Cuban community in my State. As a 
result, since I first got here, I have been working to try and make a 
difference in our Cuban policy.
  The first difficulty I knew of this policy concerned a constituent 
who had been visiting his family in Cuba on the one trip allowed per 
year. While he and his family were on the plane returning to the 
States, his father died in Cuba. He was not allowed to go back for 
another year.
  Now, we have made some changes and I hope we can keep making 
incremental changes. That is all we are talking about--small, 
incremental changes, ones that make some common sense.
  I am appalled at how Cubans are being treated by their government. We 
have seen this kind of treatment in other countries at other times. It 
brings to mind some of the escapes we saw from East Germany before the 
wall came down.
  I just finished reading a book called ``The Secret Empire'' by Mr. 
Taubman. It goes into how Eisenhower established the CIA, had the U2 
program and then the satellite program. It brings back a lot of 
memories of events that happened during our life, part of which is 
Cuba, with the Cuban missile crisis and some of the other events that 
happened after that.
  We have had a policy in place now for 40 years. For 40 years we have 
said: Sanctions. And for 40 years it has not worked.
  When I was growing up, my dad often said, ``If you keep on doing what 
you have already been doing, you will wind up with what you already 
got.'' That is kind of where we are on the Cuban situation. We keep on 
doing what we have always been doing and we wind up with exactly what 
we have always had.
  Fidel Castro is not interested in helping the side I am working on. 
He does not really want United States participation there. He keeps 
throwing out little roadblocks to keep it from happening. Fidel Castro 
does not like the amendments we have offered even though he may appear 
sometimes to be on that same side.
  For instance, with visas, he is now offering open visas. Of course, 
he knows we are not going to give visas, so that really does not allow 
any people into the country.
  He keeps violating human rights. All of that is to keep his people in 
contact with a free democracy, the United States, to keep our people 
from talking to the people in Cuba.
  The people in Cuba can already get everything they need. They get it 
from other countries. Unilateral actions have not worked. That is what 
we are talking about here, a unilateral action: The United States, 
standing by itself, saying, Don't do anything with Cuba. Meanwhile, all 
the other countries provide everything that is needed there. They are 
about to learn something about providing it on credit, which we are not 
doing. We are requiring cash on the few inroads we have made.
  But we keep going in the wrong direction. The Transportation bill 
funds an organization that takes it in that wrong direction. We have 
had people-to-people trips to Cuba. There is a fellow in Wyoming who 
had conducted some of these people-to-people trips to Cuba. The word 
is, they are limited on where they can stay and who they can talk to, 
so they are getting a very biased view.
  I visited with him. I asked: How limited are you? He said: We aren't 
limited; we cannot stay in the homes of individuals, but there is some 
selection on hotels. What we do during the daytime we have freedom to 
do. The only freedom we are lacking is that people are afraid to talk 
to us because of the regime. That does add a degree of difficulty.
  I thank Senator Lugar, the chairman of the Foreign Relations 
Committee, for holding a hearing on the Cuba situation. That is another 
one of those firsts that is allowing us to make a little bit of 
progress. I think incrementally we will keep making progress.
  The amendment before us is just incremental progress. It is not a 
drastic change in policy. It is something the House has already 
approved. I hope my colleagues will join us in approving the second-
degree amendment and the amendment.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I support the amendment offered by my 
friend from North Dakota.
  I am a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation that was introduced 
earlier this year that would allow travel between the United States and 
Cuba.
  Current policy with regard to Cuba, as enforced by the Treasury 
Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, permits travel to Cuba 
only with permission in the form of a license from the Treasury office 
for certain reasons such as to visits relatives, or for journalism, 
religious, or humanitarian purposes.
  According to Treasury documents, between 1996 and 2003, about one-
third of Cuba travel cases opened for investigation were referred for 
civil penalty enforcement action. Typical penalty assessments for 
unauthorized travel range from $3,000 to $7,500.
  For 40 years, the United States has maintained an isolationist 
position toward Cuba, and the current regime has remained throughout 
that time. I believe that permitting travel to Cuba would help 
demonstrate to Cuban citizens what a democracy is all about.
  Mr. President, it is time to lift the travel restrictions to Cuba.
  I urge the adoption of this amendment.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I commend my friend from North Dakota and 
my friend from Idaho for their amendments to prohibit the Treasury 
Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control from wasting taxpayer 
funds to enforce the ban on travel by American citizens to Cuba.
  Today, any American who wants to travel to Iran, North Korea, Syria, 
Vietnam, to just about anywhere, can do so as long as that country 
gives them a visa. As far as the U.S. Government is concerned, 
Americans can visit any of those countries.
  Cuba, on the other hand, a country that poses about as much threat to 
the United States as a flea does to a buffalo, is off limits.
  Of all the ridiculous, anachronistic, and self-defeating policies, 
this has got to be near the top of the list. OFAC is spending scarce 
funds to prosecute harmless, law-abiding, upstanding American citizens 
who want nothing more than to experience another culture, and in doing 
so, leave a bit of America behind.
  For 40 years, administration after administration, and Congress after 
Congress, has stuck by this failed policy. Yet Fidel Castro is as 
firmly in control today as he was half a century ago.
  The Dorgan and Craig amendments would inject some sense into our 
policy toward Cuba, and they would protect one of the most fundamental 
rights that most Americans take for granted--the right to travel 
freely.
  A few years ago, I traveled to Cuba with Senator Jack Reed. We were 
able to go there because we are Members of Congress.
  I came face to face with the absurdity of the current policy because 
I wanted my wife Marcelle to accompany me. A few days before we were to 
leave, I got a call from the State Department saying that they were not 
sure they could approve her travel to Cuba.
  I cannot speak for other Senators, but I suspect that like me, they 
would not react too kindly to a policy that gives the Government the 
authority to prevent their wife, or other members of their family, from 
traveling with them to a country with which we are not at war and 
which, according to the Defense Department and the vast majority of the 
American public, poses no threat to our security.
  I wonder how many Senators realize that if they wanted to take a 
family member with them to Cuba, they would probably be prohibited from 
doing so.
  Over a decade has passed since the collapse of the former Soviet 
Union. The Russians long ago cut their $3 billion subsidy to Cuba. We 
now give millions of dollars in aid to Russia.

[[Page S13084]]

  Americans can travel to North Korea. There are no restrictions on the 
right of Americans to travel there. Which country poses a greater 
threat to the United States? The answer is obvious.
  Americans can travel to Iran, and they can spend money there. The 
same goes for Syria.
  Our policy is hypocritical, inconsistent, and contrary to our values 
as a nation that believes in the free flow of people and ideas. It is 
beneath us. It is impossible for anyone to make a rationale argument 
that an American should be able to travel freely to North Korea, or 
Iran, but not to Cuba. It can't be done.
  We have been stuck with this misguided policy for years, even though 
virtually everyone knows, and says privately, that it makes absolutely 
no sense and is beneath the dignity of a great country.
  It not only helps strengthen Fidel Castro's grip on Cuba, it hands a 
huge advantage to our European competitors who are building 
relationships and establishing future investments in a post-Castro 
Cuba.
  When that will happen is anybody's guess. President Castro is no 
democrat, and he is not going to become one. Human rights are 
systematically denied in Cuba. That is beyond dispute. But it is time 
we pursued a policy that is in our national interest, that helps pave 
the way for the day when Castro is gone, and which stops punishing 
American citizens.
  Those who want to prevent Americans from traveling to Cuba, who 
oppose this bill, will argue that spending U.S. dollars there helps 
prop up the Castro government.
  To some extent that is true. The same can be said of spending dollars 
in Sudan, Syria, or any country. The Cuban Government does control the 
formal economy. It also runs schools and hospitals, maintains roads, 
and, like the U.S. Government, is responsible for a whole range of 
social services. Any money that goes into the Cuban economy also 
supports those programs, which benefit ordinary Cubans.
  There is also an informal economy in Cuba, because few Cubans can 
survive on their meager salaries. So the income from tourism also fuels 
that informal sector, and it goes into the pockets of ordinary Cubans.
  As much as we want to see a democratic Cuba, President Castro's grip 
on power is not going to be weakened by keeping Americans from 
traveling to Cuba. History has proven that.
  Let's inject some maturity into our relations with Cuba. Let's have a 
little more faith in the power of our ideas. Let's have the courage to 
admit that the cold war is over. Let's get the Government out of the 
business of telling our wives, our children, and our constituents where 
they can travel and spend their own money in a country that poses no 
threat to us.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I strongly support the amendment of my 
colleague from North Dakota, Senator Dorgan, and I ask unanimous 
consent to be listed as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Senator Dorgan's amendment prohibits the implementation 
of travel restrictions on Americans who wish to visit Cuba.
  We all agree on the goal of peaceful change toward democracy and a 
free market economy in Cuba. I'd like to ask my colleagues how 
restricting the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba advances that 
goal?
  My mother was an immigrant from Lithuania, and as a Member of 
Congress I traveled to Lithuania when it was still under Communist 
domination. The Communist government kept me out for days, but 
eventually even they let me into the country.
  During the cold war, Americans were able to travel to Soviet bloc 
countries, and if they were kept out, it was by the Communists, not by 
their own Government.
  I believe that interaction between Americans and ordinary Cubans can 
only advance change in Cuba.
  The more Americans go to Cuba, the more ordinary Cubans will interact 
with them. I believe Castro has more to fear from American tourists 
transmitting American ideas to Cubans than from our sanctions regime. 
An army of tourists could be the most effective force for change we 
could muster.
  In fact, our sanctions policy has done more to motivate ordinary 
Cubans to rally around their leader than it has to weaken the Castro 
regime. Restricting the rights of Americans to travel to Cuba undercuts 
our shared goal of bringing change to Cuba.
  I support Senator Dorgan's amendment and urge my colleagues to 
support it as well.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I am proud to be a cosponsor of the 
amendment to lift restrictions on travel to Cuba. I and many of my 
colleagues have been trying for the last five years to restore American 
citizens' right to travel where they choose, including to the island of 
Cuba, if that is their desire.
  The broad cross-section of bipartisan cosponsors of this amendment 
are in agreement that the time has come to lift the very archaic, 
counterproductive, and ill-conceived ban on Americans traveling to 
Cuba. Not only does this ban hinder rather than help our effort to 
spread democracy, it unnecessarily abridges the rights of ordinary 
Americans. The United States was founded on the principles of liberty 
and freedom. Yet when it comes to Cuba, our Government abridges these 
rights with no greater rationale than political and rhetorical gain.
  Cuba lies just 90 miles from America's shore. Yet those 90 miles of 
water might as well be an entire ocean. We have made a land ripe for 
American influence, forbidden territory. Look, there is no doubt in my 
mind that Fidel Castro does not want the light of freedom shone on his 
island. He is a dictator and wants nothing more than to keep his people 
in the darkness. Sadly, U.S. policy has helped make his worker easier. 
We have enabled the Cuban regime to be a closed system, with the Cuban 
people having little contact with their closest neighbors.
  Surely we do not ban travel to Cuba out of concern for the safety of 
Americans who might visit that island nation. Today Americans are free 
to travel to Iran, Sudan, Burma, Syria, and even to North Korea--but 
not to Cuba. You can fly to North Korea; you can fly to Iran; you can 
travel freely. It seems to me if you can go to those countries, you 
ought not be denied the right to go to Cuba. If the Cubans want to stop 
Americans from visiting that country, that ought to be their business. 
But to say to an American citizen that you can travel to Iran, where 
they held American hostages for months on end, to North Korea, which 
has declared us to be an enemy of theirs completely, but that you 
cannot travel 90 miles off our shore to Cuba, is a mistake.
  To this day, some Iranian politicians believe the United States to be 
``the Great Satan.'' We hear it all the time. A little more than two 
decades ago, Iran occupied our embassy and took innocent American 
diplomats hostage. To this day, protesters in Tehran burn the American 
flag with the encouragement of some officials in that government. Those 
few Americans who venture into such inhospitable surroundings often 
find themselves pelted by rocks and accosted by the public.
  Similarly, we do not ban travel to Sudan, a nation we attacked with 
cruise missiles a few short years ago, for its alleged support of 
terrorism; to Burma, a nation with one of the most oppressive regimes 
in the world today; to North Korea, whose soldiers have peered at 
American servicemen through gun sights for decades; or Syria, which has 
one of the most egregious human rights records and is one of the 
foremost sponsors of terrorism.
  I totally agree with my colleagues that it borders on negligence when 
10 percent of the Treasury's Office on Foreign Assets Control budget is 
devoted to tracking down and punishing grandmothers and grandfathers 
because they have visited Cuba. Don't we have more important programs 
to spend resources on? How about tracking down the financial resources 
that continue to support terrorist groups like al-Qaida? We know that 
activities of that organization and others like it are a direct threat 
to U.S. national security. We know that more government resources are 
need to ensure that events like September 11, 2001 never again are 
repeated against our citizens. Chasing down bikers who have visited 
Cuba is doing nothing to ensure our citizens are protected against 
terrorist attacks.
  It is time to get our priorities straight and end the inconsistency

[[Page S13085]]

with respect to U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. We ban travel to 
Cuba, a nation which is neither at war with the United States nor a 
sponsor of international terrorist activities.
  Why do we ban travel? Ostensibly so that we can pressure Cuban 
authorities into making the transition to a democratic form of 
government.
  I fail to see how isolating the Cuban people from democratic values 
and ideals will foster the transition to democracy in that country. I 
fail to see how isolating the Cuban people from democratic values and 
from the influence of Americans when they go to that country to help 
bring about the change we all seek, serves our own interests.
  The Cuban people are not currently permitted the freedom to travel 
enjoyed by many peoples around the world. However, because Fidel Castro 
does not permit Cubans to leave Cuba and come to this country is not 
justification for adopting a similar principle in this country that 
says Americans cannot travel freely. We have the Bill of Rights. We 
need to treasure and respect the fundamental rights that we embrace as 
American citizens. Travel is one of them. If other countries want to 
prohibit us from going there, then that is their business. But for us 
to say that citizens of Connecticut or Alabama cannot go where they 
like is not the kind of restraint we ought to put on people.
  If Americans can travel to North Korea, to the Sudan, to Iran, then I 
do not understand the justification for saying that they cannot travel 
to Cuba.
  I happen to believe that by allowing Americans to travel to Cuba, we 
can begin to change the political climate and bring about the changes 
we all seek in that country.
  Today, every single country in the Western Hemisphere is a democracy, 
with one exception: Cuba. American influence through person-to-person 
and cultural exchanges was a prime factor in this evolution from a 
hemisphere ruled predominantly by authoritarian or military regimes to 
one where democracy is the rule. Our current policy toward Cuba blocks 
these exchanges and prevents the United States from using our most 
potent weapon in our effort to combat totalitarian regimes, and that is 
our own people. They are the best ambassadors we have. Most 
totalitarian regimes bar Americans from coming into their countries for 
the very reasons I just mentioned. They are afraid the gospel of 
freedom will motivate their citizens to overthrow dictators, as they 
have done in dozens of nations over the last half century. Isn't it 
ironic that when it comes to Cuba we do the dictator's bidding for him 
in a sense? Cuba does not have to worry about America spreading 
democracy. Our own Government stops us from doing so.
  Let me review for my colleagues who may travel to Cuba under current 
government regulations and under what circumstances.
  The following categories of people may travel to Cuba without 
applying to the Treasury Department for a specific license to travel. 
They are deemed to be authorized to travel under so-called general 
license: Government officials, regularly employed journalists, 
professional researchers who are ``full time professionals who travel 
to Cuba to conduct professional research in their professional areas,'' 
Cuban Americans who have relatives in Cuba who are ill--but only once a 
year.
  There are other categories of individuals who theoretically are 
eligible to travel to Cuba as well, but they must apply for a license 
from the Department of the Treasury and prove they fit a category in 
which travel to Cuba is permissible. What are these categories? The 
first is so called freelance journalists, provided they can prove they 
are journalists; they must also submit their itinerary for the proposed 
research. The second is Cuban Americans who are unfortunate enough to 
have more than one humanitarian emergency in a 12-month period and 
therefore cannot travel under a general license. The third is students 
and faculty from U.S. academic institutions that are accredited by an 
appropriate national or regional educational accrediting association 
who are participating in a ``structural education program.'' The fourth 
is members of U.S. religious organizations.
  The fifth is individuals participating in public performances, 
clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and exhibitions. If 
that isn't complicated enough--just because you think you may fall into 
one of the above enumerated categories does not necessarily mean you 
will actually be licensed by the U.S. Government to travel to Cuba.
  Under current regulations, who decides whether a researcher's work is 
legitimate? Who decides whether a freelance journalist is really 
conducting journalistic activities? Who decides whether or not a 
professor or student is participating in a ``structured educational 
program''?
  Who decides whether a religious person is really going to conduct 
religious activities? Government bureaucrats are making those decisions 
about what I believe should be personal rights of American citizens.
  It is truly unsettling, to put it mildly, when you think about it, 
and probably unconstitutional at its core. It is a real intrusion on 
the fundamental rights of American citizens. It also says something 
about what we as a government think about our own people.
  Do we really believe that a journalist, a government official, a 
Senator, a Congressman, a baseball player, a ballerina, a college 
professor or minister is somehow superior to other citizens who do not 
fall into those categories; that only these categories of people are 
``good examples'' for the Cuban people to observe in order to 
understand American values?
  I do not think so. I find such a notion insulting. There is no better 
way to communicate America's values and ideals than by unleashing 
average American men and women to demonstrate by daily living what our 
great country stands for and the contrasts between what we stand for 
and what exists in Cuba today.
  I do not believe there was ever a sensible rationale for restricting 
Americans' right to travel to Cuba. With the collapse of the Soviet 
Union and an end to the cold war, I do not think any excuse remains 
today to ban this kind of travel. This argument that dollars and 
tourism will be used to prop up the regime is specious. The regime 
seems to have survived more than 40 years despite the Draconian U.S. 
embargo during that entire period. The notion that allowing Americans 
to spend a few dollars in Cuba is somehow going to give major aid and 
comfort to the Cuban regime is without basis, in my view.
  Political rhetoric is not sufficient reason to abridge the freedoms 
of American citizens.
  Nor is it sufficient reason to stand by a law which counteracts one 
of the basic premises of American foreign policy; namely, the spread of 
democracy. The time has come to allow Americans--average Americans--to 
travel freely to Cuba.
  I urge my colleagues to support the pending amendment and restore 
American citizens' rights to travel wherever they choose, including to 
the island of Cuba.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the amendment 
introduced by Senators Dorgan and Craig that will suspend enforcement 
of the travel ban on Cuba.
  As many of my colleagues know, in March of this year the Office of 
Foreign Assets Control at the Department of Treasury published new 
regulations that would severely restrict licensed travel by United 
States citizens to Cuba for educational activities. I think I would not 
be incorrect to call this regulatory change another backward step in a 
Cuba policy that has proven to be wrongheaded and counterproductive. We 
have in place at this time a trade, investment, and travel ban with 
Cuba that has been in place since the early 1960s that has had no 
tangible effect on the policies that have been implemented in that 
country. We now have proposed by the Department of Treasury a further 
tightening of these restrictions with no logical policy justification 
of which I am aware. We are talking about continuing the exact same 
policy with Cuba that has been in place for over 40 years and then 
wondering why we have the exact same results--year after year after 
year. I am afraid it makes no sense to me.
  As a response, Senators Baucus and Enzi introduced legislation--of 
which I was an original cosponsor, S. 950--that was specifically 
designed to reverse this travel ban. The Dorgan-Craig

[[Page S13086]]

amendment is a shortened version of this legislation. Having recently 
passed in the House, I believe it reflects a visible trend on both 
sides of the aisle in both the Senate and the House toward a very 
simply proposition: the ongoing embargo with Cuba represents a 
significant foreign policy failure on the part of the U.S. Government 
in that it has only solidified the position of Castro and perpetuated 
the power of his brutal regime. What we have seen is a vicious circle 
where our unwillingness to engage Cuba has led to an inability on our 
part to influence the direction and speed of that country's political 
and economic development. Given the prominent issues in the country and 
the potential trajectories a post-Castro Cuba might take, this is not 
an exercise in theory. There are very real costs for the United States, 
in both the region and the world, if we do not work constructively and 
purposively toward a transition to a peaceful, democratic society and a 
free market economy in Cuba.
  No one in Congress approves of the policies or the politics used by 
Castro. I personally deplore the regime's repressive tactics and 
support the movement in the country that has attempted to increase 
political participation. As it stands now, the lack of freedom and 
opportunity in Cuba stands in direct contrast to the rest of Latin 
America, and is a very real reflection of the inability of Castro to be 
in touch with the needs and desires of his people. Cuba now stands 
practically alone in Latin America in its ability to nurture the growth 
of democracy, establish the protection of individual human rights, and 
create a semblance of economic security.
  But this is a question of how best to achieve the goals we all want. 
I am of the view that more, not less engagement will get us where we 
want to go. I am of the view that our strongest lever and possibility 
for change comes from intensive and ongoing interaction with the Cuban 
people. This amendment is a small but important step in that direction. 
I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I am in opposition to the Dorgan amendment 
to lift the Cuba travel ban.
  Mr. President, a few months ago, Fidel Castro saw his opportunity to 
deal with his internal critics once and for all. Seventy-five 
dissidents and independent journalists were rounded up, tried in 
kangaroo courts, and given sentences as high as 28 years in prison--for 
a cumulative total of 1,454 years--simply for the crime of being 
independent journalists, or economists, or democracy advocates.
  Castro's actions were so galling, so blatant, that even some of his 
most craven apologists expressed shock. The European Union which until 
then had been happy to make a tidy profit at the expense of Cubans, 
imposed travel restrictions and other sanctions on the Castro 
dictatorship. Newspapers changed their position on sanctions. For 
example, the Los Angeles Times wrote, ``After years of calling for 
liberalized relations with Cuba, this editorial page must now urge 
American policymakers to hit the brakes. Before Congress even thinks 
about loosening restrictions, it should demand that Castro free those 
rounded up and demonstrate that his nation is moving toward democracy 
and away from totalitarianism.''
  Nothing has changed. Those dissidents are still rotting in Castro's 
jails.
  Nonetheless, today, the majority of the United States could decide to 
ignore the pain and suffering of those 75 dissidents and turn the other 
way. They could decide to reward Castro by voting to lift the travel 
ban and let American dollars finance Castro's instruments of 
repression.
  The appeasers keep saying that weakening the embargo by lifting the 
travel ban will hasten Castro's demise. Whenever they say this, I 
always ask: How?
  The answer is always vague--something about how travel by Americans 
to Cuba will somehow transform Cuba and change Castro's ways. Well, I 
look at Cuba today and see a lot of European and Canadian tourists that 
have been going there for years--yet Cuba has not been transformed, and 
Castro has not changed one iota.
  The fact is, American tourists cannot change Cuba any more than 
Europeans or Canadians or Latin Americans have--because in Cuba you 
cannot do business with individual Cubans--you have to do business with 
Castro.
  Castro practices tourist apartheid. He sets aside hotels, beaches, 
stores, restaurants, and hospitals for foreigners. Cubans are not 
permitted in those places. Anyone who believes that Americans drinking 
mojitos while sunning themselves on the beaches of Varadero is going to 
liberate the Cuban people doesn't understand the nature of tyranny.
  Tourists even fund Castro's security apparatus when they stay in 
hotels owned by foreign investors. In Cuba, when a foreign investor 
comes to town, they do not hire or pay Cuban workers directly--only the 
Castro regime can legally employ a Cuban citizen. They pay Castro in 
hard currency for each worker--often as much as $10,000 per employee. 
Castro then pays the workers in worthless Cuban pesos--the equivalent 
of $15 or $20 a month--and pockets the rest.
  The result is that foreign businesses in Cuba are paying Castro 
hundreds of millions of dollars in direct cash subsidies--while the 
Cuban people get nothing. These foreign investors have effectively 
replaced the Soviet Union as the source of Castro's hard currency 
subsidies.
  Under these circumstances, American travel to Cuba cannot liberate 
the Cuban people.
  To the contrary, it would only help Castro prop up Cuba's teetering 
economy and perpetuate his dictatorship. Under these conditions, 
American dollars would do nothing to promote democracy or 
entrepreneurship of independence from the state. All it would do is 
directly subsidize the oppression of the Cuban people.
  Fortunately, we have a President who is not going to allow that to 
happen--who will veto this bill if presented to him with a lifting of 
the travel ban.
  One of these days Cuba will be free--and I want to be able to look 
the Cuban people in the eye, and say to them that not one dime of the 
money used to repress, imprison and torture them came from legal 
American investors. I want to be able to look them in the eye, and say 
our tourists did not come and rape their wives and daughters, who had 
to sell their bodies to foreign tourists to feed their families under 
Castro's regime. I want to be able to say that we did not subsidize 
their oppression.
  The Cuban people will remember who supported them and who supported 
Fidel Castro. Mr. President, this Senator chooses to stand with the 
Cuban people, and to oppose the Dorgan amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, this amendment would limit the funding of 
the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
  There are about 135,000 Americans who go to Cuba every year. Some 
Members of the Congress have been there. But why should we now open up 
travel to Cuba and give additional cashflow to the Castro regime?
  There is no rule of law there. Tourists have been frequently 
detained, as in the case of American citizen Ron Shelton. I wish we had 
a poster to show that.
  It is unconscionable that after the recent crackdown and arrest by 
Castro of nearly 80 dissident human rights activists and opposition 
leaders that this comes up now at this time to sort of reward him for 
that activity.
  It is a cash-starved dictatorship, and no matter what anyone says, 
opening the doors for American tourism will feed that dictatorship and 
give him the ability to select his successor without any participation 
of the Cubans in a democratic way.
  We have always said we would restore relations with Cuba when they 
had a change in their system and restored democracy to Cuba.
  The Cuban regime is listed by the State Department as one of the 
seven nations responsible for sponsoring terrorism. The other six 
nations are Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. The Cuban 
regime was added to the list in 1982, and remains there because of 
Castro's personal support of revolutionary and terrorist groups.
  Now, Canadians and Europeans have been traveling to Cuba for the last 
10 years, but those tourist dollars have not assisted the Cuban people, 
as my colleagues have reported. There still

[[Page S13087]]

are great signs of problems for the average Cuban. But the Cuban regime 
continues to host numerous terrorist organizations as well as many 
fugitives from U.S. justice.
  Castro provides safe haven and support to terrorists all over the 
world. State Department officials have asserted Castro's government 
``has at least a limited developmental offensive biological warfare 
research and development effort.'' I do not see that this is the time 
to authorize sending tourism dollars to support a proterrorism regime.
  In May of 2001, Castro visited Iran and met with Mohammad Khatami. At 
Tehran University, Castro publicly praised Iran for its struggles 
against American imperialism and said his visit would strengthen the 
bonds between the two nations. Both of those countries are covered by 
the current U.S. sanctions.
  Castro publicly stated:

       My visit to Iran for me and my nation is a great privilege. 
     I truly believe that the relations of the two countries will 
     be stronger after this trip.

  He took Cuban tourism to Iran and thinks that is going to improve 
relations between the two proterrorist nations. I do not believe we 
should overlook the fact that he said:

       Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring 
     America to its knees.

  Let me repeat that. He said, in 2001:

       Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring 
     America to its knees. The U.S. regime is very weak, and we 
     are witnessing this weakness from close up.

  That is speaking as a Cuban close off our shores.
  The administration has indicated to us on the Appropriations 
Committee that it understood that ``amendments may be offered that 
would weaken current sanctions against Cuba. The administration 
believes it is essential to maintain sanctions and travel restrictions 
to deny economic resources to the brutal Castro regime'' particularly 
when he has already stated his goal is to weaken the United States and 
to bring this Nation to its knees.
  I am told that if the final version of this bill contains such a 
provision, the President's senior advisers would recommend he veto the 
bill.
  As the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I bring to the floor 
the message of the President of the United States, and I move to table 
this amendment and ask for the yeas.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator withhold?
  Mr. STEVENS. Yes.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I advise all Members it is very likely that 
following this vote--10 or 15 minutes after the finalization of this 
vote--there will be another vote. Everyone should be advised of that.
  Mr. STEVENS. Yes. I was going to say that. I emphasize, after we vote 
on this motion to table, we believe there will be another motion to 
table soon after 12:30.
  Mr. President, I do move to table this amendment, the underlying 
amendment, and that will take the second-degree amendment along with 
it, I understand. I move to table the amendment and ask for the yeas 
and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion to table amendment No. 
1900.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Bond) 
and the Senator from Montana (Mr. Burns) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), and the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) are necessarily absent.
   I further announce that, if present and voting the Senator from 
California (Mrs. Boxer) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
would each vote ``nay.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Graham of South Carolina). Are there any 
other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 36, nays 59, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 405 Leg.]

                                YEAS--36

     Alexander
     Allen
     Bunning
     Chambliss
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Dole
     Domenici
     Ensign
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham (FL)
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Kyl
     Lautenberg
     Lieberman
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (FL)
     Nickles
     Reid
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Stevens
     Thomas

                                NAYS--59

     Akaka
     Allard
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Collins
     Conrad
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hollings
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Sununu
     Talent
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Bond
     Boxer
     Burns
     Edwards
     Kerry
  The motion was rejected.
  Mr. STEVENS. I move to reconsider the vote, and I move to lay that 
motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Roberts be named as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. STEVENS. I ask for the adoption of the second-degree amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 
1901.
  The amendment (No. 1901) was agreed to.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I ask for the adoption of the basic 
underlying amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the first-
degree amendment, as amended.
  The amendment (No. 1900), as amended, was agreed to.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. CRAIG. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. For the information of all Senators, I intend to make a 
motion on the soon-to-be-offered amendment of Senator Feingold rather 
soon.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). The Senator from Wisconsin.


                           Amendment No. 1904

  Mr. FEINGOLD. I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Feingold] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1904.

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To provide that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost 
          of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2003)

       At the appropriate place in the bill, insert the following:
       Sec. __. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no 
     adjustment shall be made under section 601(a) of the 
     Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 31) 
     (relating to cost of living adjustments for Members of 
     Congress) during fiscal year 2004.

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, before I begin my remarks on this 
amendment to cancel the scheduled pay raise for Members, I want to note 
it is possible at some point the Senator may raise a point of order 
under rule XVI that this amendment constitutes legislating on 
appropriations. That is a nondebatable question so I would like to take 
this opportunity to make a parliamentary inquiry of the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. State your inquiry.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Is there a defense of germaneness available for this 
amendment?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the Chair.
  There it is. This amendment is germane to the underlying measure. In 
fact, it is clearly germane. As some may know, the pay raise provisions 
for

[[Page S13088]]

general scheduled Federal employees directly impact the automatic pay 
adjustment for Members. Without the provisions included in the 
underlying bill, Members' pay would be less than it would be otherwise.
  I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding. There is no 
legitimate point of order that might be raised. This is the pay raise 
vote for the year. The amendment is germane to the underlying bill, and 
I wanted to make that crystal clear in the event some might try to 
portray this vote on this issue as a purely procedural vote.
  My amendment is very straightforward. It would simply eliminate the 
roughly $3,400 pay raise for Members of Congress that is scheduled to 
go into effect next January. Put simply, this is the wrong time for 
Congress to give itself a pay hike. Our economy is still recovering 
from the recent slowdown. The financial markets have been rocked, 
wiping out a large portion of the life savings and retirement accounts 
of many families. Thousands of workers were laid off and have not 
returned to work, and families face increasing financial pressures. 
After finally balancing our budget, we are now facing record annual 
deficits. CBO reports our deficit for the fiscal year that just ended 
on September 30 was an all-time record $374 billion. If we do not count 
the Social Security surpluses, and I do not think we should count them, 
the deficit is nearly $530 billion.
  For the current fiscal year, CBO projects a unified budget deficit of 
$480 billion. Without counting Social Security, the deficit is 
projected to be $636 billion. Those figures do not include, of course, 
the $87 billion in additional funding the President has requested for 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  Over the next 5 years, CBO projects the budget deficits to total $1.4 
trillion. Without using Social Security surpluses, the deficits are 
projected to total $2.4 trillion. The budget spends all of the 
Government's general revenues and goes well beyond that, running 
through all of the Social Security trust fund balances. That is 
something we should do only to meet the most critical national 
priorities.
  I submit a $3,400 pay raise for Members is not a critical national 
priority. No one can argue this pay raise is justified because Members 
have not had a pay raise in a while. This is the fifth pay raise in as 
many years.
  On January 1, 2000, Members received a $4,600 pay raise. On January 
1, 2001, Members received a $3,800 pay raise. On January 1, 2002, 
Members received a $4,900 pay raise. On January 1, 2003, Members 
received a $5,000 pay raise, and unless we stop it, on January 1, 2004, 
Members will receive a $3,400 pay raise.

