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Senate Floor: VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 1994--MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Pete Domenici
    Person
  • Kent Conrad
    Person
  • Connie Mack III
    Person
  • Not Labeled
    Person
  • Bob Dole
    Person
Unknown

Joe Biden

Very Negative
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the message from the House on H.R. 3355, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; that the Senate disagree to the House amendments and agree to the request of the House for a conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses. 5

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. 7

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
Mr. President, I ask that the Chair lay before the Senate a message from the House of Representatives on H.R. 3355, a bill to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to allow grants to increase police presence, to expand and improve cooperative efforts between law enforcement agencies and members of the community to address crime and disorder problems, and otherwise to enhance public safety. 9

Joe Biden

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER laid before the Senate the following message from the House of Representatives: 10

Joe Biden

Neutral
In lieu of the matter inserted by said amendment, insert: 12

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
Mr. President, it is my understanding for the benefit of the Members that several of our colleagues on the Republican side and possibly one or two on the Democratic side have motions to instruct the Senate conferees relative to the Senate-passed crime bill which we are going to take to conference. 2428

Joe Biden

Neutral
We could, if we decided to do this, spend days debating all the motions I am told that have been at least talked about being offered. In fact, if we want to, we can spend weeks before we got to it. 2429

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
I think we have gotten to the point now where we have pretty well narrowed down exactly what instructions are going to be offered as amendments to the appointment of conferees by our colleagues. And I want to just state at the outset, and I will speak to this a little more later, it is not my intention to spend a lot of time debating it. I will not move to table them, but I will make brief explanations as to why I disagree with some and agree with others. I would implore my colleagues who have these motions to present them in as succinct a fashion as they can. They are instructive. They are instructive, not dispositive. 2430

Joe Biden

Neutral
I cannot guarantee nor can anyone else what a House-Senate conference will be guaranteed to produce in order to bring back a conference report, but obviously, as the chairman of the committee and as the Senate leader in the conference, I will listen and pursue the instructions of the Senate as given to me based upon what may be added as instructions. 2431

Joe Biden

Unknown
I see two of my colleagues on the floor. I do not know if they have any amendments. But I yield the floor. 2432

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware yields the floor. 2434

Unknown
The Chair recognizes the Republican leader. 2435

Bob Dole

Leans Negative
Mr. President, I underscore what the Senator from Delaware has said. I do not think we want to redebate the whole crime bill again. I assume we will have an opportunity to do that even during the conference. 2437

Bob Dole

Very Positive
I think that there are hopefully not many but a few areas where people on either side of the aisle feel strongly and have some instruction to the conferees. I think the first will be the Senator from New Mexico. 2438

Bob Dole

Very Positive
We would like to proceed, as the Senator outlined, on a fairly orderly basis and complete the debate without hours and hours of debate, and if there are any votes requested I guess they have been set aside to some time later today -- I understand at 6:30 p.m. -- because of certain hearings. 2439

Joe Biden

Unknown
Mr. President, I say to the Republican leader that is my understanding. The votes are to be stacked if there are votes. 2441

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I am prepared to accept some of these as well. My mutual experience is most colleagues will want to demonstrate to the folks that the majority of the Senate wants to agree with their position, and that is their right, and I expect it will happen. 2442

Bob Dole

Unknown
Just so we do not have too many. 2444

Joe Biden

Unknown
I am with you. 2446

Joe Biden

Unknown
Mr. DOMENICI addressed the Chair. 2447

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from New Mexico [Mr. Domenici]. 2449

Pete Domenici

Unknown
Mr. President, I am going to send a motion to instruct to the desk, which we will debate for just a few moments. I will read it because it is very short. 2452

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
I believe it is self-explanatory. There is much being said about the growing use of handguns in this country. Obviously, while some violent crime is coming down, violent crime that is being committed with the use of guns is going up and going up dramatically. And, obviously, teenagers, youngsters, using guns to commit murder and violent crime is going up even more dramatically. 2454

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
I believe that we are going to change the law of the land nationally for national offenses to reimpose the death penalty for a number of those. I believe this one stands out as one that we clearly should include among those kinds of crimes that can produce the death penalty for the individual man or woman that commits such a crime. 2455

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
Sixty percent of the murders committed in my State were committed by criminals using guns; 89 murders, 59 of them committed with a gun; 23 percent of aggravated assaults in my State were committed with a gun in 1992. Those who commit murder in the course of violations of Federal criminal law must face the penalty of death, and that is what this instruction is all about. 2456

Pete Domenici

Neutral
I understand the distinguished chairman, who is going to undertake this rather enormous job of bringing some common ground to the House bill and the Senate bill, is prepared to indicate that this provision which was put into the crime bill by the Senator from New York, also ought to be retained in conference and is willing to accept my motion to instruct. 2457

Joe Biden

Very Positive
If the Senator will yield, I am delighted to accept the motion to instruct for several reasons. I will not be able to say this on some of the other motions that are likely to come forward. 2459

Joe Biden

Negative
No. 1, this is one I can almost assure the Senator I can deliver on in that chaotic conference that is about to take place, because the House has in their bill, section 707, literally the same as the section in the Senate bill sponsored by the Senator from New Mexico. The only difference is, we say "a person who" and they say "whoever." So it is the same exact language. We will not have any disagreement on that score. 2460

Joe Biden

Very Negative
More important, I think the Senator is substantively correct here. He has refrained from doing something that a lot of my Republican and Democratic colleagues have not refrained from, and that is crossing over the line between Federal and State jurisdictions here. What this does is, it says if you are guilty of committing a crime that results in the death of an individual through the use of a gun, you are eligible for the death penalty, assuming it is a Federal crime. 2461

