House International Relations Committee Hearing: Technology Transfer to Iran

September 9, 1999

GILMAN: Committee on International Relations meets today in open session pursuant to notice to take up two bills: the Iran Nonproliferation Act and the Torture Victims Relief Act, H.R. 2367, Reauthorization bill.

We'll first be considering the torture victims bill. The Torture Victims Reauthorization Act of 1999, H.R. 2367, was referred by the speaker to the Committee on International Relations, and also the Committee on Commerce; in each case for consideration of such provisions which fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Chair, lays the bill before the committee. Clerk will report the title of the bill.

CLERK: H.R. 2367, a bill to reauthorize a comprehensive program of support for victims of torture.

GILMAN: Without objection, a first reading of the bill will be dispensed with. The clerk will read the bill for amendment.

CLERK: Bill enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, Section 1, short title. This act may be cited as the Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 1999.

GILMAN: Without objection, the bill is considered as having been read. It's opened to amendment at any point.

I now recognize the chairman of the -- I'll now recognize myself for as much time as I may consume. I want to commend Chairman Smith and the ranking minority member, Ms. McKinney, of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights for crafting this timely initiative which addresses a critical area of our efforts to combat human rights abuses, treatment of those individuals who have suffered the effects of torture at the hands of governments as a means of destroying dissent and opposition.

The resolution rightly recognizes the importance of treating victims of torture in order to combat the long-term, devastating effects that torture has on the physical and psychological well-being of those who have undergone this pernicious form of abuse.

Torture is an extremely effective method to suppress political dissidents. And for those governments which lack the legitimacy of democratic institutions to justify their power, torture can provide a bulwark against popular opposition.

This measure authorizes funding at the level of - excuse me - at the level of $10 million per year for the next three years for treatment centers in our nation and overseas. It also authorizes our State Department to contribute $5 million in both fiscal years 2001 and 2002, and also in 2003 to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture.

Political leaders of undemocratic societies still find torture useful because it aims - its aims are the destruction of the personality. It attempts to rob those individuals who would actively involve themselves in opposition to oppress their self-confidence and other characteristics that produce leadership.

I quote from the speech by Dr. Ingei Genevsky (ph), who's the founder of the international treatment movement, and I quote, "Sophisticated torture methods today can destroy the personality and the self-respect of human beings. Many victims are treated and threatened, and having to do or say things against their ideology or religious convictions with a purpose of attacking fundamental parts of the identity, such as self-respect and self-esteem.

" Torturers today are capable to create conditions which effectively break down the victim's personality and identity, and the ability to live a full life later more than most other human beings," close quotes.

Accordingly, I urge our colleagues to join in improving this legislation.

I now recognize the sponsor of this legislation, the distinguished chairman of our Subcommittee on International Operations, Mr. Smith.

SMITH: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for scheduling the mark-up of this legislation this morning.



A Representative from Texas, and
Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations


Mr. Chairman, on June 29th, the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights conducted a hearing on U.S. policy towards victims of torture. The testimony presented there emphasized the continuing, compelling need to this legislation.

Those who suffered the unspeakable cruelty of torture at the hands of despotic governments bear physical, emotional, and psychological scars for the rest of their lives. For many, if not most, the ordeal of torture does not end when they are released from Gulog (ph), Alowgai (ph), or prison. These walking wounded need professional help and rehabilitation.

The United States law regarding torture victims took a giant step forward on October 30th, 1998 with the enactment of Public Law 105- 320, the Torture Victims Relief Act. I'm proud to have been the principal sponsor of that act which was cosponsored by many of our colleagues on this committee.

It authorized 12.5 million over two years for assistance to torture victim treatment centers both here in the United States and around the world. It also authorized a U.S. contribution in the amount of $3 million per year to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Torture Victims.

Finally, it required that foreign service officers be given specialized training in the identification of torture and its long- term effects, techniques for interview torture victims, and related subjects.

To continue the good work done by that law, I, along with Chairman Gilman, Ms. McKinney, and Mr. Lantos, additionally introduced H.R. 2367, the Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act. This bill will extend and increase the authorizations of last year's act through fiscal year 2003. For each of the three fiscal years it covers, the Reauthorization Act authorizes $10 million toward domestic treatment centers.

The Center for Victims of Torture estimates that there are as many as 400,000 victims of foreign governmental torture here in the United States. At present, there are only 14 domestic treatment centers which are able to serve only a small fraction of the torture population in the U.S. Because many of their clients do not have health insurance, the centers must bear most of the cost of treatment. Our hope is that the money authorized by H.R. 2367 will support these existing efforts and perhaps even enable the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement to establish much needed new centers.