  That will mean that as of next January, Members will have received 
five consecutive pay hikes totaling over $21,000. Members will be 
receiving an annual salary that is $21,000 higher than they did in 1999 
because of automatic pay raises.
  Now, $21,000 is more than the average annual Social Security benefit 
for a retired worker and spouse. It is more than the average annual 
Social Security benefit for a disabled worker, spouse, and child. It is 
more than someone working minimum wage could make in a year and a half.
  While Congress is receiving all of these pay raises, the rest of the 
country has not been so fortunate. The most recent employment report we 
have from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of unemployed 
is nearly 9 million people and the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. 
The number of long-term unemployed is over 2 million, the highest 
levels in over a decade. I think that bears repeating. The number of 
long-term unemployed is 2 million people.
  So I ask, How can Congress give itself a $3,400 pay raise while 
nearly 9 million people are unemployed and 2 million have been out of 
work for more than half of a year?
  It was recently announced that Social Security recipients will be 
receiving only the most modest cost-of-living adjustment. The average 
retiree will be receiving a COLA of about $19 per month or $228 per 
year. I should add, half of the Social Security COLA will be eaten up 
by a hike in Medicare premiums. It will not be lost on the millions of 
retirees that while they are getting a COLA of $228 in 2004, Members of 
Congress will be giving themselves a pay hike of $3,400.
  This automatic stealth pay raise system is just wrong. As I have 
noted before in discussing this matter, it is an unusual thing to have 
the power to raise our own pay. Few people have that ability. Most of 
our constituents do not have that power. That this power is so unusual 
is a good reason for the Congress to exercise that power openly and 
exercise it subject to regular procedures that include debate, 
amendment, and a vote in the Record. That is why this process of pay 
raises without accountability must end. I think it is wrong. I believe 
it may be unconstitutional.
  The 27th amendment of the Constitution states:

       No law, varying the compensation for the services of the 
     Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an 
     election of Representatives shall have intervened.

  I recognize some of my colleagues may want a pay raise, and I 
certainly understand that feeling. I do not suppose there is anyone who 
is working today who would not want a pay raise. Two years ago, a 
colleague said to me that Members deserved a pay increase because of 
all that we had been through. I strongly disagree with that assessment, 
but I understood the sentiment.
  I mention all of this because I firmly believe even those who favor a 
pay hike should support an open and public vote on the increase. 
Certainly having a vote on the record for a pay hike is better than the 
stealth pay raise that takes place with no action. Standing up and 
making a case before the voters is far better than letting the pay 
raise take effect. I, for one, would be interested to hear someone 
explain just why Congress should get a $3,400 pay raise in the face of 
record budget deficits, an economic downturn, and record unemployment. 
Who knows. Maybe somebody can actually make the case, but we really 
should scrap the current stealth pay raise system, and I have 
introduced legislation to stop this process.
  The amendment I offer today does not go that far. All it does is stop 
the pay raise that is scheduled to go into effect in January, the fifth 
pay raise in 5 years. Let's stop this backdoor pay raise and then let's 
enact legislation to end this practice once and for all.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  Mr. STEVENS. I am in opposition to this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. I will ask for the yeas and nays in a minute on my 
motion. I think we should be clear about the issue before the Senate. 
The issue really is whether the cost-of-living provision in this bill 
should apply to Members as it does to others who work for the Federal 
Government. We have provided COLAs to military personnel, civil 
servants, Social Security beneficiaries, a whole list of other 
categories of Federal service, Civil Service and Federal service. This 
is not a pay raise. It is an increase that is required by law.
  (At the request of Mr. Daschle, the following statement was ordered 
to be printed in the Record.)
 Mr. KERRY. Today, Senators regrettably voted to increase their 
pay for the fifth year in a row. Next year, as a result of today's 
action, most of our salaries will be $3,400 higher than they are this 
year.
  While I have supported the congressional pay raise in the past, I 
cannot in good conscience support it this year. It simply sends the 
wrong signal to the millions of Americans who are unemployed, or who 
have taken jobs that pay far less than their previous jobs in order to 
make ends meet. There are millions of people out there who may not be 
unemployed, as the formal statistics count them, but they are surely 
underemployed working part-time instead of full-time, taking a low-
paying hourly job just to have some money coming in, or taking a new 
job that pays them substantially less than their last job. According to 
the Labor Department, nearly 5 million people who want full-time jobs 
have settled for part-time work, an increase of 30 percent in 3 years. 
In September, despite the fact that the economy created 57,000 new 
jobs, the percentage of the population with full-time jobs actually 
declined, and the number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more 
increased.

[[Page S13089]]

  In fact, just today, on the very day that the pay increase passed the 
Senate, a cover story in the newspaper USA Today explained how millions 
of people across America are having to take what the paper called 
``survival jobs.''
  A recent report in the Wall Street Journal said that more than 50 
percent of Americans who took new jobs last year took a pay cut. Some 
of my colleagues may call these ``new jobs,'' arguing that it shows the 
President's three successive tax cuts are starting to work. I don't 
know what economy they are looking at, but where I come from, when a 
$50,000 a year worker finds a new job that pays her $30,000, the 
statistics may count this as a new job, but try telling this American 
that tax cuts have made her ``better off.'' I don't think it's worth 
mortgaging our financial future by borrowing record amounts in order to 
create new jobs that pay Americans less than they made before. And I 
don't think that we should be getting a pay raise when so many hard-
working Americans are getting pay cuts.
  In conclusion, it's simply the wrong time for us to take this action, 
and I do not support it.
  Mr. STEVENS. I move to table the amendment. I ask for the yeas and 
nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is a 
sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion. The clerk will call the 
roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. 
Domenici), the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign), and the Senator from 
Alaska (Ms. Murkowski) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Nevada 
(Mr. Ensign) would vote ``nay.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), and the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
California (Mrs. Boxer) would vote ``yea.''
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) would vote ``nay.''
  The result was announced--yeas 60, nays 34, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 406 Leg.]

                                YEAS--60

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Allen
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Breaux
     Burns
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Frist
     Graham (FL)
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hollings
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lott
     Lugar
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Nelson (NE)
     Nickles
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Shelby
     Smith
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Voinovich
     Warner

                                NAYS--34

     Allard
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Campbell
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Collins
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dole
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Fitzgerald
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Hutchison
     Johnson
     Leahy
     Lincoln
     McCain
     Miller
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Rockefeller
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Talent
     Thomas
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--6

     Boxer
     Domenici
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Kerry
     Murkowski
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. LOTT. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, Senator Boxer was unavoidably absent today. 
She has asked me to announce she would have voted to table.


                           Amendment No. 1905

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bunning). The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask 
for its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Iowa [Mr. Harkin], for himself, Mr. 
     Feingold, Mr. Kennedy, and Mr. Durbin, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1905.

  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from using funds to 
         go forward with its proposed cash balance regulation)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec.  . None of the funds made available in this Act may be 
     used by the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate to 
     issue any rule or regulation which implements the proposed 
     amendments to Internal Revenue Service regulations set forth 
     in REG-209500-86 and REG-164464-02, filed December 10, 2002, 
     or any amendments reaching results similar to such proposed 
     amendments.

  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, this amendment has some history in the 
Senate and the House. I will try to enlighten Senators as to the 
background and what it is about. Hopefully, we can have support for the 
amendment and adopt it.
  Basically, it stops the Treasury Department from moving forward with 
a regulation that would allow companies to convert from a traditional 
defined benefit pension plan to a cash balance plan in a way that would 
hurt older workers. We are not saying they can't promulgate a rule that 
wouldn't allow a company to go from a defined benefit plan to a cash 
balance plan. We are just saying, they should not do it in a way that 
hurts older workers. Let me talk about that a little bit and what is 
behind it.
  I am not totally opposed to cash balance plans. Some designs can be 
very good. Some can be a great deal better for younger workers, for 
example, than an uninsured defined contribution plan. Some are not. I 
am not saying we should prohibit any cash balance plans from existing. 
However, we need to make sure employers put in place a fair and 
equitable manner for treating these.
  I have been following this issue closely for several years. In the 
mid-1990s, a groundswell of companies started converting from 
traditional defined benefit plans to hybrid plans, including cash 
balance plans. A couple of years later, some older workers who were 
nearing retirement started looking at the effect of this conversion on 
their account. They were shocked to find they hadn't been accruing any 
benefits for years. In other words, workers who were, say, in their 
forties or early fifties when the company converted from a defined 
benefit plan to a cash balance plan, didn't really know how the 
conversion would affect them. Then after several years, these older 
workers looked and found out they had been working for several years 
and their pension had not increased one penny, even though they had 
been working. Yet younger workers, age 20, 25, saw their pension plans 
increase.
  A lot of workers nearing retirement, thinking they were going to get 
what they had assumed was going to be their retirement and their 
pension, all of a sudden found out their pension had been worn away 
over several years. It turned out that employers were freezing the 
accounts in the old plan, then they established a lower opening account 
balance in the new plan which meant, simply, that the longer you were 
in the plan, the longer you were working without earning any new 
benefits. That became a term called ``wearaway.'' In other words, your 
pension benefits wore away.
  Many people said: This is nothing less than age discrimination. In 
other words, I am working for the company. I have been there for 20 
years. They switch their pension program. A younger person gets more in 
their pension program than I get in mine.
  A new 25-year-old employee would be getting more money contributed to 
their pension account, while a 45-year-old who had been loyal to the 
company for 20 years would not get anything. I was shocked and appalled 
to learn about this practice, and so were thousands of loyal, hard-
working Americans.
  In 1999, I introduced a bill to make it illegal for corporations to 
wear away

[[Page S13090]]

the benefits of older workers during these conversions. We raised the 
profile of this issue. We raised it with Treasury. In September of 
1999, the Treasury Department issued a moratorium on conversions from 
defined benefit plans to cash balance plans. The momentum against these 
unfair conversions was building as more and more companies changed, as 
more and more workers found their pensions were worn away.
  In April of 2000, we in the Senate passed a sense-of-the-Senate 
resolution without objection, stating that the wearing away of current 
benefits during cash balance conversions is unfair and wrong--a 
unanimous sense-of-the-Senate resolution in April of 2000.
  Well, now we go to 2001 and 2002, and not much is happening. That 
moratorium stayed on, by the way, through 2000, 2001, and 2002. 
However, last December, Treasury issued a regulation that would turn 
the clock back, undo the moratorium, allow more businesses to go 
forward with conversions in this wrong manner--the manner that would 
wear away the pensions of older workers.
  Very soon after that, 191 members of the House of Representatives, 
and 26 Senators signed a bipartisan letter to President Bush asking 
that we do not reopen the floodgates, that we withdraw this rule and 
promulgate a rule that is fair and equitable. Well, now, as you might 
imagine, during this period of time some of these workers who found 
that their pensions had been worn away went to court. In August, a 
district judge in East St. Louis, in the case of Cooper v. IBM--IBM was 
one of the larger, well-known companies that engaged in this practice--
ruled in favor of the plaintiff on her age discrimination claim.
  Now, on September 9--I am talking about last month, and this case was 
decided in August--the House of Representatives voted 258 to 160--again 
bipartisan, with 65 Republicans voting for the amendment--saying that 
the IRS should not issue a regulation that would overturn this ruling 
by the district judge in East St. Louis.
  So now we are into October. I might just say that all of these have 
been positive steps. We had a sense-of-the-Senate resolution in 2000. 
We had the moratorium. Last December, the Treasury Department--I might 
add, if I am not mistaken, I don't think there was a Secretary of the 
Treasury at that time in place--issued this rule to turn the clock 
back, and 196 members of the House and 26 Senators signed a letter to 
President Bush saying withdraw this rule and have one that is fair and 
equitable.
  In August, there was the district court ruling. On September 9, last 
month, the House voted 250 to 196 that the IRS should not issue a 
regulation that would overturn this ruling. There have been a lot of 
positive steps, but this regulation is still hanging out there.
  One other thing happened. Last January, Senator Durbin and I 
indicated that we might place a hold on the nomination of Mr. John Snow 
to be Secretary of the Treasury. Well, Mr. Snow was a very popular 
person and we didn't have anything personally against him; I want to 
make that clear. But we wanted to raise this issue. So Mr. Snow, a fine 
gentleman and outstanding business executive, someone who has gotten 
high accolades for his tenure in business as a business executive, met 
with Senator Durbin and me in my office. He said on this critical issue 
he would let fairness guide the regulatory process.
  Mr. Snow had talked about what they had done at CSX, the company he 
had been CEO of, and how they had, I believe, instituted a cash balance 
plan, and a choice between the old plan and the new plan, which sounded 
fair and reasonable to me--let the worker decide what they want, which 
means many younger workers would probably pick the cash balance plan, 
and older workers might stay with a defined benefit plan. Mr. Snow said 
he would let fairness guide this regulatory process. That is the way we 
ought to go.
  The fairness ought to be in working with Congress to develop this new 
regulation. So I think the best way to ensure that we do this is to 
ensure, No. 1, that Congress speaks on this issue; that Congress is 
involved in working with Treasury to make sure we come up with a fair 
and equitable rule dealing with pensions.
  Secondly, I think the best way to make sure this happens, and to make 
sure that Congress is able to work and have a seat at the table is to 
adopt this amendment.
  This regulation must be withdrawn. We need to work together to find a 
reasonable, bipartisan legislative solution to this complex problem. 
This is an incredibly important issue to American workers. It is very 
important for them to know that we stand united behind them in this 
struggle for fairness.
  Mr. President, I spoke about this many times on the Senate floor. In 
terms of what distinguishes the American workplace in so many ways from 
others around the world, we have always valued loyalty and productivity 
in the American workplace--loyalty and productivity. If you are hard 
working and you are productive and you are loyal, U.S. companies have 
always valued that--at least they used to. That is one of the reasons 
companies have offered defined benefit pension plans. The longer you 
work and the more loyal you are to the company, you get a bigger 
pension. It makes sense.

  So the longer you work someplace, the better you do your job, the 
more you learn about it, the more productive you are, that is what we 
value. We value that productivity and loyalty.
  Now if companies are able to just break these promises at random, 
what kind of a signal does that send to U.S. workers? It tells workers 
they are foolish to be loyal because their employer could just change 
the rules of the game at any time and leave them out in the cold. It 
destroys the kind of work ethic that we have come to value and that I 
believe built this country, which distinguishes us from other countries 
around the world. We value fairness when it comes to workers. A deal is 
a deal.
  I offer this analogy. Let's say I am offered a job. The employer says 
to me: OK, Senator Harkin, we are going to hire you and we are going to 
have a 5-year job here for you to do. If you stay with us for 5 years 
and you work for 5 years, we will give you a $50,000 bonus. I think 
that is a pretty good deal, so we shake hands, and I agree on that. So 
I worked at the company for 3 years, then my boss comes to me and says: 
Harkin, you know that deal we made where we said if you would work here 
5 years, you would get a $50,000 bonus? Well, you have been here for 3 
years and, guess what, the deal is off. Just like that, the deal is 
off. But I went to work for that company depending upon that.
  That is what happens to a lot of people. They depend upon the kind of 
pension program the company has. That is one of the things, when 
companies recruit workers out of college or vocational schools, people 
look at what kind of pension program they have. Well, if after a 
certain amount of time they say, sorry, it is off, you don't get any of 
this, what does that say about loyalty and productivity?
  I don't think that is the way we want to treat workers in this 
country where the employer holds all the cards and can change the deal 
anytime they want.
  Again, I didn't have any stake--but, Harkin, you didn't contribute 
anything to that bonus. We said if you worked here 5 years, we would 
give you a $50,000 bonus, but we paid you the salary we agreed upon, 
did we not?
  Yes.
  You didn't put anything into that $50,000 bonus; that is something we 
were going to give you. Now we reneged on it. You don't have anything 
to gripe about.
  Wait a minute. I have given 3 years to this company. I worked hard. I 
was productive because I wanted to get that bonus for 5 years, so it is 
not true to say I didn't put anything into the bonus.
  This is like saying you didn't put anything into the pension plan. 
This is something the company offered you. Oh, yes, you did. You may 
have put in 20 or 25 years of loyal, hard work and diligence. If you 
had known 20 years ago they were going to pull the rug out from 
underneath you, would you have stayed with that company or would you 
maybe have gone someplace else?
  Again, I hope people disabuse themselves of the idea that somehow a 
pension is just what the company offers you and you don't have any 
stake in it. You have a big stake in it. It is what they promised you 
when you went to work there, and you went to work there relying upon 
that promise.

[[Page S13091]]

  I am not saying they can't change their pension programs. Times 
change, conditions change, the workforce changes. I understand all 
that. New kinds of pension programs come on the market dealing with 
existing circumstances or what the future might be. That is fine, just 
as long as, No. 1, they treat workers fairly, and No. 2, that a deal is 
a deal. It seems to me if you work for a company for 20 years and they 
want to switch their pension plan, but you made a deal on one and you 
want to stick with that one, they ought to at least let you continue to 
work and retire under that plan. If you want to switch, it ought to be 
up to the worker.
  That is what this amendment is all about. It is simply about saying 
to the Treasury Department they can't issue this proposed rule they 
have come up with which, as I said, last month the House voted 258 to 
160 to say no to and which earlier this year 191 Members of the House 
and 26 Senators signed a letter to President Bush saying withdraw the 
rule.
  That is what this amendment does. It simply says: Withdraw this rule; 
work with Congress. Let's have something that is fair and equitable for 
our workers.
  Again, I urge my colleagues to join in support of this amendment in 
fairness to American workers.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a letter from the AARP 
dated October 23, 2003, be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                              American Association


                                           of Retired Persons,

                                 Washington, DC, October 23, 2003.
     Senator Tom Harkin,
     Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Harkin: AARP supports your amendment to the 
     Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies 
     Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2004 that would prohibit 
     the IRS from using funds to go forward with its proposed cash 
     balance regulations. The House passed a similar amendment on 
     September 9, 2003 by a strong bipartisan vote of 258-160.
       This amendment would not change existing law. It is in 
     keeping with the court decision in Kathi Cooper, et al. v. 
     IBM Personal Pension Plan, et al. The court concluded that 
     cash balance pension plans discriminate against older 
     workers, cut older workers' benefits, and serve to lower the 
     costs and contribute to the profits of companies sponsoring 
     cash balance plans.
       In September 1999, the IRS imposed a moratorium on 
     corporate plans that convert traditional defined benefit 
     plans to a cash balance formula in order to allow Congress 
     and others to review cash balance plans to make sure that the 
     conversions comply with current pension and age 
     discrimination laws. The moratorium suspended consideration 
     of approximately 300 pending applications submitted by 
     corporations to convert an existing plan to a cash balance 
     formula. The Treasury proposed regulations in December 2002 
     that would lift the moratorium and allow corporations to 
     establish plans that the federal courts have ruled 
     discriminate against older workers.
       AARP believes that Treasury should not act on regulations 
     that would encourage companies to change their pension plans 
     in a manner that is contrary to age discrimination laws and 
     the federal court ruling. Rather, Congress should review the 
     ruling and enact the pension reform measures necessary to 
     protect older workers.
       AARP urges you to vote for this timely and important 
     amendment. AARP hopes that this amendment will send a strong 
     message that we value older workers and that we reaffirm 
     those older workers should not be subject to age 
     discrimination in their pension plans and their pension 
     benefits should be calculated fairly as directed by Congress 
     and the Federal courts.
       Please let me know, or have your staff call Frank Toohey 
     (202-434-3760) of our Federal Affairs office if we can be of 
     further assistance.
           Sincerely,
                                                Michael W. Naylor,
                                             Director of Advocacy.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, it is a privilege to join Senator Harkin 
on this amendment to protect workers' retirement.
  We know that for millions of American workers, their pension benefits 
are in danger. The continuing weak economy and rising health costs are 
pressuring thousands of employers to reduce or terminate their 
traditional defined benefit pension plans.
  One way that companies are slashing costs is by converting 
traditional pension plans to cash balance plans. Older employees are 
the hardest hit by these conversions. According to the General 
Accounting Office, annual pension benefits of older employees can drop 
as much as 50 percent after a company converts to a cash balance plan.
  Companies are doing it to save hundreds of millions of dollars in 
pension costs. But those savings are being taken out of the retirement 
security of American workers.
  These proposed Treasury regulations would give companies legal 
protection against claims of age discrimination by older employees. 
Thousands of companies would have a strong incentive to convert to cash 
balance plans. Millions of workers could lose huge chunks of the 
pensions they have been promised.
  Cash balance pension plans do have some advantages for some workers. 
Increased portability of pensions is important. So is providing pension 
benefits for parents, particularly women, who move in and out of the 
workforce. We support greater benefits for younger workers, who are 
more likely than ever to have several employers throughout their 
careers. But Treasury can and must do more to protect the workers who 
are hurt by these conversions.
  The Harkin amendment would halt Treasury's proposed regulations. 
Workers should have choice about benefits under their pension plans, 
and they deserve protections when their company converts to a cash 
balance plan. It is wrong to let companies freeze the benefits for 
older workers, or reduce future benefits, when these workers have 
already contributed so many years of service to their companies.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and do the right 
thing to protect the retirement of our Nation's workers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, the managers have no objection to the 
amendment offered by the Senator from Iowa. I urge the amendment be 
adopted.
  Mr. President, we need to check something. 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. SHELBY. 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. SHELBY. Mr. President, I want to say again the managers have no 
objection to this amendment, and I urge the amendment be adopted.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate? If there is no 
further debate, without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1905) was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I thank the managers of the bill for 
accepting this amendment. Again, this amendment is going to send a 
strong signal that both bodies want to work with the Treasury 
Department to establish a fair and equitable rule on pensions. I thank 
the managers.
  Mr. SHELBY. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 1917

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I have an amendment that I send to the 
desk and ask its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Alexander). The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maryland [Ms. Mikulski], for herself, Ms. 
     Landrieu, Mr. Reid, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. 
     Lieberman, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Akaka, and Mr. Byrd, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1917.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S13092]]

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for implementing the 2003 
       revision of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76)

       On page 127, after line 23, insert the following:
       Sec. 537. None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement the revision to Office of Management and 
     Budget Circular A-76 made on May 29, 2003.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, this amendment concerns procedures for 
contracting out. I ask that the cosponsors be Senators Landrieu, Reid, 
Sarbanes, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Kennedy, Leahy, Akaka, and Byrd.
  I rise to offer an amendment that does several things. First, it 
protects the egregious abuses and unfair practices that are now into a 
new procedure for contracting out the work of Federal employees. That 
contracting out procedure is called an A-76, which is the circular that 
describes this methodology.
  You need to know. I understand reform is necessary, but abuse is not 
necessary. I must say I am very concerned that the White House is 
pursuing a political agenda masquerading as management reform. In the 
administration's plan for privatization, the costs are too great. It 
costs money. It costs morale. It costs the integrity of the Civil 
Service system.
  When I say it costs money, do you know that when we were foraging 
funds for veterans health care, the administration wanted to spend $75 
million to figure out how to contract out the work being done at the 
VA? What jobs am I talking about? Radiologists, social workers, core 
essential medical personnel. The administration wants to spend $75 
million, while we have veterans waiting in line to figure out how we 
can contract out the health care we promised them. It costs too much.
  Then it costs morale. The minute you hear you might be contracted 
out, you have to write a job description. Then you have to wait around 
to see if you are contracted out. Then, even if you win it, you might 
be contracted out because you will again have to compete in 5 years. 
Morale in key agencies such as the National Institutes of Health is 
completely in disarray.
  It also costs the integrity of the Civil Service system. Every 
democracy in the world has a civil service system that is absolutely 
independent and has absolute integrity to carry out the core functions 
of government, regardless of what political party is in charge. That is 
why democracies have civil service, to administer the core functions of 
government. That is why we always wanted to be sure that it wasn't 
patronage that determined who became an FBI agent, that it was not 
crony politics that decided who got a Social Security check. We would 
have an independent civil service that would administer these things.
  That is not where we are going. We are heading to cronyism and 
political patronage. At the very time we are fighting a war against 
terrorism, I don't understand why the White House is spending its time 
figuring out how we can undermine our Civil Service.
  Make no mistake, I am not opposed to privatization. In some 
instances, privatization works very well. In my own State of Maryland, 
in an agency called the Aeronautics and Space Agency, of which I am a 
ranking member for funding, we have privatization.
  Let's look at Goddard Space Agency in my own home State. We have 
3,000 Civil Service jobs and 9,000 private contractor jobs. Both are 
doing an outstanding job, and I am proud of them.
  What I am opposed to is that this new A-76 is inherently unfair to 
Federal employees. The deck is stacked against them to pursue an 
ideology driven agenda, not a management reform agenda.
  My amendment is simple. It throws out these new crony rules, these 
new unfair rules which stack the deck against Federal employees, and 
asks that the administration go back to the drawing board to come up 
with new guidelines for competition that are truly fair. Why is this 
important? OMB is pushing contracting out, even when it doesn't make 
sense, or even when it puts our Nation's security at risk, or the 
integrity of medical research on the line, or even when it costs more 
to conduct competitions than it saves in the long run.

  Did you hear what I said? Even when it doesn't make sense, even when 
it puts national security at risk, and in some instances now they have 
some cockamamie scheme that could even put the integrity of medical 
research on the line. Hello. Where are we going? I think we need to go 
back to the drawing boards.
  Let me say why this is unfair. Let me go through some very specific 
reasons. No. 1, it does not allow Federal employees to submit their own 
best bids. The new rules create something called streamlined 
competitions. That is just a code word for employees not having a 
chance to come up with their own cost-saving ideas. I don't know how 
you can call it competition if you don't even allow the employees to 
form a team and to come up with ideas on how to save money, as well as 
how to save jobs.
  No. 2, guess what, in all of this contracting out it does not even 
require contractors to show they are saving money. The old A-76 
required contractors to show they would save the Government significant 
money, at least $10 million or 10 percent, whichever is less. This new 
A-76 has gotten rid of this requirement. Guess what. The competitions 
themselves cost money. To do an evaluation on what should be contracted 
out by and large costs $8,000 an employee. So now Federal workers who 
might be losing their jobs to contractors do not even do it to save the 
taxpayer any money, let alone the integrity of the Civil Service.
  It is also destabilizing. This is really a morale buster. Boy, you 
talk about a morale buster; it is just to say: You know, every couple 
of years we are going to put you up for grabs. This new A-76 forces 
Federal workers to recompete every 5 years for their jobs, but it does 
not require contractors to recompete every 5 years for the contract 
that is won.
  How will the Government attract and keep bright young workers if 
their jobs are at risk every 5 years? And if the Federal employees 
should be up for bid every 5 years, why shouldn't the private sector 
bid every 5 years? If you want to destroy agencies such as NIH and VA, 
just do it this way.
  Also, it provides an unfair advantage to contractors that provide 
lesser benefits. If a contractor saves money by shrinking wages and 
eliminating health care, that is not improving Government efficiency. 
But that gives them an unfair advantage when they bid. Their bids do 
not show efficiency; they win contracts because they either eliminate 
or shrink health care.
  That is not the way we should go. It is bad 46 million Americans do 
not have health care, let alone now forcing Federal employees not to 
have it.
  To be sure everybody understands this, I would like to give three 
examples. Let's take the National Institutes of Health. This is one of 
the most beloved agencies in our country. If anything would ever happen 
to the National Institutes of Health, it would be devastating to the 
American public. This is one of the agencies everyone loves. Why do we 
love NIH? Because out there every day there are people working to find 
cures to save lives. So guess what. OMB took a look at NIH. Guess what 
they wanted to contract out. OMB wants to contract out lots of things, 
but one of the things they want to end is the NIH fire department. Why 
do they have their own fire department? Because of all the research 
going on, we need not only brave first responders but those who are 
best at handling chemical, biological, and radiological events.
  In fact, the entire Capital region relies on them for emergencies and 
also training others. We need our own fire department at NIH because 
they know every building, they know every rack where the research is 
going on, and they know every mouse and what they have taken in tests 
to keep us alive.
  How do you bid on a fire department? I don't know how you contract 
out a fire department.
  I am telling you this is terrible.
  They not only go to the firefighters, but they go to scientists, 
scientific support, and other jobs at NIH which are slated for 
competition.
  There is a group called Senior Scientists Category 2. These are 
postdoctoral research fellows. OMB wants to contract out the 
decisionmaking process in selecting these scientists. They want to 
contract it out. They want to provide a bid for outside contractors to 
select these key scientists. I cannot believe it.

[[Page S13093]]

  I listened to Dr. Zerhouni testify. By the way, Dr. Zerhouni is a 
very eminent physician, an entrepreneur, formerly of Johns Hopkins, now 
the head of NIH, and an outstanding Bush appointee. He told me they had 
to spend $15 million at NIH to study how they could contract this out. 
That is $15 million that could have gone to find a cure for Alzheimer's 
and diabetes. Dr. Zerhouni and others said it took over 100,000 hours 
of staff time. Dr. Zerhouni protested. He went right to OMB and said 
don't contract out my fire department. It is a waste of time and a 
waste of money. Please let us select these postdoctoral fellows. He was 
overridden by OMB. We are grateful for this man who heads up NIH, and 
who because of his own research could be a candidate for the Nobel 
prize. But they overrode him under the guise of a political agenda 
masquerading as management reform that has absolutely left the morale 
at NIH in shambles.
  Let us take VA. I couldn't believe it. Just when Senator Bond and I 
are trying to come up with more money for our veterans, we got a 
request from VA saying they want to spend $75 million to study 
contracting out. Whoa--$75 million? I am the appropriator along with 
Senator Bond. Seventy-five million could have put up 75 new outpatient 
clinics. It could have provided prescription drugs for 77,000 veterans. 
Just when our men and women are coming back from Iraq, we want to 
contract out VA health care and things such as radiology, pathology, 
and pharmaceutical care.
  I am telling you: Boy, don't they feel good. We should be lucky to 
have these doctors and nurses and professionals. Guess what. They have 
tried this. The jobs they want to contract out are actually even held 
by veterans themselves. You are telling me we should take money from 
veterans health care to pay for studying how to contract out veterans' 
jobs to provide health to other veterans. By my calculation, one study 
they did didn't work out.
  Let me tell you about the most heartbreaking example.
  At the Medical Center in Bethesda--we all know about Naval-Bethesda. 
It is an outstanding facility. People here at the Senate have used it. 
Our own President goes there for his annual checkup, as has every 
President preceding him. It is great. At Naval-Bethesda down in the 
kitchen there are 21 custodial food service employees. They work in 
what they call the hospital scullery. They are a very unusual group of 
people. They are mentally challenged. There are 21 people who work 
there. They have worked there as a special unit. This Federal 
Government reached out using it as a model for hiring people with 
mental disabilities who could be self-sufficient and self-employed.
  Boy, have they done a good job. They clean up the kitchen. They prep 
the food. Everybody at Naval-Bethesda loves them. Devorah Shapiro has 
worked there for 10 years. She is in a group home. James Eastridge is 
from Hagerstown. He started working there 22 years ago, and he hasn't 
missed a day of work. He gets all kinds of awards.

