Mr. President, today my colleague, Senator Feinstein, and I are introducing legislation critical to helping the largest port complex in the United States expand its trade with the countries of the Pacific rim. Our bill would help provide more efficient cargo transportation by granting tax exempt financing for the Alameda transportation corridor improvement project. These improvements will speed the transport of international cargo between the San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the Interstate Highway System and the national railroad network. The corridor will be a segment of the proposed National Highway System. The Alameda corridor project is a rail consolidation plan for the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports and has major economic and environmental benefits, plus 10,000 construction jobs. The corridor project would consolidate more than 90 miles of rail into a single 20-mile high capacity corridor, eliminating 200 at-grade roadway crossings. The project will also widen and improve the truck route paralleling the rail facility to expedite port truck traffic. This line will comprise two pairs of tracks leading directly from the port to switching yards in central Los Angeles. By eliminating the railroad crossings, the project would sharply reduce traffic congestion -- saving 15,000 hours of delay by vehicles now waiting for trains to pass each day -- with consequential benefits to the local air quality. The estimated total cost of the project is $1.8 billion. More than half will be financed by the ports and port users. The ports will contribute $400 million and State and Federal governments are expected to contribute $700 million. The balance, about a third of the total cost, will come from tax-exempt bond financing. Fees paid by shippers using the corridor will be used to retire the bonds. Our bill clarifies the scope of the current tax exemption for docks and wharves by specifically including related transportation facilities to ensure that State and local governments will be permitted to tax- exempt finance those transportation facilities which are reasonably required for the efficient use of publicly-owned port infrastructure. The bill provides that transportation facilities -- including trackage and rail facilities, but not rolling stock -- shall be treated as "docks and wharves" for purposes of the exempt facility bond rules if at least 80 percent of the annual use of such transportation facilities is to be in connection with the transport of cargo to or from docks or wharves. For example, rail facilities for transporting cargo from a port area to the major railyard some miles away would qualify as an exempt port facility provided that 80 percent of the cargo transported on the facilities is bound for or arriving from the port. It is intended that use -- for purposes of the 80-percent test -- be computed in any reasonable fashion including, for example, on the basis of ton- miles or car-miles. The bill provides that for purposes of the governmental ownership requirement for docks and wharves, related transportation facilities that are leased by a government agency shall be treated as owned by such agency if the lessee makes an irrevocable election not to claim depreciation or an investment credit with respect to such facilities and the lessee has no option to purchase the facilities other than at fair market value. This bill is a critical step needed to help provide the most efficient transportation network possible to these vital ports. The Alameda Transportation Corridor project will create a transportation system of truly national significance. The Pacific rim is the largest and fastest growing market in the global economy. U.S.-Pacific rim trade is expected to double in the next 15 to 20 years. In the Los Angeles region alone, more than 900 Asian and other Pacific rim firms employ more than 63,000 workers in local operations. More than 200,000 regional jobs are supported by the movement of goods through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They are critical components of our national economy. In fact, 25 percent of all U.S. waterborne international trade moves through the ports representing $116 billion in trade each year. The ports have joined forces on a $4 billion, 2,000-acre terminal expansion program. Completion of the program will result in a dramatic expansion between the ports' cities and the Pacific rim. The value of that trade is estimated to reach $253 billion by the year 2010. Employment linked to this trade is also expected to grow from 2.5 million to 5.7 million jobs. Further, the growing trade will generate nearly $20 billion in additional Federal revenue by 2010. The United States spends nearly $1 trillion a year -- 17 percent of our gross domestic product -- on transportation services. A 1-percent improvement in the overall efficiency of our transportation system would translate into nearly $100 billion in savings across the economy within a decade. Meanwhile, half of our Nation's ports face growing congestion. Adequate access to our ports, which handled 450 billion dollars' worth of commerce in 1990, is a national priority. Total port commerce is expected to triple over the next three decades. Mr. President, I hope our colleagues will support this legislation that is critical to our national efforts to complete as a nation in the global marketplace. To be successful we must modernize, and we must have the most efficient tools as possible to promote jobs prosperity across our country. Mr. President, today Senator Boxer and I introduce legislation that will allow for the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority to issue tax-free bonds to help construct the Alameda corridor, probably the most important transportation project currently under consideration anywhere in the United States. The Alameda corridor is a $1.8 billion project that will allow the San Pedro Bay Ports -- Los Angeles and Long Beach -- to expand and grow well into the 21st century. The project, in the years ahead, will require a Federal authorization of $700 million, the necessary Federal commitment. The ports have committed well over $400 million to purchase railroad rights-of-way. But, initial construction will be funded by the issuance of bonds, and that is why this bill is so vital. Tax-free bonds can currently be issued for construction of harbor and port facilities, but under current law, the corridor would not apply since the major distribution center is 20 miles inland from the port. This legislation would extend the ability to issue tax-free bonds for transportation facilities, which would include trackage and rail facilities, if 80 percent of the cargo transported on the tracks is to and from the port, which is otherwise eligible for