Leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees Praise Passage of 29th Intelligence Authorization Bill
Washington—The top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today announced Congressional passage of the 2012 Intelligence Authorization Act. When the President signs this bill into law it will mark the 29th Intelligence Authorization bill that has been enacted into law.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said the bill authorizes funding for fiscal year 2012 for the 16 different agencies across the U.S. government that makeup the Intelligence Community.
In today’s tough fiscal climate, the passage of this bill is the result of extensive bipartisan cooperation and support. When drafting the bill, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees found fiscal efficiencies to be gleaned without impacting the mission. This resulted in an FY12 Intel Authorization Bill that is below the levels authorized and appropriated in FY11 and significantly below the President’s budget request.
The bill now goes to the President to be signed into law.
Chairman Feinstein said: “Passage of this law marks the completion by Congress of a third intelligence authorization bill in approximately 15 months. Critical congressional oversight and authorization for our vital intelligence programs have been restored and is producing better cooperation and information sharing than ever before. This bill funds the intelligence community’s global counterterrorism efforts that have disrupted plots and led to successful operations against al Qaeda—including the mission that located and killed Osama bin Laden.”
Vice Chairman Chambliss said: “This bill aims to improve intelligence community operations and to ensure vigorous congressional oversight,” said Chambliss. ”It makes targeted cuts to eliminate waste and excess while preserving the critical work of the intelligence community – from counterterrorism and counterproliferation to the war in Afghanistan. We included several detainee-related provisions that increase oversight of Guantanamo transfers and improve detainee monitoring. As the Guantanamo recidivism rate rises to more than 27 percent, Congress needs full insight into the transfer and resettlement process.”
Chairman Rogers said: “This bill is a result of extensive bi-partisan cooperation. It is a vital tool for Congressional oversight of the Intelligence Community’s classified activities, and is critical to ensuring that our intelligence agencies have the resources and authorities they need to do their important work,” Rogers said. “Passing an annual intelligence authorization bill is vital to keeping the laws governing our intelligence operations up to date. The FY12 bill sustains our current intelligence capabilities and provides for the development of future capabilities, all while achieving significant savings. The U.S. Intelligence Community plays a critical role in the war on terrorism and securing the country from the many other threats we face. Effective and aggressive Congressional oversight is essential to ensuring continued success in the Intelligence Community.”
Ranking Member Ruppersberger said: "This is a great, bi-partisan bill where we worked together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans protecting our country. It makes smart choices by trimming where possible, eliminating redundancies and ensuring we expand our current abilities to prepare for the threats of tomorrow. Finally, we are returning to a policy of passing authorization bills to provide critical Congressional oversight of the Intelligence Community,"
Summary of the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act:
- Funds the intelligence community’s counterterrorism efforts that have helped disrupt plots and led to successful operations against the al Qaeda terrorist group, including the mission that located and killed Osama bin Laden;
- Supports intelligence activities for the war in Afghanistan;
- Sustains critical intelligence spending while imposing fiscal discipline in light of future budget reductions;
- Provides a hike in the burial allowance provided to estates of Intelligence Community employees who die in the line of duty. The current burial allowance is $800. This bill raises the burial allowance to a level consistent with the amount contained in the DOD regulations (currently $8,800).
- Provides intelligence agencies with new procurement authorities to protect against supply-chain risk to information technologies;
- Authorizes new accounts at the Department of Treasury necessary for defense intelligence agencies to become financially auditable;
- Strengthens congressional oversight relating to the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay;
- Improves the accuracy of intelligence community cost estimates by requiring that all program costs—rather than solely direct acquisition costs—are included; and
- Provides the Director of National Intelligence with needed personnel management authorities.