  Guess what. At Naval-Bethesda working in the kitchen are people who 
are trying desperately to be self-sufficient. And we are going to 
contract out 21 jobs in the kitchen for people who wash the dishes and 
prep the food? I am telling you, shame on you, OMB. Shame on you, OMB, 
for what you are doing here. I think this is outrageous.
  That is why I have the Mikulski amendment. It is for those people. It 
is for those veterans who have gotten their education from the GI bill 
and who are serving there--our scientists, our seafood inspectors, the 
people who are doing the mapping at the FAA for our flight plans for 
our military and commercial planes.
  I could go on and on and on. Those are the kinds of people I am 
talking about. They aren't bureaucrats sitting there looking at their 
fingernails. They are not people just sitting around. They are people 
who work every day. They are people at NIH who win Nobel prizes. They 
are people out there in the Coast Guard who are protecting us from drug 
dealers and from terrorists. They are people like those who lost their 
lives in the Oklahoma bombing.
  That is why I am offering this amendment. I have told you my opinion 
on contracting out. But to the naysayers and those people who are 
fussbudgets, let me reassure you this amendment doesn't prohibit 
contracting out. It does not. It simply changes the rules to make them 
more fair. All it does is throw out the unfair May 29 version to give 
the administration a chance to rethink its one-sided, overly aggressive 
policy.
  Speaking of that, I know OMB has tasked every Federal agency to get 
rid of 400,000 jobs. You know my feeling about that. It is just 
outrageous. Instead, we should pass the Mikulski amendment and go back 
to the drawing boards. There are simple reasons why. This new process 
doesn't require appreciable cost savings. It allows contractors to make 
appeals but not Federal employees. It fails to track the cost and 
quality of contractors. It encourages it. It doesn't offer alternatives 
to progress. It is bad for diversity. The jobs being contracted out 
tend to be primarily service jobs and clerical jobs which are often 
women. It is also in the blue-collar jobs that have a very strong 
diversity group. It doesn't allow Federal workers to bid on contractor 
work. It doesn't give them an appeal process. I could go on and on.
  It is a new A-76. It is a dangerous trend to replace our Civil 
Service employees with cronyism and political patronage contracts. I 
believe this A-76 system is inherently unfair. We should send it back 
to OMB. Let us work in a very constructive way to get the best value 
for the taxpayer and make sure we have the best people operating our 
missions--driven not by money but by agencies.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I would like to take a little time to 
discuss this issue. Let me say at the beginning it is my intention to 
offer a second-degree amendment.
  We have been through this before. Actually it is the same thing. We 
are going back through it again. It is sort of interesting. You would 
think most people here as well as in the country would like to have an 
efficient government workforce. We would like to in instances which are 
potentially possible have the private sector involved in things. At the 
same time, we recognize there is a strong Federal employee group, and 
they will continue to be there. No one thinks that is all going to 
change. That is not the intention.
  The idea that all of this is going to change--the example used of 
people in the food service at the Naval Hospital. As a matter of fact, 
I was just there this morning. That isn't going to happen. They are 
there for other reasons, and those reasons will be considered.
  I think it is really too bad to take an issue like that--and there is 
a good basis for them being there--and attempt to use stories like that 
to make it sound unreasonable.
  The idea of competition, of course, has been around for a good long 
time. A-76 is not a brand new idea. It was passed during the Clinton 
administration. In this Congress we passed it, and continues to endorse 
the idea, certainly of competitive sourcing, streamlining Federal 
agencies. What is wrong with that?

  We hear all the time, we could do a better job with the energy, the 
ports we have, of course. Make Government more accountable to the 
taxpayers. That is a good idea, it seems to me. We use the Government's 
direct competition with the private sector, thereby ensuring 
competition. As a matter of fact, there is competition in these 
potential job changes. In most cases, there has been efficiency in the 
Government workforce, and the Government workforce continues to be 
there in a more efficient way. I have trouble finding a problem with 
that, unless it is totally political, which I suspect it perhaps is.
  The competitive source initiative is designed to improve Government 
performance and efficiency. That is what it is all about. When the 
Government competes with the private sector, we erode the local tax 
base; we drive up prices; we decrease performance by Federal agencies. 
By doing what we are talking about doing, we have cost savings. Whether 
or not the Federal workers stay in place or whether we do it through 
contract, we save money. That has been the history. Competition does 
that. Competition causes whoever is there, whether they be Federal or 
private, to find more efficient ways to do

[[Page S13094]]

the job they are seeking to do. What is new about that? For all who 
have been in the private sector, that is the way we do things. There is 
nothing wrong with that.
  We are seeking to use the Center for Naval Analysis. Two independent 
groups, along with the General Accounting Office, have found through 
extensive research that competition sourcing reduces costs by about 30 
percent regardless of who wins. The cost savings success stories 
include the printing of the fiscal year 2004 budget of the U.S. 
Government, the location in Washington, DC. Competition was completed 
in 2002, printing of four of the five volumes of the President's budget 
requested by Congress. Precompetition costs were $505,370; competition 
results, $387,000. It was retained in house. This reduction in costs by 
having outsourcing competition to do the same job ended up being done 
by Federal employees with a 23 percent savings. Those are the things we 
are talking about.
  It seems to me, and a lot of people believe, we have two issues. One 
is a practical, efficiency, cost saving issue. It is pretty well 
proven. The other is the philosophy of competition and of the use of 
the private sector where appropriate.
  I was chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee. The thought that 
we would replace rangers in the park has never been the idea. We are 
talking about the service jobs, the maintenance jobs. We are talking 
about those jobs, not park rangers. No one is talking about that.
  It is interesting to note, as the competition has taken place, there 
have been great savings: 2,500 positions have been reviewed under the 
competitive sourcing since 2001, and not 1 full-time Federal employee 
has been involuntarily replaced.
  These are the issues we are dealing with. We have been through this 
before. We went completely through this bill, and now we are back 
seeking to do it again.
  The Mikulski-Landrieu amendment would prevent agencies from taking 
advantage of recent revisions of OMB Circular A-76 to improve program 
performance and lower cost through the application of public-private 
competition. This amendment denies taxpayers the process the General 
Accounting Office believes would result in better transparency, 
increased savings, improved performance, and greater accountability. 
That is not bad stuff.

  Undue processes that have been shaped around the consensus of a 
supermajority of the public and private sector representatives: A 
commercial panel was convened by GAO to study the comprehensive 
sourcing. Why are some of the revisions to OMB Circular A-76 important? 
The rule makes important changes to level the playing field for public 
and private sector sources to offer the best services by eliminating 
the longstanding policy of prior revisions of the circular that 
discourage the Government from competing with the private sector even 
though the Government might be able to provide a better value. It 
discourages Government transportation as well. That is part of the 
problem we had.
  The faulty premise of the Mikulski amendment is based on a series of 
misplaced concerns that inaccurately suggest that a new private-public 
competition process provided by Circular A-76 is unfair. In fact, the 
revised circular promotes reasoned decisionmaking and increases 
opportunity for fair consideration of both in-house and private sector 
providers.
  The revised circular does not allow Federal employees to submit their 
best bid: It significantly expands Federal employees' opportunities and 
their capacity to serve the taxpayer by expressly requiring agencies to 
ensure their in-house providers have access to available resources, 
skilled manpower, funding, thereby ending the longstanding practice of 
direct conversions where agencies convert work from in house to private 
sector without considering the in-house capabilities, encouraging the 
in-house provider to offer more and more efficiently in house in order 
to compete with the bids. This is what it is all about.
  The revised circular, it is alleged on the other side of the aisle, 
does not require appreciable cost savings. It seeks to ensure cost-
effective performance from both the private and public sectors and has 
succeeded in doing that.
  I cannot help but remember when we got this passed in the 
subcommittee in the Clinton administration, nothing happened. Now we 
are finally getting something in place to have competitive outsourcing 
and making it work and we have constant complaint about the opportunity 
to compete. It simply makes Government much more effective and much 
more efficient.
  As I pointed out, there has not been a loss of Federal employees 
despite the talk we hear from the other side of the aisle. That is an 
interesting fact. We will be talking about this for some time, I am 
sure. As I mentioned, we will probably have a second-degree amendment 
to be offered later.
  I hope we can continue to provide the opportunity for this Government 
to be more efficient, for this Government to be able to compete with 
the outside private sector--that is where most people are, in the 
private sector--to have an opportunity to participate in those jobs 
that are appropriate and noninherently governmental. That is the 
direction we are taking.
  I hope we can continue to get some facts out and not get carried away 
by the kind of emotion of people being let out of their jobs without 
any opportunity because that is absolutely not the case.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. I am a cosponsor of the Mikulski-Landrieu amendment, 
and I say to my colleague from Wyoming, before he leaves, the more I 
listened to him, the more committed I became to this amendment. In 
fact, with each passing minute as he spoke, I was increasingly 
strengthened in my view that it is the right and honorable thing to 
support this amendment and to urge my colleagues to support it. I will 
outline why that is the case.
  Before I do that, I ask unanimous consent that Senator Reid of Nevada 
be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SARBANES. The Senator from Wyoming spoke as though the amendment 
is going to repeal public-private competition sourcing.
  My colleague talked about what was done in 2001 and the competitions 
that have taken place since that date. So, as one listened to him, one 
was thinking: Well, is this whole competitive arrangement going to be 
stopped in its tracks? Nothing could be further from the truth.
  What this amendment seeks to do is to stop an OMB revision, of last 
May 29, with respect to the terms on which these competitions are going 
to take place. That is all it does. When I was first listening to the 
Senator from Wyoming, I thought to myself: Well, surely we would meet 
what seems to be his concern if we just went back to the system that 
prevailed before the OMB revision. But then, at the end, he became 
clear and said, no, he wants those revisions as well. That is what I am 
very much opposed to.
  This amendment seeks to ensure the Government work is allocated in a 
fair and equitable manner. I believe it would provide the American 
taxpayers with the best value for Government services and for their tax 
dollars.
  Often--in fact, federal employees win most of these competitions. 
There seems to be a premise on the part of the Senator from Wyoming 
that savings is most often achieved when work goes to the private 
sector. That is not the case.
  What has happened is the OMB is driving an ideological agenda. It has 
rewritten the rules governing competitive sourcing, which, I think, in 
effect, jeopardizes fair competition, jeopardizes getting the best 
value for Government services, and jeopardizes the taxpayers' dollars.
  Earlier this year, the Office of Management and Budget, on May 29, 
issued a new circular, a new ruling that rewrote the rules by which 
this competition takes place. The concept of public-private 
competitions or competitive sourcing is not new, but the manner in 
which it is to be conducted is drastically altered by the rules of May 
29 put forward by OMB.
  The new process established by OMB unfairly favors private sector 
contractors over Federal employees, opens highly specialized Government 
jobs to the lowest bidder, imposes arbitrary quotas and deadlines on 
Government

[[Page S13095]]

agencies, and, I think, lead, in fact, leads to a waste of Government 
money rather than saving Government money.
  We all seek to make the Federal Government more cost effective and 
efficient. However, to achieve these goals, there are certain tests 
which should be met.
  First, we need to demonstrate with certainty that cost savings are 
achieved through the outsourcing of work to the private sector. No 
effective method has been put in place for oversight of the private 
contractors doing work for the Federal Government. This is most 
apparent at the Department of Defense where competitive sourcing has 
been most prevalent. It is my understanding that DOD cannot fully 
account for how many contract workers they currently employ or the cost 
to the American taxpayers for the work they do.
  Second, we must ensure that Federal employees are given the 
opportunity to compete on fair terms. Often, in these public-private 
competitions Government employees can be placed at a distinct 
disadvantage by making proprietary information about the Government bid 
available to their commercial competitors at a time when that 
information can be used to unfairly enhance the commercial offering. 
Government employees are not offered the same opportunity to enhance 
their bids.
  There is a great temptation that with this access to proprietary 
information for the commercial bidder to lowball their bid to win the 
contract, and then increase prices once the competition is eliminated.
  Unfortunately, because there is so little Government oversight of 
contractors, it is difficult to assess the costs of contractor work. 
When contract costs escalate, it is difficult to fix the problem.
  Thirdly, I am concerned that many highly specialized Government jobs 
will be let out to the private sector without proper consideration of 
qualitative factors. I believe many of these positions are inherently 
governmental and should not be awarded to the lowest bidder.
  The Senator from Wyoming, in effect, dismissed concrete examples 
offered by my colleague with respect to the problems. But how do we 
understand this issue if we do not focus on concrete examples?
  At NIH, competitive sourcing, it has been asserted to us, threatens 
not only the critical scientific work conducted there but also the 
security of the installation itself.

  NIH scientists have testified before a joint House-Senate hearing 
that they believe competitive sourcing has created a wave of 
unnecessary anxiety and bureaucratic duplication, and that the 
implementation of the initiative at NIH was not well thought out.
  Additionally, the administration rejected a request by NIH officials 
to exempt the fire department from competitive sourcing. Because the 
nature of the work done at NIH often involves hazardous materials, the 
Federal firefighters assigned to NIH have specialized training in the 
handling of chemical, biological, and radiological events.
  This kind of expertise cannot be matched in the private sector, and 
losing this asset would certainly be to the detriment of NIH's mission. 
Yet the administration refused to classify the firefighters as core 
public employees who would not be privatized.
  I want to add another dimension to this consideration as one of the 
largest employers in the country, the Federal Government should serve 
as a model for other businesses.
  In recent years, we have made great strides in extending employment 
to disadvantaged groups. I believe the Government must lead by example 
in this area. At Bethesda National Naval Medical Hospital, competitive 
sourcing threatens the jobs of mentally challenged workers who perform 
important services in the hospital's scullery.
  My very able colleague from Maryland outlined this situation. To 
counter what I thought was a very powerful statement of this point, the 
Senator from Wyoming sort of dismissed it as, quote, an emotional 
argument.
  Is it an emotional argument to register the fact that the National 
Naval Medical Hospital is seeking to provide some dignity and self-
respect for mentally challenged workers to do these basic, virtually 
custodial, services in the hospital's scullery?
  This employment enables these individuals to lead independent lives. 
There is no accounting for that in this OMB circular. These are real 
examples. These are real people. This problem ought not to be 
dismissed. It is one of the consequences of the revision of this OMB 
circular.
  The House has passed its version of the Mikulski amendment by a vote 
of 220 to 198. Obviously, when it was considered by our colleagues on 
the other side, they saw merit in it.
  Furthermore, this proposal from OMB artificially inflates the cost of 
the Federal employees' bid by arbitrarily assuming a 12-percent 
overhead as part of the bid. The Inspector General of the Department of 
Defense has said the 12-percent overcharge arbitrarily placed on all 
in-house bids is insupportable and that either a new overhead rate must 
be established or an alternative methodology must be devised to allow 
overhead to be calculated on a competition-specific basis.
  If we are to have this competition--and we have had it, as the 
Senator from Wyoming pointed out when he went back in earlier 
references, for some period of time--it needs to be on a fair basis. 
You need to make sure the playing field has not been tilted. The 
regulations of May 29 tilted the playing field unfairly, not only to 
the disadvantage of the Federal worker but to the disadvantage of the 
Federal taxpayer.
  It needs to be understood that if the rules of competition are not 
fair, the awarding of the work to the private contractor may cost the 
taxpayer more money with a less quality product. That is what is at 
issue here. This amendment doesn't stop the competitive sourcing 
process. It only stops the revised regulations, the radical revised 
regulations that were put into place on May 29 and which have tilted 
the playing field, have moved away from a fair process, and resulted in 
a bad deal for the American taxpayers. We need to have an even playing 
field. We need to make sure the rules of competition are fair. This 
amendment is designed to accomplish that, and I strongly urge my 
colleagues to support it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The assistant Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the Democratic leader has conferred with the 
majority leader. They believe this legislation should be finished 
today, whether it is at 5 o'clock or 8 or 12. That is the goal we have, 
finishing this bill today.
  I say to all Members who have amendments to offer, they should notify 
the two managers of amendments they wish to offer.
  On this amendment, I have been advised that there is going to be a 
second-degree amendment or we will work out some way to have two side-
by-side votes at the appropriate time. If we could arrive at a point 
where we might be able to have a time agreement on the matter now 
before us, could the Chair advise how much time the two Senators from 
Maryland have taken on their speeches?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. We don't know. We would have to go back and 
check the Congressional Record.
  Mr. REID. Well, we wouldn't want to go to all that trouble. We have a 
general idea how much time was taken. We want to make sure everyone has 
ample opportunity to speak on this amendment. If we can solicit from 
both sides who is interested in this amendment, maybe we can arrive at 
a time agreement so, if for no other reason, Members could have some 
idea when the next vote will occur. I can ask the two managers to see 
if they can work something out on a time agreement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I rise to strongly oppose the Mikulski 
amendment to the Transportation, Treasury, general government 
appropriations bill. I have the highest regard for both Senators from 
Maryland but have a real difference of opinion in regard to the 
relevancy and the need for this amendment that would throw out the new 
OMB A-76 circular that was issued in May of this year. The A-76 rules 
were designed to fix a process which government managers, private 
sector contractors, and Federal employees unions agreed was broken. 
Congress recognized the problem as well. Therefore, Congress 
established the

[[Page S13096]]

commercial activities panel as part of the 2001 national defense 
authorization bill. In other words, Congress recognized that there was 
a problem with the A-76 back in 2001.
  The panel was convened specifically to consider A-76 revisions and 
other issues related to competition. It was led by Comptroller General 
David Walker, head of the General Accounting Office. The other members 
of that panel should be of interest to the Members of the Senate: David 
Walker was chairman; Pete Aldridge, Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisitions; Frank A. Camm, senior analyst from Rand; Mark C. Filteau, 
President, Johnson Controls; Steven Goldsmith, Senior Vice President, 
Affiliated Computer Services; Bobby Harnage, Sr., National President, 
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO; Kay Cole James, 
Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Colleen M. Kelley, 
National President, National Treasury Employees Union--this is the 
panel that considered changing A-76 and came back with a 
recommendation--David Pryor, Director, Institute of Politics, Harvard 
University; Stan Soloway, President, Professional Services Council; 
Angela B. Styles, Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement 
Policy in the administration; and another very distinguished labor 
leader in this country, Robert M. Tobias, distinguished adjunct 
professor at American University who is the former President of the 
National Treasury Employees Union.
  This was a very distinguished group that looked at the A-76 process 
and said it is broken and it needs to be fixed. What this amendment 
would do is take us back to that broken A-76 which was recognized for 
some time and deny us the opportunity to use this new A-76 that was 
agreed upon by this distinguished panel.
  I could go on at length as to how the new rules are an overall 
improvement on the old. But this is not really what this amendment is 
about.
  The real purpose of the amendment we are hearing from the other side 
of the aisle is to stop the Bush administration's competitive sourcing 
initiative by disrupting the administrative processes associated with 
it. While Senator Mikulski's amendment would not stop competitive 
sourcing, as I say, it would force the executive branch to continue to 
use a process that everybody agreed was broken and in need of repair.
  When the administration first came out with their six management 
initiatives, one of the things I became very upset about, as someone 
who has a great appreciation for people who work in government, was 
that they had set some artificial percentages that Departments would 
have to follow in terms of outsourcing. So it would be 5 percent this 
year and then 10 percent.
  We had a hearing on this, and we made it clear that we thought it was 
bad public policy, that what directors should be doing, and people who 
work for them, was to look at their manpower to see if those people who 
are in place can do the job better; and in many cases they could, but 
they were not given money for the training they needed to upgrade their 
skills. I say to colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we got the 
administration to back away from that. They publicly have backed away 
from it. Clay Johnson, the new management person at OMB, has said we 
are backing away from it. He gets it; he understands that that policy 
wasn't in the best interest of the people who work for the Government 
or in the best interest of the taxpayers of this country.
  I urge colleagues to defeat this amendment. I want you to know that 
Senator Thomas and I will offer an amendment later this afternoon to 
address what we have identified as some remaining issues of concern 
with the A-76 rules and the Bush administration's competitive sourcing 
agenda. I believe these amendments will indeed level the playing field. 
I believe they will give the fairness that my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle would like to see in terms of the issue of 
competitive sourcing.
  The amendment will apply to all competitive sourcing activities all 
across the Government. It will do the following:
  It will require all agencies to provide Congress with detailed 
information on how it is implementing public-private competition. This 
includes a description of how the agency's competitive sourcing 
decisionmaking process is aligned with the Department's strategic 
workforce plan. That is the beginning--the strategic workforce plan: 
How are we going to get the job done and shape our workforce to achieve 
the goals we set for our Departments?
  It also requires the agency to report the projected number of full-
time equivalent employees covered by the competition scheduled to be 
announced during the next fiscal year. So right off the bat, we are 
going to require these people to identify what they are looking at in 
terms of outsourcing or putting up for competitive bid.
  I believe having rigorous reporting requirements is the right 
approach. This would have to do it prospectively and retroactively. How 
much money are we saving? How much more efficient are we? Then they 
would have to come back and report after they did it to see how it was 
working.
  Mr. SARBANES. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. VOINOVICH. After I am finished with my presentation.
  It has been the prerogative of every administration since the 1950s 
to decide when to conduct public-private competitions and the manner in 
which these competitions would be conducted. That is the prerogative of 
the executive administrative branch of Government. Congress, in its 
oversight role, has the right and responsibility to know what the 
executive branch is doing.

  This amendment will require the Bush administration to provide 
exactly that information. This will create a uniform reporting 
requirement on competitive sourcing activities at all executive branch 
agencies of Government across the board--not just Treasury. This 
affects the entire operation across the board of the Federal 
Government. That information will guide congressional oversight and 
allow us to judge if further congressional action is necessary.
  The amendment also gives appeal rights to a Federal organization when 
it loses a bid. Currently, when private contractors lose a competition 
with a Government entity, or another private sector contractor, they 
have a right to appeal the decision to the General Accounting Office. 
The Federal organization currently does not have that right. This 
provision levels the playing field and makes the competition process 
fair to Federal employees. We put them in the same position as we do 
the private contractors. We want them to be able to appeal it. This 
time, it says if our employees lose, they can appeal that, just as the 
private contractor can appeal.
  Third, this amendment modifies the provision of the new Circular A-
76, which requires that activities identified for competitive sourcing 
must be recompeted every 5 years if the Federal organization wins the 
competition. I am concerned about the effects this requirement may have 
on employee morale. This amendment removes the provision. In doing so, 
it sends a signal that as long as the MEO continues to perform well, it 
doesn't need to be subject to future competition. In other words, if 
the Federal workers win the competition, why should they, at the end of 
5 years, have to have it recompeted? If you want to recompete it, the 
Department decides that; it means they are not getting the job done. 
But to have an automatic 5 years that says, hey, boys and girls, you 
are getting the job done, but after 5 years we are going to recompete 
it, that is not fair.
  Fourth, this amendment requires the executive branch Departments and 
Agencies to spend such sums as are necessary to ensure that they have 
strong contract oversight capabilities. One of the problems we have in 
a lot of Federal agencies is we don't have the people who can properly 
oversee this competitive sourcing, nor do we have the people inside. 
There is a contract management office in the executive branch, and they 
don't have the necessary resources to properly do their job.
  It is not enough to farm something out to a private company and then 
not find out whether or not they are doing the job. We should have 
that. When I was the tax assessor of Cuyahoga County, we had internal 
people who watched the appraisal company that we had do the annual job. 
When I became the

[[Page S13097]]

auditor, we had nobody inside. So we would hire a company, and nobody 
would know whether they were doing a good or a bad job or who helped us 
draft a contract to make sure we got what we wanted. So we brought them 
in house. It is the same thing we need in the Federal Government.
  If you are going to do competitive outsourcing, you had better have 
people in house who can do it right and, once it is done, make sure you 
are getting what you are supposed to get: We are saving money, and we 
are more efficient. If it is not happening, then you can throw the red 
flag.

  This amendment demonstrates congressional awareness of this problem 
and directs the executive branch agencies to do what is necessary to 
correct any deficiencies. This is a lot of work. I have talked to Clay 
Johnson at OMB. He gets it. He knows we must do a better job in these 
agencies.
  Fifth, the amendment prohibits private sector contractors who win 
competitions from relocating jobs overseas. Our reasoning is very 
simple. Jobs that were previously performed by U.S. citizens should not 
go to foreigners. We know today that more and more of that is happening 
with these private companies. Say it would be some company that 
competes for data processing and they get the job and then they would 
have people in Bangalore, India, do the work for them. This would 
require that if somebody won the competition in the private sector, 
those jobs had to be in the United States and not farmed out to India 
or some other country.
  Overall, this amendment represents a very balanced approach to 
further addressing some lingering concerns Congress may have with the 
Bush administration's competitive sourcing initiative. I have spent a 
lot of time on this issue. I have been working on the Governmental 
Affairs Committee. I am chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of 
Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of 
Columbia. We were the ones who put together, with Senator Akaka, 
amendments to the Homeland Security Act that created more flexibility, 
and it was something we worked on, on a bipartisan basis.
  I have several other pieces of legislation that just got voted out of 
the Governmental Affairs Committee on a bipartisan basis this week. I 
care about our Federal workers. I do. I believed that our Federal 
workers, when I was mayor, Governor, and now as a Senator, if given the 
right tools and are empowered and get the training they need, can beat 
anybody. We have to make sure they have an even playing field. But at 
the same time we do that, I don't think we should go back to an A-76 
procedure that we, many years ago, said was broken.
  So, Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to not support the amendment 
proposed by my good friends--people I respect--from Maryland, and that 
they support the amendment I have put together with Senator Thomas.
  I will say that we are trying to still, between now and then, work 
with people on the other side of the aisle, and they have other ideas 
on how we can do this better. This is a serious issue.
  I will now yield for a question to my colleague from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, I will seek the floor on my own accord, 
if the Senator is finished.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator yield the floor?
  Mr. VOINOVICH. I yield for a question.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. I listened very carefully to my distinguished colleague 
from Ohio. I don't gainsay his concern about the Federal workers. I 
accept his assertion in that regard, and it has been my own experience 
in dealing with him in the past. I was concerned about one thing when 
he listed the members of this Commission.
  He talked about this very diverse Commission, but it is my 
understanding that Commission, when it made its recommendations, had 
unanimity with respect to some and differences of opinion with respect 
to others. In any event, the OMB circular issued on May 29, the matter 
that is at issue here with the Mikulski-Landrieu amendment, does not 
track the recommendations of the Commission. In other words, it departs 
from it in significant respects, and much of the problem we are talking 
about is a consequence of that departure.
  What we have before us is not something that has been worked out and 
a consensus has developed, although we had a broad group that went into 
the deliberations and it doesn't reflect a consensus in the Congress. 
Witness, the vote in the House of Representatives where a majority of 
the House of Representatives supported the House version of the 
Mikulski amendment. So there is no consensus on that score.
  All this amendment would do would be to say: No, we are not going to 
let the OMB hand down these revisions, this new circular, to rewrite 
the rules in this way. We will put that on hold, and we will go back 
and look again at this issue to see if we can't come up with a solution 
which commands a consensus.
  I feel very strongly that is the way we should seek to deal with this 
matter. This isn't repealing competitive sourcing. All it is saying is 
that this OMB circular, which was put into place a few months ago and 
which many very strongly feel does not give you a level playing field 
or fair competition, that is going to be put on hold and provide us an 
opportunity then to revisit this issue in a more careful, balanced, and 
judicious way, and out of that process hopefully come up with a 
consensus.
  I think that is a reasonable way to proceed in the circumstance. It 
doesn't nullify or vitiate the competitive sourcing approach. It only 
seeks to assure that it will be done in a fair, balanced, level playing 
field way. I think that is an important objective to achieve, and it is 
not reflected in the May 29 OMB circular.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Does the Senator yield?
  Mr. SARBANES. I certainly yield to the Senator.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, the 2001 National Defense Authorization 
Act required that panel be put together to look at a new A-76 rule, and 
the commercial activities panel worked on this issue for a significant 
amount of time and reflected a cross section of labor and management, 
the final regulation that was put out by the administration was looked 
at by several of the people who were on that panel with whom I 
personally spent some time.
  In spite of whatever criticisms you may have with that A-76 process, 
it was the consensus that the new A-76 regulation is far better than 
the one we have on the books, which is not getting the job done or we 
wouldn't have asked that a commercial panel come up with a new A-76 
recommendation in terms of a regulation.
  My argument would be that the regulation proposed by the 
administration--by the way, I don't think they even got into the issue 
of the A-76 regulation over in the House. This was just a question of 
whether we were going to have competitive bidding. Some people were for 
it; some people were not.
  With all due respect, I have talked with some of the people over on 
the other side and I don't think a lot understood what this was about. 
I am saying to the Senator, the new regulation, though he and others 
may have some problems with it, is far better than the one we decided 
wasn't getting the job done. I would argue that some of the concerns 
that have been raised about competitive bidding are being responded to 
with the amendment I am going to be offering with Senator Thomas this 
afternoon.
  Mr. SARBANES. Is my colleague asserting that the members of the panel 
supported or support the OMB circular of May 29?
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I am saying there was some difference 
of opinion, and it didn't do everything they wanted, but the consensus 
was that the new A-76 regulation that was proposed by the 
administration was better than the old A-76 procedure that we have.
  Mr. SARBANES. It is my understanding that a number of members of that 
panel disagree with the OMB circular of May 29, and if that is the 
case, I don't see how the Senator can be using this panel as supportive 
of the OMB circular.
  The Senator mentioned this panel that was studying it and he went 
through the membership of the panel.