Joe Biden

Very Positive
So on all scores, substantively, procedurally, and practically, I can assure the Senator I will strongly -- I now support his motion and in the conference I will insist upon it remaining in. 2462

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I do not know whether he has a real preference for "a person who," or "whoever," but giving me that leeway to deal with it I can almost assure him we will bring back a conference report with the substance of that provision in. 2463

Pete Domenici

Unknown
We can perhaps even come up with another word that is neither of those and do the job. You can do that. 2465

Joe Biden

Positive
Mr. President, I do not think that is going to be the big problem. As a matter of fact, I hope there will be no problem here, and I compliment the Senator on his amendment. I do not know whether or not he will let me accept it, and accept it by voice vote, or whether he wants to have a vote and stack it until later. That is his preference. But I assure him not only am I for it, but I am likely to be able to deliver because it is in both bills. 2467

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
Let me just correct a bit of the Record. Senator D'Amato and I introduced a number of amendments on guns. This one in its exact language is not one I did. I should correct that. I supported Senator Hatch in this amendment, as he supported us in ours. 2469

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Mr. President, I am not sure it is particularly relevant, but in the original bill I introduced, the so-called Biden bill, the exact language was in the bill. I know, though, the Senator from New Mexico has been the champion of this position and I do not claim credit for the idea. Many of the ideas in the original bill that I introduced are those of the Senator from New Mexico and others. My point is, the original bill I introduced contained this. I am for it. The administration has signed off on it. Everyone seems to be for it. 2471

Joe Biden

Positive
I understand the concern of the Senator. It would not be unlikely -- getting into conference, things everybody seems to be for do not come back in a conference report. But this one will come back in the conference report. It is totally up to the Senator from New Mexico. He has managed many -- and many controversial bills on this floor, as I have. He understands the process as well or better than anyone in the place. 2472

Joe Biden

Very Positive
If he insists on a vote later, that is fine with me. But I would just as soon us accept it and assure him it will come back. 2473

Pete Domenici

Somewhat Positive
Let us accept it. 2475

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the motion? The question occurs on the motion of the Senator from New Mexico [Mr. Domenici], to instruct conferees. 2477

Pete Domenici

Unknown
Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote. 2481

Joe Biden

Unknown
I move to lay that motion on the table. 2483

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to. 2484

Joe Biden

Unknown
Mr. DOMENICI addressed the Chair. 2485

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized. 2487

Pete Domenici

Positive
Mr. President, first I thank the distinguished chairman for his kind remarks. I want to take just a couple of minutes. 2489

Pete Domenici

Somewhat Positive
Early in the debate, as the distinguished chairman was talking a measure the President wants for more local law enforcement, called community policing, I walked onto the floor to talk about where are we going to get the money. I would like to say this morning it comes as no shock to this Senator that the front page story on the Washington Post is, Caps [CAPS] Begin To Pinch, wondering whether, even for the new domestic program for increased help for Head Start, there is going to be enough money for it. 2490

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
I would like to talk a little bit about whether there is going to be enough money for all the provisions in the House bill which has kind of one-upped the Senate in terms of how much money they want to spend. In terms of prevention programs, clearly we had a number of them and some were very good. The House bill has raised the expectation that we can do two or three prevention programs, Mr. Chairman, some of which cost as much as $1.5 billion a year. 2491

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
If the Senator will yield on that point, I concur with his concern. I do not mean to interrupt him. But they also upped the ante about $8 billion on prisons as well. 2493

Pete Domenici

Unknown
You got it. 2495

Joe Biden

Neutral
That is a gigantic chunk -- excuse me, let me be precise, $7 billion; up the ante on that. 2497

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
So he is correct, we are going to have our work cut out for us as to how we accommodate these major issues which, at the end of the day, I might say, when we finish all these instructions, I am going to have a single instruction relative to what I consider to be the main big chunks of this crime bill. 2498

Joe Biden

Neutral
I apologize for interrupting but I just want to make the point I concur with the concern of the Senator. 2499

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
Let me complete the thought, because I happen to have either fortunately or unfortunately, the assignment this year, being the ranking Republican of the Commerce, State, Justice Appropriations Subcommittee along with Chairman Fritz Hollings. That is the subcommittee that is going to pay for most of what the U.S. Government does in crime and most of the new programs, if we can afford any, that are contemplated by the very, very extensive debate at the national level, and maybe I should say extensive amount of rhetoric about the Federal Government's role in all the local crime that is occurring out there. 2501

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
I want to put some numbers on the table and talk about the difficulty of funding programs. First of all, the House bill does not, nor do the allocations in the appropriations process, necessarily adopt the position that Senator Byrd took on the floor, with the help of Senator Gramm of Texas, where a trust fund was set up. It was a unique process in the appropriations and budgeting process, where $22 billion was set aside in a trust fund. And it was the savings that were going to come from the full-time equivalent reduction in the President's reinventing Government program, that money was going to then be used only for -- and I think the language is, I paraphrase -- "for programs in the crime bill." So we will all get our bearings straight, if that were to occur -- and I understand it is not in the House bill -- there will be an instruction down here by one of the Senators to ask that it be included. But let me give a couple of numbers. 2502

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
In the year 1995, the year everybody thinks we are going to start down the path of paying for a whole lot of these new programs, that entire trust fund is $700 million in outlays for the whole year of 1995. You see we are talking about terms of $1.5 billion here, and $1 billion there and $700 million there and maybe a billion to pay for prisons. I am not even arguing with the chairman -- maybe that is what is in there. I do not know how much there is on prevention now, it might be more than $8 billion. Anyway, we have $2.4 billion in program authority and $700 million in outlays for everything, for the entire year of 1995. 2503

