(Senate - June 30, 1999)

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[Pages S7901-S7905]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                  APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2000--Continued

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, for the information of all of our 
colleagues, Senator Leahy and I have a couple of housekeeping measures 
to attend to, which we will do now. Then there will be a vote on the 
McConnell-Abraham second-degree amendment. If that amendment is 
successful, we will move to final passage. If that amendment is not 
successful, it is my understanding Senator Sarbanes wishes to address 
the Senate further on the underlying Brownback amendment.

                Amendment No. 1159, As Further Modified

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send to the desk a modification of 
amendment No. 1159.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is so 
  The amendment, as further modified, is as follows:

       On page 21, line 22, before the period insert the 
     following: ``: Provided further, That of the amount 
     appropriated under this heading, not to exceed $2,000,000 
     shall be available for grants to nongovernmental 
     organizations that work with orphans who are transitioning 
     out of institutions to teach life skills and job skills'': 
     Provided further, that of the amount available under the 
     heading `assistance for eastern europe and the baltic states' 
     for Romania, $4,400,000 shall be provided solely to the 
     Romanian Department of Child Protection for activities of 
     such Department to provide emergency aid for the child 
     victims of the present economic crisis in Romania, including 
     activities relating to supplemental food support and 
     maintenance, support for in-home foster case, and 
     supplemental support for special needs residential care''.

                      Amendment Nos. 1184 And 1185

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send an amendment on behalf of 
Senator Byrd and an amendment on behalf of Senator Nickles to the desk. 
They have been cleared. I ask unanimous consent they be agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Brownback). Without objection, it is so 
  The amendments (Nos. 1184 and 1185) were agreed to, as follows:

                           AMENDMENT NO. 1184

(Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate regarding assistance under 
                        the Camp David Accords)

       On page 128, between lines 13 and 14, insert the following 
     new section:

                   CAMP DAVID ACCORDS.

       (a) Findings.--The Senate makes the following findings:
       (1) Egypt and Israel together negotiated the Camp David 
     Accords, an historic breakthrough in beginning the process of 
     bringing peace to the Middle East.
       (2) As part of the Camp David Accords, a concept was 
     reached regarding the ratio of United States foreign 
     assistance between Egypt and Israel, a formula which has been 
     followed since the signing of the Accords.
       (3) The United States is reducing economic assistance to 
     Egypt and Israel, with the agreement of those nations.
       (4) The United States is committed to maintaining 
     proportionality between Egypt and Israel in United States 
     foreign assistance programs.
       (5) Egypt has consistently fulfilled an historic role of 
     peacemaker in the context of the Arab-Israeli disputes.
       (6) The recent elections in Israel offer fresh hope of 
     resolving the remaining issues of dispute in the region.
       (b) Sense of the Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate 
     that the United States should provide Egypt access to an 
     interest bearing account as part of the United States foreign 
     assistance program pursuant to the principles of 
     proportionality which underlie the Camp David Accords.

  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, my views on foreign assistance are well 
known. I don't like it. I understand there are circumstances in which 
the United States needs to extend a helping hand to other nations 
facing political and economic strains that we thankfully do not have to 
endure. I simply think that the United States spends too much of its 
citizens' hard-earned tax dollars overseas, and that is why I 
traditionally vote against the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
  My reluctance to send U.S. tax dollars overseas leads me to 
scrutinize closely those programs that we do fund. One of the largest 
recipients of U.S. foreign assistance is the Middle East, and in 
particular Israel, and to a lesser extent, Egypt. These nations are our 
strongest allies in a troubled region, and I firmly believe that 
maintaining a strong relationship with them is in the best strategic 
interests of the United States. We cannot forget that it was Egypt and 
Israel that negotiated the Camp David Accords, an historic breakthrough 
in the efforts to

