[Congressional Record Volume 146, Number 45 (Tuesday, April 11, 2000)]
[Pages H2026-H2036]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 4051) to establish a grant program that provides incentives 
for States to enact mandatory minimum sentences for certain firearms 
offenses, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 4051

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Project Exile: The Safe 
     Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 2000''.


       (a) Program Established.--Title II of the Violent Crime 
     Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is amended--
       (1) by redesignating subtitle D as subtitle E; and
       (2) by inserting after subtitle C the following new 

           ``Subtitle D--Firearms Sentencing Incentive Grants

     ``SEC. 20351. DEFINITIONS.

       ``For purposes of this subtitle:
       ``(1) The term `violent crime' means murder and 
     nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and 
     aggravated assault, or a crime in a reasonably comparable 
     class of serious violent crimes as approved by the Attorney 
       ``(2) The term `serious drug trafficking crime' means an 
     offense under State law for the manufacture or distribution 
     of a controlled substance, for which State law authorizes to 
     be imposed a sentence to a term of imprisonment of 10 years 
     or more.
       ``(3) The term `part 1 violent crime' means murder and 
     nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and 
     aggravated assault as reported to the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation for purposes of the Uniform Crime Reports.
       ``(4) The term `State' means a State of the United States, 
     the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 
     the United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and 
     the Northern Mariana Islands.


       ``(a) In General.--From amounts made available to carry out 
     this subtitle, the Attorney General shall provide Firearms 
     Sentencing Incentive grants under section 20353 to eligible 
       ``(b) Allowable Uses.--Such grants may be used by a State 
     only for the following purposes:
       ``(1) To support--
       ``(A) law enforcement agencies;
       ``(B) prosecutors;
       ``(C) courts;
       ``(D) probation officers;
       ``(E) correctional officers;
       ``(F) the juvenile justice system;
       ``(G) the expansion, improvement, and coordination of 
     criminal history records; or
       ``(H) case management programs involving the sharing of 
     information about serious offenders.
       ``(2) To carry out a public awareness and community support 
     program described in section 20353(a)(2).
       ``(3) To build or expand correctional facilities.
       ``(c) Subgrants.--A State may use such grants directly or 
     by making subgrants to units of local government within that 


       ``(a) Eligibility.--Except as provided in subsection (b), 
     to be eligible to receive a grant award under this section, a 
     State shall submit an application to the Attorney General 
     that complies with the following:
       ``(1) The application shall demonstrate that such State has 
     implemented firearms sentencing laws requiring 1 or more of 
     the following:
       ``(A) Any person who, during and in relation to any violent 
     crime or serious drug trafficking crime, uses or carries a 
     firearm, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for 
     such crime of violence or serious drug trafficking crime, be 
     sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years 
     (without the possibility of parole during that term).
       ``(B) Any person who, having at least 1 prior conviction 
     for a violent crime, possesses a firearm, shall, for such 
     possession, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not 
     less than 5 years (without the possibility of parole during 
     that term).
       ``(2) The application shall demonstrate that such State has 
     implemented, or will implement not later than 6 months after 
     receiving a grant under this subtitle, a public awareness and 
     community support program that seeks to build support for, 
     and warns potential violators of, the firearms sentencing 
     laws implemented under paragraph (1).
       ``(3) The application shall provide assurances that such 
       ``(A) will coordinate with Federal prosecutors and Federal 
     law enforcement agencies whose jurisdictions include such 
     State, so as to promote Federal involvement and cooperation 
     in the enforcement of laws within that State; and
       ``(B) will allocate its resources in a manner calculated to 
     reduce crime in the high-crime areas of the State.
       ``(b) Alternate Eligibility Requirement.--
       ``(1) In general.--A State that is unable to demonstrate in 
     its application that such State meets the requirement of 
     subsection (a)(1) shall be eligible to receive a grant award 
     under this section notwithstanding that inability if that 
     State, in such application, provides assurances that such 
     State has in effect an equivalent Federal prosecution 
       ``(2) Equivalent federal prosecution agreement.--For 
     purposes of paragraph (1), an equivalent Federal prosecution 
     agreement is an agreement with appropriate Federal 
     authorities that ensures 1 or more of the following:
       ``(A) If a person engages in the conduct specified in 
     subsection (a)(1)(A), but the conviction of that person under 
     State law for that conduct is not certain to result in the 
     imposition of an additional sentence as specified in that 
     subsection, that person is referred for prosecution for such 
     conduct under Federal law.
       ``(B) If a person engages in the conduct specified in 
     subsection (a)(1)(B), but the conviction of that person under 
     State law for that conduct is not certain to result in the 
     imposition of a sentence as specified in that subsection, 
     that person is referred for prosecution for such conduct 
     under Federal law.

     ``SEC. 20354. FORMULA FOR GRANTS.

       ``(a) In General.--The amount available for grants under 
     section 20353 for any fiscal year shall be allocated to each 
     eligible State, in the ratio that the number of part 1 
     violent crimes reported by such State to the Federal Bureau 
     of Investigation for the 3 years preceding the year in which 
     the determination is made, bears to the average annual number 
     of part 1 violent crimes reported by all eligible States to 
     the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the 3 years preceding 
     the year in which the determination is made.
       ``(b) Unavailable Data.--If data regarding part 1 violent 
     crimes in any State is substantially inaccurate or is 
     unavailable for the 3 years preceding the year in which the 
     determination is made, the Attorney General shall utilize the 
     best available comparable data regarding the number of 
     violent crimes for the previous year for the State for the 
     purposes of allocation of funds under this subtitle.

[[Page H2027]]


       ``(a) Authorizations.--There are authorized to be 
     appropriated to carry out this subtitle--
       ``(1) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
       ``(2) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2002;
       ``(3) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2003;
       ``(4) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
       ``(5) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
       ``(b) Limitations on Funds.--
       ``(1) Uses of funds.--Funds made available pursuant to this 
     subtitle shall be used only to carry out the purposes 
     described in section 20352(b).
       ``(2) Nonsupplanting requirement.--Funds made available 
     pursuant to this section shall not be used to supplant State 
     funds, but shall be used to increase the amount of funds that 
     would, in the absence of Federal funds, be made available 
     from State sources.
       ``(3) Administrative costs.--Not more than 3 percent of the 
     funds made available pursuant to this section shall be 
     available to the Attorney General for purposes of 
     administration, research and evaluation, technical 
     assistance, and data collection.
       ``(4) Carryover of appropriations.--Funds appropriated 
     pursuant to this section during any fiscal year shall remain 
     available until expended.
       ``(5) Matching funds.--The Federal share of a grant 
     received under this subtitle may not exceed 90 percent of the 
     costs of a proposal as described in an application approved 
     under this subtitle.


       ``Beginning on October 1, 2001, and each subsequent July 1 
     thereafter, the Attorney General shall submit to the 
     Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on 
     the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report on the 
     implementation of this subtitle. The report shall include 
     information regarding the eligibility of States under section 
     20353 and the distribution and use of funds under this 
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 2 
     of that Act is amended--
       (1) by redesignating the item relating to subtitle D of 
     title II as subtitle E of such title; and
       (2) by inserting after subtitle C of such title the 

           ``Subtitle D--Firearms Sentencing Incentive Grants

``Sec. 20351. Definitions.
``Sec. 20352. Authorization of grants.
``Sec. 20353. Firearms sentencing incentive grants.
``Sec. 20354. Formula for grants.
``Sec. 20355. Authorization of appropriations.
``Sec. 20356. Report by the Attorney General.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. McCollum) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum).

