Washington, D C - The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and the Vice Chairman, Senator Kit Bond, announced today that the Committee has re-passed its fiscal year 2007 Intelligence Authorization bill
"The Committee's authorization bill is the most important tool we have to provide strategic guidance and support to our Intelligence Community. It goes to the very heart of effective congressional input and oversight," Rockefeller said. "In the last few years, we have made important improvements across the Intelligence Community, but much work remains. The bill we passed today is an important chapter in the ongoing reform of the Intelligence Community."
Vice Chairman Bond stated, "I'm pleased that the Committee has reported out this important annual authorization bill. I certainly don't agree with every provision of this bill, but taken as a whole, this bill needs to move forward. I look forward to the opportunity to further improve this bill on the floor and in our conference negotiations with the House."
The fiscal year 2007 Intelligence Authorization bill covers a wide-range of issues, including steps to:
* Enable the DNI to fund information sharing efforts that span the Intelligence Community;
* Establish a pilot program to encourage and improve information sharing between the Intelligence Community and non-intelligence agencies for the purposes of collecting intelligence on counterterrorism or weapons of mass destruction;
* Elevate the directors of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to require Senate confirmation for these positions;
* Create a National Space Intelligence Center to better understand threats facing our extensive investment in space technology;
* Enhance the DNI's authority to manage access to human intelligence information;
* Create a strong, independent Inspector General for the Intelligence Community.
Until 2005, Congress - for 27 straight years - had never failed to pass an annual Intelligence Authorization bill. The fiscal year 2006 and fiscal year 2007 authorization bills, although unanimously passed out of committee, were not brought up for consideration by the full Senate. The bill reported out of committee today, and its accompanying classified annex, is virtually identical to the bill that passed in May 2006.
"The Intelligence Community has now gone two years without detailed guidance from the Congress. I hope we can move this Authorization Bill expeditiously to correct that situation," Rockefeller said.