AMENDMENTS NOS. 1150, 1151, 1152, 1153, 1154, 1155, 1156, 1157, 1158, 1159, 1160, 1161, 1162, AND 1163, EN BLOC TO AMENDMENT NO. 1136
AMENDMENT NO. 1150
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, along with Senator MIKULSKI, I offer the following sense of the Senate amendment with respect to condemning violence against women. It states that the United States should continue to:
condemn violence against women and should urge states to refrain from invoking any custom, tradition or practice in the name of religion or culture as a means to avoid obligations regarding the elimination of violence against women referred to in Article IV of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In this year's session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, the United States sided with Iran, Pakistan and Sudan in opposing the above language in the final report of the Commission's session.
We ought to wonder why. The language was important, critical to support, on its merits and furthermore, it was hardly groundbreaking.
The United States supported it in the 1993 U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and in the 1995 Beijing Platform of Action.
This year, the U.S. delegate justified the position of not supporting the language on customs and religious practices by claiming that the United States was seeking consensus in the commission, because some other nations perceived the language as casting religion in a negative light.
This is absurd. Violence against women is an outrage. It happens every day, in America and around the world. It is never justified, and the United States should never miss an opportunity, here and abroad, to condemn it.
Therefore, I have offered this amendment to reiterate the need for the United States to continue to take a stand in condemning violence against women in all forms, and under all circumstances.
AMENDMENT NO. 1189 TO AMENDMENT NO. 1136
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I, too, thank the Senator from Connecticut for his kind comments. As they say, he uses overly formal language. He is a valued member of their committee. He is more than that. He is more than that. He is one of the engines of the committee. I thank him for his comments. I respect and reflect his comments relative to the chairman.
This is an important bill. As my grandfather used to say: With the grace of God, the good will of the neighbors, and the creek not rising, we may get this finished.
Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration.
AMENDMENT NO. 1190 TO AMENDMENT NO. 1136
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Indiana for his tolerance. I don't usually send to the desk, in the 30-plus years I have been here, sense-of-the-Senate resolutions. But this is a sense-of-the-Congress resolution. I don't send those, either. But I want to explain, before I explain what this resolution does, why I am doing this.
I am of the viewand I am not suggesting the chairman shares my view, or anyone else doesthat the President's attitude as to how to proceed on Iraq from this moment on is in play and being influenced by two very important elements of his administration. I am of the view, speaking for myself, that Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld, and others in the administrationwho are referred to, not in a negative sense but straightforwardly, as the so-called neoconservatives of the administration in foreign policyare importuning the President on one course of action.
I am of the view that the Secretary of Stateand I do not speak for the Secretary of State; I do not suggest he has represented to me what I am about to saybut I believe the Secretary of State and a lot of the uniformed military are suggesting the President take another course of action, not drastically different but different relative to the issue of post-Saddam Iraq: How do we win the peace?
So it is my hope and my view that this is an appropriate place for the Senate to weigh in on what I believe to be an ongoing debate. I know it is an ongoing debate within the administration on a matter on which I do not believe the President has fully made up his mind. That is not a criticism. That is not meant to be a criticism. It is an observation because a lot of these issues are in play.
Let me illustrate what I mean by that.
The President bought on to a position proffered by the Secretary of Defense, prior to us going into Iraq, that in a post-Saddam Iraq we would have a general, named Garner, who would move in, and along with General Franks, he, General Garner, would put together the political, economic, and reconstructive pieces of this; that he would set up an Iraqi Government very quickly; that there would be in place an infrastructure of a bureaucracy; a significant element of an army that had been beheaded of the Baathist Party elements; and that a police force would be up and standing, once you took out the Baathist elements; and there would be something to work with.
Well, we held hearings, as did my friend, Senator Kennedy, in the Armed Services Committee, and that was not what the experts told us prior to us going into Iraq. But that is what Mr. Rumsfeld, and others, convinced the President would be the case. So right afterwards, Mr. Chalabi landed in southern Iraq. General Garner was in there shortly after that. We started down a course that was based upon that recommendation. It became obvious, almost instantly, that it was not a very well-thought-out or likely-to-succeed initiative. So what happened?