the issuance of tax-free bonds. Additionally, the facility must be publicly owned. This bill will reduce the cost of the corridor's construction by approximately $200 million. Currently, to handle the cargo going in and out of the ports, according to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the San Pedro Bay ports now generate approximately 20,000 truck trips and 29 train movements per day. By the year 2020, truck traffic is projected to increase to 49,000 daily trips and 97 daily train movements. Today, three railroads on three separate tracks serve the San Pedro Bay Ports, with 90 miles of track and over 200 grade crossings between the ports and inland cargo dispersal sites. Santa Fe's railroad alone has 92 crossings within a 20-mile span. Trucks carrying goods from the ports to dispersal sites farther inland face numerous stops and traffic. With the projected increase in trade and cargo transport needs, the current transportation system will simply be inadequate to handle future demands. The Alameda corridor project would consolidate the existing railways into a single corridor that would be depressed, and all crossing streets would bridge over the top. This would avoid the terrible delays as a result of the grade crossings. The corridor would also accommodate truck traffic. Make no mistake, the Alameda corridor is a project of national significance. The benefit of constructing the corridor will go far beyond the Los Angeles region, and well beyond the California borders. Every State in this Nation is impacted by the trade along the Pacific rim, and thus by the activities of Pacific ports. Trucks and trains must move the goods out of the ports. Workers must unload the goods from ships, put them on trains or trucks, and then once they arrive at a destination, more workers must unload these goods, before they are delivered to their final stop. Trade creates jobs in every sector of the economy. Put simply, trade means jobs. All of the Nation's coastal States understand the importance of trade, seagoing trade in particular. In 1992, the last year for which statistics are available, this Nation exported 1.58.4 billion dollar's worth of goods through its seaports, and imported $293.1 billion of goods through the same ports of entry. The San Pedro Bay ports are the busiest containerport facility in the world. Combined, 109 billion dollar's worth of cargo moved through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Trade on the Pacific rim is only expected to grow. We must be able to support the projected growth in international commerce, and the development of the Alameda corridor will help us insure that we do so. Mr. President, at the request of the Department of Energy, I send to the desk a bill to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to manage the strategic petroleum reserve more effectively and for other purposes. I ask unanimous consent that the bill, the communication, and a sectional analysis prepared by the Department of Energy by printed in the Record. Mr. President, I am joined today by my colleagues, Senators Inouye, McCain, and Bennett, to introduce a bill of great importance to the Ute Indians, a native population of my home State of Utah. This legislation will restore the tax status of the Ute mixed blood Indians with regard to proceeds received from a trust created by the Federal Government as agreed in a settlement between the Federal Government and the tribe in 1954. Until recently, the Federal Government has respected the intent of Congress to exempt this income from Federal and State taxation. However, in a recent tenth circuit decision the court construed the intent of Congress as allowing the tax exemption on the settlement proceeds to lapse. This bill is necessary to clarify the legislative intent of Congress and reinstate the exemption. In my view, it was the intent of Congress in the 1954 settlement to exempt from Federal and State taxation the income derived from the assets held in continued trust by the Federal Government for, and paid to, the mixed blood Ute Indians. This has been the law for nearly four decades and should remain the law. Historically, with regard to all settlements between the Federal Government and numerous Indian nations, the proceeds from settlements have been exempt from Federal and State taxation. The mixed blood Ute Indians have been singled out and treated differently since the tenth circuit's decision. This bill clarifies the 1954 settlement and simply restores the tax status of the mixed blood members of the tribe. I believe all of my Senate colleagues will recognize this legislation as both fair and necessary. I am pleased to have the support of the chairman and ranking Republican member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee as well as my Utah colleague, Senator Bennett. I urge all Senators to help us clarify this exemption. Mr. President, I am pleased today to introduce legislation on behalf of myself and Senator Boren to allow the Mountain Park Conservancy District in Oklahoma to prepay, or refinance, its obligation to the Bureau of Reclamation for the Mountain Park project. This prepayment will be equal to the fair market value of the district's debt, and is necessary to prevent a possible default by the district on their obligation. To provide some background on this issue, Mr. President, the Mountain Park Master Conservancy District was formed by the Oklahoma communities of Altus, Frederick, and Snyder in the early 1970's. The district contracted with the Bureau of Reclamation for construction of the Mountain Park project in response to projections that the local population would increase significantly in the future and that additional water supply would be needed. Unfortunately, such population growth never developed, creating a very difficult financial situation for the district and the Federal Government. Later this year, one of the municipalities obligated to the district may default on its loan payment to the district. Such a default would, in turn, likely cause the district to default on its obligation to the Bureau. Since 1992, the district has worked with the Oklahoma congressional delegation to obtain relief from the financial burden caused by its obligation to repay the water supply costs associated with the Mountain Park project. The district has requested that they be allowed to purchase or prepay this obligation by making a one-time payment to the United States of the fair market value of such repayment obligation as of the date of such prepayment. Similar transactions have been allowed in the past in connection with not only certain Bureau projects, but those of other Federal agencies, as well. During the 102d Congress, legislation I introduced to help the district was consolidated into