Bond Comments on Committee Passage of 2008 Intelligence Authorization Bill
Contact:Shana Marchio (202)224-0309 Charles Chamberlayne (202)224-7627 Thursday, May 24, 2007
Washington, DC -Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Kit Bond, praised the Committee's passage of its fiscal year 2008 Intelligence Authorization bill.
"In an effort to break the cycle of two years without an authorization bill, we worked hard to limit the bill to just those provisions that had strong bi-partisan support. The good news is that Chairman Rockefeller and I were able to work together to get a number of good government provisions into our bill that will improve the effectiveness of our intelligence agencies," said Bond. "Unfortunately, a few amendments were adopted by the Committee that will make final passage more difficult, but we will continue to work to improve the bill when it gets to the floor and in conference."
The Intelligence Authorization bill is one of Congress' most important tools in asserting Congressional oversight over the intelligence community and the Committee's passage is a critical step, Bond stressed. Bond also praised his colleagues for including several of his "good government" provisions in the bill. These provisions will improve the efficiency and accountability of the Intelligence Community (IC), while at the same time provide the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with the flexibility he needs to lead the IC.
Bond emphasized that he is pleased that the Committee adopted his amendment to provide the DNI with the authority to conduct certain accountability reviews of elements and personnel of the IC. This amendment will encourage the IC to address their own internal failures or deficiencies-something they have been reluctant to do before now. In the event that they are reluctant or unable to do so, this amendment gives the DNI the authority he needs to conduct his own reviews.
While Bond praised the overall passage of the bill, he expressed concern about a new provision that requires the President to provide the Congressional intelligence committees with all President's Daily Briefs (PDBs) concerning Iraq during the period beginning on January 20, 1997 and ending on March 19, 2003. Bond has long-stressed the importance of passing an intelligence authorization bill and the administration's opposition to this provision could likely result in a veto. Bond has attached additional views to the report which will explain in greater detail his concerns about this and other amendments to the bill. Those views will be available next week when the bill is filed with the Senate.