Senator Dianne Feinstein
August 24, 1994
Mr. President, I have been listening to these remarks, and I must
say my heart is breaking, because I see a bill that is important to the
American people being taken hostage by a minority of this body. Hostage
taking is a Federal crime, and it will be a crime if we do not send the
President a crime bill today. Mr. President, I have just heard the
remarks from the distinguished ranking member of the Judiciary Committee
that "This is not about guns. We have lost that battle." Mr. President,
I saw the list of 13 amendments the Republicans want, and number 12 is
and I quote "strike the assault weapons ban." It is to strike the
assault weapons ban.
Why do people not tell the truth on the floor of this Senate?
Why do they not tell the truth so we can deal with it? Why come forward
when the Republicans are passing around a piece of paper with 13
amendments, and the 12th amendment says "strike the assault weapons ban,"
and then say -- as the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee just
said, "We have lost that battle. We are not going to raise that issue.
We admit that the votes are there for the assault weapons legislation."
If that is true, then I make a proposal. There can be a
unanimous consent agreement, and we can bring the assault weapons up.
The Republican minority can say: we will not make you file for cloture,
and we will have an up or down vote on assault weapons, and the bill can
go directly to the President for signature, if passed again -- as I fully
expect that it would be. I challenge them. I challenge them to do that.
I have heard so many arguments that are disingenuous. Let me begin to
take them on one by one.
Let us talk for a moment about the funding mechanism of this
bill. I wish I were doing campaign commercials: flip flop, flip flop.
That is what the minority is doing on the issue of the crime bill trust
fund. This has been said on the floor again, but still Senators come
back and contradict themselves. Let me quote Senator Hatch, November 4,
1993 on the floor of this Senate:
"He, Senator Byrd, was the one who came up with the funding mechanism. I
just want to personally compliment him for it, plus the ability to put
this together the way we are putting it together."
Now today he is critical.
Second item: Senator Dole, the Minority Leader, November 19,
"From day one Republicans have insisted that any anti crime bill we pass
must be fully paid for. Security has a price, and it is a price we at
least attempt to pay for by establishing a violent crime reduction trust
fund. In the months ahead we will see whether we live up to the trust
Senator Gramm, senior Senator from Texas, May 19,1994:
"First of all, it [Motion to Instruct] asks our conferees to stay with
the funding mechanism that Senator Byrd offered. I was a cosponsor of
it. It was a broadly supported bipartisan effort. So the first thing I
want our conferees to do is stay with our funding mechanism."
The senior Senator from Texas was referring to the trust fund,
and I quote him again:
"Every time we have gotten down to the goal line trying to make it the
law of the land, it ended up being killed. I do not want it to die this
time. Without it, there are no prisons, no additional police officers on
the streets, and no effective crime bill."
Now, suddenly, this very funding mechanism that everybody voted
for 95 to 4, that these three distinguished Senators testified on behalf
of, is being met by cries of "throw it out, throw it out." Now when the
bill is almost passed: "Throw it out. We do not like it. Why do we not
like it? Well, we do not like it because we do not think the money will
Let us talk for the moment about whether the money is going to be
there or not. The work force reduction of 252,000 Federal personnel has
begun. It is already mandated by federal law.
As a matter of fact, in a crime trust fund analysis just produced
by our very own Budget Committee, it is clear that the revenues will be
there. After just 5 fiscal years of workforce reduction savings, the
crime bill will capture in the trust fund more than enough money -- over
$33 billion -- to pay for all 6 years of the programs authorized by this
much maligned, and much needed, bill. I also note that those are net
savings, which take into account all benefits that will be paid to
retiring or terminated workers.
This is not my estimate, this is the Budget Committee's
estimate. It is not based on wishful thinking. It is based on a
mandatory law which is in place and which is already reducing the Federal
What is especially interesting about this is the crime bill will
cost $30.2 billion over 6 years, but the trust fund will accrue more than
$33 billion in just 5 years. Clearly, suggestions to the contrary
notwithstanding, the money will be there to pay the bills.
