22 January 1999
Source: http://library.whitehouse.gov/PressReleases-plain.cgi

January 22, 1999 REMARKS BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER; DR. JOSHUA LEDERBERG, NOBEL LAUREATE, AND JAMIE GORELICK, OF FANNIE MAE FOUNDATION, THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release January 22, 1999 REMARKS BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER; DR. JOSHUA LEDERBERG, NOBEL LAUREATE, AND JAMIE GORELICK, OF FANNIE MAE FOUNDATION, ON KEEPING AMERICA SECURE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY National Academy of Sciences Washington. D.C. MR. BERGER: Good morning to all of you and welcome. Let me thank you all for coming. Let me acknowledge in particular Dr. Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences; Dr. William Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering; and Dr. Kenneth Shine, President of the National Academy of Medicine. We are here to discuss emerging threats to America's security as we reach a new century. How do we respond to the threat of terrorists around the world, turning from bullets and bombs to even more insidious and potent weapons? What if they and the rogue states that sponsor them try to attack the critical computer systems that drive our society? What if they seek to use chemical, biological, even nuclear weapons? The United States must deal with these emerging threats now, so that the instruments of prevention develop at least as rapidly as the instruments of disruption. Today we are confronting these challenges with an extraordinary team of dedicated professionals across our government -- with law enforcement efforts headed by Attorney General Reno and FBI Director Freeh; with strong diplomacy backed by a strong defense under Secretary of State Albright and Secretary of Defense Cohen; with better intelligence under the direction of Director Tenet; and determined efforts to contain weapons proliferation under Energy Secretary Richardson; with emergency management under FEMA Director Witt; private industry cooperation directed by Secretary Daley; and aviation security under Transportation Secretary Slater; and with public health and management and medical research guided by Health and Human Services Secretary Shalala -- who probably did not think she was going to be part of the national security team when she became Secretary of HHS. And since last spring, with the efforts of the President's National Coordinator for Security Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism, Richard Clarke, who is working to make all these pieces fit together in a united effort. And most of all, we have a President who, from the outset of his administration, has put the task of meeting new security threats at the very forefront of our national security strategy -- a President who has driven all of us to seek out the best minds and ask the important questions as we prepare for the future. Today the President will announce new initiatives to combat these emerging threats. But before the President addresses us, I want to present two important representatives of the private sector. The involvement of the private sector in these efforts, from top researchers at our universities to industry leaders, together with the participation of state and local governments, is absolutely critical if we are to succeed. We're pleased to be joined today by Jamie Gorelick, who will discuss the danger that our critical infrastructures are becoming vulnerable to computer and other forms of attack, the cyber threat. She is Vice Chair of Fannie Mae, the nation's largest funder for home mortgages. She is also the former co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. And we in the administration know her well from her extraordinarily able tenure as Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel of the Department of Defense. But first we will hear from Dr. Joshua Lederberg, a geneticist and President Emeritus of the Rockefeller University in New York. Dr. Lederberg won the Nobel Prize in Medicine at age 33 -- which, I suppose, not only makes me a failure -- (laughter) -- but only gives my children a few years. (Laughter.) At least the President can say that he was governor by the time he was 33. (Laughter and applause.) Dr. Lederberg has been a frequent advisor to our government on the threat of biological weapons, and he was a key participant in a roundtable on this issue that the President convened last spring. Dr. Lederberg. (Applause.) DR. LEDERBERG: Mr. President, distinguished officers of government, scientific colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. For over half a century I've had the joy and excitement of research on the microbial world, its evolution, the conspiracies it harbors, and its ambiguous competition with the human species. There have been many occasions in this very hall to share news of profound scientific discoveries which not only broaden our conceptual understanding of ourselves and our biological extended family in the living world, but gave us ever sharper tools to deal with pestilence and decay. But throughout that time, I've been imbued with the fear that, just as happened with physics and chemistry, that great advances in medicine would be turned into engines of war. That fear has been compounded by the deterioration of civil order that might otherwise restrain the use of weapons of mass destruction, and by the ease with which nature already provides the germs of disease that might be used as weapons. In fact, the very triumph of the democratic world's military technology with guided missiles and dominance of the battlefield drives the agents of disorder to ever more subversive means of attack and inspires new scales of terrorism, grand and small. We have made great progress, diplomatically and in international law, with the prohibitions