The bill also authorizes $10 million per year for international treatment centers. According to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, the IRCT, the leading international nongovernmental organization engaged in treating victims of torture, $33 million is needed in 1999 alone for international rehabilitation efforts. Currently, there are about 175 torture victim treatment centers around the world.

The bill also authorizes $5 million per year for U.S. contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. I'm pleased to note that the administration greatly increased the U.S. contributions to the fund this year to $3 million, the full level authorized by the Torture Victims Relief Act. We should continue this trend and even expand our effort to this worthwhile, multilateral effort.

Finally, the bill requires the State Department to report on its efforts to provide specialized training to foreign service offices as mandated by the Torture Victims Relief Act. It is important in our personnel who deal with torture victims to be able to identify evidence of torture and its long-term effects, and learn techniques for interviewing torture victims who may still be suffering trauma from their experiences.

In our recent subcommittee hearing, it became apparent that the State Department has not implemented any such training. This reporting requirement will serve as a wake-up call to prompt the department to fulfill (ph) its statutory obligations.

SMITH: I am very happy that this legislation is before us, and at the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman, I do have a technical amendment at the desk.

GILMAN: Are you asking for the amendment to be submitted?

SMITH: I would ask that the amendment be considered by...

GILMAN: The clerk will read the amendment.

CLERK: Amendment offered by Mr. Smith, page two, line five...

SMITH: Mr. Chairman, I ask anonymous consent the amendment be considered as read.

GILMAN: The amendment will be considered as read. The clerk will distribute the amendment. The gentleman is recognized for five minutes on...

SMITH: Mr. Chairman, this very brief was prepared with the assistance of Mr. Gejdenson and his staff. The amendment does two things: first, to conform to language of the authorization for assistance to international torture centers in this bill to the corresponding language of the Torture Victims Relief Act as enacted into law last year. Second, it remembers the section of the Foreign Assistance Act created by last year's legislation.

Congress inadvertently created two sections with the same section number, and this amendment, the technical amendment, will fix that problem. And I'm grateful to David Abromowitz (ph) of the Democratic staff for bringing our attention to this - the need for this amendment. And I do urge its adoption.

GILMAN: Thank you. The gentleman has offered the amendment. Any members seeking recognition on the amendment? No one seeks recognition, amendment before - The question is now on the amendment. All in favor signify in the usual manner.


GILMAN: Opposed? Amendment is carried.

And we'll now proceed to consider the measure. Any member seeking recognition on the measure before us? There's no one seeking recognition? I recognize Mr. Bereuter for (OFF-MIKE).

BEREUTER: Mr. Chairman, I move that the chair maybe request to seek consideration of the pending bill on the suspension calendar.

GILMAN: Question is now under motion by the gentleman from Nebraska. Those in favor of the motion, signify in the usual manner.


GILMAN: Those opposed say no. The ayes have it. The motion is agreed to. Further proceedings on this matter are now postponed.

We'll now proceed to the other measure before this committee, H.R. 1883 relating to Iran. This bill was referred by the speaker to our Committee on International Relations, also to the Committee on Science, in each case for consideration of such provisions that falls within the jurisdiction to the committee concerned.

The bill was introduced by myself, Mr. Gejdenson, by Mr. Sensenbrenner and by Mr. Berman. The chair lays the bill before the committee and the clerk will report the title of the bill.

CLERK: H.R. 1883, a bill to provide for the application of measures to foreign persons who transfer to Iran certain goods, services, or technologies, and for other purposes.

GILMAN: Without objection, a first reading of the bill is dispensed with. The clerk will read the bill for amendment.

CLERK: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America and Congress assembled, Section 1, Short Title. This act may be cited as the Iran...

GILMAN: I have an amendment in nature of a substitute at the desk on behalf of myself and Mr. Gejdenson. Clerk will report the amendment which is on the desks of the members.

CLERK: An amendment offered by Mr. Gilman and Mr. Gejdenson. Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following: Section 1, Short Title. This act may be cited as the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 1999.

GILMAN: I ask unanimous consent that the amendment and nature of the substitute be considered as having been read and is opened to amendment at any point without objection, it's so ordered. I'll now recognize myself to speak briefly to the amendment and the nature of this substitute.

Today, we're marking up the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 1999, which Mr. Gejdenson, Mr. Berman, and I introduced on May 20th of this year. This legislation has 220 cosponsors, and we feel we must be on the right track.