the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992 and enacted as Public Law 102-575. As finally approved, however, Public Law 102-575 placed more stringent requirements on the district than those historically required by OMB in that it placed a cap on the discount factor which could be used in determining the discounted present value of the district's obligation, limiting the discount factor to a rate consisting of the current market yield on Treasury securities of comparable maturities. Following an analysis of this legislation, the Bureau's own financial adviser recently noted, "[b]ecause the legislation prohibits the Secretary from basing the interest rate of discount factor on third party and open market factors a market value for the obligation cannot be established." Thus, Public Law 102-575 essentially prohibits the Secretary from accepting a prepayment in an amount equal to the fair market value of the district's obligation. Public Law 102-575 also directed the Secretary to offer a revised schedule of payments to the district not later than 12 months following its enactment. Since January 1994, when the Secretary's offer was received, the district has been working with the Bureau to find an answer to the cities' financial problems. These discussions resulted in a request by the district for legislation to modify the language in Public Law 102-575 and allow the Secretary to accept a payment equal to the fair market value of this obligation. In addition, the district has proposed that a portion project's water supply be reallocated for environmental purposes to further reduce their municipal water supply repayment obligation. It is urgent that Congress enact this legislation this year, Mr. President. The Mountain Park Conservancy District is acting in a responsible manner to solve this financial problem while protecting the interest of the Federal Government, and I believe we should accommodate that effort in a timely manner. I have spoken with the chairman of the Senate authorizing subcommittee, Senator Bradley, and he has assured me that he will cooperate to move this legislation as soon as possible. Mr. President, I introduce with Senator Nickles a bill to restructure the debt owed by the Mountain Park Conservancy District to the Federal Government. Several years ago, Congress passed legislation allowing the Mountain Park District to restructure debt owed to the Bureau of Reclamation. Unfortunately, the legislation that passed did not give the district the desired relief. Today, the communities of the district are faced with a tough choice. Either default on the loan to the Federal Government or face bankruptcy. Neither of these choices will benefit the community nor the Federal Treasury. Both the House and Senate have recognized the need to provide relief to the district and protect the financial investment made by the Bureau of Reclamation. Congressional action is needed this year to modify the original legislation and prevent default by the district. I would have preferred to solve this problem on the Energy and Water appropriations bill, as it is most likely guaranteed of passing both the House and Senate this year. However, I do understand the reluctance to approve authorizing legislation on an appropriations bill. I would like to thank Senator Bradley for his pledge to work out a solution in the Energy Committee and his Subcommittee on Water and Power as soon as possible. I also appreciate his understanding of the urgency of this matter and his commitment to work together and pass a solution before Congress adjourns for the year. Mr. President, I introduce a bill to establish an independent nuclear safety board. The function of this board will be to conduct impartial investigations of events which threaten human health and safety at Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC] licensed facilities. I introduce this measure, not to replace the NRC, but because I have continuing questions about the NRC's ability to both regulate the nuclear industry and simultaneously ensure that the public's health, safety and welfare predominates. I originally introduced this legislation in 1987 during the 100th Congress, and it passed the Senate as part of an overall reorganization of the NRC. I reintroduced it during the 101st Congress and again during the 102d Congress as an amendment to S. 2166, the national energy strategy legislation. The need to establish an independent safety board first became clear to me in 1983 when an accident occurred at the Salem nuclear generating plant in New Jersey, one of the largest operating nuclear facilities in the country. The complex-owned and operated by Public Service Electric and Gas, is located just across the Delaware River from my home town of Wilmington. The subsequent handling of the accident by the NRC raised several concerns regarding its ability to safeguard the public. In 1983, a so-called fail-safe mechanism -- Salem I's automatic shutdown system -- failed. In fact, there were two failures over a 4-day period. What made the situation worse, to me and many others, was that the NRC seemed unwilling to require improvements in the plant and allowed for a restart with no assurances that the plant was safe. After pressure was placed on the NRC, it took another look at the situation and eventually fined the utility $850,000, at the time the largest fine ever handed down. Since operations began at Salem over 17 years ago, the utility has been fined for violations 10 times. And even more important, in my view, is the fact that in the case of more than 20 NRC findings of violations at Salem, the utility was not fined at all. Among those violations that went unfined, was the November 1991 explosion of the Salem II steam turbine. The explosion, which resulted in a fire that caused $75 million in containment and damage costs at the plant, and which the NRC concluded was caused in most part by involved personnel error, insufficient preventative maintenance and inadequate surveillance, did not result in any fine whatsoever for the utility. One factor in determining that a fine should not be imposed, according to the NRC, was the fact that the utility reported the accident to the NRC. Mr. President, the latest in a long list of incidents at Salem occurred in April of this year. The sequence of events I will briefly summarize would seem almost comical if the potential for life- threatening consequences were not so serious. The problem that initiated the incident itself would have been considered minor, river grasses that clogged cooling water intake valves. It was also a problem that was well known to the utility's management months before and could have been easily rectified if the management had made the needed modifications to the plant. However, it was never