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Public Statements

Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise today in support of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. It is a bipartisan bill that gives our intelligence professionals the resources, capabilities, and the authorities they need to keep our country safe. When Chairman Rogers and I took over the leadership of the Intelligence Committee, we made a commitment to bipartisanship. We believe politics has no place on the Intelligence Committee. The stakes are just too high.

We also made a commitment to passing intelligence budgets to give the intelligence community financial direction and to conduct proper oversight. I commend Chairman Rogers for making this an open process where we reached agreement on issues that will make this country safer and the intelligence process more efficient.

But we also know we're facing tough economic times so we must use every dollar wisely. This budget is about 4 percent below the enacted levels for FY 2012. It holds personnel at last year's levels and authorizes an initiative to achieve major efficiencies and improve performance and information technology. We made cuts where appropriate, eliminated redundancies, and pushed programs to come in on time and on budget.

The bill allocates resources to critical national security priorities: space, cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism.

We restored some of the cuts to commercial satellite imagery to ensure the warfighter and policymakers have the images they need. I believe commercial competition is important to ensure the warfighter and other policymakers get high-quality products while keeping costs down. It drives innovation and provides a much-needed policy in case there are problems with other government problems.

The bill reinforces cybersecurity by protecting the intelligence community's networks from countries like China and others trying to steal our valuable data.

The bill also makes counterintelligence a priority by increasing surveillance of foreign spies from countries like China, Russia, and Iran.

The bill improves supply-chain security and adds the counterintelligence analysts this Nation needs.

The bill enhances counterterrorism efforts to continue the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world.

The bill increases oversight on the spending of domestic intelligence agencies.

The bill also expands the intelligence community's capabilities around the global to ensure the United States is capable and ready to address the threats worldwide.

The bill authorizes the Defense Clandestine Service created by the Department of Defense to reorganize its human intelligence collection and partner with the CIA's National Clandestine Service.

The Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee remain committed to giving our intelligence professionals what they need to do their jobs while also providing proper oversight and protecting personal privacy.

Provisions offered by the minority members were accepted as part of the chairman's mark and other amendments were adopted unanimously by the committee.

Congresswoman Schakowsky introduced an amendment that protects the inspector general of an intelligence agency from across-the-board cuts to preserve their role as a watchdog of an organization. I commend Ms. Schakowsky for her good work on this bill.

Congressman Thompson introduced an amendment to expand our efforts to prevent drug cultivation on Federal lands. I commend Mr. Thompson for his efforts on this bill as well.

In fact, we wouldn't be here today without the hard work of all of the members of the Intelligence Committee. This is truly a bipartisan product. The bill passed through markup by a margin of 19 0, a true testament to the bipartisan spirit of the committee.

I urge my colleagues to support the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2013. This bill ensures the Nation's intelligence community is effective, fiscally sound, and subject to appropriate oversight.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I'm proud that the bill under consideration has an emphasis on supporting counterintelligence resources. Last year, the chairman and I made it a priority to review the community's counterintelligence posture after learning more about the aggressive ways foreign intelligence and security services continue to steal U.S. secrets, including trade secrets, from U.S. companies.

One of the most disturbing reports came from the National Counterintelligence Executive which said that Russia and China are both aggressively utilizing cyberspace to steal U.S. economic secrets. This informative unclassified report is available on the Director of National Intelligence Web site. I encourage every U.S. business to read it to understand the threat they face today. The hard work and money it takes to innovate and conduct research are all at risk.

What China, Russia, and any other country who engage in espionage realize is that it's faster and cheaper to steal U.S. creativity than to develop it themselves. The report also gives examples of the millions of dollars that are at stake, like a single proprietary paint formula from Valspar valued at $20 million. These are some economic impacts of espionage, but they are also the cost to our national security and those of our allies.

A spy within our intelligence community, with access to our most sensitive secrets, can mean the lives of our sources and our troops. In these cases, it is impossible to calculate the impact. Espionage is countered by the villages of our counterintelligence professionals. These are the people we depend upon to discover the spies within our midst. I'm proud that this bill adds the resources and personnel for this critical mission.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

For the third time in 3 years, Chairman Rogers and I have stood on the floor of the House encouraging our colleagues to support our intelligence budget bill. We both rise in support of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. I would like to thank Chairman Rogers for his bipartisan leadership on this bill.

The bill gives our intelligence professionals the resources, capabilities, and authorities they need to protect American and American interests. We crafted a bill that addresses our core needs, including space, cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism, while also keeping an eye on the bottom line. This bill is about 4 percent below last year's budget and holds personnel at last year's levels.

The Intelligence Committee came together as Democrats and Republicans to do what is right for our country and for the intelligence community. The bill unanimously passed out of our committee by a margin of 19 0.

I would also like to thank the staff of the Intelligence Committee for their hard work on this bill. You're only as good as your team and your staff.

I urge my colleagues to support the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2013.

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