[[Page S7902]]

bring peace to the Middle East. As part of the Camp David Accords, a 
concept was reached regarding the ratio of United States foreign 
assistance between Egypt and Israel. This formula has been followed 
since the signing of the Accords.
  I have believed for many years that the United States is spending too 
much on foreign assistance to Egypt and Israel. I have tried in the 
past, to no avail, to reduce the level of assistance being sent to 
Israel. I am pleased that the United States has finally embarked on a 
program of reducing economic assistance to both nations, with the 
agreement of those nations. However, maintaining proportionality 
between Egypt and Israel as the level of foreign assistance is reduced 
is vitally important, and never more so than now, when the recent 
elections in Israel offer fresh hope of restarting the peace process.
  Unfortunately, the mechanism by which United States foreign 
assistance is currently being provided to Egypt and Israel has resulted 
in an imbalance to that program in that Israel has the unique advantage 
of having immediate access to an interest bearing account while Egypt 
has not been accorded the same treatment. This, I believe, is a 
procedure which can be interpreted as a departure from the standard of 
fairness that is central to United States assistance under the Camp 
David Accords.
  Mr. President, this is an injustice that should be corrected. 
Speaking frankly, it is my opinion that neither Israel nor Egypt should 
be earning interest on United States foreign assistance. But, under the 
principles of parity that underlie the Camp David Accords, both nations 
should receive the same treatment. Egypt and Israel are pivotal allies 
in the Middle East, and the United States should accord them equal 
treatment in disbursing its foreign assistance.

                           Amendment No. 1185

 (Purpose: Regarding availability of United States assistance for the 
                          Palestian Authority)

       Strike section 577, and insert in lieu thereof the 


       (1) GAO certification.--Not more than 30 days prior to the 
     obligation of funds made available to this Act for assistance 
     for the Palestinian Authority the Comptroller General of the 
     United States shall certify that the Palestinian Authority--
       (A) has adopted an acceptable accounting system to ensure 
     that such funds will be used for their intended assistance 
     purposes; and
       (B) has cooperated with the Comptroller General in the 
     certification process under this paragraph.
       (2) GAO audits.--
       (A) Authority.--Six months after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall 
     conduct an audit to determine the extent to which the 
     Palestinian Authority is implementing an acceptable 
     accounting system in tracking the use of funds made available 
     by the Act for assistance for the Palestinian Authority.

                      Unanimous Consent Agreement

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that when the 
Senate completes all action on S. 1234, it not be engrossed and be held 
at the desk. I further ask that when the House of Representatives' 
companion measure is received in the Senate, the Senate immediately 
proceed to its consideration, all after the enacting clause of the 
House bill be stricken and the text of S. 1234, as passed, be inserted 
in lieu thereof, the House bill, as amended, be read for the third time 
and passed, the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference 
with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses thereon, and 
the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate, 
and the foregoing occur without any intervening action or debate.
  I further ask unanimous consent that upon passage by the Senate of 
the House companion measure, as amended, the passage of S. 1234 be 
vitiated, and the bill be indefinitely postponed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

             Amendments Nos. 1186, 1187, And 1188, En Bloc

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that three 
amendments that have been cleared on the other side on behalf of the 
Senator from Vermont be considered en bloc and agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Vermont [Mr. Leahy] proposes en bloc 
     amendments numbered 1186, 1187, and 1188.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendments are agreed 
  The amendments (Nos. 1186, 1187, and 1188) were agreed to, en bloc, 
as follows:

                           amendment No. 1186

       At the appropriate place, insert:


       Sec.   . The Secretary of the Treasury may, to fulfill 
     commitments of the United States, (1) effect the United 
     States participation in the fifth general capital increase of 
     the African Development Bank, the first general capital 
     increase of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and 
     the first general capital increase of the Inter-American 
     Investment Corporation; (2) contribute on behalf of the 
     United States to the eighth replenishment of the resources of 
     the African Development Fund, the twelfth replenishment of 
     the International Development Association. The following 
     amounts are authorized to be appropriated without fiscal year 
     limitation for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury: 
     $40,847,011 for paid-in capital, and $639,932,485 for 
     callable capital, of the African Development Bank; 
     $29,870,087 for paid-in capital, and $139,365,533 for 
     callable capital, of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee 
     Agency; $125,180,000 for paid-in capital of the Inter-
     American Investment Corporation; $300,000,000 for the African 
     Development Fund; $2,410,000,000 for the International 
     Development Association; and $50,000,000 for the 
     International Bank for Reconstruction and Development's HIPC 
     Trust Fund.

