1995 CPEO Military List Archive

From: gkripke@Essential.ORG
Date: 21 Mar 1995 09:07:37
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Senate cuts defense cleanup
Posting from Gawain Kripke <gkripke@Essential.ORG>

 To: Interested Colleagues
 From: Gawain Kripke, Friends of the Earth
 Date: March 21, 1995
 RE: Senate passes rescission of cleanup funding

 After a week of wrangling over an amendment on stiker replacement, the
Senate enacted its version of the Defense supplemental spending bill (H.R.
889) last Thursday, March 16. The vote was an overwhelming 97-3. Senator
Boxer (D-CA) made a spirited, and brave, critique of the bill and voted
against it. (See excerpt below) The bill cuts $300 million from the
Defense Environmental Restoration Account which funds cleanups at military
 Before passing the bill, the Senate quickly, and without a vote or
significant debate, passed several amendments. As far as I can tell, the
only one related to environmental cleanups is a Feinstein amendment to
assure that closing bases are not affected by the DERA cuts. (See excerpt
 Now the House and Senate must negotiate the differences between the
bill each has passed. There are many differences. The House bill
provides $3.2 billion for the DOD while the Senate provides $1.9 billion. 
The House took a large portion of the offsetting rescissions from
non-defense programs while the Senate was much more modest. The House
rescinded $150 million from DERA while the Senate cut $300 million. 
 The process requires that the House and Senate each appoint
"conferees" to meet and negotiate on the bills in a conference. They will
negotiate a "conference report" which will then be sent to the House and
Senate for approval. It is unusual, although not unheard of, for the
conference report to be rejected. The legislation will then be sent to
the President who either signs it into law or vetoes it. The
Administration has given no indication that a veto of this bill is likely. 
 Supporters of the defense cleanup programs will ask the conferees,
both House and Senate, to agree to the House position on DERA ($150
million cut). There is a strong incentive agree to the Senate position
($300 million cut) because that provides more money to play with for other
 The House conferees have not been named as yet. The Senate conferees
are; Mr. Hatfield, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Gramm, Mr. Domenici, Mr.
McConnell, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Specter, Mr. Bond, Mr. Burns, Mr. Byrd, Mr.
Inouye, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Harkin, Mr.
Lautenberg, Ms. Mikulski and Mr. Reid. 
 The conference will happen in the next few weeks. 

these are excerpts and not full transcriptions. Quote at your own risk.) 
PAGE S4059
 Mr. INOUYE offered amendment No. 346 for Mrs. Feinstein. 
PAGE S4059