Pete Domenici

Slightly Positive
I really believe expectations are so high about what we are going to be able to afford, I thought it was time just once again to come to the floor, as I did that day, and say: Where is the money going to come from? Everybody understands the President's favorite program is to add more local policemen, local cops, community policemen. Frankly, that is a very big program. If it were funded to the tune of 100,000 policemen, my recollection is that alone would cost about $1.7 billion, just to put it in perspective. 2504

Pete Domenici

Neutral
Frankly, I do not think we are going to be able to do that. We are not going to be able to pay for it. But I want to add a couple of other caveats. 2505

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
The American people are coming to a very, very rational conclusion and it is, just how much does the Federal Government have to do with crime in our neighborhoods? Just how much of this crime bill is going to stop the murders in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque or in one of your main cities where perhaps you have gangs, I say to the chairman, like we do. They are beginning to say, "Well, we understand that most of that kind of crime is not even within the purview of what the Federal Government is doing in crime." They are more worried about how we are going to help the local district attorney and the local district courts and the penal system locally, which is overcrowded, and perhaps the local effort in the schools on gangs and the like. 2506

Pete Domenici

Leans Negative
So while we are concerned about new expenditures of money, let me say, there are three things the Federal Government does that we ought to support fully; and that is, for one, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We ought to fund them fully. The President's budget cuts the FBI and, for the second year in a row, has no new FBI agents. Obviously, the committee and the Congress are probably going to fund the FBI, and that means some of this new money is going to go there. 2507

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
Second, and I think the distinguished chairman is aware of this, one of the best programs around is the Byrne Grant Program -- named after a law enforcement officer in New York, as I recall. The good thing about that program is that it helps local law enforcement. All of it goes into grants to the cities and States to help with local law enforcement. 2508

Pete Domenici

Somewhat Positive
I cannot understand how the President of the United States cut that more than in half in his budget. Clearly, it would be very, very hypocritical on our part to talk about new programs and not fund the Byrne Grant Program. The President has now, I think, asked that we put back $125 million of those cuts. It does not bring it all the way to where it ought to be. But the point I am making is, before we spend money on some new programs, the people have properly expected that we ought to do more to help local governments, local law enforcement, in their dilemma of the day, which is enormous. 2509

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
I believe that means you have to keep the Byrne Grant Program, which helps them immensely -- not cut it, and that has nothing to do with this bill; that has to do with the bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee years ago, which I assume the distinguished chairman had something to do with, and it is a very, very good bill. 2510

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
The other program or activity, the Drug Enforcement Administration, has become very modern. It has been built into a very good partner to the FBI. Instead of drugs going down, drug usage is going up. Instead of heroin leaving the scene, it is back on the scene; everybody knows it, and it is becoming the drug of choice for many. The President cuts the DEA in his basic budget. We are not going to be able to do that. We are going to have to spend some of this money that we have nationally for crime to just continue to do the things that we have been doing that are working well that need more, not less, resources. 2511

Pete Domenici

Somewhat Positive
Why did I bring that up? The President's budget for the Commerce, Justice, and State Subcommittee has $400 million in fees that we are supposed to spend for crime programs and the like. But the truth of the matter is, nobody is going to impose those fees. So there is $400 million that we do not have to spend as we attempt to put some reality into how much money we will have. 2512

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
So I chose these few moments to say that we ought to put the trust fund in. But even if we do, clearly, that is not going to permit us to fund the programs that we have been talking about with such assurance in terms of how we are going to put these in and help the American people and help crime prevention at the local level. 2513

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
I know the chairman is fully aware of this. This is in no way intended to discount or diminish the very good provisions, some of which are contentious -- some Republicans want more than the Democrats and vice versa -- but many of these things in the crime bill ought to become law. 2514

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
Just to recap, to close up on what the President asked for in new money that could come from the trust fund, it is $2.4 billion in new budget authority. The President asked for $700 million in new outlays, $2.4 billion in budget authority, and those now are rather consistent with what the trust fund will produce if we get it. I think it is pretty obvious that is not going to pay for all the programs everybody has been talking about. 2515

Pete Domenici

Unknown
I yield the floor. 2516

Pete Domenici

Unknown
Mr. BIDEN addressed the Chair. 2517

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Dorgan). The Chair recognizes Senator Biden. 2519

Joe Biden

Positive
Mr. President, I want to thank the ranking member of the Budget Committee for his comments about the cost of these programs. That is one of the things I am going to have to be coming back to the floor with during the debate on some of the instructions, to remind my colleagues. 2521

Joe Biden

Very Positive
There are certain things that are obvious, it seems to me. One is that there will be a trust fund in this legislation. Not only have I received assurance personally from the Speaker of the House and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee that they will support the establishment of such a fund, but I ask unanimous consent that the House Congressional Record of March 23, 1994, page H1944, be printed in the Record. 2522

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
The bottom line is, both Congressman Brooks and the Speaker of the House say they will intend to support the adoption of a trust fund in conference and fully expect that such a fund will be included in the conference report accompanying the crime bill when it comes back to both Houses. 2523

Joe Biden

Positive
Mr. President, again, without debating all of the detail or discussing all of the detail, because there is not much of a debate between the Senator from New Mexico and myself, the President is on target in terms of $2.43 billion in budget authority and $700 million in outlays for fiscal year 1995. But that should make it clear to everyone what I have been saying since last October; and that is that we are going to end up having to push out some of these programs. 2530

