July 20, 1999
The Administration supports several provisions of S. 1009, but can not support the entire bill until the concerns described below are satisfactorily addressed.
The Administration appreciates the inclusion in S. 1009 of a number of substantive provisions that would contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency, and security of U.S. intelligence activities. Section 303 would extend the President's authority to stay sanctions, when such a stay is necessary to help ensure that intelligence sources and methods or an ongoing criminal investigation may be protected. Section 305 would enable the U.S. Government to deal more effectively and equitably with certain individuals seeking naturalization who have made contributions to our national security. The efficient management of CIA resources and personnel would be furthered by sections 401 and 402. Sections 304 and 601 would enhance the Government's personnel security and counterintelligence authorities.
The Administration opposes the Committee's proposals to delay substantially two major intelligence collection systems that directly support our military. While the Administration has no objection to reviewing those proposals through further analysis, funding for the programs must be restored to allow the programs to continue and avoid future intelligence collection gaps that might put our Armed Forces at unnecessary risk.
The proposed communications reorganization outlined in pages 66 through 70 in the classified supplement would meaningfully affect the current and future infrastructure needs and resources of a number of agencies. The Administration cannot support the proposal because it would prejudge the Administration's own deliberations on how best to meet the communications needs of the U.S. government. The Administration is aware of the Committee's concerns and would like to work with Congress to arrive at the most appropriate solution for this complex issue.
The Administration opposes section 502 of S. 1009, which would place a moratorium on the Department of Energy foreign visitors program. Such a moratorium could negatively affect a number of vital national security programs, such as disposition of Russian fissile material.
Finally, the Administration is unsure of the final form of the language of Senator Kyl's revised amendment concerning the reorganization of the Department of Energy. If language is adopted that would undermine Secretary Richardson's ability to effectively manage the Department, including efforts to reorganize the Department's handling of counterintelligence and broader security matters, the Secretary of Energy would recommend that the President veto the bill. Any reorganization of the Department's activities needs to include comprehensive Presidential and Secretarial authority over the operation and management of the Agency for Nuclear Stewardship.