                             General Leave

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, today we bring to the House floor legislation that 
offers a bipartisan, common sense solution to the problem of gun 
violence. The real heart ache regarding so much gun violence is that it 
involves avoidable tragedy. Avoidable in the sense that so many gun 
criminals are back on the streets before they should be and they are 
then committing additional violent crimes.
  The legislation before us today, Project Exile, the safe streets and 
neighborhoods act of 2000, provides incentive block grants for State 
criminal justice systems totaling $100 million over 5 years. To 
qualify, a State must ensure a mandatory minimum 5-year prison sentence 
without parole for anyone who uses or carries a firearm during any 
violent crime or serious drug trafficking crime or for a previously 
convicted violent felon who is caught possessing a gun. The mandatory 
minimum sentence must be in addition to the punishment provided for the 
underlying crime. States can qualify through State sentencing laws or 
an agreement with the Federal Government to prosecute under existing 
Federal gun criminal laws which carry minimum mandatory sentences.
  Project Exile will make neighborhoods and communities safer by 
promoting tough State prison time for violent criminals who use guns. 
This proven approach to reducing gun crime combines enforcing the gun 
laws already on the books and ensuring mandatory minimum sentences for 
criminals who break them. Project Exile is a common sense approach that 
is enjoying growing bipartisan support around the country. At the 
Subcommittee on Crime hearing on this legislation, we received 
testimony from across a broad spectrum in support of Exile.
  It provides some common ground for Congress as we seek to do what we 
can to address gun violence. I am hopeful that many of my colleagues 
from the other side of the aisle will join us today to support this 
responsible enforcement initiative. In States and cities around the 
country where aggressive prosecution of gun crimes has been coupled 
with tough prison sentences, violent crime has gone down.
  Getting such criminals off the streets leads to a dramatic reduction 
in crime and sends an unmistakable deterrent message, we will not 
tolerate gun crimes. Project Exile builds on the success of the truth-
in-sentencing program that Congress has funded over the last 5 years. 
Truth-in-sentencing is an incentive grant program to support State 
prisons for States which require convicted violent offenders and drug 
traffickers to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. Since the 
grant program was first offered, the number of States with truth-in-
sentencing has gone from five to 27. Most experts credit this program 
with much of the violent crime reduction reflected in recent national 
statistics. Funds received by States under Project Exile can be used 
for hiring and training more judges, prosecutors and probation 
officers, increasing prison capacity, strengthening juvenile justice 
systems and for a wide variety of other improvements in State criminal 
justice systems.
  Florida is one of six States which already qualifies for funding 
under the bill thanks to Governor Jeb Bush's 10-20-Life bill which 
became law last July. In Florida, if during a crime you pull a gun on 
another person, you will go to prison for 10 years. If during a crime 
you pull the trigger, it means 20 years in prison. And if you shoot 
someone during commission of a crime, you will get 25 years to life in 
prison. Project Exile encourages other States to follow suit.
  I want to make clear that Project Exile is only part of the solution 
to the gun and school violence problems. These are complex problems 
that demand comprehensive response. As legislators and as citizens, we 
must do also what all is within our power to address the strength of 
families and the health of our culture. We must reform our overwhelmed 
juvenile justice systems, and we must do much more to enforce gun laws 
already on the books.
  In addition to taking action to make this bill a reality on a 
national level, certain other measures need to be taken. Such 
provisions include child safety locks, workable mandatory gun show 
background checks, a juvenile Brady law, a ban on juvenile possession 
of assault weapons and a ban on the importation of large capacity 
ammunition clips.
  But let us be clear. Even if we did all of these things tomorrow, we 
would not really be getting at the problem unless we are serious about 
enforcing the laws already on the books, there are more than 20,000 of 
them at the Federal and State level, and making sure that violent gun 
criminals serve appropriate sentences. Tough mandatory sentences for 
violent gun criminals must be the cornerstone of any meaningful effort 
to make our neighborhoods safer.
  The success of Project Exile in Virginia where the program was first 
initiated has been truly remarkable. Prior to Project Exile's 
implementation, Richmond, Virginia had one of the highest murder rates 
in the world and an exploding violent crime problem. Since 1997 when 
Project Exile was begun in Richmond, homicides have dropped 46 percent, 
the lowest level since 1987; crimes involving guns have dropped 65 
percent; aggravated assaults have dropped 39 percent; and the overall 
number of violent crimes have dropped by 35 percent.
  Mr. Speaker, at the hearing on Project Exile, we heard from Rick 
Castaldo, the father of Richard Castaldo, a Columbine high school 
student who was shot eight times during the tragic school shooting at 
Columbine last April. Richard survived but is now paralyzed from the 
chest down. Mr. Castaldo asked the following

[[Page H2028]]

question during his testimony: ``How do we communicate to the public 
that we are serious about solving the crime problem?'' He suggested the 
answer to his own question: ``One way is clear: swift and tough 
prosecution of laws that we already have in this country. Nothing could 
be more simple and nothing has more of an impact on crime.''
  I think most of us in the House and the overwhelming majority of 
Americans would agree with Mr. Castaldo. Better enforcement of our 
current laws against gun criminals is not the only thing we must do but 
it must be a central part of our comprehensive response.
  Mr. Speaker, Project Exile will save lives. I ask my colleagues to 
join me in passing this important bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, although this sounds good and makes for a good slogan, 
this is not good policy. First, this bill goes down the failed road of 
mandatory minimum sentencing. We have heard anecdotes from proponents 
of the bill suggesting that Project Exile, like the Shadow, strikes 
fear in the hearts of evil men. However, we have not been presented 
with any convincing evidence that mandatory minimums and Project Exile 
have reduced violent crime to any greater extent than the decrease in 
Virginia generally without Project Exile.

                              {time}  1215

  This fearful shadow, therefore, is just merely a shadow.
  Mr. Speaker, mandatory minimums are bad policy for a number of 
reasons. In the March 17, 2000, letter to the Committee on the 
Judiciary, the Judiciary Conference of the United States reiterated its 
opposition to mandatory minimum sentences for the 12th time, noting 
that the mandatory minimum sentences undermine the sentencing 
guidelines established by Congress to promote fairness and 
proportionality, and that far from fostering certainty in punishment, 
mandatory minimums result in unwarranted sentencing disparity because 
they require the sentencing court to impose the sentence on offenders, 
when sound policy and common sense called for different punishments.
  In addition to being unfair, several studies have reflected the 
discriminatory impact of mandatory minimums, concluding that minorities 
were substantially more likely than whites under comparable 
circumstances to receive mandatory minimum sentences.
  Like the emperor who has no clothes, Mr. Speaker, there is no 
evidence that these mandatory minimums have worked in the city of 
Richmond. The evidence has been shown that the violent crime rate under 
mandatory minimums is not affected. Several studies have concluded 
that. The Rand study, for example, showed that mandatory minimums 
essentially wasted the taxpayers' money because there were much more 
effective ways of reducing crimes than mandatory minimums.
  The mandatory minimums associated with Project Exile show no better 
results. The proponents suggest that the violent crime rate has gone 
down 39 percent in the city of Richmond under Project Exile. At the 
same time it went down 43 percent in Norfolk, 58 percent in Virginia 
Beach and 81 percent in Chesapeake without Project Exile.
  Even if Project Exile had some value, this bill is simply inadequate. 
According to the sponsors, only six States would qualify for funding 
under the bill, and even if 10 States qualified, the funding is only 
for $10 million on average per State, and simple math at $25,000 per 
year per incarceration would reflect that each State could only 
incarcerate about five additional defendants per year.
  In the city of Richmond we have over 3,000 people in jail today, and 
incarcerating a handful more certainly is not a serious attempt to 
reduce the overall crime rate in the Commonwealth of Virginia or across 
our Nation.
  Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I oppose the use of this costly, unfair, 
ineffective mandatory minimum sentence. If we are going to be serious 
about doing anything about crime, we should take the common sense 
approach recommended by the Bipartisan Task Force on Juvenile Crime, 
which encourages us to use funds for prevention and early intervention 
programs that have been proven to reduce crime, and we should ignore 
the rhymes and slogans which are ineffective and waste the taxpayers' 
money. We can start doing that by voting against this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from North 
Carolina (Mrs. Myrick), the author of a predecessor bill to this one.
  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, in my hometown of Charlotte, North 
Carolina, a disturbing number of criminals are set free because of a 
lack of funding for prosecutors in the court system. It also seems that 
every day we are reading about another story of some gun-toting 
criminal committing a violent act against a law-abiding citizen.
  A recent news item tells the story of a young man in our city who 
began a life of crime at the age of 8. By the time he was 16, he was 
carrying a gun. In the 20 months after his 16th birthday, he was 
arrested seven times, but none of those arrests resulted in jail time. 
In April of 1997 he was walking free, carrying a gun, when he began to 
punch a man sitting in his car. As the man drove away trying to escape, 
the thug fired two shots. The police caught him, but again he was 
released on bond. Two months later he shot a man in the thigh. 
Prosecutors dropped the case. Finally, two weeks later, he shot and 
killed a 38-year-old man after an argument. At long last a guilty plea 
helped put this lifelong criminal in jail. In a jailhouse interview, 
the murderer explained how easy it was to avoid serving time.
  Under Project Exile this gun-carrying criminal would have served hard 
time much earlier and may have been deterred by the tough mandatory 
minimum sentences the bill would impose.
  We must conduct a two-pronged assault on these problems. Project 
Exile does just that. If States enact the laws, violent criminals and 
drug traffickers with guns will pay a price for their crime. In return 
for the strict laws, the States will get critical funding for law 
enforcement and prosecution, and the key here is that the funding can 
be used wherever the community needs it, which is not the case in most 
of the things that we do up here.
  As I showed in my Federal mandatory minimum sentencing bill last 
Congress, I strongly favor a zero tolerance approach for gun violence. 
I urge all of my colleagues to pass this bill unanimously, as they did 
that bill last year.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member of the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott), who has followed this measure more closely than 
most, because it has never had a fair chance for a hearing in the House 
of Representatives or in the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill has a certain measure of incorrectness about 
it, and I think the Republican leadership knows it. It is a measure 
endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and I think it is a kind of 
way of getting political cover for us not taking action on the gun 
safety measures that are before us, because here the Republican 
leadership has aborted the normal legislative process.
  Here is a measure before the House that has never had a markup in a 
subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, has never had a markup 
or hearing in the full committee, and in the Committee on Rules there 
was no rule. This just went straight to the floor. There must be a 
reason for this, and I am the one that has been assigned to raise this 
  Why have we thrown the regular legislative process away to get this 
measure before the House today? I think it is happening because the 
majority fears that amendments that we have on enforcement and gun 
safety would unveil this bill for the fraud that it is. They know this 
because of the way our alternatives, the Democratic alternatives, have 
uncovered the posturing of the National Rifle Association and the 
majority who have sponsored gun safety initiatives.
  Now, what is wrong with this bill? Number one, because only six 