The purpose of our legislation is to reverse the very dangerous situation we're confronting today in which firms in Russia, in China, in North Korea, and elsewhere are transferring to Iran goods, services, and technology that will assist in the development of weapons of mass destruction and missiles capable of delivering such weapons. In the hands of a rogue state like Iran, these weapons pose a clear and present danger not only to our friends and allies in the region, but also to the tens of thousands of our military personnel in the Persian Gulf and adjacent areas.

The proliferation of these technologies to Iran has been going on for a number of years; and to its credit, the administration as been working to try to stop it. But all available evidence indicates that to date, those efforts have failed. The proliferation today is as bad as it was, as it's ever been.

The purpose of our legislation is to give the administration some new tools to address the problem, giving the countries that are transferring these items to Iran powerful new reasons to stop proliferating and giving Congress greater insight into what's happening.

A summary of our legislation is now before the members, so I'll not belabor the details of what it does. In a few moments, Mr. Gejdenson and I will lay before the committee an amendment in nature of a substitute that's now before us that contains a number of changes to the bill that we've agreed to make. And some of these changes were made at the request of the administration, and others at the request of Mr. Gejdenson and other members.

Most of them are technical in nature dealing with such matters as the timeliness for submission of reports to Congress and refinement of some of the definitions. A few are more substantive. For instance, in Section 5, we've added two additional grounds upon which the president can decide to exempt a foreign person from application measures provided in the bill.

There are instances in which a transfer made by the foreign person was consistent with the procedures of an international nonproliferation regime, and instances in which a foreign person has been adequately punished by the government of primary jurisdiction over the person.

Overall, I believe the changes in this bipartisan amendment offered by myself and by Mr. Gejdenson improve the bill, and I'll urge its adoption.

I now turn to one of the original cosponsors of the measure, Mr. Gejdenson; ask for his comments.

Mr. Gejdenson.

GEJDENSON: Thank you. I want to commend the staffs and the members for working together and trying to come up with language to deal with some of the complexities in this issue. There's some remaining, obviously, questions of control and the proper responses. I think anyone watching the situation in Russia today has to be concerned about the stability of a country that still possesses 6,000 to 9,000 warheads, that has the technological capabilities and a number of technologies that provide for weapons of mass destruction. As much as we try to assist the Russians in developing civil society and developing the ability to govern themselves in a democratic manner, we need to make sure that that Russian government continues some of those basic responsibilities like nonproliferation.

And I commend the chairman and his staff for the work we've done trying to narrow some of the differences and trying to achieve the goal of limiting the proliferation of technology out of Russia.

GILMAN: Mr. Gejdenson, who else seeks recognition? Mr. Rohrabacher? Mr. Rohrabacher?

ROHRABACHER: There's another member who wants to speak on this. I'll be happy to...

GILMAN: Mr. Berman?

BERMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move to place the last word in - I support the substitute that supports the base bill. Secretary Indyk, who was here recently, testified that Iran clandestine efforts to secure nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons continues despite Iran's adherence to relevant international nonproliferation conventions. In addition to their work in the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons arena, we are all aware of their testing and development of intermediate range ballistic missiles and missiles which ultimately might be longer than that and what threat that that poses.

It seems to me we have an obligation to do everything we can to impede Iran's ability to develop these weapons. And that applies without regard to what one view is about what our political and diplomatic approach to Iran might be. We can pursue negotiations. We can pursue openings. We can seek to develop closer ties with the Khatami regime. And at the same time, I think we have an obligation to our own people and to our allies to do everything we can to impede their ability to develop weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.

This is an important piece of legislation seeking to do just that. While the legislation applies to generically across the board, there's been specific focus on the issue of proliferation by entities in Russia to Iran. And for anyone who has any doubts about this issue, I would urge them to obtain the classified briefings on the subject and get a sense of what we know of what is actually happening.

But there are some who might think that this is just a form of Russia bashing. I would disagree. One can decide that the primary issue in U.S. foreign policies is to do everything we can to insure the successful transition of Russia to democracy, can think we should be doing far more than we are even doing in the context of threat reduction by virtue of working with them to safeguard in its plutonium, and to destroy weapons, warheads, to employ their scientists, to do things which show them that we have no intentions against them and their sovereignty and their security.

And at the same time, I think we have not just a right but an obligation to tell them on something which is clearly in our national security interests and in their national security interests as their leadership has acknowledged over and over again, we have to - we cannot sit around and just go forward working with them while they're allowing this kind of technology, key critical components for these kinds of systems, to proliferate to Iran.