properly addressed and workers at the plant, for some time, had been addressing it by manually hosing off the circulating filter screens. The hosing was not sufficient to stop the clogging and a decrease in the quantity of water entering the plant occurred. If the workers at the plant had simply let the reactor trip, the plant would have shutdown. That did not happen. In an effort to keep the plant operational, workers started a chain of events full of operational and mechanical errors which could only be described as a serious breakdown in Salem operations. The day after the incident occurred, the NRC sent an augmented inspection team [AIT] to investigate. While investigating, the team discovered a hydrogen and nitrogen gas bubble in the reactor vessel head. The operator had ignored the indicator that showed there was water displacement in the reactor and the equipment had not even been checked. After the April 7 incident, I wrote to NRC Chairman Ivan Selin on two separate occasions. In these letters, I asked the NRC to thoroughly review all aspects of Salem's operations and to provide assurances that much needed management improvements were already in place before granting a restart at the Salem I facility. Mr. President, despite my concerns and requests, a little over a month after this incident occurred, Salem I was granted permission by the NRC to restart the facility. When justifying their reason for permitting the restart, the NRC concluded that "near-term and long- term actions initiated by the licensee appear to be sufficient to cause improvement if management maintains their commitment of the program." Unfortunately, those same commitments have been made over and over again by the utility. Just last year, in a May 13 letter to the NRC, PSE&G acknowledged weaknesses in management and the need to take corrective action. According to the NRC "a state of denial existed previously." Yet, in 1991, the operator provided the NRC with assurances that management deficiencies would be corrected. And in 1989, when I visited the plant, the same assurances, with equal fervor and enthusiasm, were given to me. Mr. President, what concerns me most is that a state of denial may still exist, and if history is any guide, we have no reason to believe that the operator has truly resolved its problems. In fact, just 1 month before the April 7 incidence, the NRC had fined Salem $50,000 for maintenance violations blaming "continued demonstrated weaknesses" of the plant's management. At what point does the NRC say: "We're not going to let you fool us again?" When public safety and health has been compromised? At that point it is too late to take corrective action. After the NRC granted permission to restart Salem, my staff and I met with Chairman Selin. While concurring with my observations of repeated and continuous problems at the plant, Chairman Selin nonetheless supported the NRC staff recommendation to allow the restart. As I told the Chairman, experience offers little hope that the promises made this time will be followed any better than in the past. Mr. President, serious problems at nuclear powerplants and insufficient regulatory scrutiny by the NRC are not limited to the Salem facility. One example involves the Millstone plant in Connecticut and an incident that took place there in August 1993, an incident that an NRC official later declared had the potential to be another Three Mile Island. The problem began when a leak occurred in a safety valve at the facility. Instead of temporarily shutting the plant down to replace the valve, the operator continued to keep the plant running while repairing the valve. The repair consisted of drilling holes in the valves and pouring in a sealant to stop the leak. This method of drilling was used more than 30 times over a period of 73 days. Finally, so much stress had been placed on the bolts holding the valve that one of the bolts broke. The plant was finally shutdown and the valve fixed properly. The NRC was aware of the leaky valve from the beginning and allowed the operators at Millstone to use this very rudimentary repair method. In fact, an NRC investigator was stationed at the facility during that period. At the time of the incident, the NRC severely underplayed the seriousness of the situation. Only later was the public informed of the real dangers that could have resulted from such handling by the operator. Mr. President, questionable NRC practices such as those that have occurred at Salem and Millstone must be corrected. The public has a right to demand and expect only the highest of standards from a regulatory agency where safety should be of utmost singular importance. That level of strict oversight has not been present and will not be, in my view, if the NRC continues to investigate its own regulatory failings. That is the underlying conflict the independent safety board seeks to resolve. By establishing an independent body to conduct accident investigations at nuclear powerplants, there will be a much greater assurance that all facts and circumstances surrounding an incident and its subsequent investigation are not hidden from public view. Most critically, the inherent conflict of NRC staff investigating accidents which exhaustive NRC oversight might have precluded is removed through outside independent investigation. Other shortfalls of current investigatory practices are also addressed in my bill. The causes and contributing factors to accidents will be reviewed by experienced, not first-time, investigators. Those who do the investigating will be in a position to assure that the Board's recommendations are answered by the NRC. As practices stand now, accident investigators are returned to their normal duties and are not in a good position to assure that their recommendations are ever addressed or result in changes in nuclear plants. The Board will have only limited financial and staff resources. It will be impossible for the Board called for in my legislation to become a mini-NRC. The Board will have broad authority to investigate what it deems important, but the limited resources will force it to focus on the highest priority accidents or concerns. Again Mr. President, it is my belief that an Independent Nuclear Safety Board will dramatically improve the NRC's regulatory accountability. The public should not have to live in an environment where questionable regulatory and enforcement methods can and do lead to serious safety risks. The Federal Government has the responsibility to do all it can to eliminate such risks. I ask unanimous consent that a brief summary and the text of the bill be printed in the Record. Mr. President, today I am introducing legislation entitled "The Social Security Trust Fund Protection Act of 1994." It is legislation that will protect the