[[Page S13098]]

He emphasized how diverse it was in terms of where it drew people from. 
But it is my understanding that the OMB circular does not reflect the 
position of a number of members of the panel. Is the Senator asserting 
to the contrary?
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, will the Senator yield? I am asserting 
that talking to individual members of the panel indicated to me that 
the circular that was put out by the administration was better than 
what they had before in terms of the A-76 process.
  Now, if you are asking me did everyone agree with everything that was 
on there, I can't verify that fact, but I will say this: The consensus 
that we got, particularly from David Walker who was chairman of the 
panel, indicated that he thought that what they came back with was 
better than the old A-76 process.
  Then, by the way, other issues were raised. Frankly speaking, that is 
one of the reasons why I am here with an amendment that deals with 
competitive sources. There was a concern about the fact that our 
employees would--if they won the competition--have to come back every 5 
years. There was concern that there wasn't a right of appeal if our 
employees lost the competition. There was concern about the fact that 
the agencies have the individuals they need on board to put competition 
together, and that once they are put together, they have people who can 
monitor the private sector doing the work to make sure they are getting 
this cost savings and the efficiencies they expected they were going to 
get from the process.
  Last but not least, as you know, I am making it very clear that the 
amendment makes it very clear that if they do win, it can't be farmed 
out to some foreign workers.
  These amendments are a reflection of trying to deal with some of the 
concerns that employee unions and other people have with this A-76.
  Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, I have the floor, I believe. I am not 
going to press my colleague further because I think it is manifest by 
the comments he just made in terms of deficiencies in the OMB circular, 
that the members of this panel who studied this matter did not concur 
or support the OMB circular.
  Obviously, by his own statement just now, a number of concerns and 
problems were raised with respect to the OMB circular. I, therefore, 
renew my very strong support for the amendment of my colleague in an 
effort to try to, in effect, hold things in place while we try to 
figure out what constitutes a fair and reasonable solution.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). The Democratic assistant leader.
  Mr. REID. We are waiting to receive a copy of the amendment that 
would allow us to have the two votes in relation to the Mikulski 
amendment. That is forthcoming, I understand, from legislative counsel. 
The two managers have been visited, along with the proponent of this 
legislation. Senator Kennedy wishes to speak on the amendment that is 
pending. I see the Senator from Wyoming. If he wishes to speak also on 
this amendment, my proposal would be that the managers--everyone thinks 
we should move forward on the Dodd-McConnell amendment, which would 
take just a short period of time while we are waiting to get 
legislation from the legislative counsel approved.
  What I would propose in the form of a unanimous consent request is 
that the Senator from Massachusetts be recognized to speak on the 
pending amendment; following that, the pending amendment be set aside 
and Senator Dodd and Senator McConnell be allowed to offer their 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. SHELBY. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. I do not know where Senator McConnell is, but I want to 
clear this with him before we set this amendment aside and move to 
that.
  Mr. REID. I understand.
  Mr. SHELBY. We will try to get in touch with him shortly.
  Mr. REID. I will renew that request later.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Reserving the right to object, are we possibly setting 
my amendment aside so that the language of the Senator from Wyoming 
could arrive from legislative counsel? It would enable the debate to 
proceed without waiting for legislative counsel and then return to the 
debate with the Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. REID. Absolutely right.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. The Senator from Wyoming would be protected and we 
would be expediting the process?
  Mr. REID. Yes, and the Senator is also protected.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I think that is a reasonable solution. I want to 
cooperate in any way I can to ensure the Senator's right to offer a 
second degree and to expedite the debate.
  I withdraw my objection.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. I still reserve my right to object, and I would object 
until we clear this with Senator McConnell that he is ready to proceed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada has the floor.
  Mr. REID. I will withdraw my unanimous consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The unanimous consent request has been 
withdrawn.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will take a moment to speak in support of 
the Mikulski-Landrieu outsourcing amendment. This amendment would 
require the administration to revise the guidelines for conducting 
outsourcing studies, which it changed this spring. We have been hearing 
a lot about competition and I am all for competition. It makes our 
economy strong. But I have to wonder if competition is good in some 
cases, why isn't it good for companies like Halliburton, which receive 
huge contracts without submitting bids?
  The administration seems to think that competition is good for the 
little guy, but not for big corporations that have connections to the 
White House. Competition should be fair. There should be an equal 
playing field. That means, when we are talking about the jobs of people 
who have given years of service to a public agency, we have to consider 
the value of their experience.
  Experience matters. Experience is valuable. And having experienced 
workers in critical positions is in the public interest. The 
administration's changes to the rules for outsourcing studies put 
workers at a disadvantage, and favor contractors. For example, under 
the former rules, contractors were required to demonstrate a 10 percent 
cost savings before they could win a job competition. This ensured that 
we wouldn't sacrifice experience for a negligible savings. Under the 
administration's new rules, contractors are not even required to 
demonstrate a cost savings in order to receive a contract.
  The administration claims that privatization is about saving money, 
but where is the supposed savings in that rule? In fact, it costs a lot 
of money just to conduct these studies--money that could be better 
spent on pressing needs. Recent estimates show that privatization 
studies at the Department of Interior cost over $5,000 for every 
position studied. At the National Institutes of Health, privatization 
studies this year cost $3,500 per position and next year NIH predicts 
they will cost $6,000 per position. This money is wasted because we are 
finding that public workers provide better service than private 
contractors.
  In case after case, public workers have won competitions for their 
jobs. In Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management conducted six studies of 
13 positions--at a cost of over $92,000--only to find that BLM workers 
are the most capable and efficient to do their jobs. That $92,000 could 
have been better spent on so many things. And that is the heart of the 
problem with these outsourcing studies.
  I have heard estimates that the Interior Department could divert as 
much as $110 million in unauthorized funds to pay for outsourcing 
studies. We are finding that the supposed cost savings in privatization 
just aren't there and we are also finding that the experience and 
dedication of public workers has great value, which we simply can't 
afford to throw away.
  The Mikulski-Landrieu amendment would require the administration to 
at least set fair rules for these competitions. The House of 
Representatives agrees with this amendment. It passed

[[Page S13099]]

this language by a vote of 220 to 198. I hope my colleagues in the 
Senate also recognize the need to correct these unfair changes the 
administration has made to its rules for privatization studies.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I thank the Senator from Alabama. In the time agreement 
that they have, I will be glad to yield and cooperate.
  I rise to bring to the attention of my colleagues the result of the 
existing OMB outsourcing proposals which have really had a very adverse 
impact on one of the great institutions of our Government, which is the 
National Institutes of Health. I will relate to that in just a moment.
  I commend Senator Mikulski, Senator Landrieu, Senator Sarbanes, and 
others who have raised this issue. I am mindful at this time that one 
out of every four of those who serve in the Federal Government are 
veterans. More than 11,000 of our activated reservists are now on 
active duty over in Iraq.
  I am very mindful, having watched the agencies over a period of time, 
that there is some opportunity to get greater efficiency and better 
productivity. Excellence is demanded by many of the agencies, as well 
as expertise which so many of our Federal employees bring to these 
agencies. We are a very gifted and fortunate Nation.
  The case that comes to mind and pops right out is just a recent 
example of these current regulations and what it is doing at the 
National Institutes of Health. NIH is the premier, the gold watch, in 
terms of basic research all over the world. They are the envy of the 
world at the NIH. We constantly are facing different challenges of 
getting the youngest, most talented, most creative, most innovative, 
most committed, and most hard-working researchers in the world to go to 
the NIH.
  We have had Dr. Zerhouni, who has appeared before our HELP Committee, 
with Dr. Varmus and others talking about the new paths and 
opportunities that are out there in terms of the NIH, which are 
enormously exciting and challenging.
  Then, what happened later this last spring? Well, there was a 
challenge that involved some 677 employees who were grant managers. 
Grant managers are the ones who review the various research 
possibilities that are being collected. In many instances, they have 
the most sensitive kinds of jobs at the NIH because we know that only 
about 30 to 35 percent of all of the qualified applications actually 
get funded. We are actually going to see a reduction this year, at a 
time when we have the greatest opportunities in any time in the history 
of the world for breakthroughs in all kinds of drugs that affect 
families, whether talking about cancer, about heart, or Alzheimer's. We 
would empty the nursing homes in this country if we had a breakthrough 
as a result of trying to find a prescription drug for Alzheimer's.
  The grant managers are the ones who help make the judgments and the 
decisions in terms of prioritizing these various grants which are 
really the heart of the NIH programs, and they were challenged.
  We had some 677 employees working for a period of weeks because the 
estimate that was given by OMB was that this would result in 
significant savings. The employees got together, they made an 
application, and they won the contract. They won it hands down. And it 
cost them $7 million. Overall, competitions at NIH will exceed $15 
million.
  Not only that, but the signal that it sent on through this blue 
ribbon agency--sure, there may be important changes that ought to be 
made out at the NIH; sure there may be different changes in terms of 
direction and what they ought to be doing on clinical trials; sure 
there could be better utilization of different kinds of reviews, but 
the fact that we are going to fine the agency which has this degree of 
expertise and can make the difference in terms of people's lives, being 
subjected to this, what I think is effectively, harassment.
  As I understand the amendment of the Senator from Maryland, it is to 
assure that we are going to find a common playing field, and the basic 
rules for competition will be the standards which have been reviewed 
and recommended and are not the ones which have been embraced by this 
administration.
  I know others have pointed this out. But when we see that, we are 
going to have competition between some contractors who are not 
providing the kind of protections or benefits, health benefits, when we 
know the benefits that exist under the Federal contractors, so that 
they will be able to continue the slide, in terms of meaning that more 
and more people are going to lose their benefits, when we find out 
effectively there is no opportunity for appealing the decision, not for 
the Federal employees, although there are appeal decisions available to 
contractors, when we look at the no review and following the cost and 
the quality of the work performed by the contractors, we have seen time 
in and time out--and all of us have these examples in our own States--
where people bid in and they bid in cheap, they try to add onto the 
costs of various proposals, which then results in the work not being 
done, and too often the Federal Government gets stuck holding the bag.
  The kinds of unfair competitions which have been reviewed to date, in 
terms of current conditions, I find so compelling and so unfair. What 
the Mikulski amendment will ensure is that we are really going to have 
a system that will be respected, that will be supported by those in all 
agencies as well as the private sector, and as a result of which we 
will be able to ensure greater productivity and the savings of 
taxpayers' money. That is the way to go, not the skewed way which is 
currently, I think, working to the great disadvantage of hard-working, 
skilled, dedicated, and committed Americans who are doing a job. 
Whether they are trying to work out in the immigration process with all 
the implications that has in homeland security, whether they are border 
guards trying to guard our borders, whether they are in the Customs 
Service and dealing with all the challenges they are facing out there, 
day in and day out--people who join those services need to be highly 
skilled and highly competent.
  Maybe there are better ways of doing it, but the current proposal is 
not the way to go. The Mikulski amendment will change and alter that. I 
hope it will be accepted.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the majority leader spoke to the Democratic 
leader on more than one occasion following a conference between Senator 
Byrd and Senator Stevens, seeing if we could move some of these 
appropriations bills. The sprint is now on. We on this side believe we 
can move them quickly. It sounds a little unusual that the minority is 
pushing appropriations bills, but we are doing that because we want to 
do everything we can to avoid this omnibus bill. Anything we can 
accomplish that avoids the omnibus, we are better off.
  There are just a very few issues that remain. One of them is the 
Dodd-McConnell or McConnell-Dodd amendment. That is an important 
amendment. It will take a little bit of time--not a lot. We also need 
to finish this matter here now before the Senate. I want the record to 
be spread with the fact that we are doing everything on this side to 
move the legislation. We have agreed to set amendments aside. We have 
done everything within our power to move it along.
  We have sent a hotline to Senators on our side to find out what 
amendments they have to offer. We have gotten a response back. It is 
not complete, but certainly it is reasonable at this stage.
  Again, what I want to say is we don't want someone coming later 
saying we are not moving the appropriations bills because of the 
minority. We are willing to move these bills as quickly as possible. We 
have two managers here who are experienced on the bills before us. I 
believe they are doing everything they can.
  I hope the majority leader can find out what is slowing this bill up. 
It is taking far too much time, in my opinion.
  I have also have been told--not by the majority leader but by his 
floor staff--that if we finish the bill tonight there will be no votes 
tomorrow. I hope, with all the things we have to do, that will be some 
incentive.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent Senator Corzine

[[Page S13100]]

and Senator Edwards be added as cosponsors to the Mikulski amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I am sponsor of the amendment that is 
currently pending on the Senate floor. I ask unanimous consent Senator 
Akaka also be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Mikulksi-Landrieu 
amendment to the Transportation/Treasury Appropriations bill.
  I believe the Administration's revision to A-76 is unfair to Federal 
workers and threatens cost-effective and accountable Federal 
contracting.
  The Commercial Activities Panel, which was mandated by Congress to 
find ways to improve A-76, was deeply divided on this issue. In fact, 
the Panel was so deeply divided that it issued two proposals to fix A-
76: one supported by Federal employee unions and the other by Federal 
contractors, the Comptroller General, and certain Administration 
officials.
  OMB's A-76 revision is controversial. The revision allows Federal 
jobs to be contracted out without appreciable cost-savings. Under the 
revision, Federal workers could lose their jobs before they have the 
chance to improve efficiencies. It does not allow Federal workers to 
compete for work already contracted out. Nor does the revision consider 
measures to improve government efficiencies outside eliminating Federal 
jobs. Moreover, it allows contractors to appeal decisions to contract 
out, but not Federal workers.
  The revision does not reflect the idea of fair competition, and the 
revision is not in the public's interest.
  The Mikulski-Landrieu amendment promotes fair competition by 
prohibiting the Administration from using what I believe is an unfair 
process for determining whether government work should be contracted 
out. The amendment does not stop privatization, nor would it force 
agencies to use the old A-76 rules or prevent OMB from making changes 
to A-76.
  As the Ranking Member of both the Senate Governmental Affairs 
Financial Management Subcommittee and the Armed Services Readiness and 
Management Support Subcommittee, I believe we should develop 
contracting out policies that are fair to Federal workers and achieve 
the best return on the dollar. These goals are complementary.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, I rise to support the Mikulski-
Landrieu amendment. This is a very important amendment. It overturns 
the newly revised guidelines--known as OMB A-76--for the ``competitive 
outsourcing'' of government jobs.
  This A-76 process the administration has proposed isn't about saving 
money or promoting efficiency. It implements a rabid anti-government 
ideology by stacking the deck against Federal employees; there's 
nothing fair about it.
  As a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, which has had 
hearings on this issue, I have had an opportunity to hear OMB officials 
try to justify the new rules. To put it bluntly, they haven't 
succeeded.
  This administration's desire to privatize vast swaths of the Federal 
workforce needs a lot more scrutiny from Congress.
  Ultimately, the outsourcing of jobs is about people--the people who 
work for our Government and the people who pay taxes.
  Civil servants are the backbone of our government and we should 
remember that the skills, talent, and professionalism of the men and 
women in the Federal workplace are the best in the world.
  The overwhelming majority of civil servants are dedicated to their 
jobs. Many of them could make more money in the private sector but they 
work in the government because they see public service as a higher 
calling.
  Many of us here in Congress strongly disagree with the 
administration's privatization agenda. For instance, it struck me as 
ludicrous that we would federalize baggage screening at airports and 
then turn air traffic control over to the lowest bidder. So I offered 
an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill to prevent that. Eleven of 
my Republican colleagues voted for that amendment, which the Senate 
adopted, 56-41.
  People correctly point out that taxpayers are the owners of the 
Federal Government and deserve the most effective and efficient 
government possible.
  I agree, but I would also point out that Federal employees are 
taxpayers, too, and they have ``invested'' even more than their taxes--
they have invested their working lives. They deserve to be treated 
fairly and with respect.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I rise today to support my friends from 
Maryland and Louisiana, who have offered an important amendment to get 
rid of unfair rules that disadvantage Federal Workers. I want to talk 
about one group of Federal Workers in particular--those with mental 
disabilities who are at risk of losing their jobs if these outsourcing 
rules are allowed to stand. I joined both of my colleagues from 
Maryland in sending a letter to Mr. Bolten, the Director of OMB, and to 
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, expressing our outrage about workers at one 
workplace in Maryland, and urging them to adopt a government-wide 
policy protecting these workers and others like them from losing their 
jobs.
  Senator Mikulski has spoken about employees with mental disabilities 
working at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, mentioned in a 
Washington Post article earlier this month. These 22 workers in the 
hospital kitchen are providing dependable and reliable service in very 
hard-to-fill positions. In return, the Navy provided them with a steady 
paycheck and the ability to lead independent, productive lives. This 
relationship is mutually beneficial, but it is being jeopardized by 
outsourcing. And these workers could lose much more than their jobs. 
They could lose their independence. That is what is at stake for these 
workers.
  As the author of the ADA and longstanding advocate for the rights of 
people with disabilities, I am shocked that the administration would 
consider outsourcing these jobs and reversing decades of Federal policy 
protecting people with disabilities from discrimination and ensuring 
that the Federal Government serve as a model employer.
  These workers have been hired under a longstanding program that 
encourages the employment of individuals with mental disabilities. The 
program has operated under presidents from both parties and has been 
well implemented. No one has ever thought to attack it, until now. In 
2000, the government employed 1,734 workers with mental retardation, 
about \1/10\ of 1 percent of the 1.8 million Federal workers. If this 
outsourcing is allowed to continue, that number could shrink 
dramatically.
  Our Senate report on committee-passage of the ADA in 1989 noted this 
sad truth ``According to a recent Louis Harris poll not working is 
perhaps definition of what it means to be disabled in America.'' 
Thirty-two percent of people with disabilities are working full or part 
time compared to 81 percent of people who don't have a disability. The 
administration ought to be doing more to increase the number of workers 
with disabilities, not outsourcing the jobs of the few who are 
employed.
  I am proud to support the amendment of the Senators from Maryland and 
Louisiana.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, we are looking forward to moving this 
bill. I know the Senator from Wyoming wishes to offer a second degree. 
I note that he is on the floor.
  I also note that the Senator from Ohio has done a great deal of work 
on the Civil Service. He has some very interesting ideas.
  I wish we could continue the debate on these amendments. The Senator 
from Ohio will be offering an amendment. We are ready to debate and 
discuss it.
  If we all work together, I think we can finish the bill in the 
interest of the

[[Page S13101]]

American public, the integrity of the Civil Service, and the taxpayer.
  I will save my rebuttal until the pertinent parties are on the floor.
  I am ready to go. If we could have the second degree, we are ready to 
debate it.
  I yield the floor. 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. THOMAS. 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. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Thomas be recognized to offer a first-degree amendment on the issue of 
competitive sourcing; I further ask consent that there be 40 minutes of 
total debate equally divided in the usual form relative to both the 
Thomas and Mikulski amendments; I further ask consent that following 
the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to a vote in 
relation to the Thomas amendment, to be followed by a vote in relation 
to the Mikulski amendment, with no amendments in order to the 
amendments prior to the vote and 2 minutes equally divided prior to the 
second vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. REID. I ask the Senator's request be modified to have 10 minutes 
on the second vote rather than the usual 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection to the modification? 
Without objection, it is agreed to.
  Is there an objection to the unanimous consent request?
  Mr. BYRD. Reserving the right to object--I withdraw my reservation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. We are going to have a vote at approximately 4:25. Senator 
Dodd has been here since 11 o'clock this morning to offer an amendment. 
He and Senator McConnell are working on this now. I ask consent they 
come up next, but Senator Shelby is not in a position to approve that. 
We are going to do everything we can so they come up after the next 
vote. It is probably the most important amendment to the whole bill. We 
hope we can dispose of that as soon as possible.


                           Amendment No. 1923

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming is recognized for a 
first-degree amendment.
  The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Thomas], for himself and Mr. 
     Voinovich, proposes an amendment numbered 1923.

  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:


                           Amendment No. 1923

     (Purpose: To substitute a requirement for an annual report on 
  competitive sourcing activities on lists required under the Federal 
    Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 that are performed for 
    executive agencies by Federal Government sources, and for other 
                               purposes)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. . (a) Not later than December 31 of each year, the 
     head of each executive agency shall submit to Congress 
     (instead of the report required by section 642) a report on 
     the competitive sourcing activities on the list required 
     under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 
     (Public Law 105-270; 31 U.S.C. 501 note) that were performed 
     for such executive agency during the previous fiscal year by 
     Federal Government sources. The report shall include--
       (1) the total number of competitions completed;
       (2) the total number of competitions announced, together 
     with a list of the activities covered by such competitions;
       (3) the total number (expressed as a full-time employee 
     equivalent number) of the Federal employees studied under 
     completed competitions;
       (4) the total number (expressed as a full-time employee 
     equivalent number) of the Federal employees that are being 
     studied under competitions announced but not completed;
       (5) the incremental cost directly attributable to 
     conducting the competitions identified under paragraphs (1) 
     and (2), including costs attributable to paying outside 
     consultants and contractors;
       (6) an estimate of the total anticipated savings, or a 
     quantifiable --description of improvements in service or 
     performance, derived from completed competitions;
       (7) actual savings, or a quantifiable description of 
     improvements in --service or performance, derived from the 
     implementation of competitions completed after May 29, 2003;
       (8) the total projected number (expressed as a full-time 
     employee equivalent number) of the Federal employees that are 
     to be covered by competitions scheduled to be announced in 
     the fiscal year covered by the next report required under 
     this section; and
       (9) a general description of how the competitive sourcing 
     decisionmaking processes of the executive agency are aligned 
     with the strategic workforce plan of that executive agency.
       (b) The head of an executive agency may not be required, 
     under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 or any 
     other policy, directive, or regulation, to conduct a follow-
     on public-private competition to a prior public-private 
     competition conducted under such circular within five years 
     of the prior public-private competition if the activity or 
     function covered by the prior public-private competition was 
     performed by Federal Government employees as a result of the 
     prior public-private competition.
       (c) Hereafter, the head of an executive agency may expend 
     funds appropriated or otherwise made available for any 
     purpose to the executive agency under this or any other Act 
     to monitor (in the administration of responsibilities under 
     Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 or any related 
     policy, directive, or regulation) the performance of an 
     activity or function of the executive agency that has 
     previously been subjected to a public-private competition 
     under such circular.
       (d) For the purposes of subchapter V of chapter 35 of title 
     31, United States Code--
       (1) the person designated to represent employees of the 
     Federal Government in a public-private competition regarding 
     the performance of an executive agency activity or function 
     under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76--
       (A) shall be treated as an interested party on behalf of 
     such employees; and
       (B) may submit a protest with respect to such public-
     private competition on behalf of such employees; and
       (2) the Comptroller General shall dispose of such a protest 
     in accordance with the policies and procedures applicable to 
     protests described in section 3551(1) of such title under the 
     procurement protest system provided under such subchapter.
       (e) An activity or function of an executive agency that is 
     converted to contractor performance under Office of 
     Management and Budget Circular A-76 may not be performed by 
     the contractor at a location outside the United States except 
     to the extent that such activity or function was previously 
     been performed by Federal Government employees outside the 
     United States.
       (f) The process that applies to the selection of architects 
     and engineers for meeting the requirements of an executive 
     agency for architectural and engineering services under 
     chapter 11 of title 40, United States Code, shall apply to a 
     public-private competition for the performance of 
     architectural and engineering services for an executive 
     agency.
       (g) In this section, the term ``executive agency'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 4 of the Office of Federal 
     Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403).

  Mr. THOMAS. This is a Thomas-Voinovich amendment. We worked on this 
together. I will cover a little bit about what it does.
  This is a reporting requirement addressing a number of the concerns 
various Senators have had about competitive sourcing. The amendment 
does the following:
  It requires the Secretary of Interior to annually report on its 
competitive sourcing efforts, including the list of the total number of 
competitions completed, the list of the total number of competitions 
announced, the activities covered, the total number of full-time 
equivalent Federal employees studied under the completed competition, 
the total number of full-time equivalent Federal employees being 
studied but not completed. It also asks for the incremental costs 
directly attributable to conducting the competitions, including the 
costs to paying outside consultants and estimated total anticipated 
savings or description of the improvements and service or performance 
derived from the competitions. Also, actual savings and improvements in 
our services or performance derived from the competition, the total 
projected number of full-time equivalent Federal employees covered by 
competitions scheduled to be announced for the next fiscal year.
  It requires a general description of how the competitive sourcing 
decisionmaking process of the Department of Interior is aligned with 
the strategic workforce plan of the Department.
  The amendment is a responsible measurement to allow additional 
accountability and transparency to public-private competitions. That is 
really what we have been concerned about.

[[Page S13102]]

  Two weeks ago the House overwhelmingly adopted a similar reporting 
requirement during consideration of the Treasury-Transportation 
appropriations bill. This amendment will give Congress additional 
oversight of competitive sourcing, unlike the Reid amendment that 
stopped it altogether. Competitive sourcing allows for tax dollars to 
be used more efficiently and improves agency efficiency. The provision 
would apply to all Federal agencies and not simply Interior.
  This is something we need. We talked a little bit about the changes 
brought about in the past. The fact is in the past there was nothing 
done to implement A-76. Now there is a plan. The plan will be reported. 
The plan will be transparent. I certainly urge all Senators to give it 
some consideration and hopefully to vote in favor of continuing to have 
competitive sourcing, continuing to strengthen the efficiency of the 
Government, continuing to give a chance for the private sector to 
participate.
  I yield now to my friend from Ohio.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I would like to save my remarks. I am 
waiting for something to come from my office that I can share with the 
Members of the Senate from the chairman of the Commercial Activities 
Panel I made reference to in my remarks earlier. I will let the other 
side continue with their remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I feel at a bit of a disadvantage. I am 
all set to debate, but we keep waiting. We waited for the amendment. 
Now we have to wait for the Senator from Ohio to make his points in the 
argument and then he tells me to go ahead and make the argument. My 
argument is to rebut their amendment. So I am waiting for the Senator 
from Ohio to make his argument.
  I have great admiration for the Senator from Ohio, particularly in 
the area of Civil Service. I know he has put in countless hours in 
terms of the Civil Service. Perhaps if he could explain his amendment. 
I listened carefully to Senator Thomas, but I am not sure I grasped the 
full extent of the amendment. There are many elements about the 
amendment I find attractive and I would like to comment on those. Those 
I find deficient I would like to identify.
  I do want the Senator from Ohio to know I think you are an expert on 
Civil Service. I have great admiration for you.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, in my previous remarks in opposition to 
the Senator's amendment, I went into the details of the amendment we 
presented to the floor. So those five provisions I just mentioned--and 
they were reiterated by the Senator from Wyoming--basically constitute 
the amendment. I think that lays it out. I am more than happy to hear 
the Senator's thoughts in regard to that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, first, again I wish to make clear what I 
said about my two colleagues and my great respect for them. And I know 
of their work on civil service. I am particularly aware of the work of 
the Senator from Ohio. But I must say, the Thomas-Voinovich amendment 
proves my point that the May 29 A-76 circular on the new framework for 
contracting out is deficient. And it is deficient because it is unfair. 
It absolutely tilts the bidding process, to almost rig it to the fact 
that private contractors would win the bid. Their corrections of the A-
76 that they offer in their amendment point out how deficient May 29 
was. So they make my point.
  No. 2, I note also that they call for more reporting and more 
accountability. I think that is great, but, guess what, we are going to 
contract out Federal employees like the fire department at NIH, like 
the people with mental disabilities in the kitchen at the Bethesda 
Naval Hospital, and then we are going to hire people to watch the 
contracts.
  Why are we contracting people out and then hiring people to watch the 
contracts that we have contracted out? Where are we going? What is the 
point? Where is the management reform in that?
  So I respect the need for greater accountability and oversight. In 
fact, I think it is called for. Know that I know that the old A-76 also 
had some potholes in it.
  What my amendment does is it says: You cannot implement May 29. Go 
back to the drawing boards. Work with the Commission that the Senator 
from Ohio described. But let's implement all of the recommendations, 
not only the selective ones that tilt the playing field to the 
contracting out. So that is where my amendment is.
  I ask my colleague from Ohio and my colleague from Wyoming, am I 
right in saying that your amendment would want more accountability; it 
would allow an appeals process, which now they do not have; that they 
would not bid every 5 years; and they cannot contract overseas?
  I ask either the Senator from Wyoming or the Senator from Ohio, have 
I grasped your amendment? Have I? What are your five points? I will 
repeat it: Greater accountability; reporting requirements; the right 
for Federal employees to have an appeal, just like the private 
contractors; that they would not have to compete every 5 years; and 
this wonderful one that says they cannot contract out to move jobs 
overseas.
  Is that what I understand your amendment to be?
  Well, I salute you. I think those are excellent improvements, but 
they are not a substitute for my amendment because even if your 
amendment goes through, I identified 15 things that were wrong with A-
76.
  Now, you are willing to correct five. I was not as prescriptive. But 
you are willing to correct five. There are 10 others that need 
correcting. And I am just going to give a few, as I hear your 
arguments.
  When I look at the ones that are not in there, the ones that are not 
included: One, it does not require appreciable cost savings. A contract 
out does not have to show that it is saving money. The other one is it 
does not end the unfair advantage given to contractors who provide 
their employees with inferior health benefits. So when there is a 
competition between the Federal employees and this so-called private 
contractor, the Federal employee's health benefits will count in the 
contract but not for the contractor.
  Also, what it does is it does not consider alternatives to 
privatization; in other words, to give them the chance to reorganize 
and to streamline. That has been done at NIH. It has been done at other 
agencies.
  It also encourages the privatization of inherently Government work. 
This is a big sticking point.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 5 minutes.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes of my time to my 
colleague from Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, I simply make the observation that the 
offering of this amendment by the Senators from Wyoming and Ohio 
clearly admits and sends the signal that the OMB circular issued on May 
29 was grossly deficient.
  Now, they are addressing it in certain limited respects. And to the 
extent that is the case, so be it. But it does not really solve the 
basic problem which we confront, and that is that OMB handed down this 
circular which grossly tilts the playing field and which structures an 
unfair competition.
  It seems to me the best way to resolve this situation is to adopt the 
amendment offered by my colleague from Maryland, Senator Mikulski, 
which in effect would hold the May 29 OMB circular. We could then 
revisit this question and address the range of the deficiencies that 
are in that circular. My own view is, if people of good will undertake 
that enterprise, we will be able, I hope, to reach a consensus and have 
a better product as a consequence.
  I think this is, in a sense, elemental fairness for the Federal 
employee and for the Federal taxpayer. This issue is always portrayed 
as though contracting out to the private sector is beneficial to the 
Federal taxpayer. That is clearly not the case. In fact, there has been 
instance after instance in which Federal employees win competitions, 
therefore validating the argument that they are better for the

[[Page S13103]]

taxpayer than putting it out into the private sector.
  Now, OMB, because it is not meeting its targets--these ideological 
targets that have been placed upon them, which they in turn are 
imposing upon the agencies because they cannot get the outcome they 
seek--has come in with a new circular, of May 29, which tilts the 
playing field in an unfair way. That really cries out for the passage 
of the very well considered amendment of my colleague from Maryland.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support the Mikulski amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The 2 minutes have expired.
  Who yields time?
  Mr. VOINOVICH addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time to the Senator from Ohio?
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, could the Chair inform me when I have 
used 5 minutes?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will be notified.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I would just like to clarify something 
for my colleagues in the Senate. First of all, the A-76 old rule was 
considered to be broken. Congress recognized the problem, and they 
established a Commercial Activities Panel as part of the 2001 Defense 
Authorization Act. The panel was convened specifically to consider 
revisions to the A-76 competition. It was led by Comptroller David 
Walker, the head of the General Accounting Office.
  Now, there have been some allegations here that the circular that was 
put out by the Bush administration was not reflective of the panel's 
decision.
  First of all, the recommendations coming from the panel were either 
agreed to unanimously or by a supermajority of the public and private 
representatives.
  I will say, in all candor, I correct my earlier statements. They were 
not supported by Bob Tobias. They were not supported by Colleen Kelley. 
And they were not supported by Bobby Harnage. So let's clarify that. 
The union representatives did not like it that much.
  So the question is, Is the new A-76 better than the old one that the 
Senators from Maryland want us to adopt?
  As I noted earlier, the A-76, the new regulation, quoting David 
Walker:

     . . . is generally consistent with the commercial activities 
     panel's sourcing principles and recommendations and, as such, 
     provides improved and foundation for competitive sourcing 
     decisions in the Federal Government. In particular, the new 
     circular permits . . .

  Then he goes on to talk about the new circular.
  He goes on to say:

       If effectively implemented, the new Circular should result 
     in . . . [greater credibility] and greater accountability 
     regardless of the service provider selected.