And I think many experts in the field of U.S.-Russia relationships, people in fact who are critical that we haven't done enough in terms of Russia, would not argue with the point that an area where the Russian government has control, we have a right and an obligation to expect that the Russian government will do every single thing it can to stop that proliferation.

So I want to commend the chairman and the ranking member for joining together on this legislation. I also want to thank the chairman for putting the bill over till after the recess. There were certain representations made by then the Russian Prime Minister Zapachen (ph) regarding things that were going to be done, and both the chairman in the end and the Republican leadership agreed to put the bill over. Of course, we now have a new prime minister, so it's unclear what the value of those representations are, but at this point, I think we should move ahead with the legislation.

There is one issue that is of some concern, and that is the question of the extent to which we're asking the space agency in Russia to control more than they can and to have impact on that which they cannot control. But if I were to err at this particular point in the legislative process on the side of underestimating their ability to control versus overestimating, I'd choose to overestimate. This legislation may in fact do that. We have plenty of time to take a look at that, so either the adoption of the substitute and the bill and its passage...

GILMAN: Thank you, Mr. Berman.

Mr. Rohrabacher.

ROHRABACHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I'd like to commend you and the other members involved with this piece of legislation who are demonstrating that the Congress and the House and this committee certainly has a role to play in foreign policy and in oversight of American foreign policy, and especially in this vital region of - shall I say volatile region instead of vital region - but they're both vital and volatile, but taking note of the importance that we have placed on Iran. And let me note at this moment that we have not paid that same attention to what has been going on in Afghanistan right next door, and that efforts by this committee to obtain documents from the administration concerning our policy in Afghanistan have met with contempt and with stonewalling and with obfuscation.

I would like to put - place in the record a letter that I sent to Assistant Secretary Rick Inderfurth (ph) about the request of documents concerning our policy in Afghanistan that were made over a year ago. And I would also place in the record the documents that finally arrived after a year. These are the documents to the other members of my committee who remembered me making noise about this issue. These are the documents about Afghanistan. They're about 1/16th of an inch thick, and most of them are newspaper clippings responding to our oversight responsibilities and requests for information that were made by this committee in this volatile region in such a manner is contempt of this committee and contempt of our role to oversight American foreign policy.

ROHRABACHER: And tomorrow supposedly, more Democrats will be made available to this committee and to myself, and I hope that they are -- that there's much more substance to them than what has been presented.

GILMAN: Without objection, these documents will be as part of the record.

ROHRABACHER: So I support this measure on Iran, and I would again alert my fellow members of this committee that what's going on in Afghanistan is as important to America's national security as what's going on in Iran, because they have a perilous base camp where one-third of all the world's heroin is being produced right next door to Iran. And our administration has thwarted our attempts to get the documentation of what our policy is towards that rogue regime, the Taliban regime.

And I am contending again and will close my remarks to the contention that this administration has a covert policy of supporting the Taliban, which is one of the world's worst human rights abusers towards women, and it's an abomination, and the response to our request for information has been an insult. And with that, I yield back the balance...

GILMAN: Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.

Ms. Lee?

LEE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As someone who has consistently supported and will continue to support disarmament and peace initiatives throughout the world, I believe that this legislation will certainly move us one step toward nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

I am a co-sponsor of this legislation because I strongly believe that we must take any and all action to stop the spread of these weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.

I just returned from Israel with several of my colleagues, and let me just say to you that I know and I think all of us know that the security concerns in the entire region are very, very real. But also, the prospects for peace are very, very real. So this bill moves us, I believe, toward both peace and security not only in the region but in the entire world. So I thank, Chairman Gilman and our ranking member, Mr. Gejdenson, for working out an agreement on this so we can move it forward, and I certainly support the substitute and hopefully (OFF- MIKE) towards passage of this today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

GILMAN: Thank you, Ms. Lee.

Mr. Houghton.

HOUGHTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if we could have comments from the administration on this. I'm particularly interested in their reaction to (OFF-MIKE) with Russia.


GILMAN: If someone from the administration would care to comment, will you please identify yourself?

SHIRLEY KIRK (ph), DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, STATE AND LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: I'm Shirley Kirk (ph), deputy assistant secretary, State and Legislative Affairs. And with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls John Barker to respond to...

GILMAN: Mr. Barker -- thank you, Ms. Kirk. Mr. Barker, please take the witness. Please identify yourself.



Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls,
State Department Nonproliferation Bureau


MR. BARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm the deputy assistant secretary for Nonproliferation Controls in the Nonproliferation Bureau of the State Department.