The amendment is as follows: On page 25, between lines 4 and 5, insert
the following new section: 
 Sec. 110. (a) In determining the amount of funds available for
obligation from the Environmental Restoration, Defense, account in fiscal
year 1995 for environmental restoration at the military installations
described in subsection (b), the Secretary of Defense shall not take into
account the rescission from the account set forth in section 106. 
 (b) Subsection (a) applies to military installations that the Secretary
recommends for closure or realignment in 1995 under section 2903(c) of the
Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (subtitle A of title XXIX
of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note). 
 Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I rise today to offer an amendment that
would protect military bases recommended for closure or realignment in
1995 from the proposed rescission in the Defense Environmental Restoration
Account (DERA). I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment. 
 PAGE S4059
 As many of my colleagues know, DERA funds are used to clean up
environmental contamination at open military bases. Because, the military
is subject to Federal and State environmental laws and regulations just
like private parties, the Department of Defense has an obligation to clean
up its military bases, whether the bases will remain open or will close
due to the base realignment and closure process. 
 I strongly support DERA efforts and am concerned about the proposed $300
million rescission in this appropriation bill. But, I understand that the
supplemental funding is extremely important to ensure the readiness of our
Armed Forces and protect U.S. national security. Because the
Appropriations Committee has decided to fully offset the increase in
funding with spending cuts, difficult decisions need to be made. I remain
hopeful, however, that the severe cut in DERA funds can be mitigated in
 I am particularly concerned about the impact of the DERA rescission on
bases that have been recommended for closure or realignment in the current
base closure round. Normally, cleanup at closing military bases is funded
out of the base realignment and closure (BRAC) account. However, in the
first year of a closure - before BRAC cleanup funds are available -
environmental cleanup at closing military bases is funded from DERA. 
 PAGE S4059
 Military bases slated for closure must be closed within 6 years of the
closure decision, therefore, it is important that environmental cleanup
not be delayed to ensure the timely and effective reuse of bases. 
Environmental cleanup is vital to assisting impacted communities with
economic redevelopment efforts. This amendment would protect bases
recommended for closure or realignment in 1995 from any funding cuts in
DERA. The rescission would still take place, but at least for the first
year until BRAC funding kicks in, closing bases would not be impacted. 
This amendment would simply ensure that the timetable for cleaning up and
closing a military base is not adversely impacted. I urge my colleagues to
support this amendment. 
 PAGE S4059
 Mr. INOUYE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the
amendments be considered and agreed to, en bloc; that the motions to
reconsider be laid upon the table, en bloc; and that statements relative
to the amendments be printed in the Record as though read. 
 The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. So
the amendments (Nos. 342 through 346) were agreed to. 
 PAGE S4067
 Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, after much thought and analysis, I have
decided to oppose this bill. I have made this decision for one simple
reason: on balance, I believe this bill is bad for California and bad for
the Nation. I support the supplemental appropriations contained in this
bill, which cover the costs of unbudgeted contingencies in Somalia,
Bosnia, and Haiti. However, I believe that these unplanned operations
should have been treated by the committee as emergency requirements, as
requested by the Department of Defense. 
 PAGE S4068
 Having elected to recommend supplemental funding without the
emergency designation, the committee was obligated to find offsetting
rescissions. Regrettably, the committee has recommended for rescission in
this bill programs that are vital to the defense of our country and to the
economic security of the State of California. The cuts made in
environmental cleanup programs and in research and development programs
like the Technology Reinvestment Project, or TRP, are wrong for this
country and wrong for California. I cannot support these reckless cuts,
Madam President, and I will not. This bill contains a $300 million
rescission for DERA, the Defense Environmental Restoration Account - twice
the cut passed by the House. What would this rescission mean for the State
of California? 
 PAGE S4068
 At the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, efforts to
clean contaminated groundwater could be delayed. Soil contaminated with
heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, and herbicides may not
be removed. At the Concord Naval Weapons Station in the bay area, cutting
DERA means delaying cleanup on polluted tidal and inland areas. If this
rescission is enacted, contaminated water and soil may sit idle so we can
say we did the responsible thing by ensuring that every dollar in this
bill was offset by a rescission somewhere else in the Pentagon budget. 
But that`s not really the responsible thing. The responsible thing to do
is not create an environmental hazard in the first place, but if you do,
you clean it up, and you clean it up fast. I want to make a final point on
this DERA rescission. Earlier this month, the Department of Defense
announced which military bases it wants to close in the 1995 BRAC round. 
California was hit again. One major base was recommended for closure and
several other installations face realignment. I will fight hard for those
bases and get their positive stories out. But if those installations stay
on the list, I want the contaminated sites at those bases cleaned up as
fast as possible so the communities can do something productive with that
 PAGE S4068
 In the 1995 base closure round, unlike previous rounds,
environmental cleanup will be funded by the DERA account. That is the
very same account that this bill proposes cutting by $300 million. So I
would say to all Senators, if you have a base in your State that may be
scheduled for closure this year, think long and hard about cutting $300
million from the Department`s primary environmental cleanup account. 
Believe me, you do not want to find yourself in a situation where the
military is moving out, but the community cannot move in because of
environmental contamination. California has been in that situation too
often, and it is very, very unpleasant. The Senate considered an amendment
last week offered by Senator McCain to reduce the rescission in this bill
for environmental cleanup funding by increasing the cut for the Technology
Reinvestment Project, or TRP. I opposed that amendment not because of the
DERA increase - which I support - but because of the draconian TRP cut. 
That amendment presented the Senate with an impossible choice: allow deep
rescissions in DERA or kill the Technology Reinvestment Project outright. 
 PAGE S4068
 However, even without the McCain amendment, this bill rescinds
$200 million from the Technology Reinvestment Project. To be sure, this
is better than the House rescission of $500 million, which would kill the
program, but the Senate rescission will badly damage this critically
