The Intelligence Authorization bill for fiscal year 2013 (H.R. 5743), passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 386-28. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger praised the bill's passage and the overwhelming bipartisan effort.
The intelligence authorization bill is one of the critical national security bills the House passes each year. It provides and allocates resources to critical national security programs, including those that detect, prevent, and disrupt potential terrorist attacks against the American people.
Through extensive bipartisan cooperation, the House Intelligence Committee produced a bill that is significantly below last year's enacted budget, but also up modestly from the President's budget request. The committee unanimously voted to report the bill to the full House two weeks ago.
H.R. 5743 funds the requirements of the men and women of the Intelligence Community (military and civilian), many of whom directly support the war zones and are engaged in other dangerous operations to keep Americans safe.
It provides oversight and authorization for vital intelligence activities, including:
Global counter-terrorism operations, such as the one that took out Osama bin Laden,
Efforts by the National Security Agency to defend us from advanced foreign state-sponsored cyber threats,
Countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
Global monitoring of foreign militaries and advanced weapons tests,
Research and development of new technologies to maintain our intelligence agencies' technological edge, including work on code breaking and spy satellites.
"The strong bipartisan vote on this important bill reaffirms to our intelligence community and professionals in the field that we are united in ensuring they have the tools they need in order to do the very difficult and dangerous work of keeping America safe," Chairman Rogers said. "The current challenging fiscal environment demands the accountability and financial oversight of our classified intelligence programs that can only come with an intelligence authorization bill. The bill's comprehensive classified annex provides detailed guidance on intelligence spending, including adjustments to costly but important programs," said Rogers.
"Even in these tough economic times, it is critically important that we give our intelligence professionals the resources, capabilities and authorities they need to keep us safe," said Ranking Member Ruppersberger. "We made cuts where appropriate, eliminated redundancies, pushed programs to come in on time and on budget and achieved major efficiencies in information technology. At the same time, we invested in certain key areas, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, counterintelligence and space."