against biological and chemical weapons, though there is some way to go in their enforcement. However, our civilian populations have, until now, been almost undefended against bioterrorism, in an era where political disorder weakens the system of deterrence that had been our main shield throughout the Cold War. The reconstruction of bio-defenses must be regarded as a branch of public health and it is equally necessary to deal with cyclic renewals of historic national plagues as much as with those borne of malice. So it has been extremely gratifying that during the past months and year these concerns, voiced so persuasively by many of my colleagues here at the Academy and the Institute of Medicine, have reached the attention of the highest levels of government, and action plans have been embodied in numerous executive orders and in the budgetary proposals that the President will discuss this morning. Thank you, and here's Jamie Gorelick. (Applause.) MS. GORELICK: Mr. President, distinguished guests. Ten years ago I would not have put cyber terrorism at the top of the threats to our national security. But the landscape has changed. Given how well-armed we are, as Josh said, as a nation, but how reliant we are on computers in our everyday business and private lives, our nation's cyber systems become a tremendous target. Today a small group of technically sophisticated people with nothing more than off-the-shelf computer equipment can get into, can disrupt the computers and the Internet connections on which our finance, telecommunications, power, water systems, emergency service systems all depend. Is this speculation? No, it is not. In exercise eligible receiver, our Defense Department conducted a war game using this technique and came to just that conclusion. And terrorists, organized crime, drug cartels, as well as nation states are either creating cybertech capabilities or are talking about using them. I believe that cyberspace is the next battlefield for this nation. Now, cyber terrorism may be a new issue to many Americans, but it's not new to me and it's not new to this administration. In 1995, our Attorney General asked me to chair a critical infrastructure working group that brought together Justice and Defense and the intelligence community to begin to address what we saw as a new and emerging threat. The President then appointed a commission on critical infrastructure protection whose advisory board I co-chaired. In response to his commission's work, last year the President signed two directives -- to strengthen U.S. readiness to meet unconventional threats to our nation, and to protect our critical infrastructures. He appointed a national coordinator, Dick Clarke, to review and handle and coordinate security infrastructure protection and counterterrorism, and a national plan is under development to ensure that America can defend itself in cyberspace. Now, as part of that national plan I hope that we can see action in a number of areas, three of which I see as particularly pressing. The first, both the public and private sectors need to be aware of the problem and the security measures that can be taken to address it. I'd like to see the private sector work with the federal government to make sure that we have enough people who are trained in computer security, which we do not now have. Second, we need to encourage ways for the government and the private sector to share information on cyber intrusions and on new techniques for preventing those intrusions, and responding to them. A government-chartered, privately-run center could do this, and also help develop standards for use in both industry and government. This will complement the government's obligation to ensure that we have the ability to respond as a nation to any attack. Third, the companies that manage and assess risk for private sector clients, like insurance companies and accounting firms, need to focus on the risk that American businesses face from cyber attacks. I'd like to see the widespread use of cyber security best practices and standards as a tool of good business management for every business. I want to thank the President for his appreciation of the threat and his commitment of resources to address it. And I will urge the business community to respond in kind. This President has always been sensitive to the promise of the Information Age, what it can mean to students, what it can mean to families, to a world drawn closer in many ways by the speed of communication. At the same time, he knows that that promise comes with a price, and the price is vigilance, because so much is at stake. We're grateful for his leadership both in promoting the cyber world and in protecting it. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and my personal privilege to present to you the President of the United States. (Applause.) END
January 22, 1999 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON KEEPING AMERICA SECURE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY 10:30 A.M. EST THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release January 22, 1999 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON KEEPING AMERICA SECURE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY National Academy of Sciences Washington, D.C. 10:30 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Jamie, Dr. Lederberg, I'd like to thank you for your service in this and so many other ways. I would like to thank Sandy Berger for many things, including indulging my nagging on this subject for the better part of six years now. I was so relieved that Dr. Lederberg not very long ago -- well, last year -- brought a distinguished panel of experts together to discuss this bioterrorism threat, because I then had experts to cite on my concern and nobody thought I was just reading too many novels late at