Before putting this issue aside let me just note for the record
that the Republican crime bill would cost $28 billion. So what the
Republicans would propose is $28 billion. What we are talking about is
$30.2 billion. Is that a difference worth killing this crime bill over?
A bill that has been through the Judiciary Committee of this
Senate, has been subject to amendment for days on end on the Senate
floor, was approved in the Senate 95 to 4. A bill that was further honed
in not one, but two, bipartisan House-Senate conference committees and
ultimately approved by the House with a 40 vote margin provided by
Republicans. I think and hope not, Mr. President.
Let me turn now to another of the truly disingenuous claims being
made about this bill and the process that produced it. Namely, say the
minority, "We were not sufficiently involved in the crime bill conference
report." I say to that, nonsense.
At the marathon conference my staff attended around the clock,
there were Republican senior staff present. There were Democrat
Democratic senior staff present. There were Republican legislators
present. There were Democratic legislators present. Everybody with a
role in the process, and the minority does have a legitimate role in that
process, was present. We all saw, if we watched C SPAN over the weekend,
how House Members came forward one after the other with 1 minute speeches
to say why they could support the conference report or why they could not
support it. So let us be very clear: everybody with a claim to be at the
table had a seat and a role in hammering out this crime bill.
The third utterly political and disingenuous argument made
against this bill, let us get down to it, is the "pork" argument. Let me
ask another question. Last night I listened for 2 hours as the chairman
of the Judiciary Committee, the very distinguished Senator from Delaware,
gave what in my view was the best speech I have ever heard on the floor
of the U.S. Senate. He spoke with passion, commitment, and knowledge of
the law about what was truth and what was fiction in this bill.
One of the questions he properly asked, and I thought about it
when I went home and I turned on C SPAN and I saw him once again, was
"Why would the National Rifle Association the number one gun lobby in
this Nation, that has a stranglehold over many Members of both bodies
run a spot with Charlton Heston that talks about pork when we know what
they are interested in is the assault weapons ban, when we know what they
are interested in allowing weapons like this, an AK 47, to be sold on the
streets of our cities?
This is a gun, Mr. President, which comes standard with a 30 shot
magazine, but can accept magazines -- including 100 round clips -- that
was originally designed and made for troops of the Soviet Union. It is
the most widely used semiautomatic rifle in the world. Up to 50 million
of them exist. Now, however, it is wielded not just by soldiers, but by
gang warriors. It is used by kids. It is used by drive by shooters.
And, as no Californian will ever forget, it was used by a drifter named
Patrick Purdy on a Stockton schoolyard to kill five children and wound 29
Some of us want to take AK-47s off the streets, and some of us --
a majority of the House and Senate, I might add -- think that they ought
to be banned. Why will the NRA not address the question directly? Why
are they spending thousands and thousands of dollars on TV ads to talk
I will tell you why. Because the American people want the
assault weapons ban. Mothers all across this Nation do not want to have
to worry about their kids going to school and catching a bullet in the
brain as standing in their schoolyards. I am not being dramatic, Mr.
President, this happens with regularity across this country. People do
not want to be mowed down at work, like the workers in a printing plant
in Kentucky where a deranged and disgruntled employee came in with one of
these weapons and with 100 rounds in a magazine.
This is not an academic concern. Violence is now the number one
killer of workers on the job in my State of California, Mr. President.
Here is another reason for the NRA's sudden interest in quality
prevention programs. Because, Mr. President, we want to stop future
production of the AR 15. Let me tell you about this weapon. It is a cop
killer. Its bullets go through a bulletproof vest. They go through a
wall. They go through a car door. They just killed a police officer in
Los Angeles that way. Her father was a cop. She raised her kids, went
back to the Police Academy and graduated as "Most Inspirational New
Officer." Four days later she was dead. That is why we want the free
flow of AR-15s to the streets stopped.