                           amendment no. 1187

       At the appropriate place in the bill insert the following:

                          working capital fund

       Sec.   . Section 635 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 
     (22 U.S.C. 2395) is amended by adding a new subsection (l) as 
       ``(l) There is hereby established a working capital fund 
     for the United States Agency for International Development 
     which shall be available without fiscal year limitation for 
     the expenses of personal and non-personal services, equipment 
     and supplies for: (A) International Cooperative 
     Administrative Support Services; (B) central information 
     technology, library, audiovisual and administrative support 
     services; (C) medical and health care of participants and 
     others; and (D) such other functions which the Administrator 
     of such agency, with the approval of the Office of Management 
     and Budget, determines may be provided more advantageously 
     and economically as central services.
       ``(2) The capital of the fund shall consist of the fair and 
     reasonable value of such supplies, equipment and other assets 
     pertaining to the functions of the fund as the Administrator 
     determines and any appropriations made available for the 
     purpose of providing capital, less related liabilities.
       ``(3) The fund shall be reimbursed or credited with advance 
     payments for services, equipment or supplies provided from 
     the fund from applicable appropriations and funds of the 
     agency, other federal agencies and other sources authorized 
     by section 607 of this Act at rates that will recover total 
     expenses of operation, including accrual of annual leave and 
     depreciations Receipts from the disposal of, or payments for 
     the loss or damage to, property held in the fund, rebates, 
     reimbursements, refunds and other credits applicable to the 
     operation of the fund may be deposited in the fund.
       ``(4) the agency shall transfer to the Treasury as 
     miscellaneous receipts as of the close of the fiscal year 
     such amounts which the Administrator determines to be in 
     excess of the needs of the fund.
       ``(5) The fund may be charged with the current value of 
     supplies and equipment returned to the working capital of the 
     fund by a post, activity or agency and the proceeds shall be 
     credited to current applicable appropriations.''.

                           amendment no. 1188

       At the appropriate place in the bill, insert the following:

              development credit authority program account

       For the cost of direct loans and loan guarantees, up to 
     $7,500,000 to be derived by transfer from funds appropriated 
     by this Act to carry out Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act 
     of 1961, as amended, and funds appropriated by this Act under 
     the heading, ``Assistance for Eastern Europe and the Baltic 
     States'', to remain available until expanded, as authorized 
     by section 635 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; 
     Provided, That such costs, including the cost of modifying 
     such loans, shall be defined in section 502 of the 
     Congressional Budget Act of 1974; Provided further, That for 
     administrative expenses to carry out the direct and 
     guaranteed loan programs, up to $500,000 of this amount may 
     be transferred to and merged with the appropriation for 
     ``Operating Expenses of the Agency for International 
     Development''; Provided further, That the provisions of 
     section 107A(d) (relating to general provisions applicable to 
     the Development Credit Authority) of the foreign Assistance 
     Act of 1961, as contained in section 306 of H.R. 1486 as 
     reported by the House Committee on International Relations on 
     May 9, 1997, shall be

[[Page S7903]]

     applicable to direct loans and loan guarantees provided under 
     this heading.

  Mr. LEAHY. I ask that the amendments be agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. They have been agreed to.
  Mr. LEAHY. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

                           Amendment No. 1119

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the McConnell amendment. 
All those in favor--
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, are the yeas and nays not ordered?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The yeas and nays have not been ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays on the McConnell 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to McConnell 
amendment No. 1119. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will 
call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. Mack) and 
the Senator from Ohio (Mr. Voinovich) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. (Mr. Allard). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 53, nasy 45, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 191 Leg.]




     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The amendment (No. 1119) was agreed to.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. SARBANES. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

                           Amendment No. 1118

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the first-
degree amendment, as amended.
  The amendment (No. 1118) was agreed to.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we are ready for final passage.
  Mr. LOTT addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.