night. (Laughter.) Madame Attorney General, Secretary Shalala, Secretary Richardson, Director Witt, Deputy Secretary Hamre, Commandant of the Coast Guard and our other military leaders who are here, Mr. Clarke, ladies and gentlemen. I'm delighted to be here to discuss this subject. With some trepidation, Sandy Berger noted that Dr. Lederberg won a Nobel Prize at 33, and I was governor -- you can infer from that that I was not very good at chemistry and biology. (Laughter.) But any democracy is imbued with the responsibility of ordinary citizens who do not have extraordinary expertise to meet the challenges of each new age. And that is what we are all trying to do. Our country has always met the challenges of those who would do us harm. At the heart of our national defense I have always believed is our attempt to live by our values -- democracy, freedom, equal opportunity. We are working hard to fulfill these values at home. And we are working with nations around the world to advance them, to build a new era of interdependence where nations work together -- not simply for peace and security, but also for better schools and health care, broader prosperity, a cleaner environment and a greater involvement by citizens everywhere in shaping their own future. In the struggle to defend our people and values and to advance them wherever possible, we confront threats both old and new -- open borders and revolutions in technology have spread the message and the gifts of freedom but have also given new opportunities to freedom's enemies. Scientific advances have opened the possibility of longer, better lives. They have also given the enemies of freedom new opportunities. Last August, at Andrews Air Force Base, I grieved with the families of the brave Americans who lost their lives at our embassy in Kenya. They were in Africa to promote the values America shares with friends of freedom everywhere -- and for that they were murdered by terrorists. So, too, were men and women in Oklahoma City, at the World Trade Center, Khobar Towers, on Pan Am 103. The United States has mounted an aggressive response to terrorism -- tightening security for our diplomats, our troops, our air travelers, improving our ability to track terrorist activity, enhancing cooperation with other countries, strengthening sanctions on nations that support terrorists. Since 1993, we have tripled funding for FBI anti-terrorist efforts. Our agents and prosecutors, with excellent support from our intelligence agencies, have done extraordinary work in tracking down perpetrators of terrorist acts and bringing them to justice. And as our air strikes against Afghanistan -- or against the terrorist camps in Afghanistan -- last summer showed, we are prepared to use military force against terrorists who harm our citizens. But all of you know the fight against terrorism is far from over. And now, terrorists seek new tools of destruction. Last May, at the Naval Academy commencement, I said terrorist and outlaw states are extending the world's fields of battle, from physical space to cyberspace, from our earth's vast bodies of water to the complex workings of our own human bodies. The enemies of peace realize they cannot defeat us with traditional military means. So they are working on two new forms of assault, which you've heard about today: cyber attacks on our critical computer systems, and attacks with weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological, potentially even nuclear weapons. We must be ready -- ready if our adversaries try to use computers to disable power grids, banking, communications and transportation networks, police, fire and health services -- or military assets. More and more, these critical systems are driven by, and linked together with, computers, making them more vulnerable to disruption. Last spring, we saw the enormous impact of a single failed electronic link, when a satellite malfunctioned -- disabled pagers, ATMs, credit card systems and television networks all around the world. And we already are seeing the first wave of deliberate cyber attacks -- hackers break into government and business computers, stealing and destroying information, raiding bank accounts, running up credit card charges, extorting money by threats to unleash computer viruses. The potential for harm is clear. Earlier this month, an ice storm in this area crippled power systems, plunging whole communities into darkness and disrupting daily lives. We have to be ready for adversaries to launch attacks that could paralyze utilities and services across entire regions. We must be ready if adversaries seek to attack with weapons of mass destruction, as well. Armed with these weapons, which can be compact and inexpensive, a small band of terrorists could inflict tremendous harm. Four years ago, though, the world received a wake-up call when a group unleashed a deadly chemical weapon, nerve gas, in the Tokyo subway. We have to be ready for the possibility that such a group will obtain biological weapons. We have to be ready to detect and address a biological attack promptly, before the disease spreads. If we prepare to defend against these emerging threats we will show terrorists that assaults on America will accomplish nothing but their own downfall. Let me say first what we have done so far to meet this challenge. We've been working to create and strengthen the agreement to keep nations from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, because this can help keep these weapons away from terrorists, as well. We're working to ensure the effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention; to obtain an accord that will strengthen compliance with the biological weapons convention; to end production of nuclear weapons material. We must ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to end nuclear tests once