The NRA also is involved with this bill on behalf of this weapon
and the people who sell it -- an M 10 semiautomatic assault pistol. It
is a copy of a MAC 10 machine pistol. It is sold with a 32 round
magazine, threaded barrel for flash suppressor, and is among the 10
firearms most often traced by Federal agents each year. A version of
this gun was used in a 1992 bank robbery in Maryland in which four
tellers were taken hostage and two died. Eleven people in Atlanta were
convicted of gun trafficking after shipping nearly 1,000 of these guns to
New York over 2 years.
Let me tell you about a sergeant in the Houston police
department, George Rodriguez, who also knows this gun all too well. He
made a routine traffic stop and walked up behind the car. The driver of
the car had one of these weapons. He cracked open the door and, without
even turning around or aiming, he pointed the weapon like this and,
because it has a 32 round magazine and an easy trigger, he just began to
fire it very rapidly.
He hit this Sergeant Rodriguez, a 32 year veteran of the Houston
police department, the first Hispanic American ever in that police
department. He hit him. He went down. He lay close to death for 2
months. He then picked himself up with two bullets in his body and
insisted that he was well enough to come to Washington last week to
deliver a very simple message. He said that the time has come to end
this nonsense and to ban these weapons of war.
That is why the NRA is interested in this bill. That is why they
are interested suddenly in pork. Does anybody believe the National Rifle
Association cares about anything other than the ban on assault weapons
that Congress has effectively approved four times, but must get through
the Senate one last time before the President can -- and this President
will -- sign it into law? I do not believe that anybody really thinks
The NRA knows that these guns are cop killers, that every major
police organization in the nation has pushed hard to get it into law for
years. That is why they need another rallying cry. That is why they
transparently talk pork, because they have nothing honest to say.
You cannot go up against one of these weapons with a .38
revolver. You cannot. You cannot go up to it with a magnum. You cannot
meet this weapon unless you have another assault weapon. That is what is
going on here.
And, I must say, the minority is disingenuous. It says that it
is not now trying to block passage of the assault weapons legislation.
The minority knows, like the NRA, Mr. President, that it too has to
pretend publicly even as, in private, it circulates an amendment list
that seeks to strip the assault weapons section from the crime bill
conference report. There is reason why the truth is not spoken by them
There is a new CNN poll, conducted on the 17th of this month,
just a week ago. Let us take a look.
Do people want the crime bill? Yes, 46 percent of them favor it;
and only 29 percent of them oppose it.
Now, what do they favor in the crime bill? Assault weapons ban:
71 percent of the people of America favor it; 26 percent oppose it.
Community notification of sex offenders 89 percent favor it; just 8
percent oppose it. "Three strikes and you're out," on the ballot in
California, is in this bill: 74 percent of the people favor it; 21
percent oppose it. Providing dollars to hire more police: 79 percent
support it; 18 percent oppose it.
The most maligned program of all, midnight basketball: 65
percent of the people support it; 31 percent oppose it.
These provisions are supported. These provisions are supported.
The American people want this bill, and yet this bill is being held
hostage by a Republican minority in the most disingenuous way.
(Senator Boxer) Will my colleague yield for a question?
(Senator Feinstein) Of course; I am delighted to yield.
(Senator Boxer) I am so proud of the senior Senator from
California for the work that she has put into this bill and for her
tenacity in working against all odds to make sure that weapons of war are
no longer going to be on the streets of our cities and counties
throughout America if if we can get a vote on this bill.
But the question I had for my colleague: She and I were here,
and I was sitting in the Chair, when the distinguished Senator from Utah,
Mr. Hatch, who is the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, attacked
the trust fund. I have not seen him get so upset in a while. He said
this is terrible; the money is not going to be there; this is awful.
I remember, when this bill was initially debated and the idea of
a trust fund came up, I recall that Senator Hatch was very supportive of
it. So I asked for the Record. I would like to ask my colleague if she
The Senator from Utah, who now wants to launch a point of order
against this bill because of the trust fund, that same Senator said in
I have to say we now have a trust fund, at least in the Senate
bill, that I am going to fight with every fiber in my being to keep.
