House authorizes Department of Defense’s new spy service

The bill authorizes 2013 spending at the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, FBI and other intelligence agencies. Within the Defense Department, it also authorizes the Defense Clandestine Service, which is mean to broaden DOD’s intelligence-gathering abilities beyond countries where U.S. forces are engaged, and allow for some cooperation with the CIA.

{mosads}The exact scale of the bill is unclear, as much of it is classified, but the bill authorizes spending at about 4 percent below last year’s level. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the bill makes choices that will allow the United States to maintain its current intelligence capabilities, and expand them in certain areas.

“The FY ’13 bill sustains our current intelligence capabilities and provides for the development of future capabilities, all while achieving significant savings and ensuring that the intelligence agencies are being good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollar,” Rogers said.

Ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) praised another year of bipartisan cooperation on the bill.

“When Chairman Rogers and I took over the leadership of the Intelligence Committee, we made a commitment to bipartisanship,” he said. “We believe politics has no place on the Intelligence Committee. The stakes are just too high.”

In brief debate, the House approved nine amendments to the bill, including one from Democrats that would require the director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress within 60 days on the consequences of a military strike against Iran. Democrats in particular have been worried about the increased chances of armed conflict with Iran.

That amendment was approved by voice vote, as were the eight other amendments, from:

• Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), to strike sections 401 and 403 to ensure the bill complies with House rules relating to provisions regarding appropriated funds. Language in the eliminated sections dealt with the authority of the CIA to transfer funds.

• Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), to require the director of National Intelligence to report to Congress how the intelligence community can improve the methods by which subcontractors are granted security clearances and notified of classified contracting opportunities within the federal government.

• Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), stating that those assigned to lead the development of training, tools and methodologies in support of cybersecurity should be reminded to include foreign language and culture in the development process.

• Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), to authorize the director of National Intelligence to participate in information-sharing with Mexico and Canada for purposes of border security and combating drug trafficking.

• Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.), to requires the Civil Liberties Protection Officer to ensure that the coordination and training between the intelligence community and local law enforcement agencies does not violate the constitutional rights of racial and ethnic minorities.

• Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), stating that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should take actions the director considers necessary to increase the recruitment and training of ethnic minorities as officers and employees of the CIA.

• Jackson Lee, stating that the intelligence community should take all appropriate actions necessary to protect the civil liberties of religious and ethnic minorities.

• Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), to require a report from the director of National Intelligence identifying and assessing various risks in information technology supply chains.

Tags Sam Farr Sheila Jackson Lee

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