Joe Biden

Unknown
First of all, some will not spend out very quickly. In the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Delaware, New Hampshire -- wherever -- when the police money comes for community policing, it is going to take time. We will authorize that each State will get x amount of dollars and compete for the rest, but it is going to take time for these folks to get trained, on the payroll, and for spendout to occur. 2531

Joe Biden

Very Positive
We are going to have to be in the situation where we are going to have to be thoughtful and precise about how we reconcile the total dollars we spend, the access of real dollars for the trust fund, and the spendout rate at which all of this occurs. 2532

Joe Biden

Very Negative
I predict we will come back with a conference report that contemplates a 6th year, although we cannot guarantee that we will have that language, it will be part of the thrust -- we can only go for 5 years -- there will be the use of somewhere -- I am guessing -- between $3 and $7 billion of the savings that will occur from the reduction in the number of bureaucrats that work for the Federal Government 6 years out. That savings will amount to $10 billion, roughly. Part of that will have to be taken to fund the crime bill we bring back to the Senate. 2533

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
So the Senator is right to once again, as I have been doing all along here, sound the alarm that whatever we bring back here has to be real dollars. 2534

Joe Biden

Very Negative
I have been involved with this process, being the primary author of I think every major crime bill that has come out of this institution, on the Senate side at least, for the last decade, and one of the things my colleagues are probably tired of hearing me say, my greatest criticism of this place, the Congress, and Washington generally, is it overpromises, it overpromises. And then when the promises cannot be kept, and we know darned well they cannot be kept, what happens is the public is further disillusioned about their Government. 2535

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I wish to make a couple of broad points, especially while we are waiting for others to come in and introduce amendments. No. 1, this is the most significant crime bill, House or Senate version, or whatever we come back with from conference, ever to have been introduced, the most innovative, the most well rounded, and the most balanced, the toughest at all once. I do not think anyone denies that. But it will not stop crime in our time. 2536

Joe Biden

Very Negative
All these folks who stand up and talk about this war on crime; we are going to end crime; we are going to end this, we are going to end violence; this will not do it. The Lord Almighty could come down and sit in this seat, draft us a crime bill that He brought from Heaven, or She brought from Heaven -- sit there, write it, and could not stop crime in our time except through divine intervention. 2537

Joe Biden

Very Negative
A crime bill will not do that. I have said from the outset, and I wish to reiterate to everyone, once we pass this bill, which will be a major achievement, when we all go back home and talk about this bill, it is one of at least four constituent parts of what is necessary to be done to deal with violence in America. 2538

Pete Domenici

Unknown
Will the Chairman yield? 2540

Joe Biden

Positive
Surely. 2542

Pete Domenici

Neutral
I just wanted to say, would the Senator not agree the Lord does not have to come down here; if we just kind of all decided to do what the Lord told us to do, we would not have any crime? 2544

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
I think that is correct, Mr. President. The problem is the Lord speaks in many tongues, based on the verbal utterances I hear from my colleagues. Some I feel are less enlightened by the Lord than others based on what they say. And so I have great difficulty. 2546

Joe Biden

Very Negative
I have no doubt the Lord speaks to me and the Senator from New Mexico. I am not sure who the devil is speaking to some of these other folks in the Chamber. 2547

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
Did the Senator say the Devil? 2549

Joe Biden

Very Negative
I said I am not sure who in the devil is speaking. Let me be precise. I am not suggesting anyone in the Senate is spoken to by the Devil. I am just suggesting I do not know who is speaking to them. But based on their utterances, I doubt it is the Lord. I doubt the Lord comes down and says, "Keep those assault weapons; we need them." I do not think He or She says things like that. But who knows. 2551

Joe Biden

Very Positive
The point I wish to make here is important and serious. This crime bill, although I take great pride in actually authoring the bulk of this crime bill -- the bill that was offered here I wrote in my own little hands with nobody's help -- a lot of other people's ideas were put in this bill. It is the basic core of everything that passed both Houses. I am very proud of that. I have worked in this area for 14 years. I think I know a lot about it. I would be presumptuous to say I know as much about crime and violence, the judicial system, and the Constitution as anybody in this body, but I wish to hasten to add I also know that this crime bill will not stop crime. I also know this crime bill will not end violence in our time. 2552

Joe Biden

Positive
We have a fundamental structural problem in this Nation that has to do with everything from what my friend from Iowa spoke to earlier this morning, from illegitimacy rates to the lack of a sense of personal responsibility adopted by wealthy as well as poor, black as well as white, Latino as well as Asian-Americans. 2553

Joe Biden

Very Negative
We have a serious problem. One of the things that is not even addressed in this bill, as the Senator from New Mexico knows because he is the fellow across whose desk on the Budget Committee all of these macrobudget issues arrive -- we are spending over $12 billion a year on the drug enforcement problem in America. Now, we are only talking about, in terms of budget authority, $2.4 billion for this gigantic crime bill in 1995. 2554

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
Yet, at the same time, we are going to be spending, if we continue what we have been doing, over $12 billion on drugs. The President has a major new initiative as to how and which to deal with the drug problem in America. If we pass the crime bill, and we do not deal with the drug problem, we will make progress but not nearly the progress we will make if we have a more enlightened policy on our national drug program. 2555