So the Senator from Utah, who now wants to bring down this bill
because of the trust fund, which he says now is not a good idea, said he
would fight with every fiber in his being to keep it.
And further, he says, "If we can hold on to it," meaning the
trust fund "and we intend to, we are going to have a bill that will
make a tremendous dent in crime in this society, and it could not without
the funding mechanism of the distinguished Senator from West Virginia,"
meaning Senator Byrd, who thought of the idea of the trust fund.
So I say to my colleague she used the word disingenuous is
this not outrageous that the very people who praised this trust fund,
indeed said they would fight with every fiber of their being to save it,
are now going to launch a point of order against the bill because we have
a trust fund?
I ask that question of my friend.
(Senator Feinstein) I say to the Senator, she is absolutely
And, even more than that, she was not on the floor and I am
very pleased she is here now but her very own committee, the Budget
Committee, has just done an analysis. As you well know, the mandatory
personnel reductions in the federal workforce are now taking place. A law
has been passed. They must take place. What the Budget Committee found
is, including paying departing employees benefits, that in 5 years, this
will produce $33 billion in five years, which is $3 billion more than the
crime bill requires over 6 years. So the money will be there at the end
of 5 years, according to the Budget Committee's analysis.
(Senator Boxer) If I might, Mr. President, just say to my friend,
I appreciate her bringing fiscal responsibility to the floor of this Senate.
All of these arguments we are hearing are a subterfuge. They are
make believe; make believe. The real reasons the Republicans do not want
this bill I think there are two they want to hurt this President.
A couple of them are already practically announced for President. I hope
the people of America will call those Senators the minority leader and
the Senator from Texas, Mr. Gramm on the phone and leave word: "Don't
block this bill for your own political ambition." That is not what we
are supposed to be about.
I ask unanimous consent that the words of Senator Hatch from
November 18 and I have this page of the Record be printed in the
Record at this time so that the American people can see, when our
colleagues get up and blast this trust fund, that a few short months ago
they praised it like it was the new solution to the problems of the
(Senator Feinstein continues speaking) I thank the Senator very
much for that helpful addition.
Now, let me dispel another myth promulgated by the minority:
That this crime bill is soft on crime. Not so. Not so. Here is the
truth. Not my impressions of the bill, or "spin," but a list of what is,
in fact, in it:
Death penalties and many Members of this body are opposed to
the death penalty. I happen to favor it, but many Members are opposed.
There are presently two Federal death penalty crimes. This bill would
take it up to 60 death penalty crimes.
In addition to that, this bill would strengthen sentences on over
70 crimes. I am going to go through those crimes because it is important
that people understand.
Semiautomatic weapons, section 401, enhances penalties for using
or carrying weapons during Federal crimes of violence or drug trafficking
Second offense for using or carrying explosives; enhances penalty
for second conviction for using or carrying an explosive to commit any
Regarding guns, the list of increased penalties goes on:
Smuggling firearms, sentence is up; theft of guns and explosives,
sentence is up; revocation of supervised release, mandates revocation of
a supervised release and institution of a prison term for a defendant who
possesses drugs or firearms in violation of condition of supervised
release. So we have toughened provisions after release from a Federal
Revocation of probation mandates revocation of probation for
possession of drugs and firearms. Lying on a gun application increases
the penalty for lying from 5 to 10 years. Felons possessing explosives,
prohibits felons and drug addicts from possessing explosives; explosives
destruction, prohibition against transactions involving stolen firearms
or stolen guns, up 10 years.
It goes on with these: Using firearms in commission of a felony,
up; firearm possession by a violent felon, up; receipt of firearms by
nonresidents, up; firearms or explosive conspiracies, up; stealing guns
or explosives, up; disposing of explosives to prohibited person, up;
interstate gun trafficking, up; drive by shooting something that
concerns every resident of every big city in this Nation up to 25
years for shooting into a group of two or more to further an escape from
a major Federal drug offense.