Social Security trust fund from the greedy hands of a Government looking for any way possible to raise revenue. It is a hands-off Social Security bill. In the early 1980's, Social Security was on the brink of bankruptcy. The promise of a secure retirement was in jeopardy and people lost confidence in the system. It was only the quick action of Congress that saved it. Now it is solvent well into the future. As part of that bailout, Congress made a deal with seniors. We said that in return for taxing up to 50 percent of their Social Security benefits, we would help ensure the integrity of the trust fund by placing those revenues back into the Social Security system. It was a commitment we made -- a promise we are beholden to honor. Revenues raised from the taxation of Social Security benefits were to strengthen, or fortify, the Social Security trust fund. Last year's tax bill, however, reneged on that deal. The tax bill included a massive tax hike on Social Security benefits, raising the taxable portion from 50 percent to 85 percent. I vehemently opposed that tax hike and actively worked to strip it from the bill. In fact, I voted for five separate amendments, both in the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor, to eliminate this onerous tax. Unfortunately, we failed, and the tax hike was signed into law. Beyond my steadfast opposition to the tax hike, I was outraged by where the money was to be deposited. It was not, as we promised in the 1980's, placed back into the trust fund. Instead, it was diverted away to fund other Government programs. Congress broke its promise -- as if it never mattered -- and for the first time ever, revenues from the taxation of benefits are now used to fund other Government programs. Mr. President, that is wrong. That was not part of the deal seniors made and seniors know it. It was simply a back door raid on the trust fund. I have been contacted by many seniors and other citizens of my home State of Washington about this issue. They believe that the Government should stick by its deal, and that Social Security money should stay in the Social Security system. I listened, and I agree. That is why I am introducing the Social Security Trust Fund Protection Act of 1994, to restore the deal Congress made. This legislation is simple. It creates a 60-vote budget point-of- order against any bill, amendment, or conference report that directs revenues derived from an increased tax on Social Security benefits away from the Social Security trust fund. It covers instances where the taxable portion of Social Security benefits is raised, and instances where the threshold levels are readjusted below the current levels. It covers revenues raised from Railroad Retirement tier I benefits in the same manner. Its effects will be dependent on the type of underlying bill. For reconciliation bills, this point of order will combine with an already existing point of order to make it much more difficult to tax Social Security benefits at all. If additional revenues raised from a tax hike are placed into the trust fund, the reconciliation bill is subject to the existing point of order. If it places revenues anywhere else, it is subject to this new point of order. In essence, my bill makes it almost impossible, on a reconciliation bill, for Congress to take away more of a senior's Social Security checks through higher taxation. For all other types of bills, there is no current prohibition on placing new revenues into the trust fund. So my new point of order would simply mandate that any additional revenues raised from a tax hike be placed back into the trust fund. Mr. President, I am outraged that Congress succeeded in raising the tax on Social Security benefits, and am dismayed that the Government uses that money to fund other Government programs. And I am worried that since this tax increase and revenue diversion slipped through once, it could happen again. Congress may soon decide that it needs more revenues and may once again look into the pockets of seniors to get that revenue. My bill will make Social Security off limits in the future. It will eliminate the incentive to tax Social Security benefits to fund other Government programs. No longer will Social Security be considered a cash cow, providing vast amounts of money to fund Government programs. It means that if Congress ever passes another tax hike on Social Security benefits, seniors will know that the money has to be used only to further strengthen the system. I listened to the concerns of the people of Washington State on this matter, and I am responding. I am introducing legislation designed to protect the Social Security trust fund in the future, and encourage my colleagues to join this fight with me and cosponsor the bill. Mr. President, I ask that a letter from the Seniors Coalition in support of this bill appear in the Record. Mr. President, I introduce a bill to prevent a serious injustice from occurring, and to ask that my Senate colleagues join me as cosponsors of an important piece of legislation. This measure, the Federal Retirees Fairness Act, will guarantee fair treatment for military and Federal retirees who had their retirement benefits improperly taxed by States and are now seeking recompense. In 1991, the Supreme Court ruled in Davis versus Michigan that States cannot tax the retirement benefits of military and Federal retirees differently than State retirees. In some instances, States compelled to discontinue this practice have begun to issue refunds to the retirees for the improperly collected State income taxes. This legislation will ensure that these retirees do not pay Federal taxes a second time on their retirement benefits. When these retirement benefits were initially received by the retirees, they were properly taxed by the Federal Government. State income taxes were also collected on the benefits, albeit improperly. Some retirees deducted from their Federal taxes the amount of State tax they paid on their benefits. Many others took the standard deduction and did not deduct the amount of State tax. With State refunds forthcoming, those retirees who took the Federal standard deduction face the very real possibility of being taxed again on the same income. Should the IRS consider the refund as original income, these standard deduction filers would be forced to pay tax a second time on their retirement benefits. I think all my colleagues will agree that this is entirely unfair and should be prevented. This bill will do just that by spelling out clearly that these refunds shall be exempt from Federal taxation. Adoption of this legislation will ensure that Federal and military retirees, in several States across the Nation, will not be subjected to double taxation on their retirement benefits by the Federal Government. I