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this bill. A number of you have made a very -- certainly some very good statements about the proper oversight roles, here about the fact that we, a the United States government, have the rights and obligations which affects Russia and other countries to do everything we can to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and an acknowledgement that the administration is working hard to try to prevent that proliferation particularly to Iran.

We've noted that there are some new tools that you will provide for us through this legislation in the form of sanctions and other types of incentives and disincentives for countries such as Russia, and China to prevent that type of proliferation.

Mr. Chairman, I think we all share the same goals. We all want to make sure that the proliferation problem is brought under control. None of us are satisfied that that is the current state right now. What our concern, however, with this bill is that it will be counterproductive in what we're trying to accomplish.

Let's talk first about the resources that would be necessary to -- would be necessary from the administration standpoint to respond to this bill. You set up a plan that would require either us to impose sanctions for transfers based on credible information, or to provide reports to Congress as to why we have not provided those sanctions and implemented those sanctions.

We work very hard, sir, to try to respond to your oversight requests, requirements in your oversight obligation. We come up and try to greet you. We appear for hearings. We send you a number of congressional reports every year. Many reports, several hundred pages long each in some cases, giving you a list of the reports. We plan to follow through on those obligations.

We want to make sure that we put our resources towards fighting proliferation rather than writing reports. That's one of the problems that we'll have with this bill.

We are certainly at your disposal to send you all the reports that you need, but we ask that you look carefully at whether it's worthwhile to put all of our resources towards writing reports versus trying to stop, trying to interdict, trying to work with other countries to insure the proliferation problem does not go forward.

Although, of course, the bill is global in scope, the contended targets are primarily the Russian entities in Iran. We have plenty of authority for dealing with the Russian entities now, and Russia is starting to make some steps in the right direction.

None of us are saying that we are satisfied with that. None of us believe that Russia has full control over the proliferation problem. But we have seen that Russia is starting to take some steps.

They've recently enacted some new, strong export-control legislation. That export-control legislation enacted in part because of some assistance that we provided to our export-control work with them.

They have adopted a game plan in order to insure that there will be a cut off of this type of proliferation to Iran, and they're working hard in equipping their entities with internal compliance programs designed to stop proliferation.

We're working hard with the Russians to give them the training that they need in order to carry that out.

Mr. Chairman, none of us believe that Russia is where it needs to be, and indeed other countries are where they need to be in terms of stopping proliferation to Iran. There's no more -- There's no higher priority this administration places on insuring that there is a cut off of that types of assistance.

The problem here is we will eliminate the incentive for countries to work with us. We've made some progress with Russia; we have a long ways to go. But if we sped up a regime where sanctions are mandatory, or we have to spend most of our time trying to justify why sanctions have not been imposed, we will be providing Russia with an incentive not to cooperate with us, not to work with us, and not to attempt to follow through on some of the rights and obligations that we all believe are necessary. GILMAN: The gentleman will suspend. The chair asks unanimous consent the gentleman have two additional minutes so that the representative may continue, Mr. Houghton.

BARKER: Thank you very much. Overall, we believe that you have exactly the right goals. We need to get a better handle on nonproliferation both in terms of with Russia and other countries. None of us believes that Russia has taken all the steps that it needs to take, but I think we can all share the view that in order to get Russia to move forward, we're going to have to work with them cooperatively. We're going to have to use the tools at our disposal and indeed use the sanctions laws and the discretionary determinations which we already have within the executive branch.

We have already imposed some sanctions against Russian entities. Those sanctions have had an effect. Many times, I travel to Russia and have to deal with interlocutories at the other side of the table that are quite unhappy with the fact that we've taken those decisions, but I feel very comfortable in defending those because those entities do not deserve to have business in the United States if they are providing proliferation-related items to Iran.

In general, we have seen through a number of congressional determinations such as the Cox committee, the importance of supporting multilateral regimes and insuring that our export controls are enforced worldwide.

Another problem that was identified in this bill was -- and we've sent this to you in writing -- is the fact that this bill would work at undermining our multilateral regime. We might, in some instances, have to report on transfers by other countries and indeed...

HOUGHTON: Can I just interrupt a minute, I'm sorry, because we're sort of running out of time? Could you just give me a one-word answer? Does the State Department support this bill?

BARKER: We strongly oppose it, sir.

GILMAN: I thank the gentleman. The gentleman wish to yield to Mr. Berman? The gentleman wish to yield to Mr. Berman?

BERMAN: If I could just ask...