The President, importuned again by others in his administration, immediately corrected course, I think correctly so, and to his credit. He very shortly pulled out General Garner. He came along and put in an ambassador named Bremer, who is a first-class guy, put in a different team, brought in public information officers from the military, and did other things which literally changed the course that was planned.
Now look, again, not a criticism. I am complimenting the President because he realized the first course set out was not likely to succeed and he changed course. That is what good leaders do when faced with an object in their way that is not able to be surmounted by the game plan they have in place.
If anybody thinks I am exaggerating this, remember what Ambassador Bremer had to say: We are not going to hold elections right away. We are not going to move forward and set up an Iraqi Government. We are not going to have Mr. Chalabi running the show, et cetera. I happen to think these were correct decisions.
My point is, the President saw the unlikely prospects of the first course of action succeeding and he changed course. That is good.
Now, there are other things that are now in playin my view, if he does not change course, we are going to reap the whirlwind in Iraq. We are starting from an incredibly difficult situation. I said in Iraq, when we were last there with the chairman, Senator Lugarand have said sincethat if the Lord Almighty came down and stood in the well of the Senate and said: "I have told the President the right answers to the next 15 decisions he has to make on Iraq"we would still only have a 65- or 70-percent chance of getting it right in Iraq because there are another 30 decisions to follow.
This is a complicated problem. This is a country that really isn't a country. This is not a country in a way most Americans think of it. This is the idea of the Brits. After 1919, they put together three desperate elementstwo Arab, one Indo-Europeaninto the borders that now constitute Iraq, in a circumstance that is difficult, at best, to make work. The only way it has worked, quote, unquote and been held together since then, is with either an outside power or an authoritarian ruler.
So what are we doing now? The President is saying he wants to establish a democracy there. I, quite frankly, think that is a bridge too far. If we establish a participatory government that is a republic, that takes into consideration in its constitution each of the major elements of that country, in a way that gives them representation but falls short of a liberal democracy, I will be happy. I will be happy. I will consider that a success.
So the point I am making is, this is very difficult.
What are the immediate obstacles we are facing now? I do not have to tell anybody in this Chamber. All my colleagues are well-informed women and men. The first obstacle is, it has proven to be incredibly difficult to stand up the infrastructure of Iraq.
We were there. We did a press conference. I think it was literally about 120 degrees. At another press conference there, it was 114 degrees. That I know for certain. My point is, it is hot there. Guess what. Failure to have refrigeration, failure to have lighting, failure to have air-conditioning "ain't" like failing to have it even on a steamy day in Washington.
What happens when it gets to be 95 degrees in Washington, DC, or Wilmington, DE? We send out social service agencies to go out to every area we know of, or people with meals on wheels, to make sure their windows are up and their air-conditioning working, because people die.
I want to put this issue in perspective. Not having air-conditioning, not having lighting, not having electricity in a country where it is not unusual to have 125 degree temperature for a long stretch of time is more than an inconvenience.
Now, we are doing everything possible. The Corps of Engineers is in there. We have private contractors in there. We have let contracts, even contracts I have criticized. Bechtel gets a contract without even a bid. But the point is, we are moving as fast as we can.
But we have a second problem. The second problem is: the expectations of the Iraqi people. They think we are the Second Coming. They cannot believe that we, the United States of America, within roughly 4 weeks were able to topple this guy they thought was invincible.
We were able to take this several-hundred-thousand-person army and decimate it and have it evaporate, to take the thought-to-be-12-foot-tall Republican Guard, and vanquish it. What do they think? They think we can do anything. So they don't believe now, many of them, that their failure to have these amenities is because we can't get it done quickly enough. They believe we don't want to do it because if we did, we could snap our fingers. We are the United States.
