eNews - July 18, 2008
1. House Passes Intelligence Bill
2. Congress' Budget Process Grinds to a Halt!
3. House Passes Legislation Helping Missing Children
4. Military Celebrates 60 Years of Integration
5. Frelinghuysen Meets with New Jersey Astronaut
6. Spread the eNews
House Passes Intelligence Bill
The House of Representatives this week approved legislation (H.R. 5959) designed to provide our intelligence agencies with a framework for their operations in the next year. The bill authorizes increased funding for the 16 agencies of the U.S. Intelligence Community over last year's funding levels, and directs resources for the intelligence community's infrastructure, intelligence analysis and counterintelligence capabilities.
"This is a workable bill made stronger after the adoption of several Republican amendments," said Rep. Frelinghuysen, a member of the House Special Intelligence Oversight Panel. "We must continue to work on increasing the speed and ability of our intelligence agencies to stay ahead of foreign adversaries and terrorists. We must continue to focus national security efforts where they should be - detecting and preventing the next attack."
The measure also includes a proclamation that resources should not be diverted from human intelligence collection and other intelligence programs designed to combat al-Qaeda to study global climate change.
Additionally, the bill addresses a problem of unauthorized disclosures, which is a grave one that severely harms the national security and places American citizens and Intelligence professionals at risk. The bill requires the Director of National Intelligence to review whether current law enables the revocation of pensions of intelligence community personnel who commit unauthorized disclosures of classified information.
The House also adopted an amendment that allows the Intelligence Community to use several terms related to radical Jihadism in their briefings and public statements, including "jihadist," "Mujahadeen," "jihad," and "caliphate." "Political correctness" should not stand in the way of our intelligence officers doing their jobs. ." Free speech should not be controversial, nor should candid, accurate, and fair discussion of the activities of violent international extremists who have sworn to kill Americans.
Congress' Appropriations Process Grinds to a Halt!
It has been twenty-three years since the House of Representatives has failed to pass its regular Appropriations bills - measures which fund the agencies of our government - by mid-July. Inexcusably, the House Leadership has apparently decided to "kick" these bills into January 2009 when a new President will take office!
"To date, just five of our twelve bills have passed the full Committee on Appropriations, of which I a member. Frankly, there is no reason why the House cannot immediately take up the critical Homeland Security, Energy and Water, and the Commerce, Justice and Science (on which I serve as Ranking Republican member) or the Financial Services bills on the Floor," said Frelinghuysen. "And I recently wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to put partisan politics aside and move the important Military Construction-Veterans Administration bill which provides urgent funding for veterans health care and other critical programs that support those who have served our country so courageously."
"We must do the people's business! This forced inactivity reflects very poorly on Speaker Pelosi, her leadership team, and Congress as a whole.
House Passes Legislation Helping Missing Children
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5464, the Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Center Act. The legislation directs grant funding from the Department of Justice to state and local law enforcement agencies in order to help fund the recovery of missing children.
"It is important that the federal government provide state and local law enforcement with the funding necessary to not only prevent kidnappings, but appropriately respond to the terrible scenario that one should occur," said Frelinghuysen. "There is nothing more important and fundamental than the safety of our children."
As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, Frelinghuysen works closely with Justice Department officials to address the needs of the law enforcement community.
Military Celebrates 60 Years of Integration
This month, the United States Military marks its 60th year of racial integration. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, "Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services."
On Monday, the House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 297, recognizing the 60th anniversary of the integration of the United States Armed Forces.
"President Truman's executive order holds a special place in history as it set the path for equality and justice in the American military," said Frelinghuysen. "I am pleased that Congress has acted to honor brave men and women who fight side by side to defend our freedom."
Frelinghuysen Meets with New Jersey Astronaut
On Thursday, Rep. Frelinghuysen met with NASA Astronaut Dr. Garrett Reisman of Parsippany, New Jersey.
"It is a pleasure to meet with such a courageous and dynamic Astronaut, especially one from the 11th Congressional District," said Frelinghuysen. "Our Astronaut Corps is the spearhead of our valuable manned space exploration program. Garrett Reisman represents the "best of the best" and serves as a shining example to New Jersey's students who aspire to careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology."
Dr. Reisman was selected as a NASA Mission Specialist in 1998. In 2008, he was involved in his first space flight. Dr. Reisman spent over three months in space including an Extravehicular Activity space walk. On June 14, Dr. Reisman returned after completing a three month space mission.
Frelinghuysen is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which oversees annual funding for NASA.