  As part of an executive session at Harvard University that was 
convened by Dean Nye, in which I participated, I got to know several 
members of the Clinton administration. One of those members of the 
administration was Steve Kelman, administrator of the Office for 
Federal Procurement Policy at OMB. He had the job of Ms. Styles who has 
left the administration. I asked Steve what he thought about the new A-
76 circular and he said that overall it was better than the old A-76 
and that the only problem he had with it was this recompete after 5 
years for those people in the public sector who won the competition.
  What I am saying is that the A-76 circular that was submitted by the 
Bush administration is not perfect. There are differences of opinion 
about it, but it is a far cry better than the old A-76 circular.
  What we are saying today is that we should not go back to that, that 
the new circular is better. Our amendment enhances the playing field 
for our Federal workforce in that it requires certain reporting 
requirements that say this competition is not going to be done willy-
nilly, that it is going to be done as part of their workforce shaping.
  By the way, I would like to correct one Senator from Maryland who 
said the administration has given the charge to go out and do this 
arbitrarily. They did that initially. I blew a gasket. I blew a fuse. 
Senator Durbin and I had a hearing on that. We had a second hearing on 
it and the administration has backed off from the quotas. So there is 
not going to be a rush out there to do competitive bidding. We are 
going to require them to have reporting requirements, letting people 
know beforehand that they are going to go to competition.
  Once they go to competition and if the private sector wins, they are 
going to have to report whether they are getting the money efficiencies 
and whether they are getting the other efficiencies they thought they 
were going to get.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Dole). The Senator has used 5 minutes.
  Mr. THOMAS. Madam President, I yield 2 more minutes.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. It provides that if the Government employees lose the 
competition, they will have a right to appeal, just as the private 
sector has a right of appeal. So we are giving them that opportunity. 
We are eliminating the every 5-year competition if it is won in-house.
  It also provides that if the private sector gets the work, it has to 
go to American people and not be farmed out overseas.
  I believe this amendment, plus the revised A-76 regulation, is a far 
better system than going back to something that we acknowledged back in 
2001 was not working. We fixed it. It may not be perfect. I am not 
saying it is. I am not saying that everybody agrees with it. But it is 
a far cry better than to go back to what we had before.
  Fundamentally, I think the other side wants to go back there because 
there are many people who are opposed to competitive bidding. I want 
everyone to know, competitive bidding ought to be something that is 
available to the administrative branch of Government, but it ought to 
be something that is carefully considered before they go forward and do 
it.
  My feeling always is, I would rather stay with the people who are 
working in the Federal Government and give them the training, the 
empowerment, and tools to get the job done. We have leveled the playing 
field. We slowed down the process.
  I believe with Clay Johnson over there at OMB and with Kay James over 
at OPM, we have two outstanding people. That is what it is about, the 
integrity of the people. They are not going to go forward and do some 
of the things that the folks on the other side of the aisle think they 
are going to do.
  I am staying on top of this issue. I am going to monitor this issue 
to make sure they continue to do what they have represented that they 
are going to do to me and so many other members of the Governmental 
Affairs Committee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, how much time remains on my side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Nine minutes thirty-five seconds.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I yield myself 5 minutes and withhold 4 to see if 
Senator Kennedy or another Senator wishes to speak. Right now I would 
like to yield myself 5 minutes. I ask the Chair to confirm, as I get a 
little excited when I am talking about this.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will notify the Senator when 5 
minutes have expired.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, what I want to say in response to what 
my colleague has said is, No. 1, he says the May 29 circular is better. 
There is a fundamental difference between us on that. I don't believe 
it is better. I stand with the way the National Treasury Union Workers 
feel about it and the way the other Federal employees feel about it.
  If you are on the side of the companies that are going to benefit 
from privatization, you like it. If you are the ones who are on the 
firing line or the chopping block, you don't like it.
  What I do acknowledge is that the amendment offered by my two 
colleagues from the other side of the aisle does improve the A-76 
process.
  I also acknowledge that I know the Senator from Ohio did go 
ballistic. I am glad that he went ballistic. I thank him for standing 
sentry down in the Government Affairs Committee against bounty hunting, 
against quotas, and against sending jobs overseas. I salute him on 
that. But he is one man against

[[Page S13104]]

a whole tide here. This is why I think his amendment has merit.
  But I tell you, deep down to my toes, I believe they want to 
privatize most of the Federal Government, and I do believe that deep 
down inside they want quotas to privatize. I don't believe that about 
him.
  When we look at this whole issue that he raised about private sector 
contractors moving jobs overseas, the Senator knows they have already 
done it. If the call center at the Census Bureau is now in India, 
Hello? The United States of America calling India to find out about 
census?
  I could go on with other examples. The time is late. I appreciate the 
fact that the Senator gives Federal employees a right to appeal when 
they lose a competition which they now don't have. I also acknowledge 
that his amendment removes the 5-year recompete competition, and I 
salute him on that, and also ensures contract oversight.
  In other words, you have some good ideas here. But in my comments, I 
say, you can vote for both. I want my colleagues to know they can vote 
for both. They can vote for Voinovich-Thomas and they can vote for 
Mikulski. Voinovich-Thomas has ideas of merit. Theirs is a modest 
improvement.
  My amendment improves it all. They improve five things about this. I 
have identified 15. If you want 15, you vote for Mikulski. But you can 
vote for them and you can vote for me.
  The other thing I want to say is that the Mikulski amendment does not 
stop contracting out. It simply stops the May 29 circular, which is 
harsh, punitive, and unfair to Federal employees.
  I said to the administration, back to the drawing boards, work with 
Voinovich and Thomas and Collins, and work with Mikulski, Kennedy, and 
Sarbanes, and make sure our Federal workforce keeps on working.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Madam President, I need 2 minutes.
  I appreciate the kind words from the Senator of Maryland with regard 
to our amendment. But I think that to go back to the old A-76 circular 
after the commercial panels spent so much time on it would not be in 
the best interest of our Government.
  I am going to quote from David Walker, who is chairman of that panel, 
to clarify the fact that the new circular is better than the old 
system, and that we would be better off having our amendment attached 
to the new circular rather than to the old rules and old circular. He 
says:

       As I noted previously, the new Circular A-76 is generally 
     consistent with the Commercial Activities Panel's sourcing 
     principles and recommendations and, as such, provides an 
     improved foundation for competitive sourcing decisions in the 
     Federal Government. In particular, the new Circular permits: 
     greater reliance on procedures contained in the FAR, which 
     should result in more transparent, simpler, and consistently 
     applied competitive process, and source selection decisions 
     based on tradeoffs between technical factors and cost.
       The new Circular also suggests the potential use of 
     alternatives to the competitive sourcing process, such as 
     public-private and public-public partnerships and high-
     performing organizations. It does not, however, specifically 
     address how these alternatives might be used.

  That is an improvement.

       If effectively implemented, the new Circular should result 
     in increased savings, improved performance, and greater 
     accountability, regardless of the service provider selected.

  That is why the amendment is so important.

       However, this competitive sourcing initiative is a major 
     change in the way Government agencies operate, and successful 
     implementation of the Circular's provisions will require that 
     adequate support be made available to Federal agencies and 
     employees, especially if the timeframes called for in the new 
     Circular are to be achieved.

  The point I am making today--one of the reasons we have one of our 
amendments--is that we are requiring the Federal agencies to have the 
capacity to properly go through this competitive sourcing. That is what 
our amendment says. In addition, it says that once the competitive 
sourcing has been--if the outsiders win, we are going to monitor their 
performance to make sure we are going to get the savings and the 
efficiencies we are supposed to get. If we are not, that would mean our 
workers in the Federal Government would get another shot at what had 
been farmed out to the private sector.
  I know there have been instances in the Defense Department where 
things have been farmed out and then they have been brought back into 
the Federal Government.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time.
  Mr. SHELBY. Madam President, I rise in support of the Thomas 
amendment. I believe competitive sourcing is an important process for 
the Federal Government. I believe it will help to improve the overall 
performance and efficiency of certain activities carried out by the 
Federal Government.
  Allowing these competitions to move forward is important to improve 
the value of service provided by the Federal Government to all 
Americans. Whether the contract is won by the incumbent Federal workers 
or private sector bidders, the Federal Government wins by encouraging 
greater efficiency and a more focused workforce. That improves service.
  I believe we must be careful to clarify that competitive sourcing, as 
proposed, doesn't apply to those activities considered inherently 
governmental. Those jobs will be reserved solely for the Federal 
workforce, and no one is proposing otherwise.
  Our goal is clear. What we are trying to do is make the Federal 
workforce more efficient and competitive. At some point, the Federal 
Government is going to have to demand that it get a greater return on 
its investment. I believe that allowing public-private competitive 
sourcing is a step in that direction. At the proper time, I will urge 
adoption of the Thomas amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. THOMAS. Madam President, I have a couple of points I had intended 
to make. It was brought up before that this system, as it exists now, 
doesn't require savings. That is not the case. You don't grant a 
contract unless there are going to be savings.
  They talked about no alternatives. That is what competition is all 
about, to take advantage of the alternatives.
  Someone mentioned management of contracts. That is not a brand new 
idea. A lot of contracting goes on around the world, particularly in 
the private sector, and you always have to manage those.
  So we have a real opportunity to strengthen competitive outsourcing 
here. That is what our amendment does. It doesn't go back to zero, but 
it strengthens it from where we are.
  We had a similar one before that the Senate rejected. I urge the 
Senate to reject this one as well.
  Whenever the other side is ready, we will yield back our time.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, how much time do I have?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 5 minutes 28 seconds 
remaining.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I wish to notify the Chair that other 
Senators are on the way. I will speak for 2 minutes and then I hope 
they are here.
  Again, I reiterate, the Thomas amendment has some good points. You 
can vote for both. My amendment does not stop privatization; it just 
makes it fair. I say something and they something back. But I am 
telling you, they don't mandate cost savings in this A-76.
  Let me tell you a boondoggle. Defense Finance Accounting Service--
this is finance accounting--contracted out 650 jobs to a private 
computer company. Guess what. The DOD inspector general found out that 
it cost the taxpayers $25 million more than it would cost under Federal 
employees. Take the call center. They won the competition, and they won 
it by sending it to India. Lower wages, no health care. Let's ship 
those jobs overseas.
  My gosh, what are we doing? This May 29 circular is despicable, it is 
unfair, it is harsh, it is punitive, and it will cost taxpayer dollars 
to do studies, and it is costing morale. If we want people to work for 
the Federal Government and be enthusiastic and put their best energies 
forth and put America first, we cannot keep Tinkertoying with them. I 
hope you can vote for their amendment, but, please, in the interest of 
the vitality and integrity of the Federal workforce, please vote for 
the Mikulski amendment.
  I yield 1 minute to the Senator from Louisiana.

[[Page S13105]]

  Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I am pleased to join my colleagues 
from Maryland to oppose this rule change. Let me say quickly, because I 
know the time is short, we have tried this in Louisiana at Fort Polk, 
in Leesville, to be exact--1,500 Federal jobs, people not overly paid, 
but well paid with good health benefits, and others.
  Needless to say, the base plays a vital role in the economy of 
central Louisiana and is by far the single largest employer in the 
area. The secondary employment impact on the State is even more 
significant with Fort Polk accounting for millions of dollars in 
payroll annually.
  The workers at Fort Polk are patriots. They work hard, they stay 
longer, they get the job done. I heard that not from the unions, not 
from the workers, not from some local politician--I heard that from the 
military commanders at Fort Polk who just did not want to see their 
workforce contracted out.
  They already had experience with contractors at Fort Polk, and, 
frankly, they didn't like it. Base operations were bogged down by the 
refusal of contractors to take the little steps that improve quality of 
life, improve the aesthetics at the base, and go that extra mile when 
troops were deploying or coming home.
  It is not that the contractors were not willing to take the work, it 
is that they wanted to charge the Government more to do it. Despite 
these objections, the workforce at Fort Polk was subject to the A-76 
process. It has been an embarrassment and totally unworthy of the way 
this Government should treat it workers.
  To boil the controversy down to its bare essentials, contractors 
bidding on the Fort Polk work were made aware of what the DoD civilian 
bid would be. Now the OMB wants to take this process even further.
  Now the OMB says contractors don't have to prove they would save any 
money. They only have to show they would provide some ``financial 
benefit.'' Now the OMB says that workers can't include in their bids 
proposed reorganizations to make themselves more efficient. Now outside 
contractors will not have to figure in any health care benefits to 
their workers into these packages.
  Good jobs are simply too hard to come by in Louisiana for me to allow 
this to go forward without a fight.
  We know what A-76 really means in Louisiana. It means that workers 
that are paid a reasonable wage, including real health benefits and a 
pension, will be replaced. They will be replaced, frequently by the 
same people, but this time, they won't have health benefits or 
pensions. The difference will be the profit that corporations will 
pocket.
  Our Armed Forces deserve better than to be supported by civilians who 
are underpaid, understaffed, and overstretched so that contractors can 
pocket a few extra dollars per hour. That is not a savings to the 
American people. It is pennywise and pound foolish.
  With this experience, I simply cannot endorse broadening a system 
that I consider already broken.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank the Senator from Maryland for her fight and 
strong advocacy on this issue.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two minutes.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I reserve 2 minutes, waiting for Senators Byrd and 
Lautenberg. Does the Senator from Wyoming wish to speak?
  Mr. THOMAS. Pardon me, I did not hear the Senator.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I said I reserve 2 minutes to allow Senator Byrd and 
Senator Lautenberg to speak. Does the Senator wish to speak any longer?
  Mr. THOMAS. No, we are ready to vote.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I am going to wrap up. Remember, there are 15 reasons 
why the new public-private competition is unfair.
  It does not allow Federal employees to submit their best bids.
  It fails to end the unfair advantage given to contractors who provide 
their employees with inferior health benefits.
  It allows the use of quotes instead of actually soliciting bids from 
contractors.
  It doesn't consider alternatives to privatization giving Federal 
employees the right to come up with streamlining.
  It is very bad for diversity in the Federal workplace. Many of these 
jobs are clerical. I have already gotten feedback from constituents who 
refer to the clerical workers as ``let's get rid of them; they will be 
low-hanging fruit.'' Is that the way we refer to the clerical people 
who are willing to work 24/7 in keeping the FBI or keeping the DOD 
going? And guess what. Once it goes, it does not allow the Federal 
workers to rebid to get it back.
  All I am saying is, stop the implementation of the May 29 circular. 
Let's have a better process. Let's have a better plan. I am not opposed 
to privatization, but I am opposed to this May 29 circular.
  I yield back such time as we may have remaining, and I am ready to 
vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If all time is yielded back, there will now be 
a vote with respect to amendment No. 1923. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. THOMAS. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 1923. The clerk will 
call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign) 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Nevada 
(Mr. Ensign) would vote ``yea.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), and the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
California (Mrs. Boxer) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
would each vote ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 95, nays 1, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 407 Leg.]

                                YEAS--95

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dole
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham (FL)
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hollings
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nickles
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--1

       
     Byrd
       

                             NOT VOTING--4

     Boxer
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Kerry
  The amendment (No. 1923) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1917

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will come to order.
  There are now 2 minutes evenly divided before a vote with respect to 
the Mikulski amendment.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, we now come to the Mikulski amendment. 
Know that the amendment that just passed with the support of my side of 
the aisle corrects 5 and only 5 of 15 egregious problems with the May 
29 circular. That amendment was a downpayment. But if you want to 
correct all the grievances, vote for the Mikulski amendment. It does 
not end privatization. It ends the harsh, punitive, and egregious 
problems with the May 29 circular.
  Stand up for America, stand up for the Federal employees, stand up 
for the Mikulski amendment and vote aye.
  Mr. THOMAS. Madam President, the Senate has just adopted an amendment

[[Page S13106]]

which approves congressional oversight of public-private. It is a good 
thing for us to do.
  We urge the Senate to oppose the Mikulski amendment because it 
attempts to amend the problem by going back to the old A-76 process 
that we all agree was broken.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment that is before us.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If all time is yielded, the question is on 
agreeing to the amendment.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID (after having voted in the affirmative). Mr. President, I 
have a pair with the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign. If he were 
present and voting, the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign, would vote 
``no.'' If I were permitted to vote, I would vote ``yea.'' I therefore 
withhold my vote.
  Mr. President, I withdraw my pair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pair is withdrawn.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask that my pair be reinstated.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pair is reinstated.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign) 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Nevada 
(Mr. Ensign) would vote ``nay.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), and the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting, the Senator from 
California (Mrs. Boxer) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
would each vote ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Smith). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 47, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 408 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Breaux
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Clinton
     Conrad
     Corzine
     Daschle
     Dayton
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham (FL)
     Harkin
     Hollings
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Wyden

                                NAYS--48

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeWine
     Dole
     Domenici
     Enzi
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Nickles
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Voinovich
     Warner

       PRESENT AND GIVING A LIVE PAIR, AS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED--1

       
     Reid, for
       

                             NOT VOTING--4

     Boxer
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Kerry
  The amendment (No. 1917) was rejected.
  Mr. SHELBY. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. NICKLES. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, a mass liquidation of the Government is 
underway. U.S. corporations and industry entrepreneurs are salivating 
at this administration's effort to open at least 850,000 Federal jobs 
to private contractors.
  If this administration has its way, the most basic services of the 
Federal Government--from national security to tax collection to air 
traffic control to the maintenance of our national parks--will be 
handed over to private contractors like birthday party favors.
  And to expedite the process the administration has rewritten the 
Federal Government's A-76 contracting rules for the entire Federal 
Government, opening each agency and department to a host of potential 
abuses. The President's proposal has political disaster written all 
over it.
  I voted in favor of the Mikulski amendment to block this egregious 
scheme from going into effect.
  Also, the record should reflect the fact that the Thomas amendment 
would allow executive agencies to use funds appropriated for other 
purposes to monitor the performance of an activity or function that has 
been subjected to public-private competition. Such a provision is a 
preemption of the appropriations powers of Congress. The Congress 
should not be handing over such broad spending authority to executive 
agencies.
  I voted to protect congressional prerogatives and against the Thomas 
amendment.


                           Amendment No. 1928

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for 
its consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Dodd], for himself, Mr. 
     McConnell, Mr. Daschle, and Mr. Reid, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1928.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To fund the Election Assistance Commission for fiscal year 
                                 2004)

       On page 85, strike lines 20 through 25, and insert the 
     following:

     Commission, $1,500,000,000, for providing grants to assist 
     State and local efforts to improve election technology and 
     the administration of Federal elections, as authorized by the 
     Help America Vote Act of 2002: Provided, That no more than 
     \1/10\ of 1 per-

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I offer this amendment on behalf of myself, 
Senator Daschle, Senator Reid, and, of course, on behalf of my 
colleague from Kentucky, Senator McConnell, as well, to address this 
matter. I do not want to take a lot of time on this amendment. There 
are other Members who have obligations they want to meet.
  This amendment is pretty straightforward. Let me begin by thanking my 
colleague from Kentucky, my colleague from Missouri, and others with 
whom, over the last several years, we have worked to create and pass 
the Help America Vote Act, which was signed into law by the President 1 
year ago next week.
  This is a law, of course, to try to improve the conduct of Federal 
elections across the country. I need not remind my colleagues, of 
course, of the condition of the Federal election system based on the 
results we saw in the national elections in the year 2000.
  The piece of legislation that authorized these funds was adopted 98 
to 2 by this body, and almost by a similar percentage of votes in the 
other body.
  Last week, Senator McConnell and I came to the floor. I was going to 
suggest we offer an additional appropriation on the $87 billion package 
for Iraq. But, rightly, as my colleague from Kentucky pointed out, that 
was not the appropriate place to do this. We agreed in a colloquy that 
we would try to find an opportunity to provide the additional resources 
necessary so the State and local officials across this country could 
meet the obligations of doing these elections in a proper way.
  I point out to my colleagues that the sense of timing is important. 
In the Federal elections in 2004, the first primary of which is in the 
District of Columbia on January 13--less than 3 months away--all States 
and localities must provide provisional ballots to any voter who is 
challenged. Those provisional ballots must be verified, according to 
State law, in 2004. Also, in 2004, all States and localities must be 
prepared to implement the anti-fraud provisions that the Senator from 
Missouri, Mr. Bond, fought so diligently and hard for as part of the 
Help America Vote Act which affect first-time voters who register by 
mail. There are other requirements, of course, by 2004, and a whole 
series of things that must be done by 2006.
  Needless to say, as the State and local officials will tell you, 
getting mechanisms in place to get it done requires advanced timing. 
This cannot

[[Page S13107]]

just happen in the last few months before the elections occur.
  I also point out to my colleagues that, obviously, the States are 
facing tremendous budget constraints themselves. This is not the ideal 
way we would like to do this, but we have no other choice but to be 
part of this budgetary cycle and to include these dollars in this 
particular effort.
  In a time when we are committing, obviously, billions in Federal 
resources to build democracies around the world--and I supported that; 
I had reservations about it but, nonetheless, that is critically 
important--we cannot ignore the needs of our own democracy. Obviously, 
I think we would all agree we need to do what we can as well, as a 
nation that prides itself on being the leader when it comes to the 
conduct of our elections, to try to get these systems working better 
than they have been.
  Again, I thank my colleagues who have worked very hard on this 
matter. This was truly a bipartisan effort. It continues to be one. We 
have tried to work together on these matters over the last several 
years so as not to create any partisan feelings. I think that has been 
the case.
  So today, in a bipartisan way, we are asking our colleagues to be 
supportive of this additional amount in the appropriations process so 
we can get the moneys back to our States.
  I am sure every one of my colleagues has heard from their State and 
local officials. By the way, the States are doing a very good job. You 
may have read recent articles of how the States are getting up to 
speed, putting things in place, getting their implementation plans in 
order, and doing so with a great deal of expedition and care.
  Several States have already utilized some of the newer approaches as 
a result of their own State efforts, which are proving to be very 
successful.
  I think we are on the right track. I think we are doing the right 
thing. The National Governors Association, of course, reported the 
difficulties they are having with their budget problems, as I mentioned 
a moment ago.
  I do not want to take a lot of time of my colleagues. I think they 
know what the issues are. I have talked to many of them.
  Just last week, Senator McConnell and I came to this floor to express 
our concerns that the Congress not leave here this session without 
providing sufficient resources to the States to implement the minimum 
requirements and other election priorities, for Federal elections 
enacted under the Help America Vote Act. Some of those requirements 
must be implemented in time for the Federal elections next year.
  The States are living up to their end of the bargain--all States are 
well along in the development of their state plans and many are in the 
initial implementation stages of the effort. But we must live up to our 
side of the bargain.
  In his budget request, the President recommended funding these 
programs in fiscal year 2004 at only one-half of the authorized amount, 
for a total of $500 million. To their credit, the Appropriations 
Subcommittee fully funded that request, and I thank the distinguished 
chairman, Senator Shelby, and my friend and colleague, the ranking 
member, Senator Murray, for their efforts.
  However, State and local budgets simply cannot absorb this $500 
million shortfall. More importantly, any shortfall in fiscal year 2004 
follows on a similar shortfall of over $600 million in the fiscal year 
2003 appropriations. Unless we increase funding in this fiscal year, 
our commitment to the States to share in the funding of the new 
requirements for Federal elections will fall over $1 billion short.
  In a time when we are committing billions of dollars in Federal 
resources to build democracies around the world, we simply cannot 
afford to shortchange our own. The basic premise of a democracy is that 
every citizen must have an equal voice in the determination of its 
government.
  And in this Nation, that voice is expressed through the equal 
opportunity to cast a vote and have that vote counted. If America is to 
continue to be the leader and example for emerging democracies around 
the world, then our system of giving our citizens an equal voice--our 
system of elections--must meet this test.
  Unfortunately, what we learned in the elections of 2000 was that not 
all Americans enjoy an equal voice. In fact, some citizens were denied 
a voice at all because of malfunctioning or outdated voting equipment, 
inaccurate and incomplete voter registration records, and allegations 
of voter intimidation and fraud.
  The silver lining of the 2000 elections was that it created the 
opportunity to recognize the challenges confronting our system 
of Federal elections and the ability to respond with bipartisan 
determination to provide Federal leadership to overcome those 
challenges. And 98 members of the Senate responded to that opportunity 
by overwhelmingly passing the Help America Vote Act last year.

  I once again want to thank my distinguished colleagues, and coauthors 
of the Help America Vote Act, Senator McConnell and Senator Bond, for 
their bipartisan leadership in that effort and for their continuing 
commitment to see our promise for Federal funding fulfilled.
  I especially want to recognize the leadership of my distinguished 
colleague, Senator McConnell, whose unfailing leadership on this issue 
has help to bring us to this point. As then Chairman of the Rules 
Committee, he chaired the first hearings on election reform and 
introduced one of the first measures in Congress to offer assistance to 
the States.
  And today we stand before you again, united by our desire to fulfil 
the commitment and promise of HAVA to the States, and to every American 
voter, to be a full partner in Federal elections. But rhetoric alone 
will not fulfill this commitment, nor will it fix the problems that 
came to light in the 2000 elections. It will take leadership and funds. 
And that is what the Help America Vote Act provides.
  HAVA provides federal leadership in the form of new minimum 
requirements that all states must meet in the conduct of Federal 
elections. Those requirements will ensure that all voters can check 
their ballots and correct them before they are cast and counted. The 
requirements will ensure that no voter who believes he or she is 
registered and eligible to vote can be turned away from the polls--but 
must be given a provisional ballot to cast and then have verified 
pursuant to State law. And those requirements will ensure the accuracy 
of voter registration lists against fraud and mistakes through the 
creation of a single statewide registration list. In short, HAVA will 
strengthen our democracy by giving an equal voice to all citizens by 
making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
  Implementing these reforms will not be cheap and so for the first 
time in our history, Congress committed to being a full partner in the 
funding of these reforms by authorizing $3.8 billion to fund the 
implementation of these requirements.
  Federal funding is critical to nationwide implementation of this Act 
and may well govern the success and effectiveness of the new law. To 
help pay for election reforms and avoid an unfunded mandate on the 
States, HAVA authorizes a total of nearly $4 billion over three fiscal 
years, including over $2 billion in fiscal year 2003; $1 billion in 
fiscal year 2004; and $645,000 in fiscal year 2005.
  Of the $1.5 billion Congress appropriated last year to fund grants to 
the States, $650 million has been distributed to all 50 states, the 
District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 
American Samoa. I thank my colleagues for their support during the FY03 
appropriations process, particularly Senator Stevens, Chair of the 
Appropriations Committee and Senator Byrd, the Ranking Member, for 
providing this substantial down-payment on our commitment to the 
States.
  But we now know that the FY03 appropriation will not provide 
sufficient funds for the States to fully implement their State plans 
and meet the new requirements of the law. And the shortfall in the 
first critical year of funding under HAVA is only compounded by the 
additional shortfall of $500 million in the bill before the Senate 
today.

  Given the dire financial budget constraints faced by our states and 
counties, the total shortfall of over just over $1 billion in promised 
Federal support creates an unfunded mandate that is both unfair and 
unnecessary and

[[Page S13108]]

threatens to undermine the very reforms that were adopted last year.
  According to the National Governors Association, the current 
financial health of state and local governments was at its lowest point 
since World War II last year and has worsened in the past 10 months. 
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, States have 
struggled to close deficits that have totaled approximately $190 
billion over the past three years and the best estimate at this time is 
that they will face deficits of more than $40 billion in fiscal year 
2005.
  And the counties are in no better economic situation than the States. 
According to the National Association of Counties, nearly 72 percent of 
counties are facing budget shortfalls and 56 percent of counties are 
facing reductions in State funding for State-mandated programs. While 
counties are struggling to deal with the revenue reductions, the demand 
for county-provided services continues to rise.
  State and local governments are willing and anxious to implement the 
new requirements; they simply cannot go it alone. And that was the 
historic message of the Help America Vote Act: the Federal Government 
will step up to our responsibility to be a full partner in funding 
Federal election reforms.
  Full Federal funding for HAVA is crucial to ensuring that the reforms 
that Congress overwhelmingly approved, on a broad bipartisan basis, and 
the President endorsed with his signature, are implemented. The very 
integrity of our elections, and consequently our democracy, hangs in 
the balance.
  Full funding of HAVA is critical to our national credibility for 
fairness and accuracy in Federal elections. It is fundamental to the 
integrity of our democratic process. This amendment not only fulfils 
out commitment to date, it assures that the very reforms Congress 
enacted last year will actually be implemented.
  This effort is overwhelming supported by a bipartisan and powerful 
coalition of State and local election officials, in conjunction with 
all the major civil rights, disability, language minority, and other 
voter interest groups in the United States. I thank each and every one 
of them for their strong support in passing HAVA and their continuing 
commitment to see that Congress makes good on its promise to be a full 
partner in Federal elections by fully funding the provisions of HAVA. I 
ask unanimous consent that a letter from the Coalition be included in 
the Record following my remarks.
  No civil right is more fundamental to our democracy than the right to 
vote and no need for Federal funding is more essential to securing that 
democracy than is the commitment made by this body to ensure the 
integrity and accuracy of our Federal elections.
  I thank my colleagues for their continuing support of this effort and 
urge my colleagues to fulfill our commitment of last year to ensure the 
integrity of our Federal elections and the very foundation of our 
democracy by supporting this bipartisan amendment to fully fund the 
Help America Vote Act.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to print a letter supporting 
this amendment in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

Make Election Reform a Reality--Support the Dodd-McConnell Amendment to 
                               H.R. 2989

                                                 October 23, 2003.
       Dear Senator: We, the undersigned organizations, strongly 
     urge you to support an amendment to be offered by Senators 
     Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to 
     increase funding for the Help America Vote Act (P.L. 107-252) 
     (``HAVA'') in H.R. 2989, the FY 2004 Treasury-Transportation 
     Appropriations bill. The Dodd-McConnell amendment will 
     increase the level of HAVA funding in that bill from $500 
     million to $1.5 billion. We ask that you vote in favor of the 
     amendment and vote against any Budget Act point of order that 
     may be raised.
       The Help America Vote Act was enacted with overwhelming 
     bipartisan support in order to prevent the many problems of 
     the 2000 election from ever happening again. Among its many 
     reforms, it places significant mandates upon states and 
     localities to replace outdated voting equipment, create 
     statewide voter registration lists and provide provisional 
     ballots to ensure that eligible voters are not turned away, 
     and make it easier for people with disabilities to cast 
     private, independent ballots.
       To help pay for these reforms, HAVA authorizes a total of 
     $3.9 billion over three fiscal years, including $2.16 billion 
     for FY03 and $1.045 billion for FY04. To date, however, the 
     actual funding of HAVA has been woefully inadequate. So far, 
     only $1.5 billion of FY03 funding has been appropriated, and 
     $830 million of that amount has yet to reach the states 
     because the President has nominated and the Senate has not 
     confirmed the members of the new Election Assistance 
     Commission. Additionally, only $500 million is currently 
     included in pending FY04 appropriations; once again, this is 
     a sum that falls well below what is needed for successful 
     implementation of HAVA. States and localities were assured by 
     Congress that this new law would not evolve into a set of 
     unfunded federal mandates. It is now time for Congress to 
     honor its commitment to the states and to the American public 
     at large.
       Given the difficult fiscal circumstances facing state and 
     local governments, immediate and full funding of HAVA is now 
     needed in order to make essential progress before Election 
     Day in 2004. Without the strong leadership that HAVA promised 
     at the federal level, states and local governments simply do 
     not have the ability to complete implementation of the 
     important reforms that they are now required to make.
       No civil right is more fundamental to America's democracy 
     than the right to vote. As our nation spends billions of 
     dollars helping to promote democracies abroad, Congress 
     simply should not allow doubts about the legitimacy of our 
     electoral processes continue to linger here at home.
       We thank you for your support of funding for the ``Help 
     America Vote Act,'' and we look forward to working with you 
     on this critical issue. Should you have any questions, please 
     contact Rob Randhava of the Leadership Conference on Civil 
     Rights at (202) 466-6058, Leslie Reynolds of the National 
     Association of Secretaries of State at (202) 624-3525, or any 
     of the individual organizations listed below.
           Sincerely,
     Organizations Representing State and Local Officials
     National Association of Secretaries of State
     National Conference of State Legislatures
     Council of State Governments
     National Association of State Election Directors
     National Association of Counties
     National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed 
         Officials Educational Fund
     National League of Cities
     International City/County Management Association
     International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election 
         Officials and Treasurers
     National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials 
         and Clerks
     Civil Rights Organizations
     Alliance for Retired Americans
     American Association of People with Disabilities
     American Civil Liberties Union
     American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
         Organizations
     Americans for Democratic Action
     Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
     Asian Law Alliance
     Asian Law Caucus
     Asian Pacific American Legal Center
     Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
     Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
     California Council for the Blind
     Center for Governmental Studies
     Center for Voting and Democracy
     Common Cause
     Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action
     Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
     Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
     League of Women Voters of the United States
     Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
     National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees
     National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
     National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
     National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
     National Council of Churches
     National Council of La Raza
     Neighbor to Neighbor Action Fund
     Organization of Chinese Americans
     People For the American Way
     Project Vote
     Public Citizen
     The Arc of the United States
     United Auto Workers
     United Cerebral Palsy
     U.S. Action Education Fund
     U.S. Public Interest Research Group

  Mr. DODD. Again, my colleagues from Kentucky and Missouri and I would 
prefer to have some other way we could do this, but if we don't get it 
done now, it is going to be very difficult for us to meet these 
obligations at all. This additional amount in fiscal year 2004 will get 
us back on track and allow us to complete this process and to see the 
election cycle work in a way that all of us would be proud to see.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.