fully understand that this measure could create a slight windfall for retirees who filed itemized returns and deducted from their Federal taxes the amount of State tax paid on their benefits. However, since these benefits have been subject to Federal tax once, it is important to note that the only interest the Federal Government has in these refunds is in recouping the amounts which retirees deducted from Federal taxes. Considering the demographics involved in this matter and the fact that a majority of retirees were likely better off taking the standard deduction, it is very reasonable to assume that the number of filers who itemized is quite small. Consequently, the amount of foregone Federal revenues could also be quite small, meaning that the cost to the IRS of collecting that tax may very well exceed the benefits to the Federal Government. Mr. President, this bill is ultimately about fairness. Should a Federal or military retiree, who, in a very real sense, was forced to make a multiyear, interest-free loan to the State, be subjected to a double tax by the Federal Government? I think not, and I would argue that this body does not either. I respectfully request that my colleagues stand up for fairness for our Nation's Federal and military retirees and cosponsor this worthwhile legislation. Mr. President, I introduce a bill to reauthorize programs within the Economic Development Administration. It is with great pleasure that I am joined by my colleagues, Senators Durenberger, Mitchell, Mathews, Cohen, Pryor, Bingaman, Boxer, Moynihan, and Dorgan. Mr. President, programs under the jurisdiction of the Economic Development Administration have not been reauthorized for more than a decade. Despite the uncertainty and instability this has created, EDA has become the cornerstone for efforts to strengthen and diversify the economies of our Nation's communities. Since its inception in 1965, the EDA has established an impressive track record of helping communities to help themselves. These bootstrap efforts have allowed communities to meet economic challenges in a variety of ways -- making public works improvements to attract new businesses and provide technical assistance and planning grants that allow a community to plan for their future, for example. In just three words, I can tell you why I've become a strong believer in EDA: Libby, Havre, and Poplar. These words may not mean much to people in this town. But, to me, they are communities -- they are people -- they are names, faces, families, and Montanans -- that I care deeply about. Unfortunately, each of these communities has experienced hard economic times. Libby, for instance, is a timber dependent community in Montana's northwest corner. The timber mill that is Libby's largest employer recently changed hands and cut its workforce by half, costing about 300 jobs. At the other end of the State, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, lies Poplar. In the face of Poplar's historically high unemployment, A & S Tribal Industries became a success story. Most recently, this firm delivered vital supplies to our forces in Operation Desert Storm. As a tribal run defense procurement contractor, A & S developed into Montana's largest manufacturer. But the end of the Cold War has meant the loss of almost 400 jobs at A & S. And, finally, there's Havre. Located along the old Great Northern line, Havre is primarily a railroad town. In 1992, we were all shocked to learn that the Burlington Northern Railroad planned to shut the doors on its machine shop, costing Havre 300 jobs. They say that tough times never last, but tough people do. I know this applies to folks in Libby, Poplar, and Havre and economically troubled communities all across America. With hard work and a strong spirit, these communities are fighting to rebuild their economic base -- to bring jobs back. And, in each case, EDA has been there; not offering a handout; but, rather a helping hand by empowering people to help themselves. Havre is an excellent example. With the help of EDA's revolving loan fund, strong community teamwork attracted a new manufacturing business. There is an excellent chance that this new business will ultimately employ more than the 300 people thrown out of work by the BN shutdown. EDA has also been instrumental in responding to and assisting areas affected by natural disasters. In Florida and Louisiana, EDA was there to help businesses affected by the devastation of Hurricane Andrew. And EDA is still working with those areas of the Midwest devastated by the disastrous floods of 1993. The programs within the EDA have become even more critical to Congress' efforts to alleviate and address job losses due to the closure and realignment of military bases around the country. The EDA's programs are effective tools that are used on the local level -- working hand-in-hand with local governments and businesses to develop future economic investment strategies. By acting as a catalyst, economic development funds are used to attract significant private contributions and support. Despite efforts to dismantle EDA, the agency has matured in its approach to local economic development efforts. But the lack of authorization has not allowed Congress to make necessary changes to the statute and mission of EDA. As with any program, there are some areas that are working well and other areas that need to be refined. The lack of authorization has left some aspects of EDA's programs outdated or unnecessary. That is why I am introducing this bill today -- a bill to streamline and advance EDA's successful programs. The bill starts with the basic strengths of EDA and improves its process for delivering assistance to areas that are economically distressed. It streamlines the grant application and review process while also requiring that applicants prove the economic distress of their area. The bill calls for a greater role for EDA to coordinate the efforts of various agencies that have economic development programs to reduce duplication and promote cooperation among those agencies. It is my intention to act quickly on this legislation and I encourage my colleagues to take a look at this bill. Mr. President, our country is faced with many challenges. Many of our communities are in economic transition and we need to strengthen and diversify the economies of those communities. We need to reauthorize EDA. It is high time that we recognize the important role that EDA plays in the future of this country. And ask unanimous consent that the full text of my bill be printed in the Record. Mr. President, I am rising today to introduce legislation that would establish a Presidential Commission to examine the roles and missions of the U.S. intelligence community. It was not too many years ago, Mr. President, that