10:14 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H5279]

Mr. Chairman, I have to rise in opposition to the amendment. This is an issue that should be addressed and has been addressed by the authorizing committee. The House Committee on Armed Services did not include this provision in the bill that passed this House recently.

[Time: 22:15]

The Senate has included the provision in the Defense authorization bill; and, therefore, it will clearly be a conferencible item between the House and Senate on the defense authorization bill. This House should not preempt the conference committee in doing their job. Let us leave it to those that have the responsibility, and that is the authorizers.

We believe this amendment should be addressed by the authorizing committee, it will be addressed in the conferencing of the Defense authorization bill, and for that reason, I urge the Members to allow that process to take its rightful place; and I urge the Members to vote against the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. VISCLOSKY), the ranking member of the subcommittee.

10:14 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H5279]

Mr. Chairman, I have to rise in opposition to the amendment. This is an issue that should be addressed and has been addressed by the authorizing committee. The House Committee on Armed Services did not include this provision in the bill that passed this House recently.

[Time: 22:15]

The Senate has included the provision in the Defense authorization bill; and, therefore, it will clearly be a conferencible item between the House and Senate on the defense authorization bill. This House should not preempt the conference committee in doing their job. Let us leave it to those that have the responsibility, and that is the authorizers.

We believe this amendment should be addressed by the authorizing committee, it will be addressed in the conferencing of the Defense authorization bill, and for that reason, I urge the Members to allow that process to take its rightful place; and I urge the Members to vote against the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. VISCLOSKY), the ranking member of the subcommittee.

10:15 PM EDT

Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Ryun amendment, which would restrict the ability of the Department of Energy to maintain the country's nuclear stockpile. The amendment would prohibit the Department from dual-hatting certain senior physicists and nuclear weapon designers and would mandate certain job functions encompassed in the requirement of the Defense authorization bill to split the Department of Energy into two independent organizations.

The practical problem inherent in the gentleman's amendment is that it is not enforceable. Less than 20 Federal employees are currently dual-hatted in the Department of Energy. These officials are the core of the nuclear weapons program, and these scientists and military officers are not attempting to politicize the Department; they are men and women who won the Cold War.

What the amendment is attempting to do is to set a date certain by which these people must be replaced. Hiring permanent replacements for these officials is not a frivolous issue. Replacing nuclear weapon experts takes time and very careful consideration.

Earlier this month, the Senate confirmed the new chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration, General Gordon. General Gordon has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and is a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. General Gordon should not be forced to hire 18 new senior government executives in literally the next 30 to 60 days. I do not believe that it is a sound proposition, and I am opposed to the gentleman's amendment.

10:15 PM EDT

Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Ryun amendment, which would restrict the ability of the Department of Energy to maintain the country's nuclear stockpile. The amendment would prohibit the Department from dual-hatting certain senior physicists and nuclear weapon designers and would mandate certain job functions encompassed in the requirement of the Defense authorization bill to split the Department of Energy into two independent organizations.

The practical problem inherent in the gentleman's amendment is that it is not enforceable. Less than 20 Federal employees are currently dual-hatted in the Department of Energy. These officials are the core of the nuclear weapons program, and these scientists and military officers are not attempting to politicize the Department; they are men and women who won the Cold War.

What the amendment is attempting to do is to set a date certain by which these people must be replaced. Hiring permanent replacements for these officials is not a frivolous issue. Replacing nuclear weapon experts takes time and very careful consideration.

Earlier this month, the Senate confirmed the new chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration, General Gordon. General Gordon has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and is a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. General Gordon should not be forced to hire 18 new senior government executives in literally the next 30 to 60 days. I do not believe that it is a sound proposition, and I am opposed to the gentleman's amendment.

10:16 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:16 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:17 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:17 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:17 PM EDT

Mac Thornberry, R-TX 13th

Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Kansas for yielding me this time and for all of his contributions to the special oversight panel.

Mr. Chairman, when Congress passed the bill to reorganize the Department of Energy last year, it was clear from the language of the law and the intention behind the law that we intended to have some separation between the nuclear weapons complex and the rest of the Department of Energy. That is exactly what the President's foreign intelligence advisory board recommended as well as many other studies. We did exactly what his commission recommended.

Yet, in implementing the law, the current Department has dual-hatted several positions. What that means is they give one person two jobs, one job inside the nuclear weapons complex and one job outside the nuclear weapons complex. I would tell my friend from Indiana, it is not nuclear weapons experts. These are procurement people, they are lawyers, they are security and counterintelligence people.

The American Law Division at CRS has said that this dual-hatting practice is against the law we passed, period. The Ryun amendment simply enforces the law that we passed. The gentleman is correct, it is less than 20 people that this applies to, but let me tell my colleagues who one of those persons is.

In the bill that we passed last year, we created a Chief of Defense for Nuclear Security whose job explicitly in the law is to set up policies and implement security policies at our nuclear laboratories and plants. That position has been held by a part-time person. That position has been held by a guy who has a job inside and a job outside in the rest of the Department of Energy.

Now, I would suggest that that is partly responsible for the serious security problems that we have had. We have not had a full-time person looking at security inside the NNSA.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment stops dual-hatting. It says we have to have a full-time person dealing with security; we have to have a full-time person dealing with counterintelligence, a full-time procurement officer, a full-time lawyer inside the NSA.

I would also say to my friend from Indiana that I suggest General Gordon looks forward to the opportunity of putting his own people in here so that he can have them devoted fully to the nuclear weapons complex, rather than have other responsibilities in the rest of the Department.

Mr. Chairman, this nuclear security breach at Los Alamos is a very, very serious matter. Certainly, there are other proposals to deal with it, but I think we have to be very careful and be responsible in what we do. Knee-jerk reactions are not appropriate.