[[Page H2029]]

would qualify for funds, funds so small, as the gentleman from Virginia 
(Mr. Scott) has indicated, they would never be sufficient to do the 
job; because those States that do use the funds can use them for any 
purpose that they choose, including carpeting of judges' offices, 
paving tennis courts, or anything, you name it; there are no 
restrictions, and because this bill continues to parrot the NRA line 
that we cannot close the gun enforcement loopholes in the law that 
allow criminals to rearm with guns and ammunition by utilizing the 
``restoration of rights'' loophole. In other words, they pit gun safety 
versus prosecution of gun violations.
  I say that enforcement of the law and gun safety are not positions 
that we have to choose between. We can have both. That is what we want 
to do. So we know the majority in this Congress is using this process 
really as an excuse to thumb their nose at the American people, who 
want both gun safety and enforcement legislation. We can and should 
have both. Somehow they are saying that process prevents them from 
coming to a conference meeting on the bipartisan gun show loophole that 
is begging to be closed.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not think the people are going to be fooled, 
because they know that our leadership now is in the throes of the NRA's 
control. This leadership is being run on this subject by the NRA. They 
reject the idea we can have gun safety and gun enforcement, and the 
truth is we can have both. The truth is that we need both; and if we 
are to do enforcement, it should be real, and not just the political 
cover that this bill represents.
  The gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. McCarthy) and I have introduced 
the Enforce Act. This bill does nothing to crack down on the bad apple 
gun dealers, the 2 percent who are responsible for up to half the guns 
that are traced back to crime. They cannot do that because the NRA 
continues to resist any attempts to crack down on bad-apple dealers.
  Unlike the Enforce Act, this bill does nothing to fund the agencies 
with responsibility for investigating gun crimes, like ATF, Alcohol, 
Tobacco and Firearms. They cannot do it because, again, the National 
Rifle Association does not want it. They call the ATF ``jack-booted 
thugs,'' but we still will not give them the resources that they need 
to do the enforcement that is being complained about.
  Unlike the Enforce Act, this bill urges Federal prosecution of gun 
crimes without providing any money for the Federal prosecutors' need. 
Unlike the Enforce Act, this bill provides money to States that does 
not even have to be used for enforcement, but instead could be used for 
any purposes whatsoever.
  The Republican leadership wants us to forget that they have been 
promising to call a gun safety conference since August 5, 1999, and 
that the anniversary of Columbine is fast approaching without enacting 
into law a single piece of Federal gun safety legislation. But this 
bill does nothing to close the loophole that allows criminals to buy 
guns at gun shows. This bill does nothing to require child safety 
locks. This bill does nothing to ban the importation of large-capacity 
ammunition clips.

                Request To Offer Amendment To H.R. 4051

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, it is for that reason, Mr. Speaker, that I 
ask unanimous consent to offer the Senate-passed gun safety provisions 
as an amendment to this bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under suspension of the rules, any amendment 
is to be included in the original motion, in this case by the gentleman 
from Florida.
  The Chair will not entertain other proposals to amend.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, in that case, then I would like to ask 
unanimous consent to offer the McCarthy-Conyers measure called the 
Enforce Act as an amendment in the nature of a substitute to this bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. To the gentleman from Michigan, the Chair 
can only reiterate what was said before. Under suspension of the rules, 
any amendment is to be included in the original motion, in this case by 
the gentleman from Florida.
  The Chair will not entertain other proposals to amend.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, what I am finding out then is that we are 
now using the rules to prevent any amendments and alternatives to this 
measure whatsoever from our side of the aisle. Is that correct?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The pending motion is not amendable.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, we regret the process. We have never been 
to the Committee on Rules. We have never been to the full committee, 
the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Ehrlich), who has been a principle author of this bill 
and a cosponsor.
  Mr. EHRLICH. Mr. Speaker, five quick points.
  One, congratulations to the chairman, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
McCollum). It is a terrific bill.
  Secondly, I share concerns with respect to mandatory minimum 
sentences. However, when it deals with gun-toting criminals, felons who 
are caught with guns, minimum mandatory sentences are clearly 
  Third, contrary to what we just heard, the NRA and Handgun Control 
supports Project Exile. Handgun Control supports Project Exile.
  Fourth, contrary to what we just heard with respect to allowable uses 
under Project Exile, under this bill we have police prosecutors, 
courts, probation officers, the juvenile justice system, prison 
expansion, criminal history record improvements, and case management 
program innovation. They are allowable uses under this bill.
  Fifth and finally, Mr. Speaker, my personal road here is an 
interesting one. I have complained an awful lot in this House about the 
failure of both sides to talk about gun control effectively.
  I heard a year and a half ago about Richmond. I have gone down to 
Richmond. I have talked to the prosecutors, the Governor, the gentlemen 
down there. It just works. It may not be the gun control agenda from 
the left, but Project Exile just works, and it works because the State 
legislature is involved passing statutes that comport with the Federal 
statutes so we do not federalize the criminal justice system, 
prosecutors work together. Egos are put aside, unbelievably, in this 
town so that State and Federal prosecutors work together. Thirdly, the 
private sector funds the communications effort that educates the bad 
guys that they should not carry guns on the streets. That is what the 
minority party opposes today.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a great piece of legislation. I again 
congratulate my good friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum).
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from New 
York (Mrs. McCarthy).
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding time to me, and I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
  Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that we were not able to work together on 
this bill, because I think it could have been even a better bill than 
what it is. I will support H.R. 4051 with the hopes that when it gets 
to the Senate, that we can improve it to the point where it will help 
all 50 States.
  Members need to understand what they are voting on today. This 
Project Exile bill is not the same Project Exile program as most 
Members know it. The Project Exile program that occurred in Richmond, 
Virginia, was a successful Federal, State and local partnership to 
increase gun prosecutions.
  The legislation before us block grants more than $1 million to just 
six States over 5 years. These States include Virginia, Florida, Texas, 
Colorado, Louisiana, and South Carolina, according to the bill's 
sponsor. That leaves 44 States without funding to enhance gun 
  I personally think if we are going to do this, all the States should 
be involved in this. The legislation permits these six States to use 
the money on gun enforcement. They could also use it on juvenile 
justice programs, correction officers, and public awareness programs.
  Earlier this year, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) and I 
introduced legislation supported by the

