House Intelligence Committee Chairman Michael Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced their support for an amendment filed yesterday by Senator DIanne Feinstein to the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill that would give the Intelligence Community flexibility on how it would make budget reductions required under the sequester.
This amendment will not reduce the amount of the required budget reduction -- by even one penny. It will, however, give some latitude to the CIA and the Defense Department intelligence agencies in how they will make these reductions, which will enable them to better manage their operations and thereby avoid the worst potential security impacts of these reductions.
The measure of flexibility provided by the amendment is not exceptional, but rather is meant to align with the degree of flexibility that the Department of Defense, as a whole, has under the sequester. Even with this additional flexibility, the Congress will retain its usual budgetary control and oversight of intelligence spending.
In announcing his support for the amendment, Chairman Mike Rogers said, "At a time when threats to the United States are multiplying, the Intelligence Community need the flexibility to defeat our enemies."
Ranking Member Ruppersberger said, "To be clear, under this amendment, the same size cut will be made. The Intelligence Community knows it has to take its share of the sequestration burden, but it needs the flexibility to protect this nation's top priority areas and cut less urgent needs or less immediate programs. The security of our nation must remain one of our top priorities."