Adult prosecution of juvenile offenders very interesting.
Many people are concerned about juvenile crime, understandably so. As
you know, we have worked on legislation together, Mr. President, with
respect to guns in schools. Many people are very concerned that young
people, 16 years old, who go out and kill and rape and maim, be treated
as adults. This bill makes possible the prosecution of certain hardcore
juvenile offenders as adults.
Let me talk about some drug penalties. We have heard this bill
is soft on drugs. Using kids to sell drugs, up to a threefold penalty
increase for using youngsters to sell drugs in drug free zones; drug
dealing in public housing, up; drug dealing in drug free zones, up; drug
use in Federal prisons, up; smuggling drugs into prison, up; drug
trafficking in prisons, up; selling drugs at a truck stop, up.
Let me go into some other penalties.
Three strikes and you're out -- three convictions of serious
violent felony or serious drug abuse in this bill and you go to prison
Criminal street gangs, an additional 10 year penalty for a gang
member who commits a Federal drug crime or crime of violence and has a
previous conviction. Again, using kids to commit crimes enhances
penalties for all crimes where defendant used a juvenile or encouraged a
juvenile to commit a crime.
Repeat sexual assault offenders, doubles the maximum penalty for
repeat sexual assault offenders. The first offense can be Federal or
State. That is a major, major change.
Aggravated sexual abuse, Federal penalties; direct sentencing
commission to review and recommend enhanced penalties for aggravated
sexual abuse; interstate travel to commit spousal abuse, a new Federal
offense is created. Sex offenses against victims under the age of 16,
broadens the definition of a sex offense as the intentional touching
through clothing with intent to abuse, humiliate or harass. It makes it
much stronger. Assaults against children, increases the penalty for
simple assaults against a youth under 16, creates a new penalty for
assaults against youth under 16 resulting in substantial bodily injury.
Hate crimes, something I put in the bill in the Senate. If you
commit a felony against another and prosecutors can show beyond a
reasonable doubt that the victim of the felony was chosen because of
their race, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, the
Federal sentencing guidelines are upped by one third in this bill.
The bill also includes federal prosecution of 13 year olds as
adults in some instances. Assault -- it increases the penalties for
assault of a Federal officer, of a foreign official, of U.S. maritime
and, within territorial jurisdictions, Congress, Cabinet, Supreme Court,
et cetera. Manslaughter, increases the penalty for involuntary
manslaughter on Federal territory from 3 to 6 years doubles it.
Conspiracy to commit murder for hire. It broadens the murder for
hire statute to include conspiracy to travel interstate to commit murder
for hire. Remember, this is a Federal bill so it is those things in the
Then a whole series of civil rights penalty enhancements are
included: conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights, Federally
protected activities, religious property, free exercise of religion
protected, fair housing broadened, arson something I know well, in an
arson subject city increasing the penalties for damage or destruction
of property by fire or explosives.
Crimes against the elderly. There is no excuse to steal an
elderly person's purse, smash her head against the concrete and crack
open her skull an actual case of which I am aware. No excuse, nothing,
justifies that kind of behavior. This directs the sentencing commission
to ensure increasingly severe punishment for physical harm imposed on
elderly victims. It requires enhanced penalties for the second offense.
Terrorism penalties, a whole series of increased terrorism
penalties. I will not go into them in detail, but they are in the bill.
Alien smuggling, counterfeiting, weapons of mass destruction,
airport violence, document forgery, maritime violence, white collar
penalties, mail fraud, extortion, kidnapping, receiving proceeds of a
postal robbery, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, computer crimes,
theft of major artworks, scams, et cetera all strengthened.
Drunk driving with kids strengthened. It enhances the
penalties imposed by a State by a State, this is interesting for
drunk driving on Federal lands if a child is in the vehicle up to 1 extra
year; up to 5 extra years if the minor is seriously injured; up to 10
extra years if the child is killed.
International child pornography, provides up to 10 years in
prison for engaging or conspiring to engage in sexually explicit conduct
with minors outside the United States.