[[Page H2030]]

 Clinton administration. It is called the ENFORCE bill, and it is a 
comprehensive gun enforcement bill that affects all 50 States and costs 
$280 million.
  Let me tell the Members what H.R. 4051 does not do that our bill does 
  First, H.R. 4051 does not fund a single ATF agent or inspector. 
ENFORCE funds 600 ATF agents and inspectors.
  We constantly talk about that we are not enforcing the laws that are 
already on the books. Our bill would do that.
  Second, H.R. 4051 does not fund a single local, State, or Federal gun 
prosecutor. ENFORCE funds more than 1,100 local, State, and Federal gun 
prosecutors, everyone working together to make our State safer.
  Third, H.R. 4051 does not close the loophole that now permits felons 
to get their gun rights back. ENFORCE does close this loophole.
  Fourth, H.R. 4051 does not fund the National Forensic Ballistics 
Network to assist law enforcement in solving crimes. ENFORCE funds the 
national ballistics network.
  We have already spent considerable time during the 106th Congress 
when it comes to gun safety legislation. The House leadership has 
brought this bill to the floor today by short-circuiting the 
legislative process. The gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde) from 
the Committee on the Judiciary chose neither to have a subcommittee 
markup nor a full committee markup. He has denied Members of this House 
the right to offer floor amendments.
  H.R. 4051 is a start. It will assist a selected group of States with 
gun enforcement. It is my hope that working with the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. McCollum) and others in the Senate, that we could amend 
H.R. 4051 with ENFORCE to bring more gun enforcement to all 50 States.
  If we are going to make a commitment in this House to reduce gun 
violence in this country, we should have had the opportunity to work 
together so that all 50 States could make sure we are all on the same 
page. So I support this amendment, but I hope we can make it a better 
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that time on this 
debate be extended by 20 minutes, equally divided.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, I yield to 
the gentleman from Virginia to please explain what he is asking.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I request 20 additional minutes of debate, to 
be equally divided between the majority and the minority.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Speaker, we have a 
legislative schedule to keep today. I understand that we would not be 
able to do that if we yielded or agreed to it.
  Mr. Speaker, I regrettably must object. I do object.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hansen) Objection is heard.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New Mexico (Mrs. Wilson), one of the principal cosponsors of this bill.
  Mrs. WILSON. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank and commend the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. McCollum) for bringing forward this bill, and also 
the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Ehrlich) for his leadership on this 
  I have to admit that I did not initially hear about it from them. I 
heard about this issue and this project from my Community Crime 
Advisory Council in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was Ray Wilkinson, who 
volunteers with a group called Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, 
that initially brought this to my attention. He told Eileen Maddock, 
who is with the Metro Crimestoppers in Albuquerque, and we talked about 
it there in the community first.
  It has the support of my sheriffs, Joe Bowdich in Bernalillo County, 
and Pete Golden out in Torrance County, and the chief of police of the 
Albuquerque Police Department, Chief Galvin. So this is not about a 
Washington bill, it is about how we get States and D.A.s and the 
Federal government and the U.S. Attorneys to start working together to 
prosecute and give a hard time to armed crime.
  There is a little neighborhood in my district called the Trumbull La 
Mesa neighborhood. Charlene and Don Gould are the head of the Trumbull 
Neighborhood Association. That neighborhood has been troubled for a 
long time with drug dealers and real serious problems with folks who 
are moving in and out of that neighborhood and causing all kinds of 
  They got together the landlords and the cops, and they started taking 
back their neighborhood from the drug dealers. One of the problems that 
they have had is that they go down to the courts and watch these guys 
who have gotten arrested turned back into their neighborhood with a 
slap on their wrist when they have been doing serious drug trafficking 
offenses with weapons. It is time those people spend at least 5 years 
behind bars for trafficking drugs in our neighborhoods to our kids.
  We talk about mandatory minimums, here. I am one that believes in 
judicial flexibility, but I have to tell the Members, this idea that 
somebody who uses a gun to murder somebody, rape somebody, aggravated 
assault, serious drug trafficking, or robbery, and 5 years is too much?
  If one uses a gun in a crime in my neighborhood like that, I do not 
want to see that person back. It is time to stop the revolving door of 
justice in this country and put these people away in Federal prison or 
State prison, or any way we can.
  I want to commend the gentleman from Florida for his leadership. 
Ultimately, this is not so much about sentencing as it is about fear. 
We live in the freest country in the world, but if we are afraid to 
walk around our neighborhoods at night, then we are not really free. It 
is time to restore freedom to normal, everyday Americans so that they 
can let their kids play outside in their front yards.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Weiner), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. WEINER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
  Mr. Speaker, it is truly heartening to sit on this floor and watch my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle trip over themselves to 
embrace Project Exile and find a way to somehow do it without giving 
credit to the creators of the program. Project Exile, as we all know 
here, is a Clinton administration policy. It was put into place by a 
Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorney.
  There are good reasons why my friends are rushing to adopt Clinton's 
crime-fighting strategies. Simply put, they have been the most 
successful in history. Violent crime has dropped 20 percent between 
1992 and 1998. Since 1993, funding for State and local law enforcement 
has increased by nearly 300 percent, due in large part to the crime 
bill that so many of my Republican friends oppose.
  Twenty-two percent more criminals are incarcerated for State and 
Federal weapons charges than when the Clinton administration took 
office. The number of prosecutions has increased by more than 34 
percent under the Clinton administration. The bottom line is this 
chart. Since 1992, violent crimes with firearms have dropped 
precipitously under Bill Clinton and Janet Reno.
  But my friends, as they try to ride the Clinton coattails on crime, 
they have made some mistakes, some omissions. First, they have left out 
the other half of the crime-fighting plan, and that is reasonable gun 
control legislation, gun locks, an enhanced Brady law.
  I could not help noticing they also left out about 40 States. 
Surprise, Florida is not one of them. I am shocked that Texas is one of 
the States that is eligible. Apparently, if one's Governor is not named 
Bush, they really do not need to apply to this program this year.
  I just hope, Mr. Speaker, that when this Clinton Project Exile comes 
to Florida and comes to Texas, I hope Governor Jeb and Governor W. 
stand up and invite Janet Reno to the press conference, because she 
deserves the credit for the results.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Barr), a member of the committee.
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida 
for his leadership on this issue.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a very unusual program that we are talking about 
here today, Project Exile. It is a project that we have heard through 
testimony and through action that is supported by both ends of the gun 
control spectrum; by the grass roots organization, the National Rifle 
Association, on the one hand, and Handgun

[[Page H2031]]

