In an unprecedented era of bipartisanship on the House Intelligence Committee, Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) praised the Intelligence Authorization Act for clearing the final hurdle. The President signed the legislation into law. The measure provides vital oversight of the intelligence community and funds the 16 intelligence agencies across the U.S, government.
"In the current era of heated, partisan politics this bill breaks out of the pack. It is a strong, bipartisan initiative where we worked together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans keeping our families and communities safe. The legislation gives our intelligence professionals the resources, authorities and capabilities they need to protect our country and her citizens. It is does this while also being fiscally responsible," said Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD).
The Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2012 cuts about $1 billion dollars from the President's budget request while ensuring the important missions of the intelligence community are not impacted. During a thorough top to bottom review of the budget, the Intelligence Committee made smart choices by trimming where possible, eliminating redundancies and expanding current abilities to prepare for the threats of tomorrow.
Summary of the FY 2012 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 Department of Defense 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;
Provides the Director of National Intelligence with needed personnel management authorities.