There is a third piece here. They don't understand because we are not broadcasting it, in my view, sufficiently well, that when we do stand up a power grid, the Iraqis, whether it is the fedayeen, whether it is the left over remnants of the Baathist Party, whether it is the Sunni in the so-called Sunni triangle, whether it is the Shia who are angrywhoever it isthey don't understand that Iraqis are blowing up the grids. We get it done; they go blow it up guerrilla warfare styleblowing up the oil fields, the pipelines. So what do we do about that? That is our first big problem, a perception and a reality of not sufficiently quick movement.
There is a second big problem we have, among many others, although I am sure the chairman would rather I not be bringing up this sense of the Senate. I will not state where I know he and I agree, and you should not imply we agree; you should not infer from what I say that we agree on this. Many people believe, on both sides of the aisle, that we have to internationalize this effort from the standpoint of the military.
There are two reasons for that. People like me believe we don't have enough firepower there because this is a big country. Let me overstate the point. Let's assume we had 250,000 people there instead of 140,000. We don't have the ability to do that, practically speaking. We would be able to guard more pipelines. We would be able to guard more electric grids. We would be able to have a better chance.
I am not proposing we add American forces. I am proposing we call upon our NATO allies and the coalition of the willing in earnest to provide significant increases in the number of forces we have, allowing us in the near term to draw down some of our forces. We have 10 divisions. Seven of them are tied down in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. We only have three divisions left.
It seems to mespeaking for myself, but I am confident I speak for a significant number of Republicans and Democratsthis is the time to, as they used to say when my sons were younger, "get over it." Ask NATO. Ask them: Please, come help. Make this a NATO operation with a U.S. commander with a U.S. helmet, with us in charge, but get more firepower in there.
There is a debate about that. Mr. Rumsfeld is saying: We don't need any more. We were over in Iraq. Without identifying their ranks, a number of officers with whom I metand I suspect the chairman and Senator Hagel and the delegation from the Armed Services Committee that went over had similar experiencesall thought, we have to change the board here. And the rumors were rife, including on an Air National Guard plane that took us into Iraq that happened to be the Delaware Air National Guard.
Those guys were saying: The rumors are, we are going to get down to 30,000 forces over here by January.
That is foolish. That is absolutely beyond comprehension unless we are saying we are just pulling out; we are just giving up on what we say our objectives were.
I found fascinatingit is almost on pointSecretary Rumsfeld's testimony yesterday about the number of troops needed and whether or not NATO has been asked to participate. Again, I defer to my friend from Massachusetts who was at that hearing. I wasn't at the hearing. But this is actually a news report of it:
When first asked whether the administration had asked France and Germany, whose leaders vigorously opposed the invasion of Iraq, to contribute to postwar peacekeeping, Rumsfeld said, "I'll have to ask." After checking during the break in the hearing, he said that they been asked at least once, last December, which was before the French and German opposition to the war became a major disruption in transatlantic relations. And when asked if a request had been made since then, he said, "I have no idea."
This is the Secretary of Defense.
"I'd be happy to run around and try to find out the answer to that."
As they say in my neighborhood: Give me a break. The Secretary of Defense doesn't know whether or not on his watch, NATO, the French, the Germans have been asked to contribute.
On the same trip only 10 days ago or thereabouts, we started off at a conference, appropriately, at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It was sponsored by the World Economic Forum. I met with a guy we all know well, a guy who has been my friend and acquaintance for almost 20 years, the head of NATO, the Secretary General, Lord Robertson. I pulled him aside. I said: Let me ask you a question: Has NATO been asked to make a significant contribution, other than providing logistical support for the Polish forces going in? Would they go in?
He said: Joe, you have to ask.
Here is the Secretary of Defense who says he doesn't know whether we have asked NATO. And the Secretary General of NATO is saying: You have to ask.
What happens if I ask, George?
He said: They will go.
So the reason I give you that background is, the President, I am confident, is being told by some in his administration: Don't ask the French and don't ask the Germans. They weren't with us in the first place. Don't ask.