Control on the other. Both organizations have come together in Richmond 
in support of Project Exile because, as the gentleman from Maryland 
stated, it works. It simply works.
  We had the Clinton administration last year and again this year 
testify before committees of this Congress, and far from not giving 
them credit, we are eager to give the Clinton administration credit for 
Project Exile as it has been instituted in Richmond, Virginia, which is 
simply a program using existing resources and existing laws to 
prosecute criminals who use firearms. It is not a program that clamored 
for new laws and massive new funding. Perhaps that is why those on the 
other side of the aisle do not like it.
  However, what we have also urged the Clinton administration to do is 
to learn from its success, to use this program, put politics aside, put 
the gun control agenda aside, and help the American people through 
replicating Project Exile in communities across America.
  In the absence of support from the Clinton administration, the 
chairman of this subcommittee and others are putting forward a 
commonsense approach to help communities across America and States 
across America support Project Exile as it has worked in Richmond. Let 
us make it work across this land by supporting this legislation.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
  Here we go again. If it is an election year, then it must be time to 
pass another mandatory minimum sentencing law. Today the Republican 
leadership has decided to put H.R. 4051 on suspension because they do 
not want a real debate on the gun control issue.
  What this bill would really do is placate the NRA's demand for a 
meaningless gun law. Nothing in this bill provides for a mandatory 
background check, gun locks, or closing the loophole in gun show laws. 
A minor could go to a gun show and buy a gun, get into a brawl, 
brandish the gun, and end up with mandatory minimum sentencing and even 
be tried as an adult at 14 years old.
  Instead, this bill would establish a grant program that provides $100 
million over a period of 5 years to those States that have enacted a 
mandatory 5-year minimum sentencing for firearm offenses. We know that 
mandatory minimums do not work. We are witnessing the abysmal failure 
of mandatory minimum drug sentences, and now the Republican leadership 
wants to extend that failure to the gun area.
  Studies conducted by the Rand Commission and the Judicial Center 
clearly show that mandatory minimums fail to prevent crime, distort the 
sentencing process, and discriminate against people of color and low-
level offenders. Even the conservative Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist 
has criticized Congress' reliance on mandatory minimum sentences.
  If the Republicans want to prevent senseless deaths they would 
support the McCarthy-Conyers bill, which incorporates the 
administration's $280 million gun enforcement initiative that would 
fund 600 new ATF agents, over 1,000 additional Federal, State, and 
local gun prosecutors, forensic ballistics testing and smart gun 
technology research & development.

                              {time}  1245

  Unfortunately, this is an election year. That means that crime will 
once again be politicized for cheap political gain. The Million Mom 
March will be here, and they will not be tricked or fooled by this 
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Weldon).
  Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding me the time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4051, The Safe Streets 
and Neighborhoods Act of 2000. This bill will authorize incentive 
grants to States which impose 5-year mandatory minimum sentences on 
convicted violent felons who possess firearms or on anyone who uses a 
firearm in the commission of a violent felony.
  This program has proven its worth by imposing swift and serious 
consequences on armed criminals and produced results demonstrating that 
prosecution is prevention. A recent poll has shown that only 2 percent 
of Americans would like to see more gun control legislation coming out 
of this Congress, whereas a vast majority would like to see rigorous 
prosecution of criminals who commit crimes with a weapon.
  The recent case of Joseph Palczynski is an excellent example, after 
multiple convictions for violent crimes, some with a weapon, he 
ultimately killed four people and held three people hostage for many 
weeks in Maryland. That man should have been behind bars. This 
legislation is needed. I recommend its strong support.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hansen) The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Scott) has 1 minute remaining, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
McCollum) has 4\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Arkansas, (Mr. Hutchinson), a member of the committee.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
the time, and I appreciate his work on this important bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support Project Exile, The Safe Streets 
and Neighborhoods Act. Let me first make a couple points that this is 
not a mandate upon the States. I read the bill, I was concerned about 
that. It is not a mandate. It is an incentive program that if the 
States want to utilize this $100 million, then they will have to comply 
with the mandatory minimums for crimes of drug trafficking or violent 
crime that have a gun.
  To my friends on this side of the aisle, I just heard the gentlewoman 
from California object about mandatory minimums, and I share their 
concerns that we should not extraordinarily expand mandatory minimums; 
I think that moves us in the wrong direction. If my colleagues believe 
there is a problem with the use of guns in this country, if they 
believe that is the case, then surely, a mandatory minimum of 5 years 
is appropriate, is appropriate to deal with the problems of violence 
and criminals using guns.
  I think it is a strong statement. It addresses a serious national 
issue and, therefore, I think it is appropriate, this one area for a 
mandatory minimum. I have seen how it works in Federal court wherever 
we have a marijuana patch in Arkansas in which a person uses a firearm 
to protect that marijuana patch, they have a mandatory minimum of 5 
  Will it work? I believe that that discourages the use of firearms, 
the illegal use of firearms, the criminal action with firearms. I 
believe that it is certainly important. It is appropriate for the 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) 
has 3 minutes remaining, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) has 1 
minute remaining.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Green).
  Mr. GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill. I 
thank my colleague for yielding me the 1 minute. Project Exile first 
started in Richmond, Virginia, and it has overwhelming success. In my 
home State of Texas, we have started the only Statewide version of this 
innovative crime-control program. Hopefully, that is why Texas is one 
of the States that was selected to participate.
  Last fall, Texas State officials launched Texas Exile, which has 
assigned eight new prosecutors to major Texas cities. Their sole 
purpose is to lock up criminals who use guns to commit crime. To date, 
the program is responsible for 197 arrests, 115 indictments, 10 
convictions, and 632 guns confiscated.
  The word on the street, it is on the street. Just last week, when 
Austin police arrested a career criminal with a gun, they asked him why 
he ran from the scene, his response was ``I heard about that new 
program that would get me 5 extra years in jail.''
  It is about time that the criminals, not citizens, are the one 
running scared. Thanks to this program, they are. And in Texas, 
criminals know that gun crime means more hard time in Texas.

[[Page H2032]]