                           Order Of Procedure

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, for the information of all Senators, this 
will be the last recorded vote for tonight. We will then go to the 
Treasury-Postal Service appropriations bill, and, hopefully, good 
progress, or all progress, can be completed on that tonight, with the 
possibility of stacked votes on or in relation to the Treasury-Postal 
Service appropriations bill in the morning.
  The next recorded vote, though, will be at 10:30 in the morning on a 
cloture motion with regard to Social Security lockbox. Hopefully, there 
will be other stacked votes in that sequence. For now, that is the only 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the third reading of the 
  The bill was read the third time.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, the Senate is now considering S. 1234, 
the foreign operations and export financing appropriations bill for 
fiscal year 2000.
  The Senate bill provides $12.7 billion in budget authority and $4.7 
billion in new outlays to operate the programs of the Department of 
State, Export and Military Assistance, Bilateral and Multilateral 
Economic Assistance, and Related Agencies for Fiscal Year 2000.
  When outlays from prior year budget authority and other completed 
actions are taken into account, the bill totals $12.7 billion in budget 
authority and $13.2 billion in outlays for fiscal year 2000.
  The subcommittee is below its Section 302(B) allocation for budget 
authority and outlays.
  I urge the adoption of the bill.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a table displaying the 
Budget Committee scoring of this bill be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the table was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                          SENATE-REPORTED BILL
               [Fiscal year 2000, in millions of dollars]
                                    General             Man-
                                    purpose   Crime    datory     Total
Senate-reported bill:
  Budget authority...............   12,700   .......       44    12,744
  Outlays........................   13,139   .......       44    13,183
Senate 302(b) allocation:
  Budget authority...............   12,701   .......       44    12,745
  Outlays........................   13,150   .......       44    13,194
1999 level:
  Budget authority...............   13,266   .......       45    13,311
  Outlays........................   12,740   .......       45    12,785
President's request:
  Budget authority...............   14,070   .......       44    14,114
  Outlays........................   14,104   .......       44    14,148
House-passed bill:
  Budget authority...............  ........  .......       44   ........
  Outlays........................    8,456   .......       44   ........
Senate 302(b) allocation:
  Budget authority...............       (1)  .......  ........       (1)
  Outlays........................      (11)  .......  ........      (11)
1999 level:
  Budget authority...............     (566)  .......       (1)     (567)
  Outlays........................      399   .......       (1)      398
President's request:
  Budget authority...............   (1,370)  .......  ........   (1,370)
  Outlays........................     (965)  .......  ........     (965)
House-passed bill:
  Budget authority...............   12,700   .......  ........   12,700
  Outlays........................    4,683   .......  ........    4,683
Note: Details may not add to totals due to rounding. Totals adjusted for
  consistency with scorekeeping conventions.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise to bring to the attention of my 
colleagues an issue which I believe is of importance in the FY 2000 
Foreign Operations Appropriations bill: U.S. assistance to Egypt. 
Before I begin, however, I thank the chairman and ranking member of the 
subcommittee for their expert and sound guidance on this bill. They 
deserve our commendation for working with such tight 302(b) 
  Egypt is a country that many in the Senate hold in high regard. Egypt 
is a dependable and steady ally in the Middle East. This year marks the 
twentieth anniversary of peace between Israel and Egypt, a peace which 
has served and continues to serve as a benchmark of the end of 
hostilities between Arabs and Israelis. Since peace between Egypt and 
Israel was established in 1979, Congress has recognized that in 
America's relations with these two allies that fair treatment of both 
Israel and Egypt in the provision of foreign assistance is a key 
feature in preserving peace and stability in the region.
  The administration requested as part of its FY 2000 budget that a 
portion of Egypt's military assistance held in reserve to pay for the 
potential termination of contracts accrue interest. This proposal, 
known as an interest bearing account (IBA), would allow interest to 
accrue on approximately $470 million in the termination liability 
account for Egypt. Israel's military assistance has been treated in 
this way for some time, treatment that I and many others here support. 
The net impact of granting Egypt this treatment would be about $20 
million in interest to Egypt, without any additional cost or outlay by 
the U.S. taxpayer.
  Like many of my colleagues, I support the administration's request 
for an IBA for Egypt, and I feel very strongly that Egypt should have 

[[Page S7904]]

same terms as Israel. The Department of State has made a commitment to 
Egypt on this issue, and I think it is important that this commitment 
be kept.
  Despite our support for an IBA, the Congressional Budget Office has 
told us that the IBA would be scored as a $470 million outlay--despite 
the fact that it actually costs nothing--and would thus break the 
Senate's tight outlay ceiling for this bill. Although support for an 
IBA for Egypt is strong--I am confident that on the merits an Amendment 
proposing an IBA would have the support of the vast majority of my 
colleagues--the Senate is confined at this time in our actions by 
budgetary pressures.
  I am hopeful that we might still be able to resolve this scoring 
issue and perhaps address the question of an IBA for Egypt in 
  Again, I thank the subcommittee chairman and ranking member for their 
work on this bill. I look forward to continuing to work with them on 
this issue.

  bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement and the state 

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senators 
Stevens, McConnell, Coverdell, DeWine, and I may enter into a colloquy 
on funding for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law 
Enforcement and the State Department.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I say to Senator Stevens, Senators Coverdell, DeWine, 
and I have afforded an amendment No. 1148 to the Foreign Operations 
Appropriations bill regarding increased funding for the State 
Department's counterdrug efforts.
  Mr. STEVENS. I am aware of the amendment.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. As the Senator knows, we have been working on this bill 
and on others to ensure adequate funding for our Nation's counter 
narcotics efforts. And I appreciate the committee's past support in 
this regard. I am aware that we face tough budget decisions and we need 
to balance many program needs within a balanced budget.
  Mr. STEVENS. We have had to make a lot of tough decisions in this 
bill while trying to ensure that we meet the needs of many critical 
programs. I know that Senator McConnell and Senator Leahy and the 
subcommittee have worked shared to be fair, and they have had to make 
tough choices.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I appreciate their efforts. Our amendment asks for more 
funding for INL, although it is still below the President's request. 
Senators Coverdell, DeWine, and I have worked with the committee in the 
past on this issue. It is my understanding that the House is working to 
provide a higher level.
  Mr. STEVENS. I believe that is the case but the House has not yet 
made a final decision on appropriation levels for the State 
Department's counter narcotics programs.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. If there is a difference between the House and Senate 
levels, that will mean that the final appropriation levels will be 
conferencable, is that correct?
  Mr. STEVENS. That is the case.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. It is my understanding that if the numbers in House and 
Senate bills are different that it is your intention to work during the 
conference to ensure that we see a higher level of funding for this 
  Mr. STEVENS. That is correct. I will work on trying to see a higher 
level of funding. But let me point out that there is a difference 
between the House and Senate allocation levels and that we will have a 
lot of reconciling to do.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I ask the distinguished Senator from Alaska if that 
effort will preclude increased funding for INL?
  Mr. STEVENS. It does not preclude it, and I will work to ensure that 
we try to get more funding.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I know that Senator Grassley and Senator DeWine share 
my concern that we ensure that our international counter drug programs 
here and elsewhere receive the support they need to keep drugs off our 
streets and out of our homes. We had a press conference today on just 
his point. We have been fighting a battle the last few years to raise 
the visibility of the need for serious counter drug efforts and the 
need to fund those adequately. The State Department program is an 
important part of that effort.
  Mr. DeWINE. If I might add something to the comments of my 
distinguished colleague from Georgia. Last year, the Congress added 
significant new money into our international and interdiction efforts. 
This was in part a down payment on the Western Hemisphere Drug 
Elimination Act, that I introduced in the 105th Congress. It is 
important that we ensure that the effort begun then is sustained. 
Having seen first hand the positive benefits of this program in this 
region. I strongly believe that increased funding for INL should be 
strongly considered in conference.
  Mr. STEVENS. I share the Senators' concerns for the need for 
sustained and adequate funding.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I too share this concern. The Foreign Operations bill 
is an effort to address that concern and the many other programs that 
need attention in our foreign policy.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. It is my understanding that every effort will be made 
in conference to ensure that there will be increased funding for the 
State Department's counter narcotics programs. If that is the case, 
then I am prepared to withdraw my amendment and I thank Senator Stevens 
and Senator McConnell for their consideration in this matter.
  Mr. COVERDELL. I join Senator Grassley in thanking the committee.
  Mr. DeWINE. I also thank the committee.

                             imf gold sale

  Mr. ALLARD. Will the distinguished Senator from Kentucky yield for a 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I will be happy to yield to the Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. ALLARD. As the chairman of the Foreign Operations Appropriations 
Subcommittee, is the Senator aware of a proposal by the Administration 
to support the sale of some ten million ounces of gold by the 
International Monetary Fund (IMF) from its gold reserves in order to 
provide debt relief for countries under the Heavily Indebted Poor 
Countries Initiative (HIPC)?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Yes, I am aware of this proposal. Let me say to the 
Senator from Colorado that the proposal to have the IMF sell its gold 
in order to provide debt relief to the HIPC nations is a matter of 
significant concern to me.
  Mr. ALLARD. I share the chairman's concern. The sale of IMF gold 
would have the effect of depressing gold prices well beyond the twenty 
year low to which the price of gold has already plunged. As I think the 
Senator from Kentucky well knows, a further drop in the price of gold 
will not only hurt American industry but cost thousands of U.S. workers 
their jobs. Equally important, falling gold prices will directly impact 
36 of the 41 nations that are slated to benefit from the HIPC program. 
This is because those 36 nations are in fact gold producers, and their 
economies would suffer to such a degree that the damage done to their 
economies resulting from depressed gold prices would be greater than 
any debt relief they might receive. Does the Senator agree with that 
  Mr. McCONNELL. The Senator from Colorado is exactly right. 
Considering the fact that barely 40 percent of the interest to be 
derived from the investment of the proceeds from the sale of the IMF 
gold would actually be available to the HIPC nations for debt relief, 
it seems to me that this amounts to a cruel hoax. Of particular concern 
to me is the fact that the sale of the IMF gold would reduce gold 
prices to such an extent that the harm done to HIPC nations' economies 
will likely exceed any benefit from this debt relief effort. I believe 
the issue of debt relief for the HIPC nations is important and must be 
dealt with, but such a program must be designed to reduce the economic 
burden on these countries not compound them.
  Mr. ALLARD. I ask the chairman, is it the case that in order for this 
proposed IMF gold sale to go forward, that the Congress must 
specifically authorize the U.S. representative to the IMF to cast a 
vote in favor of such a sale?
  Mr. McCONNELL. The Senator from Colorado is exactly correct. Existing 
law 22 U.S.C. 286c specifically requires Congress, by law, to authorize 
such action. I would point out to the Senator,

