Defense News

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FAS: Intelligence vs. Appropriations

The efficacy of intelligence oversight in the Senate has been repeatedly undermined by procedural hurdles that enable the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to overrule actions taken by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senators complained earlier this month. To remedy this concern, a new bill has been introduced that would transfer budget appropriations authority to the Intelligence Committee.

This year, the Senate Intelligence Committee presented "four major oversight initiatives in its [authorization] bill," said Sen.
Christopher S. Bond (R-MO) at a Committee hearing on November 13. But in each case the appropriations committee went the opposite direction.

For example, because of resistance from appropriators, "It took until recent time to end a program that, at the least, should have been terminated a few years ago. Unfortunately, all told, the loss to the taxpayers is astronomical, in the billions of dollars." This appears to be a reference to the Future Imagery Architecture program...

Proposed Senate Resolution 375 that would grant appropriation authority to the Intelligence Committee.

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