Joe Biden

Very Positive
Third, if we do not deal -- I say to my friend from New Mexico, I am getting worried; I am complimenting him so much I may hurt his reputation back home. But my friend from New Mexico has been one of the leaders in dealing with issues that relate to everything from welfare reform straight through to deprived children and at-risk children in terms of everything from early education, to nutrition, to just literally learning how to interact in a familiar relationship. If we do not deal with those issues as well, we can do everything right on the crime bill, everything right on a drug policy, and still not deal with the concerns of the people in this Chamber and all whom they love, and that is their physical safety when they walk out of their house, in their house. 2556

Joe Biden

Very Positive
For example, the domestic violence provision in this bill, of which I am proudest -- I have never worked harder on anything in my life, and I must acknowledge I have never been more emotionally attached to something in which I have engaged. I take great pride in coming up with an approach that is unique to dealing with violence against women in America. It is brand new. 2557

Joe Biden

Negative
But I want to tell you something. Most of the women in America who are victimized are not victimized by people out on the street, are not victimized or beat up by some stranger who leaps out of an alley from behind a trash can and takes their purse or rapes them or beats them. They are beaten up by people who love them, supposedly, with whom they live. More than half the women who appear in emergency rooms this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow morning will be there at the hand of a man with whom they live or have lived. 2558

Joe Biden

Very Negative
Now, you can pass all the crime bills in the world, but we must start to educate our children to tell them that no man has a right to touch a woman, or anyone for that matter, without their consent. We can pass all the crime bills in the world. Because one of the things we have found, you have to effect attitudes to affect outcomes. 2559

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
So I wish to emphasize there will be plenty of time to deal with this. I plead with my colleagues, Democrat and Republican -- and we have had overwhelming consensus here. You will not think that after we finish debate for the next 4 hours because the stuff we are going to debate is all things on the margins. This bill is over 900 pages long. We are going to debate today about 30 pages of that -- the least important, I might add. But there is overwhelming consensus. Conservatives voted for the initiatives of Senators Domenici and Danforth and Biden and Dodd and -- I am leaving people out -- Bradley and Leahy on prevention money. The conservatives voted for that. I do not remember that occurring in the 22 years I have been here. 2560

Joe Biden

Positive
Conversely, the liberals voted for the provisions in my bill adding for 100,000 cops, the provisions emboldened by my Republican friends for more money for prisons, provisions in the bill calling for stiffer penalties. The liberals voted for them. That has not happened here before, I say to you, Mr. President. 2561

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
So there is a real sea change that has taken place and a real fundamental understanding, to use an old expression, we can and must walk and chew gum at the same time. We must enhance penalties, increase enforcement, and simultaneously deal with prevention and intervention before a crime occurs. 2562

Joe Biden

Neutral
But this bill, the Biden crime bill as introduced, and then later as amended, is not the horse to carry the whole sleigh, as my mother would say. You need at least three more horses. You need a national drug policy. You need a change in attitude where we intervene to save children. You heard the statistics. Over 30 percent of the children born in America last year were born out of wedlock. Never in all probability will they have a man darken their doorway to help raise them. That is a big problem. 2563

Joe Biden

Positive
So we have to change that. We cannot legislate that. We can help it. 2564

Joe Biden

Very Positive
But again, I see my friend from North Dakota is here and has an important instruction he wishes to convince the chairman to go along with. If he does not convince the chairman of the committee, that is me, then he is going to get the votes to go along with it. So I am probably going to be convinced. 2565

Joe Biden

Very Positive
So I will refrain from further discussion on this issue. I will come back at a later time to speak to two other issues raised by my friend from New Mexico; and, that is, how can the President justify certain cuts at the same time calling for increased spending? I think there is a consistency to that. 2566

Joe Biden

Very Positive
But I will also tell him on the Byrd grants that I can assure the Senator that as a member of the Appropriations Committee he is going to get a bill coming out of the Judiciary Committee with the Byrd grants saved. But that is a different issue. 2567

Joe Biden

Very Positive
I am delighted to yield the floor for my friend. 2568

Joe Biden

Unknown
I yield the floor. 2569

Joe Biden

Unknown
Mr. CONRAD addressed the Chair. 2570

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota. 2572

Pete Domenici

Unknown
Will the Senator let me correct the record? 2574

Kent Conrad

Positive
I am pleased to do that. 2576

Pete Domenici

Somewhat Positive
I thank the Senator very much. 2578

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
Mr. President, when I was discussing the trust fund and the President's new initiatives, I did not quite put it in the right perspective. So let me just go through two things. 2579

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
The trust fund that was set up on the floor of the Senate would take the savings from the reduction of, as the Senator put it, the bureaucracy. That trust fund had two numbers in it. One was $2.4 billion in new program authority and $2.3 billion in outlays. 2580

Pete Domenici

Slightly Positive
The President used the 2.4 number in program authority and said, "Now, programs that I want to put in, how much will they cost?" It turned out that they will only cost $700 million in outlays. In other words, the program would be spread out more. 2581

Pete Domenici

Very Positive
So obviously, we have a trust fund that is going to have $2.4 billion in budget authority and $2.3 billion in outlays. That seems to be somewhat of a mismatch in terms of program actual cost versus outlays. 2582

Pete Domenici

Unknown
The last observation: Everyone should know that in the House the moneys have already been allocated to the various committees in the 602(b) allocation. That is where the whole pot is divided up. I do not note that any of this trust fund money has been allocated. I do not know what that means. Does it mean it will not be, if we pass this law, or does it mean we will go back and redo it if we pass the law? 2583

Pete Domenici

Very Negative
I am reminding everyone that if in fact we go back and reallocate and say, well, we have to put this aside and have it for just crime, then the rest of the Government has to be cut because they have to take it out of their allocations because the sum total of it all cannot exceed the amount for the year. 2584