GILMAN: Without objection, the gentleman will have one additional minute. Mr. Houghton yields to Mr. Berman.

BERMAN: Recognizing that the administration has made a priority, particularly in the last couple of years, year and a half, in pushing the Russians to stop their entities from proliferating, and recognizing that the Russian government has made some wonderful representations and taken some modest steps to do something about that, is there any doubt that notwithstanding your efforts and the Russian steps that there have been proliferating activities from Russian entities in the last year and a half?

BARKER: There's no doubt that without our work, the proliferation problem would have been worse, but there's no doubt the proliferation problem continues.

BERMAN: My second question -- It's not really a question, it's just -- These reports can be classified if the administration chooses to make them classified. The mere fact of reporting transfers of items on a chemical weapons list or on a nuclear suppliers list or on a missile technology controls list, the Congress of the United States should not be the bases for undermining international proliferation regimes. We are one government, and so that part of the argument I just don't -- I don't -- doesn't have any weight with me.

The notion that simply the administration reporting what has been transmitted by a country that might be a member of the regime that's on a list of items that are of special concern in the area of nuclear, chemical, biological, or missile proliferation, if that item is reported to the Congress, it somehow undermines the regime to me doesn't hold a lot of water.

GILMAN: Well, I think we'll return to regular order. You undoubtedly will have a chance to address this in a minute. (OFF- MIKE) expired.

The gentleman from California, Mr. Lantos, is recognized for five minutes.

LANTOS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I support the legislation, but I would like to direct my remarks to a much broader issue that is Russian-U.S. relations.

Earlier this week, I had a very lengthy and very substantive meeting in Moscow with the foreign minister of Russia. And I addressed the student body of the Russian Diplomatic Institute, a very impressive group of young men and women, all of them speaking impeccable English and extremely well informed.

I believe, Mr. Chairman, we have a very serious problem in dealing with U.S.-Russian relations on a piecemeal basis. I believe that proliferation with respect to Iran continues, and I think the legislation deals with it appropriately.

But what I think is more important than even that issue is the growing deterioration of our relations with Russia stemming in large measure from their dramatic change in the international arena.

My first visit to Russia was in 1956, and I've been going back with great frequency over the intervening decade. And I don't think we are sufficiently sensitive to the fact that one of the great -- one of the two great super powers of this world just a few years ago is now a bankrupt, destitute society facing enormous internal pressures, and attempting to make its way in an entirely new world.

I think one of the horrendous mistakes of the Bush administration was to assume that the collapse of the Soviet Union will bring about smoothly the emergence of a Democratic society and a market economy. And this incredible naivete, our failure to lubricate the process appropriately is at the bottom of many of our current problems. My feeling is that what we have today in Russia is a degree of anti-Americanism widespread throughout all strata of society, even in the most educated and knowledgeable people.

LANTOS: When I spoke at the university training diplomats on Monday -- Could I have order, Mr. Chairman?

GILMAN: The committee will be in order. I will send a staff in the audience.

LANTOS: It took me a great deal of time to attempt to convince my audience that our engagement in Kosovo was not motivated by a desire to humiliate Russia, that our investigations of corruption and money laundering and capital flight (ph) is not motivated by a desire to attack Russia.

And I think in connection with this piece of legislation, it's extremely important we underscore that what we are interested in is stopping proliferation, and not again to humiliating and attacking and harassing Moscow.

I would like to request, Chairman Gilman, at the earliest possible time, to hold a major public hearing on U.S.-Russian relations. This is still the only other nation on the face of this planet with a vast stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia will again emerge as a major power on this planet, if not in five years, in 15 years, and I think it's extremely important that our relations get back on track.

This is piece of legislation, which I believe is needed and I support it, can help us continue to their persistent misunderstanding of our motivation. And I think it's absolutely critical that this committee, in and open and major hearing, deal with the full spectrum of our relations with Russia.

Many things have gone right in Russia. Fifteen years ago, none of us would have expected free elections, which will be coming for the Duma in the presidency, and free press, every Russian having a passport, American business still functioning very visibly throughout Russia, and I think it's important not to focus on momentary difficulties however serious they are, and put the U.S.-Russia relations in its proper historic perspective.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Lantos. Your request will be relayed Chairman Gilman by this member. And I would say all of us that attended the Russian-American seminar by Aspen Institute probably come away with the same attitude and concerns that the gentleman expressed.

The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Rothman, is recognized for...

ROTHMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I speak in support of the Gilman-Gejdenson substitute. I think this is a useful tool for this nation to enforce our longstanding policy against nuclear proliferation all around the world, but also specifically with regards to Iran, an as yet declared -- self-declared enemy of the United States and our allies throughout the region.

It also is an effective and useful tool in reiterating our continued attention to this problem, notwithstanding the great many wishful thoughts many of us and others have about progress in the region.

But wishful thinking expressed without our express reservations about the status quo can mislead our enemies and those who would do us and our allies harm. So that is why I am supporting this effort. It is full of sound provisions that deal with the subject that should concern not only this committee but all Americans.

Imagine if the United States of America, the greatest power on earth, did nothing to stem the flow of dangerous weapons technology to the republics of Iran.

Imagine if the United States of America, the greatest power on earth, were to support the free flow of dangerous weapons technologies by our inaction or omission, notwithstanding the efforts presently being undertaken.

Imagine if the United States of America were to allow Iran, a country which has pledged to destroy our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, and pledge to undermine America's interests throughout the region, were to allow Iran to secure the means by which it could destroy our allies and our vital national interests.

I can imagine these things occurring. That is why I am grateful to our chairman, Mr. Gilman, and our ranking member, Mr. Gejdenson, for putting forth this substitute amendment.

We have a few more important priorities as an international relations committee than to present its spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists supporting nations like Iran. Hopefully, Iran and Russia will join the fold of peace-loving, democratic nations. And we will do all that we reasonably can to support those efforts.

But in the meantime, as long as Iran remains a self-declared enemy of the United States of America bent on nuclear proliferation and the creation of weapons of mass destruction, aimed at not only our allies in the region but our allies in Europe, with aspirations to attain the capability of attacking the continental United States with weapons of mass destruction, we need to stay on guard, focused as a nation, and to remind the world that we are on guard and focused in our attention to those who would do us harm and do our allies harm.

I urge my colleagues to support the Gilman-Gejdenson substitute. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Rothman. The chair would advise the contention to hear from another Democratic member, Mr. Crowley. Then we'll move to the Brady amendment at a quorum here. And then it's my expectation we'll be able to move to final passage.

So the gentleman is recognized, Mr. Crowley.

CROWLEY: Mr. Chairman, thank you. I'll be very, very brief. I have a statement that I would ask unanimous consent to end up at the time to be read into the record.

And just let me add, too, that I think the issue of nuclear proliferation in and of itself is a very scary thought for every American. But the idea and the concept of proliferation in rogue nations leads the entire pack.

I think -- I would agree with one statement. I think this will be a useful tool. I am sympathetic to remarks of the State Department and to the administration. Unfortunately, I don't agree. I think the American people are looking for action, not only on behalf -- on the part of the State Department and the administration, but also in Congress as well. And I think that these are reasonable tools, and I think you hopefully will find helpful as well. So I will be supporting this measure, and I thank the chairman for introducing it.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Crowley.

The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Brady, is recognized for his statement and then to offer his amendment.

BRADY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

America has a huge stake in Russia's successful transition to a peaceful and open democracy. No one has made a bigger commitment to Russia than America over the years.

But this reminds me of a statement P.T. Barnum once made, which is there is a sucker born every minute. While he may have created the statement, Russia has certainly embraced it.

Each year they -- Russia sets up a tent, and America is first in line with billions of dollars to see a show on democracy, on free enterprise, on peace. Each year, the stage is empty, while behind the tent, Russia continues to arm America and its allies the most hateful and deadliest envy. Fool us once, shame on them; fool us twice, shame on us. And the fifth or sixth time, well, that is a reflection on our own competence.

The real tragedy today is the dollars that we are using, American tax dollars that we hope to use for democracy, are really used to harm and destabilize democracy among our allies, dollars we hope to go to free enterprise or use to destabilize the progress that's made around the world, when the dollars that are used for peace that could be used for our veterans or to build our own -- rebuild our own military defenses, are used in effect to start to lay the foundation for a cold war and threat against America's security. There are new and deadly threats to America's security. We ought not be the one funding it directly or indirectly.

I support this bill, Mr. Chairman, and when the time is appropriate, I have an amendment I think that clearly lays to rest one of the objections that's been raised. The gentleman yields.

GILMAN: Mr. Bereuter.

BEREUTER: It's my intention that the gentleman, as I announce, will offer an amendment at this point if that's OK with Chairman Gilman.

GILMAN: Gentleman still has the time.

BRADY: Mr. Chairman, I am ready to -- There is an amendment after this.

GILMAN: The gentleman -- Would the clerk distribute the amendment?