I am confident some are further saying: Don't make this a NATO operation. With us, remember, we run the show in NATO, in practical terms and, on the ground, in specific terms.
I am also positive there are other high-ranking administration officials saying: Ask. Ask. Get NATO involved.
So why am I doing this sense of the Congress? I want Congress to go on record weighing in on the side of the administration and saying: Ask.
Is the President still in play? To the best of my knowledgeand I am not a confidant of the President, although he is kind enough to speak to me whenever I ask to speak to him, and occasionally he asks to speak to me when I don't askit is my impression that the President is in play on this. He has not made up his mind, in my viewmaybe he haswhich course to take. I think it is a profoundly important decision he has to make, not only in terms of relieving pressure on American military fighting women and men and providing additional military capacity, but for a second reason. I know my friend agrees with this because he and I started talking about it separately and collectively back in September of last year: It makes a difference whether we are viewed as occupiers or liberators, whether we are the only guys in town. It is kind of hard for extremists to make the case in the Arab world that we are occupiers if there is truly a genuine multinational force headed by Americans as opposed to an American force with a few multinational people helping out.
Remember, we were told that 40 nations were a part of this war effort. Well, maybe a couple sent observers, but there were really only four nations involvedEngland, Australia, the U.S., and Poland. There were another 36 or so nations that said they supported us, and if they allowed an overflight of American forces, then they were part of the war effort.
That is not what I am looking for. I want, when Iraqis go down the street, to see not just an American soldier at the checkpoint. This is going to sound tough and maybe even unfair, but I don't want every kid that is blown up at a checkpoint being an American soldier. This is the world's problem, not just ours. I want to give the Frenchas mad as the administration might be at themthe honor and the opportunity to do the same thing as our young men do. I said before this war beganand I supported this war and I voted for it and I helped shape the resolution that allowed itif we did not internationalize this rapidly, somewhere between 2 and 10 body bags a week would come home for the indefinite future. Unfortunately, it is one of the prophesies I made on this floor and in other places that I wish had never turned out to be correct.
The fact is, we will get a lot more support from the Iraqis who will be a lot less suspect of us if we are not the only game in town. That is the second reason to internationalize.
There is a third piece of this resolution that says it is in the national interest of the United States to remain engaged in Iraq in order to assure a peaceful, stable, and unified Iraq with a representative government.
Look folks, I believe the President has been missing in action in explaining to the American people why it is important that we stay in Iraq. He needs to go on national television just as definitively as he did in making the case to go into Iraq, and explain why it is critically important that we stay in Iraq until it is stable, unified, and has a representative government. The President must explain that to the American people.
The reason he must is the fear that a number of our military had in Qatar when I visited them with Senator Hagel in November or December before the war. We had over 100 generals in one room. When I was asked by General Franks if I would speak to them, I asked why. He said just answer their questions. They wanted to know whether or not the American public would be supporting themnot during the war or immediately in the aftermath, but whether they would stick with them in the long haul. These are smart men and women. They knew they were going to be locked down there for a long time.
My answer to them then was very straightforward. I said the one thing I hope we have all learned from the Vietnam experiencewhether you were for or against the war and you went to Canadathere is only one thing I know everybody agrees on: a foreign policy, no matter how well thought out, will not and cannot be sustained without the informed consent of the American people before it is initiated. There has been no informed consent. By "informed," I mean the people are not even, to this moment, being told what the administration knows to be true: One, we are going to be there for a long time. We are going to be there with tens of thousands of troops for a long time. Johnny and Jane are not going to come marching home from Iraq any time soon. That is not a criticism on my part, that is the reality. We knew that before we went in. But we did not tell the American people.
The second thing the American people have not been told since the war ended is why it is important to stay in Iraq. I am assuming the reason the President won't go on television and say that is because, if he does, he has to say, prior to that, that we are going to stay in Iraq and have a lot of people stay in Iraq. The chairman called a hearing just after the war. We had expert testimony from the White House that said it costs $2 billion a month to maintain troops there. We had a second hearing and they said it is going to cost $3 billion a month. This is a matter of a week.