  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from New York, (Mrs. Maloney).
  (Mrs. MALONEY of New York asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to protest the 
House leadership's continued refusal to enact reasonable gun safety 
  We are now one week from the first anniversary of the tragedy at 
Columbine. But instead of reasonable legislation that requires child-
safety locks on all guns, closes the gun show loophole, and bans large-
capacity clips the Republican leadership is putting forward a limited 
half-measure that will only help six states.
  Does the Republican leadership truly believe that only children in 
those states deserve to be protected from gun violence?
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation will do nothing for the victims of gun 
violence in my state. It will not help the thousands of New Yorkers who 
are victims of gun violence. It will do nothing to prevent criminals 
from buying guns at gun shows. It will do nothing to prevent another 
six year-old from bringing an unlocked gun to school.
  Mr. Speaker, before another child dies from senseless gun violence we 
must take action. I implore the leadership of the Congress to move 
forward with reasonable gun-safety legislation.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey).
  (Mrs. LOWEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, this is a sad, sad day for the American 
people. Because as the first anniversary of the Columbine massacre 
approaches, we in Congress have done nothing. We have done nothing to 
close the gun show loophole. We have done nothing to keep guns out of 
the hands of children and criminals. And we have done nothing to 
support our state and federal governments as they enforce existing gun 
safety laws designed to keep our streets and schools safe.
  And I'm sorry to say, that today's offering from our Republican 
leadership is more of the same--nothing. This bill, jammed down our 
throats with no opportunity for serious debate or amendment, will not 
fund 500 new ATF agents, it will not fund 1,000 federal, state, and 
local gun prosecutors, and it will not fund ballistics testing and 
smart gun research. The ENFORCE bill, which I have cosponsored and 
which we have not been allowed to debate today, will. And while this 
bill thankfully will not reverse existing gun safety or enforcement 
measures--it is merely a drop in the bucket compared to what the 
American people deserve from Congress.
  We have been waiting for nearly a year, as the Republican leadership 
has delayed and procrastinated in doing anything about the problem of 
gun violence in our society. And, at long last, this is what they offer 
the American people? They should be ashamed.
  Those of us who have been fighting this fight, who believe the 
American people deserve more than the smoke and mirrors they are 
getting from the other side of the aisle, will continue to work toward 
making real progress on reducing gun violence. I urge my colleagues to 
make this bill a point of departure, not a destination. I am voting for 
this bill but let's not stop until we have passed the real gun safety 
and enforcement measures that our country deserves.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, although there was no subcommittee mark and 
no committee mark, we have been denied an extension of time. Everybody 
knows this is a waste of money.
  Mr. Speaker, I have one speaker remaining within the time period. I 
yield that 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), a 
member of the committee.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott) for yielding me the time.
  This is difficult. Mr. Speaker, I wish we had more time to discuss 
this issue, primarily because I agree with my colleague, the gentleman 
from Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson), this is an issue that is tragically 
impacting Americans, guns in America.
  I say to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum), I would like to 
work with the gentleman, but the difficulty that we have with this 
legislation is that it should have gone through the committee process. 
It is good legislation, to the extent that it would have the ability of 
having the input of all of the Members to be able to design and craft 
legislation that would address the question of gun prevention, gun 
safety in this Nation, along with the enforcement of gun laws against 
those who would use them illegally.
  What we have in Project Exile is the opportunity to serve only a few 
States. Yes, I stand here from the State of Texas, but not the 44 other 
States. Tragically every single day, gun violence occurs.
  What do we do to the 9-year-old in my community that lost his life 
because he had a gun accidentally held in his hand? This bill does not 
answer those concerns and I would appreciate if we could work 
collaboratively together, Mr. Speaker.
  I would hope that we would pass gun safety legislation, gun 
prevention and gun laws.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to take a moment to discuss the abuse of the 
legislative process by certain members of the majority.
  The latest abuse of the legislative process is represented by H.R. 
4051. ``Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 
2000.'' The bill is sponsored by Representative McCullum.
  The Subcommittee on Crime held a hearing on April 6 concerning this 
legislation, but has taken no further action on this legislation. 
Indeed, the legislation was not even scheduled for an ordinary mark-up. 
The Republicans have placed this legislation for consideration on 
today's suspension calendar so that no one can debate the merits of the 
  In the past week, the Judiciary Republicans have regrettably abused 
the process in the same way on the Partial Abortion bill and the 
constitutional amendment on tax increases, scheduled for later this 
  This procedural gamesmanship is designed because Republicans fear a 
debate and vote on Democratic and Administration alternatives. They do 
not want too much discussion about their failure to allow debate about 
meaningful gun control legislation.
  H.R. 4051 is the latest in a series of efforts by opponents of common 
senses gun safety measures like those passed by the Senate last year to 
shift the focus away from resources like the legislation that would 
close the gun show loophole that is currently bottled up in the 
juvenile justice conference.
  Project Exile was established in 1997, in response to Richmond, 
Virginia's homicide rate. The goal was to reduce gun violence by 
changing the culture of violence by using a multi-dimensional strategy, 
which includes a law enforcement/prosecution effort as well as 
community outreach and education programs.
  An essential part of the project has been an innovative community 
outreach/education effort through various media to get the message to 
the criminals about this crackdown, and build a coalition directed at 
the problem. The program has been very successful, increasing citizen 
reports about guns and emerging the community to support police 
  Project Exile soon became a symbol of a successful enforcement effort 
that involved exclusive prosecution of gun enforcement. That has, 
unfortunately, come for at the expense of an emphasis on gun 
  Indeed, Project Exile's appeal as a symbol for gun enforcement has 
prompted state officials to develop their own versions at the state 
level, including in my state.
  Unfortunately, the ``Project Exile'' legislation would not allow 
Democrats to address the fact 44 states will not qualify for funds, 
that federal funds can be used for as trivial purposes as carpeting 
judges offices, and that the Republican proposal is altogether too 
barren and fails to close enforcement loopholes.
  The bill reflects the NRA's common approach to deceive the public 
into thinking that we should simply enforce the laws already enacted to 
make streets safer.
  Specifically, H.R. 4051 would (1) provide resources to states that 
ensure a mandatory minimum sentence of five years (without parole) for 
any person who uses or carries a firearm during a violent crime; (2) 
requires that the mandatory minimum sentence must be in addition to the 
punishment provided for the underlying crime; and (3) gives states the 
option to prosecute offenders in either state or federal court, so long 
as the states ensure that mandatory minimum sentence of five years is 
  The Republicans are pushing this legislation to the floor as a matter 
of pure politics. The arrival of the one-year anniversary of the 
Columbine Massacre on April 20 has basically given the Republicans the 
impetus to do something, however hollow regarding real common senses 
gun control it may be.
  H.R. 4051 imposes stiff 5-year mandatory minimum sentences in 
addition to the punishment for the underlying crime.
  This is especially objectionable to Democrats because in there is a 
strong perception that federalizing all crimes gun crimes in Richmond 
and in other cities has had a disproportionate effect on African 
Americans, because prosecuting them in federal court changed the 
composition of the federal juries and resulted in stiff 5-year 
mandatory minimum sentences.

[[Page H2033]]