CLERK: Amendment offered by Mr. Brady, page 11, after line 13, insert the following new Subsection F, service module exception. One, the...

GILMAN: The amendment is considered as having been read. Gentleman is recognized.

BRADY: One of the -- As a supporter of this bill and also as a member of the science committee, and from a region in Houston that has a big stake in NASA in the international space station, I took a hard look at one of the key sectors in this bill dealing with current space station.

And what I feel strongly about is this bill is not anti-space station. I want to explain it does nothing to prevent all current space stations agreements and payments from being carried out. It doesn't remove Russia as a partner in the program from the critical path. It doesn't affect the existing partnership, and it only applies to additional payments made above and beyond the existing agreement.

In fact, the only way this bill can affect the space station is if the Russians are proliferating to Iran. If Russia is clean as we hope them to be, then the U.S. can continue to send payment.

This amendment lays to rest any valid objections to this bill as those who -- as it relates to the space station.

The objection has been raised: What if? What if, after all the testing of the service module provided by Russia, when we get it into orbit problems occur? What then? This amendment is a common sense response to that. It basically recognizes the service module built by Russia is critical to the space station. It is the living quarters for our astronauts. It is hanging in low Earth orbit and tested as well as you can. There's nothing like putting something in orbit to find out what might go wrong. What this amendment says is that in extraordinary circumstances, in areas of life support, environmental control, orbital maintenance functions where there is a flaw that we cannot fix ourselves, or there is not an alternative means, that we can contract with the Russian space agency or its subcontractors as long as they are clean as well.

And to make sure that this isn't open ended, this section in this amendment ends -- ceases to be effective after a U.S. propulsion module is in place on the station.

I think this removes any "what if" concerns about the space station. It provides us flexibility and a timely response if something critical goes wrong.

And because this entire bill deals with protecting America's interests first, I believe this amendment does this. It passed the space science subcommittee 19 to 3 backed by supporters of the base bill like myself. And at this point, I would...

GILMAN: Thank you, Mr. Brady.

BRADY: ... conclude my remarks.

GILMAN: Let me note that this is an amendment to the Gilman- Gejdenson amendment, and that it's been worked out with the science committee. The science committee has no objection, nor do we have any objection to the amendment.

Anyone else seeking recognition, Mr. Rohrabacher?

ROHRABACHER: Mr. Chairman, I am the chairman of the Space Aeronautics Subcommittee that oversees this project. And I commend Mr. Brady for his responsible amendment and his efforts to make sure that what we do will not interfere with this multi-billion-dollar program that we have underway, and that the efforts that we're trying to make to prevent this proliferation with Iran is aimed at further future activities rather than activities that will -- that are currently underway with Russia and the space station.

So I'd like to commend and support his amendment.

GILMAN: If there are no further comments, the question is now on the Brady amendment. Any in favor, signify in the usual manner.


GILMAN: Opposed? The ayes appear to have it. The amendment is agreed to.

There are no further amendments. Without objection, the previous question is added on the amendment in the nature of a substitute. Without objection the amendment in nature of substitute is agreed to.

GILMAN: The gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Bereuter, is recognized, but before his comments, let me just make -- give notice to our colleagues that Doug and Louise Bereuter are now grandparents. Their first grandchild is a boy, Ethan, seven pounds and two ounces, born August 12th, proud parents, are very proud of being new grandparents here. Congratulations.


GILMAN: I now recognize Mr. Bereuter.

BEREUTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It was easy.


BEREUTER: I move that the committee report the bill as an amendment to the House with a recommendation that the bill do pass.

GILMAN: Question is now under motion of the gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Bereuter. Those in favor of the motion, say aye.


GILMAN: Those opposed say no. The ayes have it. Quorum being present, we'll take a roll call on the measure. Please signify in the usual manner. The clerk will call the role.

CLERK: Mr. Gilman.


CLERK: Mr. Gilman votes aye.

Mr. Goodling. Mr. Leach. Mr. Hyde. Mr. Bereuter.


CLERK: Mr. Bereuter votes yes.

Mr. Smith.


CLERK: Mr. Smith votes yes.

Mr. Burton. Mr. Gallegly. Mr. Ros-Lehtinen. Mr. Ros-Lehtinen votes yes.

Mr. Ballenger. Mr. Rohrabacher.


CLERK: Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes.

Mr. Manzullo. Mr. Royce. Mr. Royce votes yes.

Mr. King. Mr. Chabot. Mr. Chabot votes yes.

Mr. Sanford...