[[Page S13109]]

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise today finding myself in a very 
unusual situation. As an ardent supporter of the budget resolution and 
enforcing the axiom of ``live within your means,'' I am very much 
opposed to blowing the budget caps, except under the rarest of 
circumstances. This is just such a circumstance.
  At a time in which the United States is the key to developing a 
democracy in Iraq, this amendment ensures our democracy at home. While 
the United States is leading the repair of a country mired in 
corruption and suppression, this amendment provides the support to 
ensure the franchise of all Americans, and to combat the dissolution of 
that franchise.
  As all my colleagues heard me say many a time, everyone who is 
eligible to vote, should vote and have their vote count, but they 
should do so only once. This amendment provides an additional $1 
billion to implement the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The 
Transportation-Treasury appropriations bill as drafted sets aside $500 
million for election improvement grants. This amount, when added to the 
fiscal year 2003 appropriation, falls $1 billion short of our 
commitment. This amendment fills that gap.
  In enacting election reform last year, we all knew it would come at a 
significant financial cost and we all have heard repeatedly from State 
and local officials about the importance of full funding. The 
additional funds provided in this amendment will be used by States and 
localities to meet requirements which have a 2004 implementation date 
and continue their work on those with a 2006 date.
  As a refresher to all my colleagues, the election reform legislation 
we passed last year protects the sanctity and security of the votes of 
all Americans in the following ways: Provisional ballots for all voters 
which are later verified for eligibility so no one is turned away from 
the polls; statewide databases to include information from registrants 
to ensure accurate and up to date lists of legally registered and 
eligible voters; mail-in voter registration procedures to include 
positive identification of not only the eligibility of the registrant, 
but the existence of that registrant; update and improvement of voting 
systems to achieve ease, access and security; and increased poll worker 
training, voter information and overall modernization of the entire 
voting process.
  One year ago next Wednesday marks the 1-year anniversary of the 
enactment of election reform legislation. Since that date, States and 
localities have been working tirelessly to meet the standards the 
Federal Government placed upon them. With the 2004 elections right 
around the corner, it is important we provide the necessary resources 
for full implementation of these important standards.
  Once again, I commend both the Budget chairman and the Appropriations 
chairman who have been outstanding throughout the year, and I have been 
a stalwart supporter of their efforts. This, however, is that very rare 
instance which I believe warrants providing funding above that provided 
in the budget.
  Win or lose on this amendment, we must honor our commitment to 
financially partner with the States to improve our elections process.
  As I said, I find myself in an extremely awkward position. I support 
the chairman of the Budget Committee. I support the budget resolution. 
I support the great work that he has done in holding us to the budget 
resolution as we move along. And I wouldn't be in favor of waiving the 
budget but for an extraordinary circumstance.
  The cold hard reality is this: When we passed the election reform 
bill a year ago this month, we promised the American people that in the 
fall of 2004, we would have the mechanisms in place to dramatically 
improve the election system, including having the antifraud provisions 
that the Senator from Missouri, Mr. Bond, and I fought so diligently 
for, that guarantees that every American has a right to vote but, as 
Senator Bond frequently put it, votes only once.
  None of those provisions will go into place unless the amendment 
Senator Dodd is offering is approved. I can tell you that everybody 
seems to be in favor of this, but nobody has been able to figure a way 
to get it done. I spent the afternoon talking to people in the 
administration who want to see it done, talking to the people in the 
House of Representatives right at the top who want to see it done, 
people on that side of the aisle who want to see it done, and people on 
this side of the aisle, but nobody is showing a clear path to how you 
get it done.
  I think I am safe to say, on behalf of the Senator from Connecticut 
and the Senator from Missouri, we are here to offer this amendment to 
demonstrate, we hope, that a significant percentage of the Senate wants 
to see, at the end of the appropriations process, this money found to 
guarantee that we dramatically improve our election process, not 
sometime in the far distant future but next November.
  I ask unanimous consent that Senator Bond, Senator Hatch, Senator 
Roberts, and Senator Burns be added as cosponsors to the Dodd-McConnell 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I know Senator Bond would like to speak as well. We 
are anxious to move ahead, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, the Senator from Connecticut has introduced 
a very important amendment that deserves the support of this body.
  Events of the 2000 election in my home State and elsewhere pointed 
out that there are serious flaws in our election system that invite 
mischief and confusion. But last year, in a near unanimous vote, this 
body passed important legislation that will make it easier for 
Americans to vote and harder for those who would do such a thing, to 
cheat. The legislation offers a tremendous opportunity to modernize our 
election system, improve election technology and help State and local 
officials manage elections better. Once this legislation is in full 
effect, we will see a dramatic improvement in the reliability and 
integrity of elections. But funding is essential to move forward on the 
key aspects of this bill. With the funding, we can take large steps 
forward before the upcoming election.
  So far, we have funded a significant downpayment on implementation of 
this law. The chairman has included a generous sum in this bill, and I 
thank him for his attention to the issue. We are here today to ensure 
that we are on target with the funding level and funds are flowing in 
advance of the 2004 election; we can have an impact on this election, 
move rapidly towards complete implementation and put the problems we 
experienced behind us for future elections.
  I will take a minute to remind my colleagues of some of the more 
important components of this bill. First, this funding will go toward 
ensuring that every State has a modern, computerized statewide voter 
registration system. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects 
of this bill and one provision that cannot be implemented without 
funding.
  Surprisingly, much of voter registration has missed out on the rapid 
advances in technology. In many States and jurisdictions they are still 
paper records. Compounded by Motor Voter's overly broad restrictions on 
removing names from lists, too many voting lists around the country 
have become clogged with fake names or names that should simply no 
longer be there. The result is inaccurate, unreliable, and unmanageable 
voter registration lists. As my colleagues and I learned while working 
on this bill, voter registration lists are the most basic element of 
any well-run election, and their accuracy is essential if elections are 
to be honest and voters are to have confidence in the outcome.
  How bad are these lists? When we looked into this issue while working 
on this bill, West Virginia's Mingo and Lincoln Counties both had more 
registered voters than living people. Allegheny County, PA, had 18 
municipalities with more registered voters than voting-age adults. The 
State of Alaska had 502,968 on the voter rolls, though census figures 
show only 437,000 Alaskans of voting age.
  In Missouri we have found individuals who are registered at three, 
four, and even five different locations across the State--not to 
mention those that are registered twice in the same jurisdiction. At 
one point in the city of St.

[[Page S13110]]

Louis, we had 240,000 registered voters but only 200,000 people of 
voting age.
  These are the problems that are a serious threat to the confidence 
people have that their vote will be counted and that the outcome of the 
election will be honest.
  This bill also includes a requirement that voters using the ``by 
mail'' registration offered in Motor Voter will now have to identify 
themselves before casting a vote. How did all those names get on the 
lists? As some may remember from our discussions last fall, we even 
discovered the odd circumstances of voter rolls including the names of 
canines. How did this happen--because mail registration was available 
and could be used to anonymously put names on voter lists. Those same 
States that were required to accept registrations through the mail were 
also prohibited from authenticating those registrations. The election 
reform bill corrects that problem by requiring those who exercise their 
right to register by mail to provide some identification prior to 
voting. As previously stated, this contributed greatly to the troubled 
shape of voter rolls and the administration of elections. This bill 
fixes this, and we need to step up and ensure it is fully implemented.
  This bill addresses a number of important issues, including dealing 
with judicial orders affecting polling place hours, providing 
provisional voting for those who have their names removed from voting 
rolls because of administrative error and ensuring that voting 
equipment have advanced audit trails to prevent manipulation of votes 
at the polling places. States will also be issuing identification 
numbers to registered voters to track voters and will be collecting 
information to ensure that voters are citizens and of proper 
eligibility status.
  To summarize, the bill contains significant advances that will 
greatly enhance integrity and administration. It is important that 
these and all the provisions in this bill are fully implemented--the 
sooner the better. So thanks again to Senators Dodd and McConnell for 
their work and help pushing this bill and its funding forward. I urge 
my colleagues to support this amendment.
  As has been stated by the Senator from Connecticut and the Senator 
from Kentucky, we had a very long and difficult process over better 
than 18 months to try to pull together a truly significant piece of 
legislation that would, in fact, make it easier to vote and tougher to 
cheat. A lot of people had lots of questions about the 2000 election. I 
happened to think that from my own personal experience, the fraudulent 
parts of that election were of extreme concern. And it is my view and 
understanding that in order for us to ensure, No. 1, that we have the 
voting equipment available for the 2004 Presidential election, and that 
we have the antifraud provisions in effect for the 2004 election, we 
need to appropriate this money.
  We made the commitment. It is a question of ``pay me now or pay me 
later.'' Frankly, I urge my colleagues on this side of the aisle to 
say: Let's pay now rather than pay later. You can ask questions about 
how quickly the money is spent but, frankly, in order to trigger the 
antifraud provisions, we have to get the money now.
  In many States around the country, Motor Voter has led to an amazing 
electoral turnout. People send in a postcard and say ``register me,'' 
or register whatever name is signed. There is no authentication 
required. States were even prevented from authenticating it. When you 
look at the list, West Virginia's Mingo and Lincoln Counties had more 
registered voters than living people, adults and children. Allegheny 
County, PA, had 18 municipalities with more registered voters than 
voting age adults. The State of Alaska had 503,000 on the voter rolls, 
though the census figures only show 437,000 Alaskans. In Missouri, we 
found some truly amazing things--three, four, even five different voter 
registrations by the same individual, some two or more times in the 
same jurisdiction; at one point the city of St. Louis, 240,000 
registered voters but only 200,000 people of voting age. That is a heck 
of a trick. We found out when, fortunately, a very aggressive media 
went out and checked on it. We found vacant lots with people 
registered. We found 10, 15, 20 people registered from one location. In 
a subsequent election, a very popular alderman from the city of St. 
Louis re-registered to vote on the 10th anniversary of his death. That 
is a wonderful statement of theological implications, but it does not 
do much for political science.
  Of course, many on this Senate floor were tired of seeing the picture 
of my favorite St. Louis voter, Ritzy Mekler, the 13-year-old cocker 
spaniel who was registered.
  We have to stop that. The way we do it is to make all of the 
provisions of this bill effective for the very important 2004 
elections.
  I thank Senators Dodd and McConnell. I urge my colleagues to support 
the Dodd amendment.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, the events of the last Presidential 
election highlighted the importance of election reform and the need to 
replace antiquated and faulty voting machines. The Help America Vote 
Act, HAVA, was enacted last year to address these issues and to 
establish new minimum requirements that all States must meet in the 
conduct of Federal elections. My home State of Washington is struggling 
with implementing and paying for the requirements of HAVA due to our 
heavy reliance on vote-by-mail ballots.
  Last year, the bill included $1.5 billion for election reform, but 
that funding was not part of the subcommittee's initial allocation. The 
full committee provided this funding in addition to our subcommittee 
allocation.
  I am in agreement that the $1.5 billion is necessary and should be 
provided for election reform. But we do not have the available funding 
for that purpose in our bill, so it will be necessary to waive the 
Budget Act. During consideration of the budget resolution, I was not 
able to vote for election reform funding due to the competing needs of 
the agencies under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee. So I am 
comfortable with the amendment offered by Senator Dodd, which waives 
the Budget Act for this important purpose.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I truly wish that I did not have to address 
this body on this topic. Last February, I stood before this body and 
urged my colleagues to ensure the Help America Vote Act of 2002, HAVA, 
contained adequate funding, assuring the States that they will have the 
necessary resources to comply with the mandates contained in the new 
law.
  In fact, the Senate adopted a Sense of the Senate amendment to 
reinforce our commitment to fund this act fully so that States and 
localities would not be hurt by yet another unfunded mandate. Our vote 
today should reflect that commitment.
  As this body debated HAVA in February of 2002. I asked this pointed 
question: ``What if a future Congress fails to provide adequate funding 
for this legislation?'' Well, here we are just one Congress later and 
our States and localities--who were then experiencing budget shortfalls 
in early 2002 and are now facing budget crises--are now forced to make 
extremely difficult choices. We in Congress have fallen woefully short 
in delivering on our promise to fully fund the mandated portions of the 
bill.
  Mr. President, I cannot tell you how many individuals in Utah have 
come up to me and expressed their great displeasure at the lack of 
funding for the HAVA law. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated 
the cost of HAVA at $3 billion. That is billion with a ``B.''
  Let us look at the hard realities. Is it ethical for us, at a time 
when the majority of our States are facing serious financial 
difficulties, when some, such as my home State of Utah are cutting off 
health care benefits to children and closing prisons, to even suggest 
they foot the entire bill for these new mandates? I think not.
  In this case, I'm sorry to have been correct. But, it is one Congress 
later and we are exactly where I warned that we would be. For the good 
of the States and the voters, we need to make available the resources 
necessary to fully implement HAVA.
  I urge my colleagues to remember your commitment to your State and 
vote in favor of this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, first I congratulate Senator Shelby for 
his management of this bill. This is an appropriations bill. The budget 
authority

[[Page S13111]]

of this bill is actually less than last year's level. And the outlays 
under this bill, as far as the outlays that are controlled, grew by 3.6 
percent. So it is within the budget. It is within the budget that we 
have passed, and it is also within the budget agreement that the 
chairman of the Appropriations Committee made with the President.
  This amendment is not. This amendment does bust the budget. This 
amendment does have a budget point of order that lies against it. But 
it also is not necessary. I heard my colleague say it is necessary. Let 
me state a different opinion than that.
  In last year's appropriations bill, we appropriated $1.5 billion for 
election assistance. There is $833 million of that that has not been 
used. As a matter of fact, there is an election assistance commission 
that was formed under that legislation. The commissioners haven't even 
been appointed or confirmed. I understand they are going to be soon. I 
heard my colleague from Missouri say: We can't take the enforcement 
provisions unless we get this money. That is not correct. They need the 
commission. The commission hasn't been confirmed. I am not sure; maybe 
that is because the names weren't submitted. Maybe they were not 
confirmed because of a little disagreement between Democrats and 
Republicans. We have had trouble confirming some people this year. But 
I understand they are going to. I think that is good.
  The facts are, there is $833 million of 2003 money that has not been 
spent. In the 2004 appropriations bill, there is $500 million that is 
in the bill. That is a total of $1.3 billion for this purpose that is 
available to be spent as soon as the appropriations bill is passed.
  How much did the administration request? The administration requested 
$500 million. They requested $500 million which is in the bill. So by 
the time we pass this bill, there will be $1.3 billion to be spent. I 
would venture to say the States couldn't spend another billion if we 
tried. I wouldn't be surprised if they can't spend $1.3 billion in the 
next 12 months. They have only been able to spend less than $800 
million this year. So now we want to increase that and make it $2.3 
billion that they are going to spend in the next 12 months. I don't 
think they can do it. Certainly, it would be busting the budget.
  Sometimes we have things we would like to do, but we can't do because 
we have fiscal constraints.
  We have very large deficits and they are going to get larger if we 
come up and say, I am sorry, but, yes, there is a good cause here; and 
even though elections have always been basically administered and paid 
for by the States, we would love to have the Federal Government assume 
all the costs and throw out billions of dollars in the process. We have 
been very generous with $1.5 billion last year, $500 million this year, 
and $831 million yet to be spent. I think we have ample money and every 
reason to sustain the budget point of order that will soon be raised by 
the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire is recognized.
  Mr. SUNUNU. Mr. President, I join my colleague from Oklahoma in 
opposing this amendment. No one wants to see fraud or abuse in the 
democratic process. The Senator from Missouri talked about some pretty 
egregious examples, and it is not necessarily an easy amendment to 
oppose. But there is a lot of funding in the pipeline that is equally 
important, maybe more important.
  This busts the budget, and this is subject to a point of order. I 
think we have to exercise restraint, discipline, and focus when we are 
dealing with budget issues. If the funds are a priority, we should find 
a way to provide the support and funding within the constraints of the 
budget resolution. But we cannot come to the floor with amendments for 
initiatives that sound very worthwhile but violate the budget 
resolution and take us over the budget limits and caps, which will 
continue to increase the deficit.
  So I think we need to stay focused on that resolution and exercise 
some fiscal discipline. I appreciate the concerns in a place such as 
St. Louis, where cocker spaniels are voting, but I think we can address 
that with funding already in the pipeline. I hope the States are taking 
real action to address those kinds of situations of fraud and abuse. I 
will support my colleague from Oklahoma in opposing this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I appreciate the comments of my colleague. 
Let me just say that this amendment is providing for the number of 
demands being made on the States. The Senator from Missouri points out 
what has to be done by the next calendar year, and, just a few weeks 
from now, on January 13, the Federal primary season, and State and 
locals are up against the requirements. We are going to get the 
nominees to the Election Assistance Commission confirmed, but this 
keeps us on track with the funding. We won't need to come back to this 
again for another year, but this has to be done now.
  We authorized over $3.8 billion for this bill over three fiscal 
years. This will get us on track for FY03 and FY04 so the States can 
complete the job. As the Senators have said, this is not our preferred 
method for providing full funding. Everybody agrees we have to get it 
done. Contrary to what my friend from Oklahoma says, if we don't get it 
done now, it will make it that much more difficult to accomplish these 
goals and it will create huge problems. I will not go through the 
litany, but I hope my colleagues, when the point of order is made--and 
I will offer a waiver of that point of order--will support the States 
on this. I don't want to take much more time. The chairman has other 
obligations.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a couple of points. The chairman 
of the Budget Committee, Senator Nickles, is certainly doing his job, 
and I understand his concern. But I have just a couple of observations.
  The Commissioners of the new Election Administration Commission have 
their hearing next Tuesday. They will be confirmed before we leave this 
fall. This money can and will be spent. It all goes out by formula, all 
across America--directly out by formula. It doesn't require them to use 
some discretion on it. It goes out directly by formula, and it will be 
spent because this is a Federal mandate. We are mandating that this 
money be spent for the reasons specified in the bill.
  If you are interested in having, to the maximum extent, an honest 
election next year, then we need to provide adequate funding early in 
the year because the election is 13 months away, so that these mandates 
can be carried out in time to guarantee that we have next fall, to the 
maximum number extent possible, an honest election.
  It is because of these extraordinary circumstances I find myself in a 
position I would not normally be in, which is supporting waiving the 
Budget Act.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I am tempted to remark about my friend 
from Missouri saying there are only 477,000 Alaskans, but I will let 
that go.
  Mr. BOND. If the Senator will yield, I offer my sincere apologies. 
Would he accept it if I said ``of voting age'' and correct that 
statement?
  Mr. STEVENS. It comes closer. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. President, up my way there is a saying: The promise made is the 
debt unpaid.
  This year, when I went to the President to increase the moneys 
allowed for education and a series of other items in this total budget, 
after a serious discussion, he agreed. I told him if he would make 
those changes, I would promise him I would see to it that there would 
be no funds appropriated in the regular process in excess of the 
amounts he requested. He has not requested this additional amount.
  Therefore, the pending amendment No. 1928 offered by the Senator from 
Connecticut, Mr. Dodd, increases the spending by $1 billion. This 
additional spending would cause the underlying bill to exceed the 
subcommittee section 302(b) allocation. Therefore, I raise a point of 
order against the amendment pursuant to section 302(f) of the Budget 
Act.
  Parenthetically, I also say that, before we recess this year, we will 
have to provide this money and the Appropriations Committee will find 
some way to find it within the budget.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the Congressional

[[Page S13112]]

Budget Act of 1974, I move to waive the applicable sections of that act 
for the purposes of the pending amendment, and I ask for the yeas and 
nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID (after having voted in the affirmative). Mr. President, I 
have a pair with the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign. If he were 
present and voting, the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign, would vote 
``nay.'' If I were permitted to vote, I would vote ``yea.'' I, 
therefore, withhold my vote.
  Mr. McConnell. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign) 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Nevada 
(Mr. Ensign) would vote ``nay.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), the Senator from South 
Carolina (Mr. Hollings), and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
California (Mrs. Boxer) and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
would each vote ``aye.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 63, nays 31, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 409 Leg.]

                                YEAS--63

     Akaka
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Breaux
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dole
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham (FL)
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Talent
     Wyden

                                NAYS--31

     Alexander
     Allard
     Brownback
     Campbell
     Chambliss
     Cochran
     Craig
     Crapo
     Domenici
     Enzi
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Kyl
     Lott
     McCain
     Murkowski
     Nickles
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Thomas
     Voinovich
     Warner

         PRESENT AND GIVING A LIVE PAIR, AS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED

       
     Reid, for
       

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Boxer
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Hollings
     Kerry
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 63, the nays are 
31. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move to 
lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1928) was agreed to.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senators 
Durbin, Schumer, Lieberman, and Edwards be added as cosponsors.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, let me thank all Members. Let me 
particularly thank my colleague from Kentucky and my colleague from 
Missouri, as well as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, 
Senator Stevens, who graciously said we would try to work this out.
  I appreciate my colleagues doing what they did, and I appreciate 
those who didn't even vote with us. It is a very important moment. I am 
very grateful to everyone who gave us consideration. I am particularly 
grateful to the Members who cast their votes with us. I know it was a 
difficult vote, but it will do a lot for the States.


                     Procurement of Tanker Aircraft

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, two Members who are on the Armed Services 
Committee have been waiting all day to give statements.
  I ask unanimous consent that the chairman and ranking member of the 
committee be recognized for 6 minutes each to speak as in morning 
business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, does the Senator from Washington wish to 
join?
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, if I could have an additional minute.
  Mr. WARNER. I think we should reserve it for the other Senator from 
Washington, too.
  Mrs. MURRAY. That is correct.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I modify my request: 5 minutes to the 
Senator from Virginia, 5 minutes to the Senator from Michigan, 2 
minutes to the Senator from Washington, and 2 minutes to Senator 
Cantwell, if she wishes to speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank our distinguished minority leader 
for that.
  I have a draft in the form of an amendment which I hope to introduce 
into the Armed Services conference for purposes of incorporation in 
that bill. I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the Record 
following my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I rise to describe this proposal 
concerning the administration's request to proceed with the lease of 
100 aircraft.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, the Senate is not in order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will come to order.
  The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, for the past 2 years, this issue has had a 
rather contentious but serious debate--
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I apologize, but the Senate is still not 
in order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will please come to order.
  The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, for the past few years there has been a 
sort of contentious but serious and conscientious debate within the 
administration and the Congress as to how to resolve the problem for 
the Department of the Air Force.
  What I regard as a compromise to the pending understanding would be 
the following: First, according to my sources, in many ways this has 
been corroborated by the various Departments which worked with us. It 
would provide up to perhaps $4 billion in savings. It would give prompt 
delivery of 100 new tanker aircraft. It would put this program back 
into the traditional procurement process, put this program back into 
the traditional budget process, put this program back into the 
traditional authorization process, and provide the Air Force with 
title--underline ``title''--ownership of at least 80 of the aircraft 
under this contract.
  Pursuant to section 133 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
fiscal year 2003, which established guidelines for the congressional 
review of any tanker lease, the Air Force, on July 10, submitted to the 
Congressional Defense Committees a new start notification of at least 
100 aircraft.
  Under section 133 of the Defense Authorization Act of 2003, all four 
committees must act favorably on this notification for the lease to 
proceed. Our Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to act. We 
conducted extensive oversight of this tanker lease program, holding a 
hearing on September 4.
  During this hearing, I first put out my thoughts for public comment 
on the idea of leasing at that time up to 25 aircraft and purchasing 
the remainder. I have now modified that to 20 and 80.
  Subsequent to this hearing, the committee explored numerous options 
and requested additional studies from the Congressional Budget Office, 
the General Accounting Office and the Air Force.

[[Page S13113]]

  I commend the members of my committee for their careful review of 
this matter and coming up with this proposal despite the enormous 
pressure from many sectors to simply adopt the new start reprogramming 
request.
  The proposal amendment to be included in the National Defense 
Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004 would provide for the approval 
of a lease for 20 aircraft and authorize a multiyear procurement 
program for the remaining 80 aircraft. Thus, the Air Force would still 
obtain 100 tankers, in keeping with the goal of the Administration's 
tanker lease proposal.
  This approach allows the tanker program to get started with no lease 
payments required until fiscal year 2006 and no purchase payments 
required until fiscal year 2008, while still permitting the same 
schedule of deliveries as in the currently negotiated lease contract.
  This proposal would also authorize the use of incremental funding for 
the 80 aircraft purchase. Incremental funding is an approach that 
should not be taken lightly by Congress, but it is one that has been 
used for other weapon systems acquisitions where there was a critical 
need.
  I plan to continue to consult with all interested parties and work to 
get an agreement to include this proposal in the national defense 
authorization conference report. That action would provide the Air 
Force the option to immediately execute the program and being 
production of these 100 aircraft.
  I urge the support of my colleagues.

                               Exhibit I

     SEC.  . PROCUREMENT OF TANKER AIRCRAFT.  

       (a) Leased Aircraft.--The Secretary of the Air Force may 
     lease up to a total of 20 aircraft under the multiyear 
     aircraft lease pilot program referred to in subsection (d).
       (b) Multiyear Procurement Authority.--(1) Beginning with 
     the fiscal year 2004 program year, the Secretary of the Air 
     Force may, in accordance with section 2306b of title 10, 
     United States Code, enter into a multiyear contract for the 
     purchase of aircraft necessary to meet the requirements of 
     the Air Force for which leasing of aircraft is provided for 
     under the multiyear aircraft lease pilot program but for 
     which the number of aircraft leased under the authority of 
     subsection (a) is insufficient.
       (2) The total number of aircraft purchased through a 
     multiyear contract under this subsection may not exceed 80.
       (3) Notwithstanding subsection (k) of section 2306b of 
     title 10, United States Code, a contract under this section 
     may be for any period not in excess of 10 program years.
       (4) A multiyear contract under this subsection may be 
     initiated or continued for any fiscal year for which 
     sufficient funds are available to pay the costs of such 
     contract for that fiscal year, without regard to whether 
     funds are available to pay the costs of such contract for any 
     subsequent fiscal year. Such contract shall provide, however, 
     that performance under the contract during the subsequent 
     year or years of the contract is contingent upon the 
     appropriation of funds and shall also provide for a 
     cancellation payment to be made to the contractor if such 
     appropriations are not made.
       (c) Study of Long-Term Aircraft Maintenance and Training 
     Requirements.--(1) The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a 
     study to identify alternative means for meeting the long-term 
     requirements of the Air Force for--
       (A) the maintenance of aircraft leased under the multiyear 
     aircraft lease pilot program or purchased under subsection 
     (b); and
       (B) training in the operation of aircraft leased under the 
     multiyear aircraft lease pilot program or purchased under 
     subsection (b).
       (2) Not later than April 1, 2004, the Secretary shall 
     submit a report on the results of the study to the 
     congressional defense committees.
       (d) Multiyear Aircraft Lease Pilot Program Defined.--In 
     this section, the term ``multiyear aircraft lease pilot 
     program'' means the program authorized under section 8159 of 
     the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2002 (division 
     A of Public Law 101-117; 115 Stat. 2284).

  Mr. WARNER. I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, first, I thank the chairman of the Armed 
Services Committee for his extraordinary effort in putting together a 
proposal which I am pleased to support. For the reasons he gave, it is 
a much more honest approach to the acquisition of these tankers. There 
is no use pretending this is a lease when, in fact, it is intended to 
be a sale. It has been the intent of the Air Force they purchase it. It 
has been wrapped in the clothing of a lease but, in fact, the clear 
intention here and the only commonsense outcome is that it be a 
purchase, not a lease, because under the lease agreement, 80 percent of 
the cost of these planes would be laid out by the Air Force while only 
20 percent of their useful life would have been actually used by the 
time the lease was over. It is obvious the intention and the 
commonsense approach was this is intended to be a purchase and it ought 
to be called what it is.
  The proposal I am pleased to join in sponsoring is much more honest 
in terms of the intention. It also complies much more closely to what 
the normal budgeting procedures are around here. We do not want this to 
be a precedent for leasing. That distorts the entire budget process 
because it looks like it is free, in essence, for a couple years. These 
are not free. There is a huge cost. If we can reduce the real cost, as 
this proposal does, by acknowledging that it is really a purchase, by 
authorizing a multiyear acquisition, which is what we do after the 
leasing of the first 20, it seems to me we will save taxpayer dollars, 
we will commit to actually acquiring these tankers, but we will force 
the Air Force to be straightforward in the use of this country's 
resources. They are not going to be able to have something which looks 
free for a couple years because there is a small lease payment and then 
have this huge obligation in the outyears.
  At the same time presumably they will want to buy more and more 
tankers. We address the long-term need to acquire tankers. We do it in 
a more straightforward way. We save money for the taxpayers.
  I commend the two Senators from Washington, Senators Murray and 
Cantwell, for being so persistent in moving this program forward. This 
outcome would not have happened without them. I also acknowledge 
Senator McCain's role. He has insisted from the beginning this be 
reviewed in an honest way by the General Accounting Office, by the 
Congressional Budget Office, and by the Armed Services Committee. It 
has been his insistence we deal with this honestly. That has led to 
this proposal. I have not had a chance to speak with Senator McCain 
personally or directly so I don't know what his reaction is. I hope it 
meets his expectations and his needs. I do acknowledge the fact that 
Senator McCain is always playing it straight, looks at things straight, 
and wants an honest addressing of an issue. That is what we are now 
doing.
  To the two Senators from Washington and the Senator from Arizona, I 
express my thanks, and particularly the chairman of the committee, who 
put together a proposal which I am pleased to join.
  The members of the committee have spent considerable effort in 
reviewing the basic Air Force proposal to sign a long-term lease for 
100 KC-767 tanker aircraft. Based on my review of the issues 
surrounding this proposal, I support Senator Warner's intention to 
offer the proposal he outlined in the conference on the National 
Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004.
  Let me also recognize the strong and positive role that the two 
Senators from Washington, Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria 
Cantwell, have played in moving the leasing program forward. I know 
personally that they have spent many hours understanding the current 
Air Force tanker situation, and in working with other members of the 
Senate in moving this program forward.
  The proposal to go forward with a lease of 20 aircraft now and 
providing, up-front, multiyear procurement authority for the Air Force 
to buy the remaining 80 tankers should help address several concerns.
  First, it will help address our long-term need to replace the Air 
Force's existing fleet of tanker aircraft. We have spent many hours 
trying to understand the severity of the corrosion problem within the 
KC-135 tanker fleet. While the Air Force has not made a convincing case 
that there is an imminent risk to the fleet, the Air Force does have a 
long-term requirement for tankers that will ultimately require the 
fielding of replacement aircraft. For this reason, I believe that it is 
prudent to move forward now with an orderly replacement program.
  Second, our approach would give the Air Force multiyear contracting 
authority now. This will reduce the acquisition cost for aircraft, 
significantly reducing the price to be paid by the