  ``Texas Exile,'' modeled after the Virginia model, will be 
implemented in my state over the next two years. The goal of Texas 
Exile is the reduction of gun violence statewide by targeting criminals 
who use and carry weapons. This prosecution effort will be complemented 
by a public awareness campaign which markets the message to criminals 
that if they illegally possess or commit a crime with a gun, they will 
go to prison for a significant period of time.
  Law enforcement officials from my state say they have scheduled 
meetings with U.S. Attorneys, District Attorneys, Mayors, and Police 
Chiefs in several cities in Texas, including Houston, to discuss 
implementation to Texas Exile.
  As officials begin to gather statistics on the number of prosecutions 
relating to Texas Exile, I am concerned that not enough community 
outreach and education will be devoted to education about gun 
  Programs that empower citizens to keep guns away from their 
communities can work if they work in strong collaboration with local 
and federal officials.
  Finally, statistics show that the record on enforcement of existing 
gun laws in Texas is less than ideal.
  In Texas, many cases have not been prosecuted despite Governor Bush's 
efforts to show the effect of solid enforcement of existing gun laws in 
  Data indicates that between January 1, 1996 and August 31, 1999, 2658 
applications for concealed carry licenses were denied. As many as 771 
of these denials were because the applicant was a convicted felon 
(including applicants from people who were convicted of sexual assault 
of a child, homicide, attempted murder, indecency with a child, and 
aggravated assault with a weapon).
  Because they as already taken the prerequisite safety course, they 
had broken state law by possessing a gun. As was made clear last week 
during the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee, the 
Texas government officials have not yet responded as to why any of 
these 771 people had not been prosecuted since 1996.
  Without a coordinated approach that includes community outreach and 
education regarding gun prevention efforts, we will not obtain the 
results we seek in reducing gun violence in America.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of the time.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank everybody for this debate today. I 
realize there are some differences about what we should be doing today 
or not be doing today, but I have heard very little real criticism of 
the substance of this legislation but rather there are concerns that 
there are other things that could help in the effort of gun violence. I 
think all of us would agree there are other things. Certainly more 
funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms would be 
helpful, and I would support an appropriate level of increase in that.
  We have already talked about the need for trigger locks and for other 
gun safety measures which are in other pieces of legislation that are 
pending right now, but today we have a chance to pass a bill, a bill 
that will provide incentive grants to the States to do something that 
we know is proven and effective to stop gun violence.
  The real heartache, as I said earlier, regarding so much violence 
with guns involves avoidable tragedies, avoidable in the sense that 
many gun criminals are back on the streets before they should be and 
they are committing additional violent crimes.
  This bill today provides $100 million in grants to the States that 
are willing to pass laws that assure that those who carry or use guns 
in violent crimes have to serve at least a minimum mandatory 5-year 
sentence without parole, in addition to any underlying sentence, or 
that they must agree in some manner to prosecute those felons that are 
back out on the streets who carry a gun or possess a gun, whether they 
are committing a crime or not. I think that that is a very positive 
  We have seen the results in Richmond and elsewhere on Project Exile 
which is what this is today. We should pass these incentive grants to 
encourage States to do that and, no, all States do not qualify, only 
six do, but that is the whole idea.
  When we did Truth in Sentencing, we went from 5 to 27 States that had 
those laws that now require those who commit violent crimes to serve at 
least 85 percent of their sentences. If we pass this incentive grant 
program today, we should go from at least the 6 States who qualify to 
the 27 and probably a whole lot more when this bill is law that have a 
provision that says that if one commits a crime carrying a gun or using 
a gun they are going to have to serve a minimum mandatory sentence of 
at least 5 years.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the motion to 
instruct the conferees on the Juvenile Justice bill.
  These laws would help bring an end to the unnecessary deaths 
occurring among our children; unfortunately, we have seen too many 
massacres, too much heartbreak and too many tragedies, sometimes, even 
at the hands of our children.
  We promised the American people common sense gun control legislation. 
We have not delivered on that promise. In fact, we have gone in the 
other direction--engaging in a war of words only. Two weeks ago, the 
Congress had an opportunity to act responsibly and at a minimum insist 
that the conferees to the juvenile justice bill meet immediately. Yet 
the motion was pulled from the calendar.
  In my district, in Northern California, the Oakland City Council has 
taken a strong stance on gun control. They are putting human lives 
first by prohibiting the sale of compact hand guns, penalizing firearms 
``straw sales,'' and prohibiting people under the age of 18 from 
entering establishments that display firearms. Yet here in Congress we 
won't, even take the minimum steps, such as child safety trigger locks, 
to ensure the safety of our children.
  We can no longer afford to play partisan politics while so many 
children's lives remain at stake. The Juvenile Justice Conferees must 
meet immediately. Congress must pass common sense gun control 
legislation and deliver on its promise.
  Ms. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, today we are taking a positive step toward 
effectively addressing gun violence. H.R. 4051, fashioned after the 
successful enforcement program in Richmond, VA, will send the message 
to criminals that an illegal gun will get you an automatic 5 year 
sentence without parole.
  Under this bill, States like Florida that have similar firearms laws 
would qualify for funding under this legislation. The grants can be 
used to strengthen all aspects of the State's criminal and juvenile 
justice systems.
  This is a commonsense approach to curbing gun violence. We are not 
just throwing money at new federal agents, we are addressing this issue 
at the State and local level--where it counts. Giving those States with 
tough firearms laws the assistance to aggressively enforce them, and 
helping other States adopt similar laws so that eventually, every 
criminal will know that wherever he travels within the U.S., if he has 
an illegal firearm--he is exiled to prison.
  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill.
  Gun violence is a growing concern of the public. We have watched with 
horror as gun related incidents have taken place around the country. 
With multiple shooting at our schools, community centers, in the 
workplace, and in every part of the country, we have tragically seen 
innocent victims injured and killed from gunfire. While some of these 
have been isolated incidents with a variety of circumstances, it is 
wake up call that more must be done to stem gun violence and deter 
those who would freely carry weapons and use them to commit acts of 
  In response, Project Exile has established itself as an excellent 
initiative to address this problem, having originated in Virginia and 
now being replicated around the country, and specifically in my state 
of Texas.
  Project Exile, establishes five year minimum mandatory sentences for 
carrying or using a gun during the commission of a crime. It also 
establishes greater coordination between state and federal prosecutors, 
so that prosecutors can more readily access the heavier sentences 
available under the federal sentencing guidelines. As a consequence, 
Project Exile works because it brings together all of law enforcement--
local, state and federal law--to focus on the illegal use of guns along 
with stiff sentencing. As someone who spent over 26\1/2\ years in law 
enforcement, I can tell you that the threat from gun violence requires 
this kind of coordinated approach from law enforcement and the 
  Since the Texas Exile program was initiated at the beginning of this 
year, we have already seen positive results from this approach.
  The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act which we are considering 
today, provides an important incentive to other states to replicate 
Project Exile for their state residents. By providing $100 million 
dollars in incentive grants to those states implementing Project Exile 
through this bill, we establish a national initiative to aggressively 
prosecute and sentence gun offenders.
  In conclusion, with passage of this bill I am convinced that we put 
criminals around the nation on notice that if they use a gun during the 
commission of a crime they will face extremely aggressive prosecution 
and lengthy sentences without parole upon conviction. In this way we 
can reduce violent crime not only in Virginia and Texas, but around the 

[[Page H2034]]

  I therefore support this bill, and ask my colleagues to vote for its 
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my serious concerns 
with H.R. 4051, Project Exile, the Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act.
  Project Exile is a worthwhile program that provides collaboration 
between federal, state and local law enforcement, along with community 
involvement. Too bad H.R. 4051 only seeks to link itself to Project 
Exile in name and does not take this lesson to heart. H.R. 4051, 
despite its stated intentions, will not do enough to keep our streets 
safe and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children.
  In 1998 Congress appropriated $1.5 million to provide Philadelphia 
prosecutors with funding to help combat gun violence. However, H.R. 
4051 provides only $10 million for all of the States eligible for 
grants under this program. Clearly, this level of funding is 
insufficient to address the monumental problem of gun violence in our 
  Now, I agree with the supporters of this legislation in one key 
respect, the U.S. Congress must provide enhanced resources to enforce 
existing gun control laws.
  That is why I have joined with Ranking Member Conyers, Congresswoman 
Carolyn McCarthy and a number of my colleagues in supporting H.R. 4066, 
the Act for the Effective National Firearms Objectives for Responsible 
Common-sense Enforcement of 2000 or ENFORCE Act.
  H.R. 4066, unlike H.R. 4051, provides real resources to assist law 
enforcement officials in the apprehension and prosecution of those who 
violate our gun control laws.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4066 authorizes funding for 500 new Alcohol, 
Tobacco and Firearms agents and inspectors, as well as over 1,000 
Federal, state and local gun prosecutors. This legislation also 
improves gun tracing and ballistics testing systems, funds smart gun 
technologies and closes the dangerous loopholes that allow criminals 
and children to obtain guns by hindering the enforcement of gun control 
  H.R. 4066 would go a long way toward apprehending and prosecuting 
criminals who violate gun control laws. Too bad H.R. 4051 was brought 
directly to the floor as a suspension without any opportunity for 
Democrats to offer amendments. Too bad my colleagues across the aisle 
are only interested in paying lip service to the enforcement of 
existing gun control laws, because if they were serious, they would 
bring up the ENFORCE Act under suspension or allow it as an amendment.
  Mr. Speaker, I find it hard to believe that despite the overwhelming 
desire by the American people for reasonable and common sense 
limitations on access to guns, this Congress has still not passed and 
sent to the President the Senate version of the Juvenile Justice bill.
  The parents of America are concerned. And, given the tragedies that 
have occurred across this nation, they have a right to be. They are 
concerned about the proliferation of guns, of kids gaining access to 
guns without trigger locks, of guns being bought and sold at gun shows 
and flea markets without adequate background checks, and of the ability 
to buy guns anonymously over the Internet.
  They are concerned, Mr. Speaker, because current U.S. law is 
inadequate to prevent guns from easily falling into the wrong hands. 
They are concerned and want action by this Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, despite my very serious concerns with H.R. 4051, I plan 
to vote in favor of this legislation for two reasons. One, it does 
provide some additional resources for the fight against gun violence. 
Two, I have high hopes that the Senate will do the right thing and make 
this into a better piece of legislation that will make our streets and 
neighborhoods safer.
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I commend you for bringing H.R. 
4051 the ``Project Exile; Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act'' to the 
House Floor for a vote. Project Exile is an extremely successful 
program that drastically reduces gun violence, and needs to be expanded 
throughout the United States.
  This project, run by the U.S. Attorney's office, is credited with 
substantially reducing violent crime in Richmond, Virginia. Under 
``Exile,'' all felons, without exception, who illegally possess 
firearms are prosecuted and sentenced to stiff, federal mandatory 
prison terms. The program publicly and visibly advertises the new 
sentencing procedure, to further deter the illegal possession of 
firearms, and emphasizes joint, coordinated prosecution involving 
federal, state, and local police and prosecutors.
  The program proves that when political debates about gun control take 
a back seat to coordinated, consistent and aggressive enforcement of 
existing laws, violent crime is dramatically reduced and lives saved. 
``Project Exile'' sends a clear message to criminals, that having an 
illegal firearm will earn a swift and tough sentence in federal prison. 
Under this plan, the efforts of prosecutors, backed by a community 
advertising plan, has made it common knowledge on the streets of 
Richmond that felons caught with firearms will be swiftly ``exiled'' to 
federal prison for a minimum of five years. We know the vast majority 
of gun violence is committed by individuals with prior felonies. If we 
can keep these felons from carrying firearms, we can dramatically 
reduce gun violence.
  In return for taking these simple steps, the City of Richmond has 
achieved a significant drop in violent crime. Richmond's homicide rate 
alone has been cut over 33% by the program, in the past two years. In 
the process, prosecutors have achieved a 90% conviction rate on 509 
  This is a program that should be extended by the Department of 
Justice to other cities across America. The Department of Justice's 
failure to direct ``Exile'' projects in other major U.S. cities such as 
Atlanta, is unacceptable. It is another example of the Department's 
refusal to enforce existing gun laws. For example, in 1998, the 
Department prosecuted only one felon who tried to purchase a firearm 
and was caught by the instant check system. In the same year, there 
were 6,000 students caught with guns in school, but only eight 
prosecutors. From 1992 to 1998, the number of federal prosecutions for 
criminal use of guns has declined almost fifty percent while funding to 
the Department of Justice and Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and 
Firearms has almost doubled.
  Programs such as ``Project Exile'' are proven to be effective in the 
fight against crime. It is time for all cities to implement such a 
program and get tough with criminals. H.R. 4051 will allow this to 
happen. I am proud to be a supporter of the ``Project Exile'' program 
and a cosponsor of this bill. I urge you to support both.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I will support this bill, but I 
am disappointed with the way it is being brought to the floor and with 
the bill itself.
  I am disappointed that the Republican leadership has brought the bill 
before the House under a procedure that prohibits any amendments and 
allows for only a minimal time for discussion.
  I also am disappointed with the way the bill has been drafted. Parts 
of it are too narrow, so that only a few states would qualify for the 
proposed law-enforcement assistance. Other parts are too broad, so that 
the funds that would be provided to the states would not necessarily be 
used for better enforcement of gun laws. Instead, it could go for 
almost anything related to law enforcement or corrections.
  I think the House can and should do better than this. We can and 
should take time to fully discuss this bill and to consider amendments 
that could strengthen it so that it would come closer to living up to 
its title of the ``Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhood Act 
of 2000.''
  I strongly support the kind of increased enforcement that the bill's 
title tries to suggest would be the result of enacting this measure. In 
Colorado our United States Attorney, Tom Strickland, is working in 
cooperation with state and local law-enforcement officials, for that 
kind of increased enforcement.
  I want to do all I can to help that important initiative--so, while 
this bill is not everything that I think it could and should be, I will 
support it. The bill would at least take a small step toward better 
enforcement in Colorado and the five other states that now meet the 
bill's criteria for receiving assistance, and I urge its approval.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I am supporting the expansion of a program 
that has been extremely successful in my hometown of Richmond, VA--
Project Exile. I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of this 
legislation, Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhood Act of 
2000 (H.R. 4051), introduced by Congressman Bill McCollum (R-FL).
  Crime is a serious problem which effects every member of society, yet 
I do not feel that gun control is the solution. I let my record speak 
best of my views of the Second Amendment. I have never voted to ban 
guns because I believe they infringe upon the rights of responsible 
citizens who own guns or would like to own them in the future. We do 
not need more gun control laws; we need more enforcement of the laws we 
already have. That is exactly what Project Exile does.
  Until Project Exile, people in Richmond were afraid to leave their 
homes at night--parts of Richmond had been taken over by gun toting 
criminals. Richmond had one of the highest murder rates in the world. 
Then in 1997, Project Exile started. The turn around has been 
remarkable. In three short years, homicides have dropped 46 percent. 
Crimes involving guns have dropped a remarkable 65 percent. Aggravated 
assaults fell 39 percent. Violent crimes have fallen 35 percent.
  The citizens of Richmond are taking back our city--they did this by 
letting the criminals know that if they use a gun illegally, they are