needed program. Research and development is the key to maintaining our
military advantage in the future. But the Department of Defense can no
longer afford to maintain its own private research industrial base. We
must gain access to the commercial technology sector, which in many ways
out performs the defense technology base. We must gain access to this
commercial technology in the most cost effective way possible - ensuring
the public the greatest value for its tax dollar. The TRP achieves these
goals. Let me cite just one example. The TRP has funded a proposal led
by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District to develop an
advanced automated train control system. Like all TRP projects, this
grant is matched at least 50-50 by the private sector. For every dollar
the government spends, the consortium led by BART spends at least one
 PAGE S4068
 This technology currently being developed by the BART will allow system
operators to know exactly where there trains are - even underground in
tunnels. This allows trains to operate more safely and in closer
proximity. Reducing separation distance between trains allows the BART to
have more cars in service at the same time, which doubles passenger
carrying capacity. Critics of the TRP complain vociferously about projects
like the BART train control system. `What has that got to do with national
security?`, they say. The BART train control system has everything to do
with national security. This project is based on the Army`s Enhanced
Position Location Reporting System, which is designed to enable commanders
on the battlefield S 4069 to collect vital information about the location
of troops in real time. The National Economic Council estimates that the
technology developed by the BART`s TRP project may improve the Enhanced
Position Locator and at the same time, reduce its cost by up to 40
 PAGE S4068
 So what does this TRP project do for our country? For private
industry, it provides a chance to break into a market dominated by foreign
companies, perhaps creating thousands of American jobs and strengthening
our economy. For the Department of Defense, it offers a better and
cheaper way to collect battlefield information in real time - information
that may save soldiers` lives. And for the people of San Francisco, this
project provides safer, faster, and more efficient public transportation. 
This TRP grant creates a win-win-win situation - one that is being
duplicated with similar projects around the country. The TRP is a model
dual-use program. It should be expanded and emulated, not cut to the
point that its very existence is jeopardized. To offset the supplemental
appropriations made in this bill, the committee has recommended rescinding
environmental cleanup, the TRP and other high priority projects. I find
it difficult to believe that less important offsets could not be found in
the $260 billion Pentagon budget. Consider this: the Congressional Budget
Office estimates that at the end of fiscal year 1995, more than $19
billion will remain unobligated in the Pentagon`s procurement accounts. 
 PAGE S4068
 Surely, that $19 billion fund is large enough to offset the
funds this bill would cut from environmental cleanup and the TRP. Simply
cutting unobligated procurement funds by 3 percent would generate more
than enough savings to offset the TRP and environmental cleanup rescission
contained in this bill. I hope that when this bill is considered in
conference committee, the Senate managers will take a very close look at
these unobligated accounts and try to find a way to minimize the damage
done to the very important TRP and DERA accounts. I also want to serve
notice, Madam President, to those who would eliminate all defense
reinvestment and environmental cleanup in the Pentagon budget. That must
not happen. 
 PAGE S4068
 Defense reinvestment must remain a national priority for the
security of our country and our communities. Environmental cleanup is the
moral, ethical, and in many cases, legal responsibility of the Department
of Defense, and its must continue. When the Senate debates the budget in
the spring and when it debates the annual defense bills later in the year,
these issues will certainly be revisited. Rest assured that I and other
concerned Senators will continue to voice their strong support for these
vitally needed programs. Finally Madam President, I must express my
profound disappointment that the Senate accepted an amendment offered by
Senator Hutchison to rescind funding needed to protect endangered species. 
 PAGE S4068
 This amendment is an irresponsible approach to some very real
problems. It is clearly a first step in a piecemeal dismantling of the
Endangered Species Act. It is important to note that this amendment was
offered while the Committee on Environment and Public Works was diligently
working on a bill offered by the Senator from Texas that was substantially
similar to her amendment. I believe that the wiser course would have been
to work cooperatively with the committee, under the able leadership of
Senator Chafee, to find a mutually satisfactory solution to this important
problem. The rescission of $1.5 million from the Fish and Wildlife Service
listing budget for 1995, combined with the restriction on remaining funds,
effectively kills the Endangered Species Act listing process for 1995.
This could cause some species to become extinct and surely will delay
solving the very real problems that need attention. This is a
irresponsible action, which I strongly oppose. 
 PAGE S4068
 For all these reasons, I must oppose this bill. 
 Mr. INOUYE. Madam President, I have been told that we are now ready for
final passage. 
 PAGE S4070
 The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there be no further amendment to be
proposed, 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. 
 Mr. INOUYE. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays on final
 PAGE S4070
 The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is
a sufficient second. The yeas and nays were ordered
 PAGE S4070
 The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third
time, the question is, Shall the bill pass? The yeas and nays have been
ordered, and the clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk called the roll. 
 PAGE S4070
 The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the
Chamber desiring to vote? 
 The result was announced - yeas 97, nays 3, as follows: 
 YEAS - 97
 Abraham Akaka Ashcroft
 Baucus Bennett Biden
 Bingaman Bond Bradley
 Breaux Brown Bryan
 Bumpers Burns Byrd
 Campbell Chafee Coats
 Cochran Cohen Conrad
 Coverdell Craig D`Amato
 Daschle DeWine Dodd
 Dole Domenici Dorgan
 Exon Faircloth Feingold
 Feinstein Ford Frist
 Glenn Gorton Graham
 Gramm Grams Grassley
 Gregg Harkin Hatch
 Hatfield Heflin Helms
 Hutchison Inhofe Inouye
 Jeffords Johnston Kassebaum
 Kempthorne Kennedy Kerrey
 Kerry Kohl Kyl
 Lautenberg Leahy Levin
 Lieberman Lott Lugar
 Mack McCain McConnell
 Mikulski Moseley-Braun Moynihan
 Murkowski Murray Nickles
 Nunn Packwood Pell
 Pressler Reid Robb
 Rockefeller Roth Santorum
 Sarbanes Shelby Simon
 Simpson Smith Snowe
 Specter Stevens Thomas
 Thompson Thurmond Warner
 NAYS - 3
 Boxer Hollings Pryor

 The motion to lay on the table was agreed to. 
 The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gorton). Without objection, it is
so ordered. 
 Mr. HATFIELD. Mr. President, I move the Senate insist on its
amendments and request a conference with the House on the disagreeing
votes of the two Houses, and that the Chair be
authorized to appoint the conferees on the part of the Senate. 

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