It changes the good time, the time accorded to a prisoner who
serves time without a disciplinary offense and it strengthens the
provision and limits it. Trafficking in counterfeit goods and so on.
Mr. President, what is important about this because this is
not State law -- is that it says implicitly to the States, here are
tougher penalties that we are producing in the Federal Government which
you might use as a model for increasing them in State law. The Conference
Report also includes: has 60 death penalties; allows juvenile killers and rapists to be tried and sentenced as adults; funds 120,000 prison cells; includes a
"3-strikes-and-you're out" provision; funds 100,000 cops everywhere in America; ups penalties for more than 70 violent crimes; and puts a quarter billion dollars into new prosecutors, and US attorneys.
Is that "soft?" Are those prison cells upholstered? Will those
cops have cap pistols instead of real sidearms? Is the death penalty for
carjacking, which I added to the bill, too lenient?
So, Mr. President, I say to my Republican colleagues, the
conference report before the senate is not soft on crime, as they
Finally, Mr. President, I want to go to another subject and that
is the substance -- such as it is -- of the so called "pork" point raised
by the minority.
Forty Republicans say that this bill is full of "pork." Well,
that's "baloney." What the bill has in appropriate proportion is tough
law enforcement, prison and prevention -- not "pork" programs. Programs
The Conference Report before the Senate today
spends 45% ($13.45 billion) of the money in the bill -- all of it "real,"
by the way -- on state and local law enforcement assistance;
The Report before the Senate today puts 32% ($9.7
billion) into prison construction. Half of that money is tied to the
requirement that, over the next few years, state prisons assure that
criminals serve at least 85% of their sentences -- the federal average;
The report before the Senate today puts the
balance, just 23% ($7.054 billion) into prevention programs that work.
In fact, many of the programs were sponsored and supported by my
Republican colleagues who know --but may have forgotten -- that
prevention and pork are two different matters.
Is the Violence Against Women Act "pork?" It accounts for 23% of
all the prevention money in this Conference Report.
Are Drug Courts that will assure testing and supervision of
first-time, non-violent drug users to unclog our courts and jail
violators who would otherwise walk "pork?" The $1 billion in the bill
for those courts accounts for another 14% of all prevention money in this
Is the Local Partnership Act, which will give Mayors and County
Supervisors and other local officials the ability to target money to
programs that work in their communities -- proven programs -- "pork?" I
know from my days as Mayor of San Francisco that it's not and the Local
Partnership Act funding here accounts for another 23% of all prevention
money in this Report.
Taken together, just these three line items in the Report account
for 60% of all prevention money in the bill.
In addition to citing these important statistics, let me relate
this discussion of prevention to my own personal experience.
I was Mayor of San Francisco for 9 years, was a County Supervisor
for 9 years, that is 18 years in local government. I will never forget
one day as Mayor walking through the western addition and a woman rushed
to me and said, "Mayor, would you please put on a curfew?"
And I said, "Why do you want a curfew?"
And she said, "Because I cannot get my child to come home at
And I said, "How old is that child?"
And then she just stunned me, she said, "Ten years old."
And I thought, my goodness, if somebody cannot control their 10
year old, what will happen when that child is 15? 16? 17? 18?
And then I tried as Mayor to start my own program with youngsters
who either had worse than a 60 percent truancy rate from school or were
suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons, to get the toughest kids
I possibly could and work with them. For several years, I tried to work
with them. I was a mentor to one of them. That youngster had two family
members shot in drug-related disputes and lived in the projects. I
traveled regularly through streets inundated with drugs. I saw kids
hanging out on the corners with nothing to do.
I learned some things in those 18 years. I found that prevention
does work. I found that most police want prevention programs. That is
why in my city there is a police fishing program and police take kids
fishing, talk to them, get to know them, try to straighten them out.
That is why we have what is called a PAL, a Police Athletic League, where
police themselves get children together and play games.