and for all. As I proposed Tuesday in the State of the Union Address, we should substantially increase our efforts to help Russia and other former Soviet nations prevent weapons material and knowledge from falling into the hands of terrorists and outlaw states. In no small measure we should do this by continuing to expand our cooperative work with the thousands of Russian scientists who can be used to advance the causes of world peace and health and well-being, but who if they are not paid, remain a fertile field for the designs of terrorists. But we cannot rely solely on our efforts to keep weapons from spreading. We have to be ready to act if they do spread. Last year, I obtained from Congress a 39 percent budget increase for chemical and biological weapons preparedness. This is helping to accelerate our ongoing effort to train and equip fire, police and public health personnel all across our country to deal with chemical and biological emergencies. It is helping us to ready armed forces and National Guard units in every region to meet this challenge; and to improve our capacity to detect an outbreak of disease and save lives; to create the first ever civilian stockpile of medicines to treat people exposed to biological and chemical hazards; to increase research and development on new medicines and vaccines to deal with new threats. Our commitment to give local communities the necessary tools already goes beyond paper and plans. For example, parked just outside this building is a newly designed truck we have provided to the Arlington, Virginia, Fire Department. It can rapidly assist and prevent harm to people exposed to chemical and biological dangers. But our commitment on the cyber front has been strong, as well. We've created special offices within the FBI and the Commerce Department to protect critical systems against cyber attack. We're building partnerships with the private sector to find and reduce vulnerabilities; to improve warning systems; to rapidly recover if attacks occur. We have an outstanding public servant in Richard Clarke, who is coordinating all these efforts across our government. Today, I want to announce the new initiatives we will take, to take us to the next level in preparing for these emerging threats. In my budget, I will ask Congress for $10 billion to address terrorism and terrorist-emerging tools. This will include nearly $1.4 billion to protect citizens against chemical and biological terror -- more than double what we spent on such programs only two years ago. We will speed and broaden our efforts, creating new local emergency medical teams, employing in the field portable detection units the size of a shoe box to rapidly identify hazards; tying regional laboratories together for prompt analysis of biological threats. We will greatly accelerate research and development, centered in the Department of Health and Human Services, for new vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tools. I should say here that I know everybody in this crowd understands this, but everyone in America must understand this: the government has got to fund this. There is no market for the kinds of things we need to develop; and if we are successful, there never will be a market for them. But we have got to do our best to develop them. These cutting-edge efforts will address not only the threat of weapons of mass destruction, but also the equally serious danger of emerging infectious diseases. So we will benefit even if we are successful in avoiding these attacks. The budget proposal will also include $1.46 billion to protect critical systems from cyber and other attacks. That's 40 percent more than we were spending two years ago. Among other things, it will help to fund four new initiatives. First, an intensive research effort to detect intruders trying to break into critical computer systems. Second, crime -- excuse me -- detection networks, first for our Defense Department, and later for other key agencies so when one critical computer system is invaded, others will be alerted instantly. And we will urge the private sector to create similar structures. Third, the creation of information centers in the private sector so that our industries can work together and with government to address cyber threats. Finally, we'll ask for funding to bolster the government's ranks of highly skilled computer experts -- people capable of preventing and responding to computer crises. To implement this proposal, the Cyber Corps program, we will encourage federal agencies to train and retrain computer specialists, as well as recruiting gifted young people out of college. In all our battles, we will be aggressive. At the same time I want you to know that we will remain committed to uphold privacy rights and other constitutional protections, as well as the proprietary rights of American businesses. It is essential that we do not undermine liberty in the name of liberty. We can prevail over terrorism by drawing on the very best in our free society -- the skill and courage of our troops, the genius of our scientists and engineers, the strength of our factory workers, the determination and talents of our public servants, the vision of leaders in every vital sector. I have tried as hard as I can to create the right frame of mind in America for dealing with this. For too long the problem has been that not enough has been done to recognize the threat and deal with it. And we in government, frankly, weren't as well organized as we should have been for too long. I do not want the pendulum to swing the other way now, and for people to believe that every incident they read about in a novel or every incident they see in a thrilling movie is about to happen to them within the next 24 hours. What we are seeing here, as any military person in the audience can tell you, is nothing more