Pete Domenici

Negative
So that is another problem that will cause some concern and to some extent limit what we have to spend. 2585

Pete Domenici

Unknown
I yield the floor. 2586

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota. 2588

Kent Conrad

Unknown
Mr. President, I send a motion to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration. 2591

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report. 2593

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, the motion that I have sent to the desk in behalf of Senator Mack and myself is a motion to instruct the conference committee on the crime bill. The motion very simply directs the conferees to report a bill that includes the Senate provision saying that States must require violent felons to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence if States want to qualify for the Federal assistance for prisons. 2598

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, many of us believe this is just fundamental to starting a successful war on crime in this country. We know that violence is escalating in this country. It has reached epidemic proportions. It is holding people hostage in their own homes, and it is time to do something serious about it. 2599

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, within blocks of where we are meeting today, we can see the results of the crime wave. Within blocks of where we are meeting today, we have seen violent crime after violent crime after violent crime just in this year. Just days ago we had a man five blocks from this Capitol at 11 o'clock at night at a convenience store attacked brutally. I do not know if he survived that attack or if he died. But it is one more example of lawlessness and violence that can no longer be tolerated. 2600

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, in this year, we have had a 12-year-old girl raped at 7 o'clock in the morning within 6 blocks of this Capitol building. We have had within four blocks of this building a man found strangled in the basement. Within 1 year, of today, we have had a Senate aide murdered; we have had another young woman, who came to this town and had just been here several weeks, found brutally assaulted and killed, stuffed under a car. And two of my employees were witnesses to that attack. 2601

Kent Conrad

Leans Negative
Mr. President, enough is enough. It is time for the Congress of the United States to send a clear and compelling message. We will not tolerate any more violent acts in this society. And if people are going to engage in violent behavior, they are going to pay the price. 2602

Kent Conrad

Negative
Mr. President, the motion to instruct that Senator Mack and myself offer here today is to say simply, "If you do the crime, you serve the time." And you serve at least 85 percent of the sentence; none of this getting out after serving one-third of the sentence which is what is happening across this country today. 2603

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' analysis of release practices in 36 States and the District of Columbia, although violent offenders receive an average sentence of 7 years and 11 months, they serve an average of 2 years and 11 months in prison; 37 percent of their imposed sentence. 2604

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, I just direct my colleagues' attention to this chart that shows prison sentence versus prison time served. This is what Senator Mack and I are attempting to respond to, because we believe all across this country people are fed up with a situation in which people are sentenced after committing a violent crime and then are allowed to walk after serving one-third of it. They are allowed to walk and go out and create more crime, more havoc, threaten more people. 2605

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
The honest and decent people of this country have had it. They are fed up, and they want it stopped. They want to close the revolving door that allows the criminal to serve a third of his sentence, go out and commit more crime. They want it stopped. For murder in this country, the median sentence is 15 years. How long do they serve? 5\1/2\. That is not a misprint. It is hard to believe. Commit murder in this country, and you are going to serve 5\1/2\ years. Take somebody else's life, and you are going to serve 5\1/2\ years, on average. It is outrageous. 2606

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
For rape, the average sentence is 8 years. But you are going to serve in this country, on average, 3 years. For robbery, 6 years is the average sentence; you are going to serve 2\1/4\ years. For assault, 4 years is the average sentence; you are going to serve 1\1/4\ years. 2607

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, this is not a matter of just statistics. My own wife was attacked by a man who fits exactly into this category. Eight blocks from this Capitol, my wife, coming home at 10 o'clock at night, was assaulted by a man who had served one-third of his sentence for rape. Thank God, she had the presence of mind to tell that man that she had locked her keys in the car, because he had a 45 automatic at her head threatening to blow her head off. As he dragged her several blocks to a busy intersection, she had the presence of mind to resist and scream, and he shoved her into the street, and a good Samaritan came by, and they gave chase to this fellow. 2608

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, that man should never have been on a street in a position to attack anyone. He had a record as long as your arm of violent attack after violent attack. Brutal attacks on women was his MO, brutal, vicious attacks. He had served one-third of his sentence, and then they let him out to a halfway house in the District of Columbia. They say that is not their policy in the District of Columbia, but the fact is that is what they do. And he walked away from that halfway house, and nobody even bothered to get an arrest warrant. 2609

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
I wish I could say it is the exception here, but we know because of an excellent report on 60 Minutes that it is not the exception. It happens over and over and over in this Nation's Capital that people are allowed to get out, and they are violent offenders, serving a third of their sentences. They put them in halfway houses. They walk away, and they do not even bother to get an arrest warrant for them. And we wonder why there is an epidemic of violent crime in this country. 2610

Kent Conrad

Slightly Negative
Mr. President, enough is enough. This cannot be allowed to continue. When the Senate considered this matter, by a vote of 94-4 on the Byrd amendment, which included the concepts that were introduced by me in a truth-in-sentencing bill days before, this Senate said: We are going to insist that if States want to have the additional Federal assistance for Federal prisons, they are going to have to pass laws to require truth in sentencing. It is currently a fraud to say to people in this country: "Well, we sentence people to 15 years." Nobody tells them that we only expect them to serve one-third of the sentence. Nobody is telling them that. 2611

Kent Conrad

Negative
Mr. President, I have another chart that I want to bring to my colleagues' attention, because I think it tells another story that is very important. What happens to these folks once they get out, after they have served one-third of their sentence? I am talking now about violent offenders. That is what we are talking about here. Well, 88 percent of them go out and commit new crimes -- 88 percent; 33 percent of them go out and commit violent crimes. 2612