I went out myself and read stories to youngsters who had never
heard a fairy tale, youngsters who lived in San Francisco who never saw
the Golden Gate Bridge, who never saw a tree, who did not know different
colors of green, youngsters who did not have a bed or a home in which to
sleep. This is all true, Mr. President.
I worked with girls: pregnant, 14 years old. One million of our
14 year olds become pregnant every year in this country and give birth to
single mothers a child begets a child that she cannot take care of.
That is why prevention is important.
That is why working with children is important. That is why
mentoring is important. And I respectfully submit to you that is why
Republicans, as well as Democrats, propose crime prevention programs.
Why is it, though, that when a Democrat proposes a crime prevention
program it is pork, and when a Republican proposes a crime prevention
program, well, it is real crime prevention?
Project safe works; neighborhood watch works. They develop a
sense of one neighbor looking out for another neighbor. They develop a
sense of community, and they develop a coordinated sense of goals among
members of that community to protect each other. I have seen it work. I
know it reduces crime, just as I know cops on the beat, community
policing, work. And that is why this bill is so important.
Some of these kids that I worked with I could not change. Others
have gotten out of the projects, gotten through school, they are able to
work, they have gotten a job because there was a lifeline, somebody who
cared, a program that cared in a life where all they eat is fast food,
have no adult supervision, they have no bed, many of them, at night, and
are shuttled from place to place. They can go someplace where somebody
cares, is willing to help them turn around their lives. That is what
prevention is all about.
I have been a mayor. I have used Federal moneys. I remember
revenue sharing, block grants. I used them. I put $5 million in the
police department, put $5 million in the fire department. Yes, it helped
me balance a budget. It made our city safer. It hired new police
Two small additional points. First, I have heard on the floor
earlier today that, "Well, this does not fully fund 100,000 police
officers." As Mayor of San Francisco, I was under court order to develop
a new wastewater system for the city which cost about a $1.5 billion and
was not 100 percent funded by the federal government either. If I wanted
that money, I had to produce local money to match it. That is not
unheard of, not unreasonable.
Second, the suggestion has been made that local jurisdictions
will not be interested in matching funds. Well, that certainly was not
the Justice Department's experience this year with $150 million in Police
Supplemental Hiring Grants awarded. These grants, which were awarded
according to the same matching requirements as the community policing
money in the conference report before us, were amazingly popular. Fact:
There were 10 times the number of applications for supplemental police
grants by local communities for last year than there were dollars to make
Everywhere I go in California, Mayors and Chiefs of Police have
said to me, "I wish I could have gotten some of those monies, we would
have found our local match for those funds."
I respectfully submit to those who are holding this bill hostage
that local jurisdictions will use these dollars; that they will fund
these police officers; that it will increase response time to those
"A-priority" calls where it makes a difference sometimes between life and
death, often between conviction and acquittal.
Mr. President, youngsters are dying across this Nation. People
are dying in their workplace. They are dying when they go to the
automatic teller to deposit a check. They are walking down the streets
of some of our proudest cities looking over their shoulder at who is
Do you do it, Mr. President? I do it on occasion. I do it. I
do it when I do not see a police car or a police officer and I know I am
in a troubled area. I will walk down the center of that sidewalk and I
am alert. I know who is behind me and who is to the side of me all of
the time. We should not have to live this way in the freest Nation on
This is the largest crime bill in the history of our Nation. It
has been discussed and rediscussed. I must say to the minority, please,
the time has come, let us pass this bill. And if, in fact, the unwritten
agenda is not really your 12th point to strike the ban on assault
weapons, agree to a unanimous consent resolution. Let us vote 50
votes or more on assault weapons. Let us send it to the President, let
us get it signed, and let us take it out of this picture. Otherwise, I
must believe that part of the minority's agenda is to stop the United
States of America from banning assault weapons.
Mr. President, I believe very deeply that the time for passage of
this bill has come, the most important piece of legislation of this
session. If we can just vote on it, it will pass overwhelmingly. I ask
for that up or down vote.
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