[[Page H2035]]

going to prison. It is for this reason that I support expanding this 
program--a program that stops crime--to the rest of the country. 
Project Exile saves lives and protects families and their children from 
the destructive and deadly acts of violent criminals. If you doubt me, 
then I invite you to drive down to Richmond and talk to our police, 
business owners, religious leaders and the hard working citizens of 
Richmond. You will quickly see the positive impact Project Exile has 
had on Richmond.
  Law enforcement and stronger penalties, including prison without the 
possibility of parole, remain the most powerful weapons of the Congress 
in fighting crime. In Richmond, Project Exile has proven that effective 
law enforcement along with aggressive prosecution reduces violence and 
crime. Project Exile saves lives and protects families and their 
children from the destructive and deadly acts of violent criminals.
  As an original cosponsor of this legislation, I look forward to the 
day that all people in this country will be protected by this effective 
program that saves lives. I ask my colleagues to vote yes on this 
important legislation.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4051 is another smoke screen for the 
Republicans and the NRA to hide behind. While Republicans are wasting 
time with this ``do nothing'' gun bill, 12 children will die today from 
gun violence. That's 12 children gone forever.
  This is not a game, Mr. Speaker, this is about children's lives.
  Next week we will commemorate the one year anniversary of Columbine. 
As Representative McCullom admitted, our children need mandatory safety 
locks; they need powerful ammunition clips to be banned; they need 
effective background checks; and, they need the gun show loopholes 
  Additionally, what is truly needed is for the NRA to loosen its grip 
on the Republican leadership. Our children need real gun safety 
legislation and they need it now.
  Guns kill, It's that simple.
  This bill does nothing more than say we should have enforcement of 
gun laws. What a joke.
  I urge my Republican colleagues to stop standing up for the NRA and, 
instead, stand up for children.
  Mr. WATTS of Oklahoma. Mr. Speaker, for months we have engaged in a 
national debate or rhetoric on the issue of gun violence. Both sides of 
the political spectrum have had their opinion on how to end gun 
violence in our country. Today, this body will consider common sense 
legislation that will be the first step to ending gun violence. Today, 
this Congress sends a simple and convincing message to criminals around 
the country. If you are a convicted felon and are in the possession of 
a firearm you will go to prison for at last 5 years. If you possess a 
firearm on school property in a threatening manner you will go to 
prison for at least 5 years. If you possess a firearm and illegal drugs 
such as heroin or cocaine you will go to prison for at least 5 years.
  My colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree that tougher 
enforcement of gun laws is needed. We all have a common goal. Today we 
make our goal a reality. Today, we give our state and local governments 
the means to achieve this desired goal. We have the opportunity to 
provide $100 million dollars in grants to our states to prosecute 
violators of gun laws. This money will be used to hire and train 
judges, hire criminal prosecutors, and pay for new prisons to hold 
those convicted of violating our gun laws. Today we will start making 
our gun laws work, we will start enforcing them across the country.
  I urge all of my colleagues to stand together today and send a 
message to all criminals across America. I urge you to stand tall and 
say we will no longer stand for gun violence in our country. We need to 
stop infringing on the Constitution, and actually enforce the laws that 
are on the books. I urge you to stand with me and vote for H.R. 4051, 
``Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 2000.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 4051.
  The question was taken.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 358, 
nays 60, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 115]


     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (VA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Green (TX)
     Green (WI)
     Hall (OH)
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hill (IN)
     Hill (MT)
     Johnson (CT)
     Jones (NC)
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     McCarthy (NY)
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Thompson (CA)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)


     Brady (PA)
     Davis (IL)
     Frank (MA)
     Hastings (FL)
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Lewis (GA)
     McCarthy (MO)
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Thompson (MS)
     Watt (NC)

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Johnson, Sam

[[Page H2036]]

                              {time}  1316

of Texas changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. GUTIERREZ and Mr. BECERRA changed their vote from ``nay'' to 
  So (two-thirds having voted in favor thereof) the rules were 
suspended and the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. EWING. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 115, had I been present, I 
would have voted ``yes.''
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, during rollcall No. 115 I was unavoidably 
detained, while attending the funeral of Jack Brady, former Chief of 
Staff of the House International Relations Committee, and missed the 
vote. If I had been present I would have voted ``aye.''