there was a solid consensus in Congress in support of the intelligence budget and our intelligence agencies. During the decade of the 1980's, for example, the intelligence authorization bill was so noncontroversial that it was often passed during a late night session on a voice vote without debate or amendment. That era is now gone, and the intelligence authorization bill seems to attract more debate and discussion every year. I anticipate that this year the Senate will establish a new record for the length of time that it debates the intelligence authorization bill. We will consider counterintelligence legislation in connection with the intelligence bill this year; we will probably face amendments aimed at cutting the intelligence budget, as we have each of the last few years; and the Senate may revisit the issue of declassifying the intelligence budget totals. Some Senators have indicated they may seek to convene the Senate in executive session to debate classified programs. That is a procedure I always support. As my colleagues are aware, the Department of Defense has been the subject of extensive reviews in recent years. The Bottom-Up Review being the most recent. In 1986, both Houses of Congress overwhelmingly approved the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which strengthened the Unified Combatant Commands and the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A Presidential commission has been established to review the roles and mission of our Armed Forces. These have been very productive and necessary steps, and I believe that a comparable review of the intelligence community is now, timely. Such a review, I predict, will result in the strengthening of the Nation's intelligence. The bill that I am introducing today, together with Senator Graham of Florida, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, is intended to provide a thorough and fully independent review of the organization and mission of the intelligence community. While the Jacobs' panel looked at part of our intelligence structure, and made a valuable contribution, this proposed commission would be the first fully independent review of the roles and missions of the entire intelligence community since the establishment of the CIA in 1947. Our bill has a number of important features. First, the Commission would be composed of four Members of Congress appointed by our leadership in consultation with the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee as well as seven individuals from the private sector appointed by the President. In order to ensure an independent perspective, we have stipulated in the bill that the members of the Commission shall not have previously held leadership positions in the intelligence community. Second, we have provided funds so that the Commission can have a clearance staff to handle classified material, and will therefore not need to depend on intelligence community officials for information and analysis. Third, we have provided the Commission the time necessary to do a thorough and detailed study. Its report would not be due until December 1996. Finally, I think it is important for my colleagues to understand that our bill tasks the Commission with reviewing the full range of issues that have arisen with regard to the intelligence community in recent years. For example, under our bill, the Commission would be charged with reviewing the budgets of the intelligence community as well as their roles and missions; the role of economic intelligence would be addressed, as would the issue of declassifying the intelligence budget. I want the record to reflect the fact that this bill was a collaborative effort involving myself, Senator DeConcini, and Senator Graham of Florida. Over the last couple of months, I have been publicly outspoken regarding the need for a Presidential Commission, and on May 19 I wrote the President urging his support for such a Commission. But my initial idea had been to have a Presidential Commission that would have focused primarily on the CIA and its relations with other organizations. Senator Graham at that point approached me expressing support for a Presidential Commission, suggesting however that its purview be expanded to include the entire intelligence community. Senator Graham and our distinguished chairman, Senator DeConcini, both had ideas for topics the Commission should consider that have been incorporated in this bill. So my colleagues from Florida and Arizona are not only cosponsors, but coauthors of this legislation. I strongly believe that the world is a more complex and difficult place in many respects than it was during the cold war. There is no doubt in my mind that an independent Commission will validate the continued need for clandestine human and technical intelligence collection to support U.S. national security interests. Nevertheless, the Commission may very well recommend changes that eliminate waste or duplication and increase the performance and effectiveness of the intelligence community. We need an independent review at this time, to scrub the existing structure and provide both the Congress and the public with assurances that the intelligence organization and activities we support are consistent with our great Nation's values, budgets, and interests. I have no doubt that the intelligence community will pass this test and emerge with renewed public and congressional support. I hope that my colleagues, the administration and the public will review the bill and comment on it so that we can make any needed changes or improvement prior to the time the intelligence authorization bill comes to the floor of the Senate. It would be my intention, and I know that of our distinguished chairman and the distinguished Senator from Florida, to offer this bill as an amendment to the intelligence authorization bill at that time. Mr. President, in closing, I ask unanimous consent that a letter I wrote to the President on this topic last month be included in the Record. Mr. President, I am pleased to join Senators Warner and DeConcini in introducing legislation to establish a blue ribbon commission on the roles and capabilities of the United States intelligence community. The purpose of this Commission is to commence an analysis of the missions, roles, functions, and relationships of the intelligence community and its responsiveness to consumers' needs, based on the post-cold war environment. With the collapse of the Soviet Eastern bloc we face a dramatically changed world. Rather than one principle enemy, we now confront a world where regional instability presents a variety of threats. As the world is changing, so must our approach to intelligence gathering. We must chart a new course. The Commission which we are today proposing will play a critical