[[Page S13114]]

taxpayers. I believe that providing such multiyear contracting 
authority is a responsible step to take in the case of a program like 
this, which involves very little new development and very little 
program risk.
  Third, the proposal that Senator Warner and I are putting forward 
would address very real concerns with the lease proposal presented by 
the Air Force. I believe that what the Congressional Budget Office said 
is correct: this is not a real lease, but a purchase. The Air Force, 
not Boeing, will control the special purpose entity that borrows funds 
for this program. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Air Force 
intends to buy these aircraft at the end of the lease. We simply cannot 
afford to pay 90 percent of the value of the aircraft for less than 20 
percent of the useful life.
  Finally, our proposal would take a far more responsible approach to 
federal budget issues than the proposal put forward by the Air Force. 
The Air Force proposal would have pushed the cost of the tanker 
aircraft off until the next decade, creating a huge funding program for 
the next generation of Air Force leaders. Our approach would move the 
costs forward, requiring the Department of Defense to provide almost $5 
billion more in current Future Years Defense Program. The Air Force 
case that it is urgent to replace these tanker aircraft will be a lot 
more convincing, if the Department of Defense is willing to put money 
up for the problem earlier, rather than taking a free ride on the back 
of future taxpayers and defense needs.
  I hope that we will get agreement from the House conferees on the 
defense authorization on including this provision in the final 
authorization act. I believe that it will help address a significant 
problem identified by the Air Force, while acting more responsibly in 
preventing postponing too much funding to later years.
  I thank Chairman Warner for his leadership on this issue.
  Mr. WARNER. I commend my colleague from Michigan. We have been 
working together some 25 years on this committee now. Last night we 
studied the final language I crafted with the help of others and my 
colleague decided to join us.
  Senator McCain wishes to follow the two distinguished colleagues from 
Washington. Again, I commend the Senator. We met last night on the 
floor. We talked about it. We worked into the evening with our staff. I 
very much appreciate the expressions the Senator is about to make.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, more than 2 years ago the Senate began a 
journey to help improve our military readiness by replacing the 
outdated Air Force asset with 100 new Boeing 767 air refueling tankers. 
In spite of the best efforts of the Air Force to maintain that tanker 
fleet, those planes are outdated and cost billions of dollar to 
maintain.
  In the 2 years that have passed since we first began discussing 
replacing our Nation's tanker fleet, the KC-135s have grown older, more 
corroded, and less safe. It is a testament to the resourcefulness of 
the flying men and women of our Air Force that these planes are still 
flying as well as they are.
  Over the past several days, Senator Cantwell and I have engaged in a 
very productive series of meetings and discussions with Chairman 
Stevens and Chairman Warner, ranking Members Levin and Inouye. We were 
here late last night, as Senator Warner indicated, and all day long 
working with our colleagues on a way to move this forward. I am really 
pleased we have worked our way through some very big issues. The 
leaders of our Senate Armed Services Committee agree we do need to 
provide the Air Force a way to begin to recapitalize its aging tanker 
fleet with new Boeing 767s. I am proud Senator Warner and Senator Levin 
agree Boeing airframes will help our air men and women protect our 
Nation and advance our security around the world.
  I had the honor of meeting with a number of people who fly these 
planes. I am proud we are finally working our way to bring some new 
planes to these brave young men and women.
  These planes are critical. They are the backbone of America's air 
power capability. The importance of replacing them cannot be 
overstated. The Warner-Levin proposal is a great step in the right 
direction. It is finally going to allow Boeing to begin producing 
state-of-the-art KC-767 aircraft right away with delivery of the first 
four tankers in 2005.
  There are outstanding issues remaining, but it is clear to me today 
that we have a commitment finally to move forward and the Air Force is 
going to get the tankers it so desperately needs.
  I commend Senator Warner, Senator Stevens, Senator Levin, Senator 
Inouye, and especially my colleague in Washington, Senator Cantwell, 
who spent a tremendous amount of time trying to work this issue through 
with all of the details. I am proud to serve with her in the Senate. 
She is a testament to the people who are going to be building these 
planes and her advocacy for them, particularly over the last several 
days.
  I yield to my colleague from Washington.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington is recognized for 
2 minutes.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I am sure there is no way I can convey 
in these minutes all of the important information that needs to be 
conveyed about this issue. I will highlight a few things.
  This debate started in 2001 and still goes strong today. The 
testament of the many Members who were here on the floor is that we are 
trying to move ahead and move ahead with what is a very needed product.
  I thank my colleague from Washington and my colleague from Illinois, 
Senator Durbin, who is also interested in this issue.
  The bottom line is we all know if we could buy these planes now and 
have the resources, we would do that. We all know buying the planes 
sooner makes them cheaper. The issue we have been struggling with is, 
where are the resources and how do we make this come together in a 
timely fashion to meet the need.
  Senator McCain has made all of us stop and think about this issue in 
ways we might not have thought. I don't think any Member wanted to or 
should have excluded the authorizing committee from playing its normal 
role and capacity of reviewing these projects. The fact of the matter 
is we now are 2 years into this process and we have to figure out a way 
to move forward. The Armed Services Committee is trying to do just 
that, trying to say 100 planes should be made through either a lease or 
procurement process as part of a contract and that we need to move 
forward soon on the start of that lease contract.
  We are still a few days away from finally getting a product. I thank 
Senators Warner and Levin for taking this step in the process outlined 
in 2001 of the authorizing committee giving its feedback on this 
original proposal by Congress to have a pilot lease program.
  Mr. WARNER. How much time does this Senator have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Chambliss). The Senator from Virginia has 
1 minute 42 seconds.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, first, I commend my two colleagues from 
Washington. While we only have 2 or 3 minutes to speak about this 
matter, I would hate to know the number of hours that each of them have 
expended.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that we have 5 minutes 
allocated to the Senator from----
  Mr. STEVENS. I object. We have to get back to the appropriations 
sometime.
  Mr. WARNER. All right. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent 3 
minutes be given to the Senator from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Hearing none, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Arizona has 3 minutes.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I yield 1 of my 3 minutes to the Senator 
from Oklahoma.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized for 1 
minute.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I thank my friend and colleague from 
Arizona for his generosity.
  I compliment Senator Warner and Senator McCain and Senator Levin and 
others. I think a purchase is so much more fiscally responsible, and it 
is such

[[Page S13115]]

more honest with the budget. We are going to save billions of dollars 
by doing the purchase. The lease, in my opinion, is, frankly, not the 
right way to do it if we are going to be honest with the taxpayers and 
honest in saving money for the system.
  We need the airplanes. I am all in favor of moving forward with the 
airplanes. And certainly this is a much more logical deal.
  I thank my colleague from Arizona.
  The CBO, Congressional Budget Office, certainly concurs that a 
purchase is a much more fiscally responsible method of purchasing the 
airplanes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized for 2 
minutes.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank my two leaders in the Armed 
Services Committee, Senator Warner and Senator Levin, who have worked 
so hard on this issue. I appreciate everything they have done.
  I also thank both Senators from Washington. I know this has been a 
very difficult process for them.
  Mr. President, there are a number of lessons to be learned from this 
exercise. One of the lessons is--and I see the chairman of the 
Appropriations Committee here on the floor--we should not start this 
kind of process with a line on an appropriations bill. It should have 
gone through the authorizing committee. There should have been hearings 
and ventilation of a $20 to $30 billion acquisition. None of this 
problems would have arisen if we had gone through the proper 
authorizing committee rather than the Appropriations Committee assuming 
responsibilities which are not theirs.
  I appreciate very much my two colleagues for asserting the authority 
of the authorizing committee where it belongs. I believe this is a good 
compromise. I would like to see better.
  Obviously, I thank my colleagues again, especially the Senators from 
Washington, as well as the chairman and ranking member of the 
authorizing committee, for their hard work on this effort.
  I yield the remainder of my time to the Senator from Virginia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I simply conclude, we are here today 
because of the efforts of Senator McCain to bring this matter to our 
attention, and I salute him for that purpose. And I thank all.
  I yield back my time so the distinguished chairman can move ahead 
with the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, since I have been mentioned personally, 
let me just say I will be happy to see the day when the Armed Services 
Committee brings the bill to the floor, goes through the normal 
process, and passes a bill and provides the budget authority and the 
outlays to do it. That has been the problem. This is air we are talking 
about now--air.
  Does the Senator from Hawaii want time to speak on his amendment to 
this bill? How much time does the Senator want?
  Two minutes? I yield the Senator up to 5 minutes. We are waiting for 
the balance of the papers.
  I say to the Senator, we have tried to clear his amendment. We have 
not been able to clear his amendment because of a problem with 
jurisdiction on the House side. But I believe he would like to explain 
his amendment. We were willing to take it to conference, but we are 
told that it would not survive conference because of the jurisdictional 
problem on the House side.
  I ask Senator Akaka, does he wish to speak at this time?
  I thank the Senator.
  Does the Senator from New Mexico wish time?
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Yes. I thank the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, let me take 2 minutes.


                           Amendment No. 1939

  Mr. President, I have an amendment that I filed, No. 1939, which I 
understand is going to be acceptable to both the managers of the bill 
and will be included with other amendments that are approved in a few 
minutes.
  I particularly compliment Senator Snowe as the cosponsor of this 
legislation. She has been a long-time champion of commercial air 
service in rural areas, and I appreciate her leadership on the 
amendment.
  The amendment is very simple. In fact, both the House and the Senate 
have passed the substance of this amendment previously in connection 
with the FAA reauthorization legislation.
  The amendment that we are offering, that we appreciate people 
supporting, will preserve the Essential Air Service Program by 
preventing the Department of Transportation from implementing a new 
program that would require communities to pay in order to retain their 
commercial air service. I hope the Senate will again support it.
  Congress established the Essential Air Service Program in 1978 to 
ensure that communities that had commercial air service before airline 
deregulation could continue to receive scheduled service. Without EAS, 
many rural communities would have no commercial air service at all.
  All across America, small communities face ever-increasing hurdles to 
promoting their economic growth and development. Today, many rural 
areas lack access to interstate or even four-lane highways, railroads 
or broadband telecommunications. Business development in rural areas 
frequently hinges on the availability of scheduled air service. For 
small communities, commercial air service provides a critical link to 
the national and international transportation system.
  The Essential Air Service Program currently ensures commercial air 
service to over 100 communities in 34 States. EAS supports an 
additional 33 communities in Alaska. Because of increasing costs and 
the current financial turndown in the aviation industry, particularly 
among commuter airlines, about 28 additional communities have been 
forced into the EAS program since the terrorist attacks in 2001.
  In my State of New Mexico, five cities currently rely on EAS for 
their commercial air service. The communities are Clovis, Hobbs, 
Carlsbad, Alamogordo and my hometown of Silver City. In each case 
commercial service is provided to Albuquerque, the State's largest city 
and business center.
  Back in June, during consideration of the FAA reauthorization bill, 
Senator Inhofe and I, with 13 bipartisan cosponsors, offered an 
amendment that struck out a provision in that bill that would for the 
first time require some communities to pay to retain their commercial 
air service. I believed that arbitrary proposal would have eliminated 
scheduled air service for many rural communities that participate in 
the Essential Air Service Program.
  I was pleased the full Senate listened and adopted our amendment to 
the FAA reauthorization bill. In parallel, the full House of 
Representatives also voted to eliminate mandatory cost sharing language 
from the FAA reauthorization bill.
  Most students of Government would tell you that when a majority of 
both Houses of Congress have voted against a particular measure, the 
conferees couldn't arbitrarily put it back in. Well they did. In 
another example of secret House-Senate back-room dealing, the 
Republican conferees excluded the minority members, flagrantly ignored 
the will of the majority in the House and the Senate, and restored the 
very cost-sharing language both Houses one month before had voted to 
reject.
  I believe adding this extraneous and objectionable provision is an 
egregious violation of the conference process. A conference report on 
H.R. 2115 was filed 3 months ago and there has been no further action 
in either House of Congress. Clearly, this was flawed process and the 
result is an FAA conference report that can't pass either the House or 
the Senate.
  It is not clear how the leaders will resolve the problems with the 
FAA conference report. Last month, 16 bipartisan Senators wrote to the 
House and Senate conferees opposing the mandatory cost sharing for EAS 
communities. Thirty-five bipartisan House Members signed a similar 
letter to conferees. I ask unanimous consent that both letters be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


[[Page S13116]]




                                                  U.S. Senate,

                               Washington, DC, September 29, 2003.
     Hon. John McCain,
     Chairman, Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, 
         Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Ernest F. Hollings,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Commerce Science and 
         Transportation, Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Don Young,
     Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
         Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. James Oberstar,
     Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rayburn House 
         Office Building, Washington, DC.
       Gentlemen: We write out of grave concern for a provision 
     added to the Vision 100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization 
     conference report regarding the adoption of a local cost 
     share for certain Essential Air Service communities. This 
     addition to the conference report not only goes against the 
     will of both the House and the Senate, but may also have a 
     disastrous effect on many of our small rural airports. 
     Therefore, we urge the conference committee to remove this 
     language before bringing the report to the respective floors 
     for a vote.
       The local cost share provision was removed from S. 824 by a 
     bipartisan amendment offered by 15 senators, which passed on 
     a voice vote. Likewise, a similar local cost share provision 
     was removed from H.R. 2115 by an amendment offered by 
     Representatives McHugh, Peterson (PA) and Shuster.
       It is our understanding that negotiations are currently 
     under way to remove language from the conference report 
     regarding the privatization of air traffic controllers. This 
     provides the conference committee an excellent opportunity to 
     remove the EAS local match provision that was already 
     stricken on both the House and Senate floors and not included 
     in either bill brought to the conference committee.
       Additionally, this provision will have untold effects on 
     many small rural communities. It is unacceptable to force 
     communities to pay up to $100,000 in a local cost share, in 
     addition to the many costs they currently incur in running a 
     small local airport.
       We respectively request the removal of Section 408 from the 
     Vision 100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act 
     conference report before it is brought to the House and 
     Senate floors for consideration, and we look forward to 
     working with you in the future to ensure rural communities 
     continue to receive essential air service.
           Sincerely,
         Jeff Bingaman; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Blanche L. 
           Lincoln; Mark Pryor; Charles Schumer; Arlen Specter; 
           Olympia Snowe; Patrick Leahy; Jim Jeffords; Tom Harkin; 
           Tom Daschle; Benjamin Nelson; Susan M. Collins; Mark 
           Dayton; Charles Grassley; Chuck Hagel.
                                  ____



                                Congress of the United States,

                               Washington, DC, September 24, 2003.
     Hon. John McCain,
     Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
         Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Fritz Hollings,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
         Transportation, Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Don Young,
     Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
         Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
     Hon. James Oberstar,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Transportation and 
         Infrastructure, Rayburn House Office Building, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Young, Chairman McCain, Ranking Member 
     Oberstar, Ranking Member Hollings: We write out of grave 
     concern for a provision added to the Vision 100-Century of 
     Aviation Reauthorization Conference Report regarding the 
     adoption of a local cost share for certain Essential Air 
     Service communities. This addition to the conference report 
     not only goes against the will of both the House and the 
     Senate, but may also have a disastrous effect on many of our 
     small rural airports. Therefore, we urge the conference 
     committee to remove this language before bringing the report 
     to the respective floors for a vote.
       As you know, the local cost share provision was removed in 
     H.R. 2115 by an amendment offered by Representatives McHugh, 
     Peterson (PA) and Shuster, which passed by a voice vote. 
     Likewise, a similar local cost share provision was removed 
     from S. 824 by an amendment offered by Senator Bingaman.
       It is our understanding that negotiations are currently 
     under way to remove language from the conference report 
     regarding the privatization of air traffic controllers. This 
     provides the conference committee an excellent opportunity to 
     remove the EAS local match provision that was already 
     stricken on both the House and Senate floors and not included 
     in either bill brought to the conference committee.
       Additionally, this provision will have untold affects on 
     many small rural communities. It is unacceptable to force 
     communities to pay up to $100,000 in a local cost share, in 
     addition to the many costs they currently incur in running a 
     small local airport.
       We respectfully request the removal of Section 408 from the 
     Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act Conference 
     Report before it is brought to the House and Senate floors 
     for consideration and we look forward to working with you in 
     the future to ensure rural communities continue to receive 
     essential air service.
           Sincerely,
         John E. Peterson; John McHugh; Bill Shuster; John 
           Shimkus; Barbara Cubin; Ron Paul; Frank D. Lucas; Kenny 
           C. Hulshof; Rob Bishop; Jim Gibbons; Allen Boyd; Jerry 
           Moran.
         Chris Cannon; Marion Berry; Charles F. Bass; John Tanner; 
           Scott McInnis; Rick Renzi; Dennis A. Cardoza; Jim 
           Matheson; Ed Case; Mike Ross; Lane Evans.
         Bernie Sanders; Tom Latham; Ron Lewis; Doug Bereuter; 
           Collin C. Peterson; Anibal Acevedo-Vila; Tom Udall; 
           Timothy Johnson; John Boozman; Heather Wilson; Jo Ann 
           Emerson; Bart Stupak.

  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I would also like to point out that the 
President has not issued a veto threat on this issue.
  All Senators know that a conference report is not amendable. I would 
have preferred not to pursue an amendment on an appropriations bill, 
but the conferees ignored the majority in the House and Senate once 
before. Put simply, this amendment is our only opportunity to undo what 
the conferees have done.
  Mr. President, the choice here is clear: If we do not preserve the 
Essential Air Service Program today, we could well see the end of all 
commercial air service in rural areas. The EAS program provides vital 
resources that help link rural communities to the national and global 
aviation system. Our amendment will help ensure affordable, reliable, 
and safe air service remains available in rural America. I hope all 
Senators will join us in opposing this attack on rural America.
  Again, I appreciate the support of all Senators and the support of 
the two managers.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SUNUNU. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 1936

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have a number of amendments I will be 
sending to the desk individually. They have been cleared on both sides 
by the managers. First is an amendment proposed for Senator Durbin. I 
send it to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Durbin, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1936.

  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To insert a provision relating to notification information 
                     concerning pharmacy services)

       On page 155, between lines 21 and 22, insert the following:

     SEC. 6. MOTORIST INFORMATION CONCERNING PHARMACY SERVICES.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall 
     amend the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to 
     include a provision requiring that information be provided to 
     motorists to assist motorists in locating licensed 24-hour 
     pharmacy services open to the public.
       (b) Logo Panel.--The provision under subsection (a) shall 
     require placement of a logo panel that displays information 
     disclosing the names or logos of pharmacies described in 
     subsection (a) that are located within 3 miles of an 
     interchange on the Federal-aid system (as defined in section 
     101 of title 23, United States Code).

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1936) was agreed to.

[[Page S13117]]

                           Amendment No. 1937

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have an amendment on behalf of the 
Senator from Georgia, Mr. Chambliss. I send it to the desk and ask for 
its consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Chambliss, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1937.

  The amendment is as follows:

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec.   . The Federal Aviation Administration shall give 
     priority consideration to ``Paulding County, GA Airport 
     Improvements'' for the Airport Improvement Program.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1937) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1938

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have an amendment on behalf of the 
Senator from California, Mrs. Feinstein. It has been cleared on both 
sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mrs. Feinstein, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1938.

  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To modify section 130 to extend the prohibition under that 
  section to the use of funds to provide maximum hours of service for 
  certain drivers engaged for motion picture or television production)

       On page 33, strike lines 5 through 10 and insert the 
     following:
       Sec. 130. No funds appropriated or otherwise made available 
     by this Act may be used to implement or enforce any 
     provisions of the Final Rule, issued on April 16, 2003 
     (Docket No. FMCSA-97-2350), with respect to either of the 
     following:
       (1) The operators of utility service vehicles, as that term 
     is defined in section 395.2 of title 49, Code of Federal 
     Regulations.
       (2) Maximum daily hours of service for drivers engaged in 
     the transportation of property or passengers to or from a 
     motion picture or television production site located within a 
     100-air mile radius of the work reporting location of such 
     drivers.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1938) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1939

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have another amendment that I send to 
the desk on behalf of Senator Bingaman and others.
  It has been cleared on both sides by the managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Bingaman, 
     Ms. Snowe, Mr. Specter, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Schumer, 
     Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Baucus, 
     Ms. Collins, and Mr. Grassley, proposes an amendment numbered 
     1939.

  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To prohibit the obligation of funds for the establishment or 
      implementation of an EAS local participation pilot program)

       On page 14, between lines 2 and 3, insert the following new 
     section:
       Sec. 105. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this Act may be obligated or expended to 
     establish or implement a pilot program under which not more 
     than 10 designated essential air service communities located 
     in proximity to hub airports are required to assume 10 
     percent of their essential air subsidy costs for a 4-year 
     period, commonly referred to as the EAS local participation 
     program.

  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I rise today in strong support of the 
Bingaman-Snowe amendment to protect the Essential Air Service, EAS, 
program.
  Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of 
EAS, which provides subsidized air service to 125 small communities in 
the country, including four in Maine--Augusta, Rockland, Bar Harbor and 
Presque Isle--that would otherwise be cut off from the Nation's air 
transportation network. As approved in May by the Senate Commerce 
Committee, the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Reauthorization 
bill reauthorized and flat-funded the program for 3 years, and includes 
changes to the program, which are drastically scaled back from what the 
administration proposed earlier this year for EAS ``reform.'' The 
administration had called for EAS towns to provide up to 25 percent 
matching contributions to keep their air service.
  The Commerce Committee bill creates a number of new programs to help 
EAS communities grow their ridership, including a marketing incentive 
program that would financially reward EAS towns for achieving ridership 
goals. With regard to local cost-sharing--the centerpiece of the 
Administration's EAS proposal--the Commerce bill would create a pilot 
program to allow for a 10 percent annual community match at no more 
than 10 airports within a 100 miles of a large airport.
  While the cost-sharing provisions in the Committee bill are much less 
strict than the administration proposal, and could only be applied to a 
EAS community under certain specific conditions, I remain concerned 
about the concept of requiring EAS towns--some of which are cash 
strapped and economically depressed--from kicking in hundreds of 
thousands of dollars annually to keep their air service. For example, 
if Augusta or Rockland, ME were to be chosen for the cost-sharing pilot 
program, they would have to come up with more than $120,000 annually to 
retain their air service.
  As such, during floor consideration of the FAA bill, I supported 
Senator Bingaman's amendment to strike the cost-sharing section from 
the bill, and was pleased when it was approved unanimously by the full 
Senate. The House adopted an identical amendment offered by 
Representative Peterson. And I felt so strongly about this issue that 
in late July I circulated a letter to the FAA conferees signed by 15 
other Senators expressing strong opposition to having mandatory EAS 
cost-sharing language in the final legislative package. As such, I was 
extremely disappointed when that same language found itself into the 
FAA conference report issued on July 25.
  That is why the amendment we have offered today is necessary. While 
the FAA bill has not been yet signed into law, I agree with my 
colleague that we need to take out an ``insurance policy'' and ensure 
that EAS local cost-sharing never gets off the ground.
  The EAS program is not perfect, and Congress certainly needs to do 
all we can to keep the costs and subsidy levels associated with the 
program as low as possible. I look forward to working with members of 
the Commerce Committee and the Senate on the issue, but I continue to 
believe that requiring cost sharing in today's economy and today's 
aviation environment is clearly a wrong-headed approach. I urge my 
colleagues to support the Bingaman-Snowe amendment.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I rise to support the Bingaman-Snowe 
amendment, which would bar the Department of Transportation from using 
any funds to implement cost-sharing requirement for communities that 
receive subsidized air service through the Essential Air Service 
Program--EAS.
  As ranking Democrat on the Aviation Subcommittee, I work very hard to 
improve air service for small and rural communities. Most recently, I 
worked with Senator Lott on legislation to address this important 
issue. We introduced the Small Community and Rural Air Service 
Revitalization Act of 2003 to address the growing air services needs of 
small communities. The legislation became the basis for the small 
community air service provisions in Senate FAA reauthorization bill and 
ultimately the FAA Conference Report. The FAA Conference Report 
establishes a series of pilot programs to help communities improve 
their existing air service. I strongly believe that communities need 
new resources and tools to improve their air service options. The new 
initiatives established in the FAA Conference Report will allow 
communities the ability to improve their air service choices, and give 
a community a greater stake in the EAS program.
  The Federal Aviation Administration--FAA--Conference Report includes 
a provision that allows the DOT to select up to 10 communities within 
100 miles of a hub airport to pay 10 percent of the their Essential Air 
Service subsidy, even though both the Senate and the House voted 
against imposing a cost-sharing requirement.
  Small Community and Rural Air Service Revitalization Act of 2003 also

[[Page S13118]]

included a pilot program that would allow DOT to require a cost-share 
for up to 10 communities within 100 miles of a hub. As I expressed in 
my statement on the introduction of this bill, I have significant 
reservation about forcing communities to pay for a service the Federal 
Government promised them. I expressed my strong reservations throughout 
the development and Senate consideration of the FAA reauthorization 
bill in this matter.
  During Senate consideration of the FAA bill, Senator Bingaman and 
Senator Inhofe offered an amendment to strip the cost-sharing 
provision. Senators McCain and Lott accepted the amendment without 
debate as it was clear that a large majority of Senators did not 
support this provision. The House bill as passed by their 
Transportation Committee had a local match provision. The House 
stripped their cost-sharing provision as well on the floor so neither 
bill had a cost-sharing provision. Clearly, the will of Congress was 
that the Federal Government should provide the entire subsidy. During 
the conference negotiations on the FAA bill in which I was invited to 
participate, I argued against reinstating cost-sharing provisions, but 
the majority conferees insisted on this provision.
  The adoption of this provision will prohibit cost-sharing in the 
upcoming fiscal year. It is a short-term solution to a larger problem 
that I hope we can ultimately address by reopening the FAA conference 
report.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1939) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1940

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk an amendment on behalf 
of the Senator from Indiana, Mr. Bayh. It has been cleared on both 
sides by the managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Bayh, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1940.

  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To expand aviation capacity and alleviate congestion in the 
                   greater Chicago metropolitan area)

       On page 14, between lines 2 and 3, insert the following:
       Sec. 105. The Administrator of the Federal Aviation 
     Administration may, for purposes of chapter 471 of title 49, 
     United States Code, give priority consideration to a letter 
     of intent application for funding submitted by the City of 
     Gary, Indiana, or the State of Indiana, for the extension of 
     the main runway at the Gary/Chicago Airport. The letter of 
     intent application shall be considered upon completion of the 
     environmental impact statement and benefit cost analysis in 
     accordance with Federal Aviation Administration requirements. 
     The Administrator shall consider the letter of intent 
     application not later than 90 days after receiving it from 
     the applicant.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1940) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1941

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk another amendment on 
behalf of Mr. Reid of Nevada. It has been cleared on both sides by the 
managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Reid, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1941.

  The amendment is as follows:


                           amendment no. 1941

  (Purpose: To require notice of regulations relating to travel agent 
                             service fees)

       On page 14, after line 2 insert the following:
       Sec. __. None of the funds in this Act may be used to adopt 
     rules or regulations concerning travel agent service fees 
     unless the Department of Transportation publishes in the 
     Federal Register revisions to the proposed rule and provides 
     a period for additional public comment on such proposed rule 
     for a period not less than 60 days.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1941) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1942

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have another amendment I send to the 
desk on behalf of Senator Hollings of South Carolina. It has been 
cleared on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Hollings, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1942.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: Modify federal share for specific project under 49 U.S.C. 
                                 5307)

       Sec.  . Funds apportioned to the Charleston Area Regional 
     Transportation Authority to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5307 may be 
     used to lease land, equipment, or facilities used in public 
     transportation from another governmental authority in the 
     same geographic area: Provided, That the non-Federal share 
     under section 5307 may include revenues from the sale of 
     advertising and concessions: Provided further, That this 
     provision shall remain in effect until September 30, 2004, or 
     until the Federal interest in the land, equipment, or 
     facilities leased reached 80 percent of its fair market value 
     at disposition, whichever occurs first.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1942) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1943

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have another amendment I send to the 
desk on behalf of the Senator from Washington, Mrs. Murray. It has been 
cleared on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mrs. Murray, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1943.

  The amendment is as follows:

               (Purpose: To clarify the use of GSA funds)

       Under the heading Federal Buildings Fund, Limitations on 
     Availability of Revenue:
       Page 93, Line 21 and 22: Delete the word ``(design)''
       Page 95, Line 15, after the words ``increases in prospectus 
     projects'', delete ``;'' and then insert,
       ``:Provided further, That the funds available herein for 
     repairs to the Bellingham, Washington, Federal Building, 
     shall be available for transfer to the city of Bellingham, 
     Washington, subject to disposal of the building to the 
     city,''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1943) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1944

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk another amendment on 
behalf of Senator Reed of Rhode Island. It has been cleared by the 
managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Reed, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1944.

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To provide that no funds may be used to remove any area 
 within a locality pay area established under section 5304 of title 5, 
    United States Code, from coverage under that locality pay area)

       On page 155, between lines 21 and 22, insert the following:
       Sec. 643. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise 
     made available by this Act may be used to remove any area 
     within a locality pay area established under section 5304 of 
     title 5, United States Code, from coverage under that 
     locality pay area.
       (b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to the Rest of U. S. 
     locality pay area.

  Mr. SHELBY. I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1944) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1945

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk on behalf 
of the Senator from Michigan, Mr. Levin. It has been cleared by both 
managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Levin, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1945.

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: Technical modifications to previous transportation acts)

       Sec.   . Section 1108 of the Intermodal Surface 
     Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, item number 8, is 
     amended by striking ``To relocate'' and all that follows 
     through ``Street'' and inserting the following, ``For road 
     improvements and non-motorized enhancements in the Detroit 
     East Riverfront, Detroit, Michigan.''
       Sec.   . The funds provided under the Heading 
     ``Transportation and Community and

[[Page S13119]]

     System Preservation Program'' in Conference Report 106-940 
     for the Lodge Freeway pedestrian overpass, Detroit, Michigan, 
     shall be transferred to, and made available for, enhancements 
     in the East Riverfront, Detroit, Michigan.
       Sec.   . The funds provided under the Heading 
     ``Transportation and Community and System Preservation 
     Program'' in Conference Report 107-308 for the Eastern Market 
     pedestrian overpass park, shall be transferred, to, and made 
     available for, enhancements in the East Riverfront, Detroit, 
     Michigan.
  Mr. SHELBY. I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1945) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1946

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have another amendment I send to the 
desk on behalf of the Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Akaka. It has been 
cleared by the managers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Akaka, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1946.