It is true that the authorizers are dealing with several provisions associated with this, but we should not miss any opportunity to stand up and say, when Congress passes a law and the President signs a law, it ought to be enforced. We should not allow any administration to get away with not enforcing the law, particularly when it has such serious security consequences for our country.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment ought to be passed, and it ought to be passed strongly.

10:17 PM EDT

Mac Thornberry, R-TX 13th

Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Kansas for yielding me this time and for all of his contributions to the special oversight panel.

Mr. Chairman, when Congress passed the bill to reorganize the Department of Energy last year, it was clear from the language of the law and the intention behind the law that we intended to have some separation between the nuclear weapons complex and the rest of the Department of Energy. That is exactly what the President's foreign intelligence advisory board recommended as well as many other studies. We did exactly what his commission recommended.

Yet, in implementing the law, the current Department has dual-hatted several positions. What that means is they give one person two jobs, one job inside the nuclear weapons complex and one job outside the nuclear weapons complex. I would tell my friend from Indiana, it is not nuclear weapons experts. These are procurement people, they are lawyers, they are security and counterintelligence people.

The American Law Division at CRS has said that this dual-hatting practice is against the law we passed, period. The Ryun amendment simply enforces the law that we passed. The gentleman is correct, it is less than 20 people that this applies to, but let me tell my colleagues who one of those persons is.

In the bill that we passed last year, we created a Chief of Defense for Nuclear Security whose job explicitly in the law is to set up policies and implement security policies at our nuclear laboratories and plants. That position has been held by a part-time person. That position has been held by a guy who has a job inside and a job outside in the rest of the Department of Energy.

Now, I would suggest that that is partly responsible for the serious security problems that we have had. We have not had a full-time person looking at security inside the NNSA.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment stops dual-hatting. It says we have to have a full-time person dealing with security; we have to have a full-time person dealing with counterintelligence, a full-time procurement officer, a full-time lawyer inside the NSA.

I would also say to my friend from Indiana that I suggest General Gordon looks forward to the opportunity of putting his own people in here so that he can have them devoted fully to the nuclear weapons complex, rather than have other responsibilities in the rest of the Department.

Mr. Chairman, this nuclear security breach at Los Alamos is a very, very serious matter. Certainly, there are other proposals to deal with it, but I think we have to be very careful and be responsible in what we do. Knee-jerk reactions are not appropriate.

It is true that the authorizers are dealing with several provisions associated with this, but we should not miss any opportunity to stand up and say, when Congress passes a law and the President signs a law, it ought to be enforced. We should not allow any administration to get away with not enforcing the law, particularly when it has such serious security consequences for our country.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment ought to be passed, and it ought to be passed strongly.

10:17 PM EDT

Mac Thornberry, R-TX 13th

Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Kansas for yielding me this time and for all of his contributions to the special oversight panel.

Mr. Chairman, when Congress passed the bill to reorganize the Department of Energy last year, it was clear from the language of the law and the intention behind the law that we intended to have some separation between the nuclear weapons complex and the rest of the Department of Energy. That is exactly what the President's foreign intelligence advisory board recommended as well as many other studies. We did exactly what his commission recommended.

Yet, in implementing the law, the current Department has dual-hatted several positions. What that means is they give one person two jobs, one job inside the nuclear weapons complex and one job outside the nuclear weapons complex. I would tell my friend from Indiana, it is not nuclear weapons experts. These are procurement people, they are lawyers, they are security and counterintelligence people.

The American Law Division at CRS has said that this dual-hatting practice is against the law we passed, period. The Ryun amendment simply enforces the law that we passed. The gentleman is correct, it is less than 20 people that this applies to, but let me tell my colleagues who one of those persons is.

In the bill that we passed last year, we created a Chief of Defense for Nuclear Security whose job explicitly in the law is to set up policies and implement security policies at our nuclear laboratories and plants. That position has been held by a part-time person. That position has been held by a guy who has a job inside and a job outside in the rest of the Department of Energy.

Now, I would suggest that that is partly responsible for the serious security problems that we have had. We have not had a full-time person looking at security inside the NNSA.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment stops dual-hatting. It says we have to have a full-time person dealing with security; we have to have a full-time person dealing with counterintelligence, a full-time procurement officer, a full-time lawyer inside the NSA.

I would also say to my friend from Indiana that I suggest General Gordon looks forward to the opportunity of putting his own people in here so that he can have them devoted fully to the nuclear weapons complex, rather than have other responsibilities in the rest of the Department.

Mr. Chairman, this nuclear security breach at Los Alamos is a very, very serious matter. Certainly, there are other proposals to deal with it, but I think we have to be very careful and be responsible in what we do. Knee-jerk reactions are not appropriate.

It is true that the authorizers are dealing with several provisions associated with this, but we should not miss any opportunity to stand up and say, when Congress passes a law and the President signs a law, it ought to be enforced. We should not allow any administration to get away with not enforcing the law, particularly when it has such serious security consequences for our country.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment ought to be passed, and it ought to be passed strongly.

10:20 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:20 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:20 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:20 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

For the benefit of the Members, I believe this is the last business before we call for the series of votes. I am not aware of any other amendments, but I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KNOLLENBERG), a member of the subcommittee, for a very short colloquy.

10:21 PM EDT

Joe Knollenberg, R-MI 11th

Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I report to the gentleman that today it was emphasized to me that the Department of Energy is readying a ``Power Scorecard'' that disparages energy produced by nuclear means, coal and natural gas. I ask that as we move forward to and through the conference that the matter be investigated and addressed, if necessary.