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
We have a revolving door, Mr. President. We apprehend somebody, we go to court, we prove they are guilty of a violent crime, we incarcerate them, and then we have them serve one-third of their sentence, on average. We let them out, and they go out and commit more crime. Eighty-eight percent of them commit new crimes; 33 percent of them are violent crimes. It is time to call a halt, Mr. President, and time to say: No more. We are not going to have a system in which you serve one- third of your sentence, and then you go out and terrorize a community, holding everybody else hostage in their own homes. 2613

Kent Conrad

Unknown
Mr. President, that is why we are offering this motion to instruct. 2614

Kent Conrad

Very Positive
Briefly, the House does not include the same version. They have a much weaker version of truth in sentencing. It is so much weaker that it does not really deserve to be called truth in sentencing. So this is our opportunity to send a signal to the House that we want our version. This is a way of strengthening the hand of our negotiators, Chairman Biden and the other conferees, to give them an additional leverage in the discussions with the House. 2615

Kent Conrad

Very Positive
Mr. President, let me just say how pleased I am that Senator Mack of Florida has joined me in this amendment. He has been a leader on this issue for a long time here in the Senate. He worked very hard on his side of the aisle to persuade his colleagues that truth in sentencing ought to be included in the final legislation. So I am very pleased and very proud to have him join me in this effort. He feels deeply about it, as I do. I think we have an opportunity today to send a message that the Members of Congress have listened to the folks back home. We have not only listened, we have responded. And that is the chance that we have today. 2616

Kent Conrad

Unknown
I yield the floor. 2617

Kent Conrad

Unknown
Mr. MACK addressed the Chair. 2618

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida [Mr. Mack] is recognized. 2620

Connie Mack III

Very Positive
Mr. President, first, let me express my appreciation to my friend and colleague from the State of North Dakota. It is a privilege to work with him. I think the issue we have discussed today, and which has been debated on this floor before, is both significant and, I think, very meaningful to people all over the United States. It is one that has been brought to my attention by what I hear from the people back home. 2622

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
First of all, I want to build on some of the comments made by Senator Conrad, in a sense of kind of "where are we?" The Senate established a concept of a regional prison system to be built by the Federal Government that would be available to States to transfer their violent criminals from the State penitentiaries to this regional Federal prison system, provided that the States had tough sentencing requirements in place. One of those tough requirements was that individuals convicted and sentenced to prison as a result of a violent crime should serve at least 85 percent of their time. 2623

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
Some try to imply that maybe we are going too far or putting too much emphasis on punishment in our approach to solving the crime problem. I wish those people would look at this question maybe just one more time. What we are talking about here really is saying that in situations where individuals have been convicted of violent crimes, they should serve every single day of that sentence. No more. We are not demanding that the sentence be any longer, or that the sentence be changed from 15 years to 20 years, or that the sentence ought to be life in prison, or that death ought to be imposed. We are simply asking that they serve every single day of their sentence. That is a very reasonable approach. 2624

Connie Mack III

Negative
Mr. President, I have several statistics that I want to highlight here regarding early release. But, after talking about them for a few minutes, I am going to move away from the numbers and talk about the human tragedy. 2625

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
There was a study done that I think was probably sent to most offices. It came attached to a letter written by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The study was done by Dr. Michael K. Block, professor of economics and law at the University of Arizona. It found that every 90 seconds in America, a violent criminal is released from prison early, every 90 seconds. Fourteen times a day, throughout America, there is a murder committed by someone out on early release. Forty-eight times every single day, there is a rape committed by someone out on early release. Every single day in America, 578 robberies take place as a result of someone being out on early release. 2626

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
The same study also concluded that if we were to pass a crime bill that provided the $13.5 billion to build new prisons proposed by the House, and thereby took violent criminals off the streets, we would reduce the loss in property by $100 billion over a 10-year period. 2627

Connie Mack III

Very Positive
Frankly, I do not think these figures are the important thing to focus on. The important thing to focus on is what is happening to America. What is happening to our friends and neighbors? What is happening to our brothers and our sisters? What is happening to our mothers and our dads? What is happening to our neighbors? What is happening to our communities? 2628

Connie Mack III

Positive
If you go to Florida, one of the things you will notice is that most new communities today are what they call "gated communities." Do you know why they are gated communities? It is their attempt to find security. Very few people have a sense of being safe on the streets, or in their neighborhoods, or in their communities. So we are seeing new communities being developed, and I am not talking about megacities; I am talking about a development, and are being built around the concept of gates and walls and security guards. When you go inside one of those communities, what do you find in each one of those homes? A security system. And think of what it has done to the mentality of this Nation when someone is shot while walking on someone's lawn simply because of the fear that the individual walking on that lawn was a criminal. 2629

Connie Mack III

Somewhat Negative
So, the price we are paying is much, much greater than the loss of property. We are paying a price in how we have changed as a society, how we respond from individual to individual, the effects it has had on communities and neighbors. It is time we stopped that. This revolving door has got to be stopped. 2630

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
In the State of Florida, there is a young woman by the name of Kathleen Finnigan, who has said, yes, it has to stop. She started an organization called STOP, Stop Turning Out Prisoners, which is a true grassroots effort by victims around the State of Florida, to say, in essence, enough is enough. 2631

Connie Mack III

Very Positive
We have worked together to put on the ballot in the State of Florida in November an amendment to the Constitution that takes this issue out of the hands of the politicians, because, in essence, they do not think politicians can be trusted anymore. They hear all of us voice concern over those who commit crimes. They are then rightfully asking the question: What about us? Does not anybody care about us anymore? What about my mother? What about my father? What about my brother? What about my sister? What about my wife? Does not anybody care about them anymore? 2632

