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Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Gillmor.
Mr. Pomeroy. Mr. POMEROY. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Pomeroy votes yes. Mr. Delahunt. Mr. DELAHUNT. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Delahunt votes yes. Mr. Meeks. Mr. MEEKS. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Meeks votes yes. Ms. Lee. Ms. LEE. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Ms. Lee votes yes. Mr. Crowley. Mr. CROWLEY. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Crowley votes yes. Mr. Hoeffel. Mr. HOEFFEL. Aye. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Hoeffel votes yes. Chairman GILMAN. The clerk will call the absentees. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Goodling. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Leach. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Hyde. [No response.] Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Burton. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Gallegly. (No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Ballenger. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. ROHRABACHER. Pass. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Rohrabacher passes. Mr. Royce. Mr. ROYCE. No. Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Royce votes no. Mr. King. [No response.] Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Chabot. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Sanford. [No response.] Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Houghton. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Campbell. [No response.] Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. McHugh. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Burr. [No response.) Ms. BLOOMER. Mr. Radanovich.
Chairman GILMAN. Is there any Member whose name has not been called? Among the absentees, everyone has voted? If not, the clerk will report.
Ms. BLOOMER. On this vote, 23 ayes, 7 noes, and 1 present.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
Chairman GILMAN. Will you hold just a moment? We first will have to vote on the Rohrabacher amendment, the amendment as amended.
All in favor of the Rohrabacher amendment, as amended, signify in the usual manner.
Ms. BLOOMER. Amendment offered by Mr. Bereuter. Diplomatic Telecommunications Service. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2001 in the Admiral
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection, the amendment is considered as having been read.
The gentleman is recognized on the amendment. [The amendment appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I intended to offer this amendment earlier but arrived too late to do it. This amendment does not relate to the previous one, but it is a matter that I think should be approved.
The issue being raised by me is because of the jurisdictional and I think good government concerns related to sensitive telecommunications capabilities to and from our diplomatic posts abroad.
In the early 1990's—I think it was fiscal year 1991—as a costsaving reduction of duplication effort, the Congress required that State and the CIA harmonize their classified communications. We are talking about their capabilities for classified communications. Since that time, State has spent more than $300 million to upgrade jointly operated telecommunications facilities. The CIA has spent considerably less. The Agency sites intolerable risks associated with this current arrangement but refuses to explain what those intolerable conditions might be. They have refused to provide the congressionally mandated reports on this issue, which is the source of
Chairman GILMAN. If the gentleman will withhold. The Committee is not in order. The gentleman should be recognized to present his argument. The Committee is not in order.
The gentleman may proceed.
In this year's intelligence authorization, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), included in its code word level classified report but not as a classified item a requirement that all these assets be turned over to the operations of the CIA. This language which I offer-language, pardon me, which is in that legislation I think throws down a marker that the State Department should not be summarily
stripped of this responsibility, particularly without compensation. The language that I am offering says that the responsibility should not be changed and allows the committees of jurisdiction like this one to consider this matter more fully when the facts are made available.
Mr. Chairman, I know that you have taken some action by letter on June 29 addressed to the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Your staff is hoping that, in fact, we might be able to work that out. But I think it is important that we aggressively defend our jurisdiction.
I do not understand nor have we any basis for understanding why CIA wants to abandon this joint effort which has been approved by the Congress back in fiscal year 1991 and simply, very quietly, authorizing abandonment of the program.
The agency under our jurisdiction, the State Department, as I have mentioned, has spent over $300 million to implement the program; and now suddenly to have it pulled away I think is probably just an opportunistic move by the Central Intelligence Agency, at a time when State is suffering from considerable criticism of its admittedly very bad security practices, to take advantage of that situation and in a turf battle pull the rug out from under this joint effort.
Until we have better information, and until the CIA provides the mandated reports to justify why that would be done in the intelligence authorization bill this year, I think we should assert ourselves. One way to put ourselves back into the argument is to include this provision that I am suggesting.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. GEJDENSON. The gentleman's amendment is an excellent amendment. I urge its adoption.
Mr. BEREUTER. I thank the gentleman.
Chairman GILMAN. I appreciate the gentleman's comments and concerns. This is an important issue, one in which we share jurisdiction with the Intelligence Committee.
I have spoken and written to Chairman Goss about our concerns, and I feel confident that he will work with us to try to craft a solution on the telecommunications system that reflects the interests of the State Department and the inquiries of the concerned parties. I believe that the gentleman has a copy of our letter that was jointly signed by Mr. Gejdenson and myself and sent to Chairman Goss underscoring our strong commitment to the part of any solution in the telecommunications
(A copy of the letter appears in the appendix.)
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I received it a few minutes ago, yes.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
I also want to state that this really is an interagency matter that should be handled by OMB. I do believe that they are now engaging in this matter. I hope that it will prove to be a meaningful review. Therefore, I respectfully request the gentleman to co ider withdrawing his amendment to give us an opportunity to further explore this with the Intelligence Committee.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question? Reclaiming my time, I would like to ask a question.
In light of the Gejdenson amendment to the Rohrabacher amendment, it would appear to me that this bill is inappropriate to take on the suspension calendar. If, in fact, it will not be going on the suspension calendar, then I would have the opportunity to offer this amendment on the House floor if, in fact, the Intelligence Committee does not cooperate with us. Therefore, I would be more likely to certainly bow to the Chairman's wisdom on this.
Can you tell me if, in fact, we now are likely to take this on the suspension calendar? I know I will not be voting to take it on the suspension calendar myself.
Chairman GILMAN. With regard to the gentleman's request, we certainly will reserve our decision on that. We will take into consideration the gentleman's request before we go to the Rules Committee with that.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to pose a parliamentary inquiry.
Chairman GILMAN. Please present your inquiry.
Mr. BEREUTER. At the end of this amendment or any other amendments offered to this bill, what will be the suggested motion to advance the bill? Will it be the suspension calendar or just the normal approval or disapproval?
Chairman GILMAN. Let me discuss that with our Parliamentarian here.