role in charting that new course. I believe, as my colleague and friend from Virginia has stated, this is the time to step back to take a long view and a fresh look at our intelligence priorities. Where changes are needed we need to make them. New thinking is required and nothing is sacrosanct. Most importantly in an environment of reduced resources we must match means to ends. Intelligence is critical to the security of our Nation and will remain so. As we reduce our defense spending the role of intelligence becomes even more critical. Good intelligence is invaluable, it can tell us where the next threat will arise and how we should best deploy resources to address it. I am also well aware that recent events, such as the Ames spy case, have focused a critical light on the intelligence community and generated renewed concerns for an evaluation. Mr. President the time is right for a comprehensive review. I would like to highlight three issues which the commission will evaluate closely: First, the roles and missions of the intelligence community in terms of providing support to its traditional customers -- the defense and foreign policy establishments. Second, whether intelligence efforts are prepared to address emergency needs -- such as increasingly sophisticated economic intelligence for new customers. Third, available requirements and resources -- both human and material -- are they properly watched and allocated within the intelligence community. A particular concern is whether the recruitment, training, and promotion policies of the intelligence community will achieve the human resources needed in a world in which human intelligence capabilities will be increasingly required. I am particularly concerned that at a time when I suspect that human intelligence, as distinct from technological means of gathering intelligence, will assume greater importance, particularly in places in the 60 emerging hot spots around the world, that we have the capability to recruit, train and lead our humans who will be providing that human intelligence. The proposed Commission would consist of 11 members: 7 appointed by the President; one member each appointed by the Senate majority leader and minority leader; and one member each appointed by the Speaker of the House and the House minority leader. This proposed Commission would ensure an independent evaluation with executive and legislative branch collaboration, to provide a review that could serve to strengthen the support and refine the management of these vital capabilities essential for our national security. The structure of this Commission will ensure its independence. I look forward to its creation and receiving its recommendations by December 31, 1996. Mr. President, I appreciate this time and join my colleague from Virginia in looking forward to the creation and the receipt of the report of the Commission by December 31, 1996. Mr. President, today I am proud to introduce the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Grand Coulee Dam Settlement Act. This legislation would codify an historic agreement recently reached between the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the United States. Since the Federal construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, the people of Washington State and the Nation have benefited greatly from the power produced from the waters of the Columbia. But few have sacrificed as much for these gains as the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, on whose land the Grand Coulee Dam was built. This bill would resolve this inequity, settling the tribe's long- standing claims against the United States for compensation of the reservation lands taken for Grand Coulee Dam construction and operation. In 1933, the Federal Power Commission granted a permit to develop the water resources at the site that is now the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington State. The dam was to be constructed under a Federal Power Act license, and the tribe was to receive annual payments for tribal lands taken and used for the production of power. The tribe testified before Congress, that their best lands would be lost and their ability to fish would be destroyed. The Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, supported the tribes, affirming that they should be compensated according to the power produced by the dam. Even so, when the United States completed the dam and began producing electricity in 1942, the tribe received nothing for its contribution to the production of electricity. The tribe then commenced to pursue its claim in the Federal courts. For almost 50 years -- nearly a generation -- the tribe filed claims litigation seeking compensation. The tribe first brought suit against the United States under the 1946 Indian Claims Commission Act for the taking of its property and the use of its lands. Finally, in 1992, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a previously dismissed claim, thereby opening the door for settlement negotiations between the tribe, the Justice Department, and the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA] to begin. The settlement agreement negotiated between the United States and the tribe is a fair, equitable and final settlement for tribal compensation claims. Over 6 months of negotiations, representatives of the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, and the BPA agreed with the Colville Tribe on the Settlement Agreement represented by this act. The purposes of this act are as follows. First, to approve and ratify the Settlement Agreement entered to by the United States and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington State. And second, to direct the BPA to carry out payment obligations under the Settlement Agreement. Under the Settlement Agreement, the United States has agreed to pay $53 million to the tribe as settlement for past unpaid annual charges. The BPA will pay the tribe an annual payment for the continued use of reservation lands. The first payment will be for $15.25 million and will be made by March 1, 1996. Additional payments will be subject to a formula set forth in the agreement. These payments will fluctuate according to the amount of power produced annually at the Grand Coulee Dam and BPA's average sale price for power. Mr. President, The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have contributed greatly to the success of my region of the country, and will continue to do so for many generations to come. It is time for the United States to recognize the contributions that have been made. Therefore, it is with conviction that I urge my colleagues to vote with me for passage of this act. Thank you. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of my statement be printed in the Record.