Connie Mack III

Somewhat Positive
Our message today is clear: We care and we care deeply. I cannot speak for anyone else who might vote for this motion, but I can say for myself that I will not vote for a crime bill that does not have this provision in it. Because to me, once again, if we do that we are fooling the people. 2633

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
As Senator Conrad said a few minutes ago, we talk about the fact that we sentenced someone to 15 years in prison for murder, but and they are out, on the average, in 5\1/2\ years -- 5\1/2\ years. When I was a young boy growing up, I really thought if you committed murder in this country you were at least put away for life or lost your life. Not any more. In America today, if you commit a murder, on average you are back out on the streets in 5\1/2\ years. It is no wonder that our society has no feeling of safety or security any more. So, again, I, for one, cannot support a crime bill that does not include these tough sentencing requirements. 2634

Connie Mack III

Positive
I want to shift now, and talk for a moment about some of the statements that have been made to me because I find this to be frankly a very personal issue. I am fortunate that I do not have a story to tell like Senator Conrad. I can just imagine the emotion, the feeling that must be inside him as we discuss this issue, the constant rethinking of the crime perpetrated against his wife, as a result of going through this kind of discussion. 2635

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
But you know what, the same agony is happening to 14 American families every single day because someone is out on early release. Each day 14 new Kent Conrads are created in America because of a system that fails to keep those who break our laws in prison, not for a longer period of time, not under a death penalty, just until they serve their time. It is almost to the point that I just absolutely reject out of hand any argument that someone tries to throw up against what we are trying to accomplish. To me, there is no excuse. There is no alternative to what we propose. 2636

Connie Mack III

Unknown
Those two citizens are Roxann and John Grimstead. And Roxann writes: 2638

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
I called her to talk to her about this situation. One of the comments that she made to me, and I wrote this down, about her effort to try to change things with respect to what is happening in America, was: "This is not a self-serving effort on my part. I have no more children to defend." There is an argument that has been used over and over again that says "we cannot afford this," or says "where are you going to find the money to pay for this, as if the only cost in what we are considering is the cost of the construction of those new prison beds. 2643

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
But, in fact, it is the process of having to track down that criminal who should have been in prison, one more time. It is the cost of trying that individual. It is the cost of keeping that individual in detention during the time leading up to the trial. It is the police work. It is the time invested on the part of the jurors, and the time it takes to put that individual back in jail again. 2651

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
My point, Mr. President, is that we are paying a tremendous price already for the failure of doing what is right. 2652

Connie Mack III

Very Positive
So I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate with my colleague in offering this motion. I suggest that I could go through example, after example, after example, after example, just in my State, on the murders that have been committed by individuals out on early release. 2653

Connie Mack III

Very Negative
I will just mention one more. Evelyn Gort, an off-duty police officer in Miami, was murdered by an individual out on early release. I met with her family. 2654

Connie Mack III

Slightly Negative
I would say to anyone who wants to deny us this language in a conference report, they ought to sit down with families like Evelyn Gort's and listen to what they have to say. They are saying a lot more than "enough is enough," or that we have to stop this revolving door. They are saying that their primary concern is for the balance of their families, and all Americans. 2655

Connie Mack III

Positive
If we do this, the right thing, we could make our streets, our neighborhoods, and our communities safer. 2656

Connie Mack III

Somewhat Positive
Thank you, Mr. President Mr. CONRAD addressed the Chair. 2657

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from North Dakota [Mr. Conrad]. 2659

Kent Conrad

Somewhat Positive
Mr. President, very recently we had a shocking case which I think illustrates very well the importance of the motion Senator Mack and I have offered today. 2661

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
The father of Michael Jordan, the basketball star, was killed, murdered in a vicious crime in their home State. The county sheriff there, Hubert Stone, said, "Mr. Jordan would be alive now if the legal system worked the way it should." Why did the sheriff say that? 2662

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, both of the 18-year-olds that were involved in that murder had extensive criminal histories at the time of the Jordan killing. Daniel Green, one of the perpetrators, was on parole after serving 2 years of a 6-year sentence for attempting to kill a Robert Ellison by smashing him in the head with an ax and putting him in a coma for 3 months. Larry Demery was awaiting trial for bashing a Mrs. Wilma Dial, a 61-year-old convenience store clerk, in the head with a cinder block during a robbery, fracturing her skull and causing a brain hemorrhage. 2663

Kent Conrad

Very Negative
Mr. President, how many more examples are we going to have to have before we take action? How many more examples are Senator Mack and I going to have to bring to this floor before we persuade our colleagues that it is time to end the revolving door on violent criminals that allows them to commit crime, violent crime, serve a third of their sentence, and go out to terrorize the communities in which they live some more? 2664

Kent Conrad

Very Positive
Mr. President, enough is enough. I hope today, when we vote, we will send an overwhelmingly clear message to the conferees that the Senate provision ought to prevail. 2665

Kent Conrad

Unknown
Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the motion. 2666

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is not a sufficient second. 2668

Kent Conrad

Positive
Mr. President, we are not able at this point to get an order for a vote because the manager had to be detained off the floor for a moment. So we will ask, at a later time, when the manager is present, for the yeas and nays, and I am confident we will secure a sufficient second at that time. 2670

Kent Conrad

Somewhat Positive
I thank the Chair Mr. MACK addressed the Chair. 2671

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from Florida. 2673

Connie Mack III

Slightly Positive
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator Domenici be added as a cosponsor on this motion. 2675

Unknown
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. 2677