At the third hearing, yesterday, they said $3.9 billion. I have been agreeing with the chairman that we should hold more hearings, but I am not sure we should because it may go up to $5 billion. I am not sure I want to hear the answer.
But the truth is that the American people still think Iraqi oil revenues are going to pay for this. Not a shot. Not a shot. When we were in Iraq, we met with a first-rate oil man who was picked by the administration to come over and handle the oil interests of Iraq for the Iraqi people and to get it up and running. He sat with us in the only air-conditioned room I am aware of in probably all of Baghdad. By the way, our people don't work in air-conditioning either. He said: Look, if everything goes well and things don't get sabotaged, Iraq may generate $5 billion worth of profitin effect, revenuesin 2003. Next year, if everything goes swimmingly well, that number will be $14 billion. Hear that? From now through the whole next calendar year, the next year and a half, there may be, if all goes well, about $19 billion in revenue to reconstruct Iraq. It is going to cost us almost $4 billion a month just to keep American forces in Iraq at the present levels.
I have heard administration witnesses before us. The last administration witness before the Foreign Relations Committee got his skin ripped off by our good friend Senator Hagel when asked how many folks are going to be needed. He said, "I have no idea." No idea? Everybody has an idea. The idea is that General Shinseki was a heck of a lot smarter than Secretary Rumsfeld and a heck of a lot closer to what the number is likely to be. So at $4 billion a month, we are going to be spending about $70 or $80 billion in the next year and a half just to keep American troops there. Just putting this into perspective, there will bemaybe$19 billion worth of Iraqi oil reserves in that period.
By the way, we are not going to spend a penny of that to maintain American forces. That is the Iraqi people's money the President said, and rightly so. The World Bank is coming in, and others, to give an estimate of the cost of reconstructing Iraq. But I would bet my life it is going to be more than $19 billion.
Again, why do I mention this? The President has to come forward because I do not want to be on this floor and be one of only several people, along with the chairman and others, who continue to vote whatever is needed to get the job done with my constituents back home saying: What are you doing that for? Why aren't you putting more money in education? Why aren't you putting more money in tax cuts? Why aren't you putting more money in taking care of my roads? Why aren't you putting more money inwhatever. Because the President does not have the political vision and the willingness to go before the American people and say straightforwardly: This is going to cost us tens of billions of dollars beyond what we are spending now. It is going to take tens of thousands of forces, which I support. This is not a cry to pull forces out. It is a cry to say: Please, Mr. President, level with the American people.
The third part of this resolutionI won't go on much longer and I note this is the only time I have spoken on this billis also a sense of the Congress:
The President should call on the United Nations to urge its member states to provide military forces and civilian police to promote stability and security in Iraq and resources to help rebuild and administer Iraq.
There are two pieces I have not spoken to yet. I think there is continuing debate within the administration and I would like the Congress to weigh in to try to persuade the President the right way and to reject the suggestions being made by those who have been operating the policy in post-conflict Iraq so far. I do not mean the people in Iraq, I mean here in Washington.
We sat out at a police training academy. I think I have made a dozen visits over 10 years to Bosnia and Kosovo. I believe I have spent more time in those two countries before, during, and after those wars than any Member of Congress. I could be wrong, but I think I have. My son, who is at the Justice Department, got sent over to Bosnia to be the Justice Department coordinator in a Republican administration, not by me, and over to Kosovo to help them set up a criminal justice system and a police force.
We have learned a lot from our experience in setting up and maintaining public order in Bosnia, and we improved it in Kosovo and in Afghanistan. The people who are over there now, appointed by President Bush, are top notchsuch as former New York City Police Commissioner Kerik who is respected by everyone. His top people have extensive experience in both Bosnia and Kosovo and we should be proud of the team we have. I just wish the folks in Washington would listen to them.
