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Public Statements

Authorizing Certain Funds for an Intelligence or Intelligence-Related Activity

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, Vice Chairman CHAMBLISS and I are introducing a bill today to authorize funds included in the fiscal year 2012 Defense Appropriations Act that were not previously authorized.

Last year, the classified annex to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012, division A of the conference report on H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, added three funding lines for two separate intelligence programs. While those programs are part of the National Intelligence Program, these additional funds were placed in a separate budgetary account, the Military Intelligence Program.

The additional funds for these items included in the defense appropriations conference annex were not included in the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012, Public Law 112 87, which authorized the National Intelligence Program budget. Neither were the additional funds for these items included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012, Public Law 112 81, which authorized the Military Intelligence Program budget.

This created a situation in which funds for an intelligence program were appropriated but not authorized in statute. Section 504(a)(1) of the National Security Act states that funds may be obligated or expended for an intelligence or intelligence-related activity only if those funds were specifically authorized by the Congress for such activities.

As a result, the additional funds appropriated for these items have not been specifically authorized as required by section 504 and, therefore, may not be obligated or expended for these intelligence activities.

Vice Chairman CHAMBLISS and I have no substantive objections to expending the appropriated funds for these specific programs. However, we hold strongly to the principle that intelligence funds must be authorized if they are to be spent--this is one of the major purposes of the annual intelligence authorization bills.

We have discussed this matter with the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and have agreed to seek passage of this legislation to permit them to spend these funds for the purposes identified in the 2012 Defense Appropriations Act.

The bill we are introducing today is very simple and quite short. It specifically authorizes the increased funding for these specific items to the extent that they are in excess to the amounts authorized in the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012.

For reasons of classification, I can't describe the nature of these intelligence programs on the Floor. Any Member, however, is welcome to come to the Intelligence Committee office and receive a briefing on the programs and why the funding is important.

I believe this legislation is necessary as a technical correction to permit funds already appropriated to be obligated and expended. I appreciate the work and cooperation of my Vice Chairman Senator CHAMBLISS on this matter and hope this legislation will move quickly to enactment.

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