  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for the Debt Indicator program)

       On page 73, between lines 9 and 10, insert the following:
       Sec. 218. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this Act may be used for the Debt Indicator 
     program announced in Internal Revenue Service Notice 99-58.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, certain tax preparers are lining their 
pockets with money that should be going toward the everyday needs of 
lower income families. These preparers are taking advantage of those 
that have sought assistance in claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, 
EITC, by successfully marketing to them to obtain refunds through 
exorbitantly priced refund anticipation loans, RALs.
  An estimated $1.75 billion intended to assist low-income families 
went to commercial tax preparers and affiliated national banks for tax 
assistance, electronic filing of returns, and high-cost refund loans in 
1999, according to a report published by the Brookings Institution. In 
2001, 40.7 percent of taxpayers who earned the EITC received their 
refund through RALs. The States that had the highest percentage of EITC 
returns with RALs included Mississippi, 61.5, South Carolina, 58.9, 
Georgia, 57.6, North Carolina, 57.5, and Louisiana, 56.8.
  The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, reduces the risk that lenders take 
on RALs by providing them a Debt Indicator, DI, on all IRS e-file 
acknowledgements. The DI informs the lender whether or not an applicant 
owes Federal or State taxes, child support, student loans, or other 
government obligations, and this assists the tax preparer in 
ascertaining the applicant's ability to obtain their full refund so 
that the RAL is repaid. The vast majority of refunds are remitted to 
the preparer as prepared. Thus, interest rates for RALs that vary from 
97 percent to more than 2000 percent are not justifiable when the IRS 
lowers the risk of the loans by providing the DI service.
  In 1995, the use of the DI was suspended because of massive fraud in 
e-filed returns with RALs. After the program was discontinued, RAL 
participation declined. The use of the DI was reinstated in 1999, 
according to H Block, to ``assist with screening for electronic 
filing fraud and is also expected to substantially reduce refund 
anticipation loan pricing.'' Although RAL prices were expected to go 
down as a result of the reinstatement of the DI, this has not occurred. 
The Debt Indicator should be stopped.
  The Akaka amendment would prohibit the use of funds in H.R. 2989, the 
Fiscal Year 2004 Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies 
Appropriations Act, for the Debt Indicator program.
  The Akaka amendment has been endorsed by the Consumer Federation of 
America and the National Consumer Law Center.
  The DI is helping tax preparers make excessive profits of low- and 
moderate-income taxpayers who utilize the service. If the Debt 
Indicator is removed, then the loans become riskier and the tax 
preparers may not aggressively market them among EITC filers. The IRS 
should not be aiding efforts that take the earned benefits away from 
low-income families and allow unscrupulous preparers to take advantage 
of low-income taxpayers.
  RALS are extremely short-term loans that unnecessarily diminish the 
EITC. There are alternatives to speeding up refunds such as filing 
electronically or having the refund directly deposited into a bank or 
credit union account. Using these methods, taxpayers can receive their 
returns in about 7 to 10 days without paying the high fees associated 
with RALs.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a letter and chart from 
the National Consumer Law Center be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                           National Consumer Law Center, Inc.,

                                   Boston, MA, September 26, 2003.
     Hon. Daniel K. Akaka,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Akaka: The National Consumer Law Center (on 
     behalf of its low-income clients) and the Consumer Federation 
     of America write to support your amendment to H.R. 2989, 
     which would prohibit the Treasury Department from using its 
     appropriation for the Internal Revenue Service's Debt 
     Indicator program. As you know, the Debt Indicator program 
     mostly benefits refund anticipation loan (RAL) programs by 
     letting tax preparers and RAL lenders know when a tax refund 
     offset exists. Thus, IRS is abetting the making of RALs 
     through the Debt Indicator. We believe that the IRS should 
     not use tax dollars to increase the bottom line of RAL 
     lenders and major tax preparation chains, especially when 
     RALs are draining nearly 2 billion dollars from the pockets 
     of taxpayers, including EITC refunds paid out of the U.S. 
     Treasury.
       Thus, we support your amendment to prohibit the use of 
     Treasury appropriations for the Debt Indicator program. Thank 
     you for your support.
           Sincerely,
     Jean Ann Fox,
       Consumer Federation of America.
     Chi Chi Wu,
       National Consumer Law Center.
                                  ____


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          Percentage of                                         Percentage of
                                                                                        Returns with      returns with                        EITC returns      EITC returns    Estimated amount
                               State                                  Total returns         EITC            EITC (in         EITC amount        with RAL        with RAL (in      spent on RALs
                                                                                                            percent)                                              percent)             \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS................................................................         1,133,337           340,750              30.1       679,173,550           209,703              61.5        23,067,330
SC................................................................         1,744,255           374,946              21.5       667,379,853           220,800              58.9        24,288,001
GA................................................................         3,490,461           698,572              20.0     1,286,447,525           402,635              57.6        44,289,879
NC................................................................         3,445,671           629,610              18.3     1,093,206,529           361,765              57.5        39,794,136
LA................................................................         1,826,048           476,771              26.1       950,671,006           270,713              56.8        29,778,430
AL................................................................         1,828,781           432,850              23.7       828,377,878           243,878              56.3        26,826,622
TN................................................................         2,481,776           476,925              19.2       815,853,086           253,982              53.3        27,938,067
AR................................................................         1,082,709           245,283              22.7       445,930,973           129,663              52.9        14,262,959
TX................................................................         8,753,021         1,819,895              20.8     3,395,348,844           931,042              51.2       102,414,624
DC................................................................           268,826            48,674              18.1        80,730,037            24,571              50.5         2,702,810
DE................................................................           372,408            48,262              13.0        80,153,733            22,996              47.6         2,529,560
VA................................................................         3,264,028           420,098              12.9       691,687,320           198.037              47.1        21,784,043
IN................................................................         2,761,978           362,912              13.1       586,977,962           169.177              46.6        18,609,451
KY................................................................         1,712,016           296,287              17.3       486,814,970           132,745              44.8        14,601,929
OK................................................................         1,413,476           264,972              18.7       456,176,187           118,179              44.6        12,999,663
OH................................................................         5,352,924           668,993              12.5     1,090,740,478           297,147              44.4        32,686,183
NV................................................................           922,925           128,334              13.9       205,250,510            56,230              43.8         6,185,315
IL................................................................         5,560,236           737,269              13.3     1,234,565,348           320,046              43.4        35,205,022
FL................................................................         7,277,069         1,301,554              17.9     2,229,476,116           527,553              40.5        58,030,873
MD................................................................         2,503,253           301,455              12.0       487,028,288           121,342              40.3        13,347,566
MO................................................................         2,493,440           371,513              14.9       615,491,828           149,165              40.2        16,408,104
WV................................................................           742,821           131,768              17.7       211,166,719            52,512              39.9         5,776,320
MI................................................................         4,429,446           545,878              12.3       898,838,168           216,780              39.7        23,845,825
AZ................................................................         2,090,660           320,323              15.3       548,919,742           120,484              37.6        13,253,194
NJ................................................................         3,928,676           430,933              11.0       703,663,754           158,094              36.7        17,390,340
PA................................................................         5,680,698           671,093              11.8     1,054,110,400           243,127              36.2        25,744,025

[[Page S13120]]

 
RI................................................................           485,337            56,755              11.7        89,592,629            20,252              35.7         2,227,720
SD................................................................           348,936            46,868              13.4        73,494,901            15,923              34.0         1,751,530
KS................................................................         1,185,320           141,878              12.0       226,103,432            47,563              33.5         5,231,928
CT................................................................         1,616,341           141,892               8.8       216,802,671            47,387              33.4         5,212,570
NM................................................................           751,161           167,993              22.4       288,708,541            53,725              32.0         5,909,764
WA................................................................         2,701,201           296,317              11.0       462,643,179            94,051              31.7        10,345,591
CO................................................................         1,995,152           214,500              10.8       327,073,673            65,428              30.5         7,197,047
WY................................................................           234,857            29,540              12.6        46,132,862             8,959              30.3           985,490
NE................................................................           769,173            89,976              11.7       142,314,214            26,896              29.9         2,958,508
WI................................................................         2,542,632           243,829               9.6       374,475,943            71,356              29.3         7,849,165
NH................................................................           617,876            50.743               8.2        73,956,472            14,542              28.7         1,599,620
MT................................................................           414,636            63,090              15.2        99,707,920            17,951              28.5         1,974,610
NY................................................................         8,324,967         1,293,346              15.5     2,203,061,849           354,015              27.4        38,941,700
ID................................................................           549,785            82,072              14.9       134,423,144            21,393              26.1         2,353,230
ME................................................................           601,852            74,560              12.4       113,883,846            19,396              26.0         2,133,560
UT................................................................           929,225           107,776              11.6       173,583,013            27,980              26.0         3,077,758
CA................................................................        14,207,549         2,139,205              15.1     3,654,040,481           550,722              25.7        60,579,468
IA................................................................         1,312,239           143,757              11.0       217,451,268            36,538              25.4         4,019,180
HI................................................................           547,225            65,567              12.0        94,672,158            16,460              25.1         1,810,555
ND................................................................           288,949            33,741              11.7        51,495,960             7,918              23.5           870,980
OR................................................................         1,516,321           191,404              12.6       300,227,699            43,328              22.6         4,766,088
AK................................................................           323,125            30,042               9.3        41,327,189             6,750              22.5           742,500
MA................................................................         2,976,492           257,069               8.6       381,021,580            57,258              22.3         6,298,429
MN................................................................         2,322,004           209,558               9.0       311,354,319            45,252              21.6         4,977,724
VT................................................................           297,379            32,269              10.9        46,336,387             5,718              17.7           628,980
                                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.......................................................       124,420,670        18,749,666             15.1%    31,968,066,136         7,629,127             40.7%       839,203,965
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Based on information from National Consumer Law Center, the price for a RAL on an average EITC return is $110 at one of the major commercial preparers.
 
NOTE.--That these estimates do not account for potential state-by-state differences in RAL prices.
 
Source: Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy calculations of IRS tax year 2001 data.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set that 
amendment aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is set aside.


                           Amendment No. 1947

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk an amendment on behalf 
of the Senator from Pennsylvania, Mr. Specter. It has been cleared.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Specter, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1947.

  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To clarify that allocated funds may be used for the Corridor 
                        One Light Rail Project)

       At the appropriate place in the bill, insert:
       ``Sec. __. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     funds designated to the Pennsylvania Cumberland/Dauphin 
     County Corridor I project in committee reports accompanying 
     this Act may be available to the recipient for any project 
     activities authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5307 and 5309.

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1947) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1948

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk an amendment on behalf 
of the Senator from Delaware, Mr. Carper.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama (Mr. Shelby), for Mr. Carper, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1948.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of 
    Transportation must consider the impact on northern Delaware of 
   aircraft noise related to the Philadelphia International Airport 
                     Capacity Enhancement Program)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. __. It is the sense of the Senate that the Secretary 
     of Transportation must, in connection with the Philadelphia 
     International Airport Capacity Enhancement Program, consider 
     the impact of aircraft noise on northern Delaware--
       (1) within the scope of the environmental impact statement 
     prepared in connection with the Program; and
       (2) as part of any study of aircraft noise required under 
     the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 and 
     conducted pursuant to part 150 of title 14, Code of Federal 
     Regulations, or any successor regulations.

                     Amendment No. 1946, Withdrawn

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw 
amendment No. 1946 that was previously set aside on behalf of the 
Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Akaka.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.


                           Amendment No. 1948

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator urge adoption of the previous 
amendment?
  Mr. SHELBY. I do.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1948) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1949

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I send to the desk an amendment on behalf 
of Senator Grassley.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], for Mr. Grassley, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1949.

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To provide that none of the funds appropriated or made 
available under this Act may be used to implement proposed regulations 
relating to the detail of executive branch employees to the legislative 
                    branch, and for other purposes)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. __. None of the funds appropriated or made available 
     under this Act or any other appropriations Act may be used to 
     implement the proposed regulations of the Office of Personnel 
     Management to add sections 300.311 through 300.316 to part 
     300 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, published 
     in the Federal Register, volume 68, number 174, on September 
     9, 2003 (relating to the detail of executive branch employees 
     to the legislative branch). If such proposed regulations are 
     final regulations on the date of enactment of this Act, none 
     of the funds appropriated or made available under this Act 
     may be used to implement, administer, or enforce such final 
     regulations.

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise to speak on the amendment Senator 
Domenici and I offered to address a regulation recently proposed by the 
Office of Personnel Management; a regulation that is wrong-headed.
  Congress and the executive agencies have long enjoyed a mutually 
beneficial relationship where executive branch employees are detailed 
to congressional offices. These details typically exist for 1 to 2 
years.
  As a result, the executive branch has an opportunity to have its 
employees learn about the legislative process and oversight activities. 
Likewise, the legislative branch has an opportunity to utilize the 
expertise of executive branch employees. Everyone benefits.
  The regulation proposed by the Office of Personnel Management will 
inevitably ruin the benefits of this long-term practice.
  The regulation proposed by the Office of Personnel Management for 
example, seeks to reduce to 6 months the time that a detailee can spend 
in Congress. This is too short a time for even the most industrious of 
detailees to understand the intricacies of the legislative process and 
contribute to that process.
  Moreover, this regulation attempts to limit the activities in which 
executive branch employees can engage while under the direct 
supervision of a Congressional office in an effort to micro-manage from 
afar. This is unacceptable.
  Senator Domenici and I have offered an amendment to prohibit the use 
of any funds for the implementation of

[[Page S13121]]

this regulation that will severely reduce the number, availability and 
benefit of executive branch detailees to the legislative branch to the 
detriment of all.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1949) was agreed to.


               Amendments Nos. 1950 through 1962, En Bloc

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I now offer a package of amendments that 
have been cleared on both sides, and I ask unanimous consent that they 
be considered and agreed to en bloc.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby] proposes amendments 
     numbered 1950 through 1962, en bloc.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendments are agreed 
to.
  The amendments were agreed to as follows:


                           amendment no. 1950

       At the appropriate place in the bill add the following new 
     section:
       ``Sec.__. Notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 1346 and section 610 of 
     this Act, the head of each executive department and agency 
     shall transfer to or reimburse the Federal Aviation 
     Administration, with the approval of the Director of the 
     Office of Management and Budget, funds made available by this 
     or any other Act for the purposes described below, and shall 
     submit budget requests for such purposes. These funds shall 
     be administered by the Federal Aviation Administration as 
     approved by the Director of the Office of Management and 
     Budget, in consultation with the appropriate interagency 
     groups designated by the Director to ensure the operation of 
     the Midway Atoll Airfield by the Federal Aviation 
     Administration pursuant to an operational agreement with the 
     Department of the Interior. The total funds transferred or 
     reimbursed shall not exceed $6,000,000 and shall not be 
     available for activities other than the operation of the 
     airfield. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
     shall notify the Committees on Appropriations of such 
     transfers or reimbursements within 15 days of this Act. Such 
     transfers or reimbursements shall begin within 30 days of 
     enactment of this Act.''


                           Amendment No. 1951

 (Purpose: To set aside an amount for air traffic control facilities, 
  John C. Stennis International Airport, Hancock County, Mississippi.)

       On page 14, between lines 2 and 3, insert the following:
       Sec. 105. Of the total amount appropriated under this title 
     for the Federal Aviation Administration under the heading 
     ``FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT'', $2,000,000 shall be available 
     for air traffic control facilities, John C. Stennis 
     International Airport, Hancock County, Mississippi.


                           Amendment No. 1952

     (Purpose: To provide that unexpended funds made available for 
    improvements to Council Grove Lake, Kansas, may be used to make 
 improvements to Richey Cove, Santa Fe Recreation Area, Canning Creek 
        Recreation Area, and other areas in the State of Kansas)

       At the appropriate place, add the following:

     SEC. __. KANSAS RECREATION AREAS.

       Any unexpended balances of the amounts made available by 
     the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (Public Law 
     108-7) from the Federal-aid highway account for improvements 
     to Council Grove Lake, Kansas, shall be available to make 
     improvements to Richey Cove, Santa Fe Recreation Area, 
     Canning Creek Recreation Area, and other areas in the State 
     of Kansas.


                           Amendment No. 1953

(Purpose: To require the Internal Revenue Service to conduct a study on 
        the earned income tax credit pre-certification program)

       On page 70, between lines 17 and 18, insert the following:

     SEC. 205. STUDY ON EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT CERTIFICATION 
                   PROGRAM.

       (a) Study.--The Internal Revenue Service shall conduct a 
     study, as a part of any program that requires certification 
     (including pre-certification) in order to claim the earned 
     income tax credit under section 32 of the Internal Revenue 
     Code of 1986, on the following matters:
       (1) The costs (in time and money) incurred by the 
     participants in the program.
       (2) The administrative costs incurred by the Internal 
     Revenue Service in operating the program.
       (3) The percentage of individuals included in the program 
     who were not certified for the credit, including the 
     percentage of individuals who were not certified due to--
       (A) ineligibility for the credit; and
       (B) failure to complete the requirements for certification.
       (4) The percentage of individuals to whom paragraph (3)(B) 
     applies who were--
       (A) otherwise eligible for the credit; and
       (B) otherwise ineligible for the credit.
       (5) The percentage of individuals to whom paragraph (3)(B) 
     applies who--
       (A) did not respond to the request for certification; and
       (B) responded to such request but otherwise failed to 
     complete the requirements for certification.
       (6) The reasons--
       (A) for which individuals described in paragraph (5)(A) did 
     not respond to requests for certification; and
       (B) for which individuals described in paragraph (5)(B) had 
     difficulty in completing the requirements for certification.
       (7) The characteristics of those individuals who were 
     denied the credit due to--
       (A) failure to complete the requirements for certification; 
     and
       (B) ineligibility for the credit.
       (8) The impact of the program on non-English speaking 
     participants.
       (9) The impact of the program on homeless and other highly 
     transient individuals.
       (b) Report.--
       (1) Preliminary report.--Not later than July 30, 2004, the 
     Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service shall submit to 
     Congress a preliminary report on the study conducted under 
     subsection (a).
       (2) Final report.--Not later than June 30, 2005, the 
     Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service shall submit to 
     Congress a final report detailing the findings of the study 
     conducted under subsection (a).


                           Amendment No. 1954

  (Purpose: To set aside funds made available for Texas Statewide ITS 
   Deployment and Integration for the deployment and integration of 
  Intelligent Transportation Systems at Port of Galveston, Texas, and 
                        City of Lubbock, Texas)

       On page 31, between lines 13 and 14, insert the following:
       Sec. 115. Of the amounts made available under this title 
     under the heading ``federal-aid highways'' for Texas 
     Statewide ITS Deployment and Integration--
       (1) $500,000 shall be made available for the deployment and 
     implementation of an Intelligent Transportation System 
     project at Port of Galveston, Texas; and
       (1) $500,000 shall be made available for the deployment and 
     implementation of an Intelligent Transportation System 
     project at City of Lubbock, Texas.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1955

  (Purpose: To provide clarifying language that instructs the Federal 
 Highway Administration to extend through February 29, 2004, existing 
              research contracts funded under the TEA-21)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC.__. EXTENSION OF RESEARCH PROJECTS

       (a) For Fiscal Year 2004 only, the Federal Highway 
     Administration is instructed to extend and fund current 
     research projects under Title V of TEA-21 through February 
     29, 2004.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1956

  (Purpose: To provide for the acquisition of an ASR-11 radar for the 
                     Jackson Hole, Wyoming Airport)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC.__. JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING RADAR UNIT.

       (a) Priority consideration shall be given to the Jackson 
     Hole, Wyoming, Airport for an ASR-11 radar unit or provisions 
     shall be made for the acquisition or transfer of a comparable 
     radar unit.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1957

        (Purpose: To provide funds for the FAA Technical Center)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec.__. Within the funds provided for the Federal Aviation 
     Administration's Facilities and Equipment account, no less 
     than $14,000,000 shall be available for the Technical Center 
     Facilities in New Jersey.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1958

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. __. To the extent that funds provided by the Congress 
     for the Memphis Medical Center light rail extension project 
     through the Section 5309 ``new fixed guideway systems'' 
     program remain available upon the closeout of the project, 
     FTA is directed to permit the Memphis Area Transit Authority 
     to use all of those funds for planning, engineering, design, 
     construction or acquisition projects pertaining to the 
     Memphis Regional Rail Plan. Such funds shall remain available 
     until expended.


                           amendment no. 1959

  (Purpose: To make available from amounts available for the Federal 
Highway Administration for the Transportation and Community and System 
     Pilot Preservation Program, $850,000 for interior air quality 
demonstration activities at the Bristol, Virginia, control facility to 
  evaluate standard industrial fuel system performance and efficiency 
      with drive-by-wire engine management and emissions systems)

       Insert after section 114 the following:

[[Page S13122]]

       Sec. 115. Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made 
     available for Transportation, Planning, and Research, 
     $850,000 shall be available for interior air quality 
     demonstration activities at the Bristol, Virginia, control 
     facility to evaluate standard industrial fuel system 
     performance and efficiency with drive-by-wire engine 
     management and emissions systems and $1,000,000 shall be 
     available for the Market Street enhancement project in 
     Burlington, VT.


                           Amendment No. 1960

  (Purpose: To provide funding for Intelligent Transportation System 
                               Research)

       On page 17, strike line 12 and insert the following:
       GMU ITS, Virginia, $1,000,000
       George Washington University, Virginia Campus, $1,000,000


                           Amendment No. 1961

       At the appropriate place in the bill, insert:
       Sec.  . Of the funds made available or limited in this Act, 
     $3,000,000 shall be available for improvements to Bowman Road 
     and Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, Highway 17, Mt. Pleasant, SC; 
     $1,000,000 shall be for the Arlewright Connector and no funds 
     shall be available for the Northwest Bypass project.


                           Amendment No. 1962

       At the appropriate place insert:
       Sec. 361. Section 30303(d)(3) of the Transportation Equity 
     Act for the 21st Century (Public Law 105-178) is amended by 
     inserting at the end:
       ``(D) Memphis-Shelby International Airport intermodal 
     facility.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, while we are working through the last 
couple of amendments, let me say that I appreciate the work of Senator 
Shelby, all of the staff on the majority and minority side who really 
have done tremendous work in putting this bill together. I thank all of 
them for the hard work they have done, as well as my colleague, Senator 
Shelby, who has really done a good job today of moving this bill 
through. I thank him for that.


                           Amendment No. 1963

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I have another amendment I send to the 
desk on behalf of the Senator from Georgia, Mr. Chambliss. It has been 
cleared.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alabama [Mr. Shelby], on behalf of Mr. 
     Chambliss, proposes an amendment numbered 1963.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To provide from amounts available for Lee Gilmer Memorial 
                     Airport, Gainesville, Georgia)

       At the appropriate place in the bill, insert: ``G.P. __. 
     Within available funds provided for ``Facilities and 
     equipment,'' $1,500,000 shall be provided for a precision 
     instrument approach landing system (ILS) at Lee Gilmer 
     Memorial Airport, Gainesville, Georgia.''.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I urge adoption of the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 1963) was agreed to.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the votes by which 
the previous amendments were agreed to.
  Mr. SHELBY. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


                           amendment no. 1946

  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise today to speak on an issue of great 
importance. I offered an amendment, but I was advised that it would 
have been an obstruction to the bill. In the interest of not holding up 
the bill, I agreed to withdraw my amendment, but I intend to address 
this issue on another vehicle.
  I thank Senators Bingaman, Edwards, and Fitzgerald for agreeing to be 
cosponsors of this amendment. My amendment is supported by the Consumer 
Federation of America and the National Consumer Law Center.
  Mr. President, certain tax preparers are lining their pockets with 
money that should be going toward the everyday needs of lower-income 
families. These preparers are taking advantage of those who have sought 
assistance in claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC, by 
successfully marketing to them exorbitantly priced refund anticipation 
loans, RALs. Although these firms work to guide families through the 
sometimes complicated tax filing process, I am concerned about their 
aggressive marketing of RALs in low-income neighborhoods where EITC 
recipients often live. These loans take money away from the day-to-day, 
kitchen-table needs of lower-income families.
  What is the extent of this problem? An estimated $839 million 
intended to assist low-income families went to commercial tax preparers 
and affiliated national banks for tax assistance, electronic filing of 
returns, and high-cost refund loans in 2001, according to a report 
published by the Brookings Institution. As you can see on the chart 
behind me, a total of 18.7 million returns were filed with EITC claims. 
Of these, 7.6 million or 41 percent of EITC taxpayers received their 
refund through RALs. I will ask to print in the Record a document 
compiled by Alan Berube from the Brookings Institution on usage of RALs 
among EITC recipients by State. If I may pick out some of the States 
where RALs are most prevalent. I would like to note that Mississippi 
tops the list, with 61.5 percent of EITC returns with RALs. South 
Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, 
Arkansas, Texas, and the District of Columbia round out the top 10, 
with slightly more than half of DC's EITC returns filed with RALs. 
Again, the point here is that RALs unfairly diminish the value of the 
EITC and take money away from working families, which is not justified 
by the service provided.
  Mr. President, the EITC was created to support work and reduce 
poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the 
Federal credit lifts more children out of poverty than any other 
Government program. However, the EITC will not continue to boast this 
rate of success if it continues to be eroded by the artificially high 
cost of highly-marketed RALs. Rather than going to pay for household 
essentials like food, housing, clothing, and transportation, families 
are being convinced to spend this money unnecessarily on RALs, rather 
than waiting a few more days for a tax refund deposited at no cost to 
them.
  Let me talk for a moment about the mechanics of how RALs work. A 
taxpayer approaches a company for tax preparation services, applies for 
the EITC, and is convinced to use the RAL, which provides families cash 
from their calculated refund within 1 to 2 days. In the RAL application 
process, the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, reduces the risk that 
lenders.
  Take on RALs by providing them with a Debt Indicator, DI, on all IRS 
e-file acknowledgments. The DI informs the lender whether or not an 
applicant owes Federal or State taxes, child support, student loans, or 
other government obligations, and this assists the tax preparer in 
ascertaining the applicant's ability to obtain their full refund so 
that the RAL is repaid. The vast majority of refunds are remitted to 
the preparer as prepared. Thus, interest rates for RALs that vary from 
97 percent to more than 2,000 percent are not justifiable when the IRS 
lowers the risk of the loans by providing the DI service. My amendment 
terminates the use of the Debt Indicator service. For anyone who is 
wondering whether ending RALs pose a hardship on the very families I am 
working to help, there are alternatives to speeding up refunds, such as 
filing electronically or having the refund directly deposited into a 
bank or credit union account. Using these methods, taxpayers can 
receive their returns in about 7 to 10 days without paying the high 
fees associated with RALs. With economic and financial literacy 
awareness--which I am also pursuing for all age levels--we can help 
people have better access to sound money management skills and 
practices that can help them to plan in advance for the minimal delay 
of a few days for their refund. However, at this point, we must work to 
encourage the use of no-cost alternatives and eliminate the abusive 
practice of RALs.
  Once again, my amendment would terminate the Debt Indicator program. 
If we look at the history of this program, the path taken in my 
amendment is a fix that must be reinstated. In 1995, the use of the 
Debt Indicator was suspended because of massive fraud in e-filed 
returns with RALs. After the program was discontinued, RAL 
participation declined. The use of the Debt Indicator was reinstated in 
1999. Remarks from H & R Block Chief Executive Officer Frank L. 
Salizzoni upon the reinstatement of the program state that the Debt 
Indicator:

       . . .is good news for many of our clients who opt to 
     receive the amount of their refund through Refund 
     Anticipation Loans. The IRS program will likely result in 
     substantially lower fees for this service.


[[Page S13123]]


  However, according to a study conducted by the Consumer Federation of 
America and the National Consumer Law Center, that has not been the 
case for at least one of the major tax preparers. H & R Block and 
Household Bank's fees dropped for a year after the DI was reinstated. 
However, the trend reversed itself and the fees rose significantly from 
2000 to 2001, which increased H & R Block's revenue from RALs by 49 
percent. Per RAL revenue rose by 44 percent while RAL sales volume 
increased by only 2.7 percent. Therefore, the expected outcome that RAL 
prices would go down as a result of the reinstatement of the indicator 
has not occurred. Rather, it has gone in the opposite direction as the 
profit motive has presented itself.
  It is important at this point to recall the ideal of actions by 
government agencies to ``do no harm.'' However, the Debt Indicator 
conveniently provides information about an individual's credit history 
that is in many cases only known by the Federal Government and is 
helping tax preparers make excessive profits of low- and moderate-
income taxpayers who utilize the service. If the Debt Indicator is 
removed, then the loans become riskier and the tax preparers may not 
aggressively market them among EITC filers. The IRS should not be 
aiding efforts that take the earned benefits away from low-income 
families and allow unscrupulous preparers to take advantage of low-
income taxpayers.
  Again, I agree to withdraw my amendment at this time, but I encourage 
all of my colleagues to support my efforts to address this issue in 
order to protect low-income working families from the predatory 
practice of RALs and eliminate the ability of the IRS to facilitate the 
processing of RALs by ending the DI.


                            speed rail study

  Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I would like to engage in a colloquy with 
the ranking member of the subcommittee, the Senator from Washington, 
Patty Murray. I would like to refer to the Midwest Regional Rail 
Initiative which appears in the ``Next Generation High-Speed Rail 
Program'' at $250,000. This project is a collaborative effort of nine 
States in the Mid-West, AMTRAK and Federal Railroad Administration. 
This is a 3,000 mile system plan and I am concerned that $250,000 will 
not enable us to fully address the environmental and engineering 
associated with such a large regional system. Due to the extreme budget 
constraints facing this subcommittee I understand that it may be 
difficult to find additional resources for this study. However, I have 
been told that it would be helpful to the Mid-West Rail Coalition if 
prior contributions made by member States for planning activities prior 
to January 1, 2001 can be counted as the required State-match under 
this account. I am hopeful that you will support this effort as we move 
to conference on this appropriations bill.
  Mrs. MURRAY. The Senator from Wisconsin has highlighted an important 
nine-State effort regarding high-speed rail and I will do all I can in 
Conference to accommodate the Senator's concerns.


                      eastside light rail transit

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the Eastside Light 
Rail Transit, LRT project in Los Angeles, which would receive 
$5,000,000 in New Starts funds contained in this appropriations bill. 
This six-mile, dual track light rail system will originate at Union 
Station in downtown Los Angeles, where it connects with the newly 
opened Pasadena Gold Line, and will travel east to Atlantic Boulevard. 
It will bridge State Route 101 Freeway and traverse the existing 1st 
Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River, then under the communities of 
East LA and Boyle Heights and return to the surface near the 
intersection of 1st and Lorena Streets.
  The Eastside LRT project is the top fiscal year 2004 appropriations 
priority of the Los Angeles County MTA.
  I understand that the administration's fiscal year 2004 budget 
includes $55,000,000 for the Eastside LRT project and it also states 
that the project is pending receipt of a Full Funding Grant Agreement, 
FFGA.
  Mrs. MURRAY. That is correct.
  Mrs. BOXER. The Eastside LRT project will provide vital transit 
service for tens of thousands of people, many of whom do not have 
access to an automobile. Almost 20,000 people are expected to ride the 
line once it has opened, providing a much needed transportation 
alternative and congestion relief in one of the lowest income areas of 
Los Angeles.
  I understand that the Eastside LRT project is expected to receive its 
FFGA in the coming months, which will enable construction to move ahead 
rapidly.
  Senator Feinstein and I urge you to give every consideration to fund 
this project according to the levels that will be recommended in its 
forthcoming FFGA.
  Mrs. MURRAY. My distinguished colleagues from California have told me 
of the importance of this project to their constituents in East Los 
Angeles, as well as to the LACMTA's expanding rail transit system. I 
will work with Chairman Shelby to help the committee meet this 
project's funding needs.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the bill? If not, 
the question is on the engrossment of the amendments and third reading 
of the bill.
  The amendments were ordered to be engrossed and the bill to be read a 
third time.
  The bill was read a third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the 
question is, Shall the bill, as amended, pass?
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign) 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Nevada 
(Mr. Ensign) would vote ``yea.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from California (Ms. Boxer), 
the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Edwards), the Senator from South 
Carolina (Mr. Hollings), and the Senator from Arkansas (Mrs. Lincoln) 
are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) would vote ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 91, nays 3, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 410 Leg.]

                                YEAS--91

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dole
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham (FL)
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lott
     Lugar
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--3

     Allard
     McCain
     Nickles

                             NOT VOTING--6

     Boxer
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Hollings
     Kerry
     Lincoln
  So the bill (H.R. 2989), as amended, was passed.
  (The bill will be printed in a future edition of the Record.)
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. DASCHLE. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
insist on its amendments, request a conference with the House, and the 
Chair be authorized to appoint conferees at a ratio of 9 to 8, which is 
the subcommittee plus Stevens and Inouye.

[[Page S13124]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Presiding Officer (Mr. Chambliss) appointed Mr. Shelby, Mr. 
Specter, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. 
DeWine, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Stevens, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Byrd, Ms. 
Mikulski, Mr. Reid, Mr. Kohl, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Inouye 
conferees on the part of the Senate.


                           VOTE EXPLANATIONS

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I announce that on vote No. 406, the 
Feingold amendment, amendment No. 1904, which occurred earlier today, I 
was necessarily absent from the Senate on business. Had I been present 
to vote, I would have voted ``nay'' on the tabling motion for that 
amendment.
  (At the request of Mr. Daschle, the following statement was ordered 
to be printed in the Record.)
 Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, today, I have a long-standing 
commitment to a remarkable project in the ongoing downtown Los Angeles 
redevelopment effort. Therefore, I am unable to be present for the 
votes today in the Senate.
  However, if I had been present, I would have voted ``no'' on the 
motion to table the Dorgan amendment.
  I would have voted ``yes'' on the motion to table the Feingold 
amendment.
  I would have voted ``yes'' on both the Thomas and Mikulski 
amendments.
  I would have also voted ``yes'' on the motion to waive the Budget Act 
with regard to the Dodd-McConnell amendment.
  Finally, I would have voted ``yes'' on final passage of the 
Transportation appropriations bill.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1964

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding passage of H.R. 2989, the Transportation appropriations 
bill, the amendment at the desk by Senator Collins be agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 1964) was agreed to, as follows:


                           amendment no. 1964

   (Purpose: To limit the use of funds for converting to contractor 
       performance of executive agency activities and functions)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec.   . (a) None of the funds appropriated by this Act may 
     be used for converting to contractor performance an activity 
     or function of an executive agency that, on or after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act, is performed by executive 
     agency employees unless the conversion is based on the 
     results of a public-private competition process that requires 
     a determination regarding whether, over all performance 
     periods stated in the solicitation of offers for performance 
     of the activity or function, the cost of performance of the 
     activity or function by a contractor would be less costly to 
     the executive agency by an amount that equals or exceeds the 
     lesser of (A) 10 percent of the cost of performing the 
     activity with government personnel or, if a most efficient 
     organization has been developed, 10 percent of the most 
     efficient organization's personnel-related costs for 
     performance of that activity or function by Federal 
     employees, or (B) $10,000,000. With respect to the use of any 
     funds appropriated by this Act for the Department of 
     Defense--
       (1) Subsections (a), (b), and (c) of section 2461 of title 
     10, United States Code) do not apply with respect to the 
     performance of a commercial or industrial type activity or 
     function that--
       (A) is on the procurement list established under section 2 
     of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 47); or
       (B) is planned to be converted to performance by--
       (i) a qualified nonprofit agency for the blind or a 
     qualified nonprofit agency for other severely handicapped (as 
     such terms are defined in section 5 of such Act (41 U.S.C. 
     48b); or
       (ii) a commercial business at least 51 percent of which is 
     owned by an Indian tribe (as defined in section 4(e) of the 
     Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 
     U.S.C. 450b(e))) or a Native Hawaiian Organization (as 
     defined in section 8(a)(15) of the Small Business Act (15 
     U.S.C. 637(a)(15))).
       (2) Nothing in this section shall effect depot contracts or 
     contracts for depot maintenance as provided in sections 2469 
     and 2474 of title 10, United States Code.
       (3) The conversion of any activity or function of an 
     executive agency in accordance with this section shall be 
     credited toward any competitive or outsourcing goal, target 
     or measurement that may be established by statute, regulation 
     or policy and shall be deemed to be awarded under the 
     authority of and in compliance with section 303 of the 
     Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 
     U.S.C. 253) or section 2304 of title 10, United States Code, 
     as the case may be, for the competition or outsourcing of 
     commercial activities.
       (b) In this section, the term ``executive agency'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 4 of the Office of Federal 
     Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403).
       (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to effect, 
     amend or repeal Section 8014 of the Defense Appropriations 
     Act, 2004 (Public Law 108-87).

                          ____________________