We spent more than an hour, I believe, at the police academy. And we were told by these first-rate pros that it is going to take at least 1 year to recruit and train a police force of 40,000 people, which they argue would provide only minimal police functions, and 5 years to build a force back up to 75,000 people.
I asked a guy who has extensive experience, in front of my colleagues and in front of all the military there: Who is in charge of the prison system? He said: There is no prison now. There is not a prison in all of Iraq that we would call a prisonmaybe the equivalent of a dungeon, but not a prison.
I turned to him and said: If you had all the resources you needed, all the help you wanted, and all the personnel you needed, how long would it take you to set up a prison system in Iraq from this day on? He said 3 years.
It is going to take 3 years minimum to set up, with all the resources, a prison system. It is going to take, according to our own administration experts on the ground, a year to minimally train 40,000 police, and 5 years to build a force up to 75,000.
Then came the kicker. What do you need? They said: We need right away, in addition to the MPs we have, which are stretched beyond limitbecause most of the MPs are reserve officers and can you ask Reserves who have been there 6 months to stay another year, year and a half?we need 5,500 trained, hardnosed European police officers, carabinieri, now to take over these functions and help us train the Iraqi police force.
I might add parenthetically, our intelligence was abysmal on this point. The 78,000 police officers and the 10,000 or 20,000 member quasi-militarythey weren't trained by what we call a trained police officer. An example was given: If there was murder in an apartment building, the police did not go to the apartment building to investigate the murder. They sent a notice to the apartment, and everybody emptied out of the apartment building and went down to the police station.
There is no police force as we think of it. There were none as we think of them in Iraq. So the fact that somebody in the intelligence community did not tell the President that their police force is not our idea of a police force that could help maintain order is an abysmal failure. We have to deal with it.
The third part of this resolution, to promote stability and security, is to have a civilian police force and to ask for the use of diplomacy with our French friends, our German friends, our Spanish friends, our Italian friends who are already sending some police there: Help us now.
There is more to say. If we continue to comprise 80 to 90 percent of our forces on the ground, be sure we will get at least 80 or 90 percent of the blame for everything that happens in Iraq. If it is an American police officer, an American MP, an American soldier who is the one attempting to settle whatever the dispute is, just remember, we are going to take the blame. I would like to share the responsibility a little bit beyond what we have now.
All I have suggested is not prescriptive in the literal sense. It does not require the President to actually find 5,500 police. It does not require him to do anything. But this is for us to weigh in on the side of the voices within the administration that say: We have to get smarter about how we are doing this.
The last point I will make is, we now, in a physical sense, control Iraqi television. We are told by those with whom we visitedand two senior staff members, one Republican and one Democrat, who stayed behind for another week or so in Iraq confirmed thisthat what we basically have 4 hours of television a day with Americans talking on it. They're trying to explain our position on television and, though they do not mean it to be, it sounds as if it is propaganda.
With Al-Jazeera in Iraq, with Iranian television flooding in, with all the slant that these guys have, why we do not have the Board of International Broadcasting, why we do not have USI, why we do not have somebody in there setting up that television quickly, finding Iraqi newspeople, Iraqi personalities, explaining what happened, why the lights are not on, why the group of Iraqis under Saddam's former sway have blown up a pipeline or the reason why the grid went out in southern Baghdad is beyond me.
Granted, it is hard to get all of this going, and I end by saying the very prescriptions I have offered, the very proposals or the direction I think we should be going may very well change. It is a fluid situation. One thing I am confident of right now, we do not have enough police to stand up a real force to restore order within the time we need.
We are going to lose the support of the Iraqi people to the extent we have it but, more importantly, and what worries me more, we are going to lose the support of the American people. The American people are going to start to say to us, and maybe even some people who are watching this right now in person or on television are going to say, why is Biden saying we should stay there? We had two more kids killed today, nine kids killed yesterday and four kids the day beforenot kids but soldiers, warriors. I do not want to stay there. Bring them home.