than a repetition of weapons systems that goes back to the beginning of time. An offensive weapons system is developed, and it takes time to develop the defense. And then another offensive weapon is developed that overcomes that defense, and then another defense is built up -- as surely as castles and moats held off people with spears and bows and arrows and riding horses, and the catapult was developed to overcome the castle and the moat. But because of the speed with which change is occurring in our society -- in computing technology, and particularly in the biological sciences -- we have got to do everything we can to make sure that we close the gap between offense and defense to nothing, if possible. That is the challenge here. We are doing everything we can, in ways that I can and in ways that I cannot discuss, to try to stop people who would misuse chemical and biological capacity from getting that capacity. This is not a cause for panic -- it is a cause for serious, deliberate, disciplined, long-term concern. And I am absolutely convinced that if we maintain our clear purpose and our strength of will, we will prevail here. And thanks to so many of you in this audience, and your colleagues throughout the United States, and like-minded people throughout the world, we have better than a good chance of success. But we must be deliberate, and we must be aggressive. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET Keeping America Secure for the 21st Century: Computer Security and Critical Infrastructure Today, President Clinton will announce new initiatives to defend the nation's computer systems and critical infrastructure from cyber-terrorism. The most critical sectors of our economy -- power-generation, telecommunications, banking, transportation and emergency services -- are potentially vulnerable to disruptions from computer attack. President Clinton will propose in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget spending $1.46 billion to defend against this emerging threat. This represents an increase of $400 million from the FY 1999 budget proposal. It will include funding for the following initiatives: Critical Infrastructure Applied Research Initiative: The President's budget proposal includes $500 million for research and development efforts. A portion of these funds will be spent on new initiatives to improve information assurance by safeguarding networks. Funds will also be dedicated to developing tools that can identify anomalous activities and "Trojan Horses" (malicious codes installed by unauthorized users). Computer Intrusion Detection Networks: The Defense Department has already begun to install intrusion detection systems and create a network to warn key computers of an attack. Under the President's initiative, a similar system for other Federal agencies will be evaluated and designed. These networks will ensure that when one computer system is attacked, others in the network will be instantly warned of the intrusion, informed of the mode of attack used, and provided with methods to stop it. Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs): As part of the public-private partnership, we will support the initial establishment of ISACs to foster private sector development of best practices and standards for computer security, to encourage the sharing of vulnerability analysis, and to provide outreach and training programs. These ISACs will enable the Federal government to provide private industry with threat information without compromising privacy, civil liberties or proprietary data. Cyber Corps: This program will address the shortage of highly skilled computer science expertise in the government and enable agencies to recruit a cadre of experts to respond to attacks on computer networks. It will use existing personnel flexibilities, scholarship and financial assistance programs, and examine new scholarship programs to retrain, retain and recruit computer science students. ###
January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET Funding for Domestic Preparedness and Critical Infrastructure Protection The President's Fiscal Year 2000 budget includes requests for $2.849 billion for critical infrastructure protection, computer security, and domestic preparedness against a weapons of mass destruction attack. The budget request also proposes $7.162 billion for conventional counter-terrorism security programs. Domestic Preparedness against Weapons of Mass Destruction In May 1999 the President proposed adding $300 million for a new weapons of mass destruction domestic preparedness program. As a result, the 1999 enacted level was $1.281 billion. The President's FY 2000 funding request for countering the threat of terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction continues and expands the program to $1.385 billion. The FY 2000 request would include increases of $30 million above the previous level for research into new vaccines and medicines, an additional $15 million to fund Public Health Surveillance to detect an attack, and an additional $13 million to create new metropolitan medical response teams. Highlights of the FY 2000 budget include: $52 million to continue procurement of a national stockpile of specialized medicines to protect the civilian population $611 million for training and equipping emergency personnel in U.S. cities, planning and exercising for weapons of mass destruction contingencies and strengthening public health infrastructure. $206 million to protect U.S. government facilities $381 for research and development, including pathogen genome sequencing, vaccines, new therapies, detection and diagnosis, decontamination, and disposition of nuclear material. Critical Infrastructure Protection and Computer Security The President's FY 2000 request includes $1.464 billion for protection of critical