This morning, Fifth District Congresswoman Niki Tsongas voted to support the Intelligence Authorization Act, legislation which authorizes funding for the Intelligence Community, including the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency, and for other intelligence-related activities of the federal government.Tsongas released the following statement about her vote on the bill.
"The Intelligence Authorization Act will strengthen and improve America's intelligence capabilities by funding a variety of intelligence activities including enhanced collection and counterintelligence capabilities -- vital tools that have been under-resourced in recent years. I supported this legislation because we must ensure that the intelligence community has the tools it needs and adequate oversight in place to help prevent terrorist attacks like the one planned for Christmas Day. I believe this bill takes important steps to investigate that incident and bolster our intelligence efforts. It also includes provisions to enhance the nation's cybersecurity efforts and to better fight the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. These much needed investments enhance national security, support and assist the Armed Forces, and facilitate U.S. foreign policy.
"The procedural motion raised at the end of the debate would have tied the hands of the Justice Department and our military when it comes to prosecuting terrorism suspects and holding them accountable. I voted against this procedural motion because I do not believe that Members of Congress should dictate the terms by which our armed forces, intelligence and law enforcement communities bring terrorists to justice. Instead we should be empowering those on the front lines in the fight against terrorism and those who work to keep our homeland secure everyday with the best and most effective means of holding accountable those who have harmed our country or threaten American lives, which is what the underlying bill does."