The President has to go on the air and say if we bring them home, we will inherent the wind, because if the American people understand why it is critical to stay there, they will be prepared to come up with the money, the time, and the risk to stay there.
The President has to ask them. He has to ask the American people. He has to ask the French, the Germans, NATO. I hope those who are counseling him not to are not doing it out of false pride.
My dad, who passed away a little while ago, used to say, only a big man can bend a considerable distance. We are the big man. We should act like it. Not in terms of taunts, bring them on, but in terms of saying, come on, help us, it is in your interest as much as it is ours.
The President is very popular. He has done some very good things. In my humble opinion, he should use some of that stored-up popularity to make what I acknowledge is an unpopular case: My fellow Americans, we must stay in Iraq because if we do not the following will happen, and if we stay in Iraq, it means this is what I am going to be asking of you, this is the sacrifice I am going to be asking of you, and, by the way, I am asking the rest of the world in a real sense to help us.
I am waiting for that speech. I am waiting for that to happen. If it does not happen, I fear we will lose support in Iraq very quickly, we will lose it at home very shortly, and we will lose it in fact in the near term. That is not why I voted to go into Iraq. That is not why I voted to go into Iraq.
By the way, I sent this amendment up on behalf of myself, Senator Levin, and Senator Daschle. I now ask unanimous consent that Senator Kennedy be added as a cosponsor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, as I said, this is a sense-of-the-Congress resolution. It is meant, quite frankly, as the only way I know how to weigh in on the debate that is going on at the White House; to add another collective voice from another branch of the Government as to how we should proceed. It is not meant as a criticism of the President. It is not meant as a criticism of his policy. It is an observation. Just as he stated his initial game plan was not workable and he changed it, I respectfully suggest that unless we change the game plan here, we are going to be in for some real trouble.
I yield the floor.
AMENDMENT NO. 1190, AS MODIFIED
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, could I inquire of the Senator if he would be prepared to modify his amendment in two ways? In the-sense-of-Congress section, the second sentence, "the President should request formally and expeditiously," would the Senator use the word "consider," "the President should consider formally and expeditiously," and in the second one, "the President should consider calling on the United Nations"? I modify it in that way in that the Senator has suggested the President is weighing these options. We have offered at least some ideas as to what he ought to weigh, clearly for the reasons stated earlier.
My own view is if the Senator would be prepared to modify his sentences in that way, to use the word "consider" rather than "request," I would be prepared to accept the amendment and proceed with the Senator at least in a bipartisan statement with which I generally agree.
Mr. BIDEN. Quite frankly, I am much less wedded to the particular verbiage of this resolution than I am to staying bipartisan, because that is what the chairman and I have been trying to do throughout. So I ask unanimous consent that my amendment be modified on page 2, paragraph 2, to say that "the President should consider requesting," adding the word "consider," and I ask unanimous consent to modify my amendment to say "the President should consider calling on the United Nations."
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has that right. The amendment is so modified.
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I ask my friend whether or not he would object, because a number of people on my side, including the major sponsor who helped on this, Senator Levin, wanted to have a rollcall vote. Does he have an objection to a rollcall vote on this?
Mr. LUGAR. In response to the Senator, my preference would be that we would not have a rollcall vote; that it could proceed by voice vote. I say this advisedly, but I presume many Members on both sides will generally agree with this. This is very complex language and analysis. I think there is general feeling that the chairman and ranking member have been through this experience, have gone through this together, and our opinions are fairly well understood. I do not want to see a result in which there are a fair number of people who feel constrained because it is requesting the President to consider these things that it might be considered criticism of him or undermining in any way his consideration of this amendment.
AMENDMENT NO. 1199 TO AMENDMENT NO. 1136
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I will briefly explain the amendment. It provides for $3 million for a Palestinian scholarship program referred to as the Clinton Scholarship Program. Inadvertently, it was dropped from the bill. I believe there is no objection on the part of the chairman. I urge its immediate adoption.