infrastructure and computer security. This represents a 40% increase in the two budget years since the President created the Critical Infrastructure Protection Commission. The highlights of this program include: Critical Infrastructure Applied Research Initiative ($500 million) Intrusion and Detection Systems: In addition to ongoing Department of Defense funding, $2 million will be spent to design and evaluate a similar system for other Federal agencies Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs): As part of the public-private partnership, we will provide $8 million to support the initial establishment of ISACs Cyber Corps: This program will address the shortage of highly skilled computer science expertise in the government and enable agencies to recruit a cadre of experts to respond to attacks on computer networks. It will use existing personnel flexibilities, scholarship and financial assistance programs, and $3 million to examine new scholarship programs to retrain, retain and recruit computer science students. Counter-terrorism Security In addition to the programs above, the President's FY 2000 budget request for all anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism programs is $8.547 billion, a 12% increase over the FY 1999 enacted level and an 18% increase over FY 1998. The President also requested a supplemental appropriation in FY 1999 of $2.064 billion after the Africa bombings. This includes $1.4 billion to provide additional security measures to diplomatic and consular facilities and rebuild the two embassies destroyed in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. ###
January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release January 22, 1999 FACT SHEET Keeping America Secure for the 21st Century: President Clinton's Initiative on Biological and Chemical Weapons Preparedness President Clinton has made defending the United States against chemical and biological weapons a top national security priority. The possibility that outlaw nations and terrorist groups will seek to use these weapons represents one of the greatest threats to American security in the 21st century. The Administration has sought to defend against these threats through diplomatic and military means abroad and through increased preparedness at home. In his Fiscal Year 2000 budget -- which includes $10 billion to defend against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction -- President Clinton will propose major increases in funding to strengthen America's defenses against the threat of biological and chemical weapons. Vaccine Research and Development - The Department of Health and Human Services will receive an additional $43.4 million for research and development to defend against biological weapons - almost a 150% increase. The bulk of it - $30 million - will go to research on new vaccines, including vaccines for smallpox and anthrax for eventual use in the national medical stockpile. The Food and Drug Administration will receive $13.4 million for enhanced regulatory review of vaccines and therapeutics. In addition, the National Institutes of Health will receive $24 million for research on diagnostics, vaccines, antimicrobials and genomic research. Public Health Surveillance - President Clinton will propose that funding for improvements in the public health surveillance system and public health infrastructure increase by 22% to $86 million. This will translate into increased lab capacity, strengthened epidemological capabilities for state and local health departments and more resources for communications and information technology. The Center for Disease Control will create a network of regional labs to provide rapid analysis and identification of select biological agents. Metropolitan Medical Response Systems - President Clinton will propose increasing funding by almost 400% to more than $16 million for Metropolitan Medical Response Systems. These local emergency medical teams will respond to a biological or chemical weapons emergency. Twenty-five new such teams will be funded. President Clinton's new initiatives build upon a record of accomplishment in confronting the dangers of emerging threats at home and abroad. Beginning in fiscal 1997, the Administration began funding a five-year effort to equip and train first responders in the 120 largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Last year, the President proposed and Congress approved of more than $300 million in additional funds for weapons of mass destruction preparedness. Among the initiatives begun were the renovation of the public health surveillance system so medical personnel can detect a biological weapons release early and save lives. This appropriation also went to establish the first ever civilian medical stockpile, which will contain necessary medication to treat those exposed to biological or chemical weapons. Funding levels for the medical stockpile will be maintained in the President's FY2000 budget. The United States led international efforts to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, which we signed in 1997, and American diplomats are currently working to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention. The Clinton Administration has also pursued cooperative programs and activities aimed at reducing the threat of proliferation of biological weapons expertise with nations of the former Soviet Union, spending $30 million in these areas during the last five years. The President's budget proposal seeks more than $150 million to expand these efforts over the next five years. Through military action against production facilities for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Sudan, the United States has acted to degrade and eliminate the ability of these two nations to build weapons of mass destruction and supply them to terrorists. ###