[[Page S7905]]

as I am sure he is already aware, that absent an act of Congress, the 
statute makes it clear that neither the President nor any person or 
agency acting on behalf of the United States can vote to approve the 
sale of IMF gold.
  Mr. ALLARD. I thank the chairman for that clarification. Would it be 
fair to conclude, I say to my friend from Kentucky, that you are not in 
a position to support legislation that would seek to have this Congress 
authorize U.S. approval of the sale of IMF gold?
  Mr. McCONNELL. The Senator from Colorado is absolutely correct. For 
the reasons I have outlined, I believe the proposal to sell IMF gold as 
part of the HIPC Initiative is misguided and just plain bad policy. I 
could not support legislation authorizing such a sale as part of this 
or any bill. And, I will say to the distinguished Senator from 
Colorado, that when I take this bill to conference with the House, we 
will include a Statement of Manager's language that will reiterate that 
the sale of IMF gold cannot go forward unless we in Congress 
specifically provide authorization.
  Mr. ALLARD. I thank the chairman.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, I rise today to express my concern 
about the proposed reduction of funding for the Peace Corps in this 
foreign operations appropriations bill--a reduction that is contrary to 
the will of Congress as expressed by the overwhelming, bipartisan 
support for the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act, which passed 
unanimously this session in both Houses of Congress.
  I am mindful of the constraints imposed by the lower allocations to 
the appropriators. But Congress has spoken affirmatively on the issue 
of increased funding for the Peace Corps. The authorizing committee 
and, then, this body, supported the bill by unanimous consent. A few 
months earlier, the House passed the measure by a vote of 326-90. 
President Clinton immediately signed the bill in May.
  Mr. President, as chairman of the authorizing committee for the Peace 
Corps, I worked with the committees' ranking Member and former Peace 
Corps Volunteer, Senator Dodd, to sponsor the Peace Corps Act. The Act 
authorizes a 12 percent increase for Fiscal Year 2000 and is part of a 
multiyear plan to enable the Peace Corps to reach its goal of 10,000 
Volunteers by 2003. Reaching this mark has been a long-standing goal of 
Congress--a goal set into law in 1985.
  Despite the consistent endorsement of the growth plan, the 
Appropriations Committee has recommended a $50 million reduction in 
funding from the authorized amount (and $20 million less than the Peace 
Corps current budget of $240 million). This appropriation is ill-
advised. If enacted, it would deny the Peace Corps the opportunity to 
reach its goal of 10,000 Volunteers serving abroad. And, even worse, it 
would force the Agency to cut the current level of Volunteers by over 
1,000 (That is, from 6,700 to 5,700) Volunteers).
  I recognize the constraints under which the Peace Corps and all 
federal programs must operate. For that reason, I have been a close 
observer of the Peace Corps activities, as has Senator Dodd, in 
exercising our oversight responsibilities. I remain confident that the 
Peace Corps remains the best foreign assistance program of its kind, 
and that it has systems in place to continue fielding Volunteers 
responsibly and efficiently. Part of the genius of the Peace Corps is 
its ability to use a relatively small amount of money to do big things. 
Even if the Peace Corps received full funding at $270 million, the 
amount would be about 1 percent of our foreign aid budget.
  Mr. President, I believe that the Peace Corps is well prepared to 
begin implementation of the multi-year plan. I urge the appropriators 
to join the Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and in 
both Houses who have overwhelmingly endorsed this worthy goal.