What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Drug Prevention and Treatment Programs : Fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Motion to recommit with instructions to increase the CIA's human intelligence budget by $23 million, offset by an equal cut for the National Drug Intelligence Center
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Fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Motion to recommit with instructions to increase the CIA's human intelligence budget by $23 million, offset by an equal cut for the National Drug Intelligence Center
house Roll Call 340     May 10, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment to legislation authorizing funding for the intelligence agencies for fiscal 2008. Proposed by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the motion to recommit would have increased the CIA's human intelligence budget by $23 million, offset by an equal cut for the National Drug Intelligence Center.

A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. If successful, the motion sends the legislation back to committee with instructions to amend the legislation as specified.

Rogers said that the intelligence bill had some very good points, but the sections that cut human intelligence programs would jeopardize "soldiers in the field in not getting the proper assistance and information that they need."

"You know, for a time of war, the priorities of this bill are completely misplaced in critical areas," Rogers said. "The motion to recommit would readjust those priorities by increasing human intelligence funding for the Central Intelligence Agency by $23 million. That money would come from an earmark funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center which a formal oversight report of the House Committee said: 'An expensive and duplicative use of scarce federal drug enforcement resources.'' And the U.S. News & World Report called it a 'boondoggle.'"

The motion to recommit would have also directed the Department of Justice inspector general to conduct an audit of the National Drug Intelligence Center to determine if the center was wasteful and duplicative. Rogers said Democrats blocked the audit in committee "with no substantive explanation."

House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) chastised Rogers for discussing the classified intelligence budget in public debate. He also outlined substantive problems with Rogers' amendment. He said the program Rogers would cut to offset the cost of an increase to the human intelligence budget "makes valuable contributions to the war on drugs and to homeland security, first and foremost."

"This motion is also misleading because the underlying bill provides our intelligence officers everything they need," Reyes said, adding that the underling bill already increased the budget for human intelligence. "It adds funds to the CIA and Defense Department for human intelligence training so that our operators can be more effective. It invests in language training for case officers so they can operate effectively overseas."

Reyes also said that the study Rogers sought has already been done.

Rogers' motion was rejected. Only one Democrat broke ranks and voted for it, while 16 Republicans voted against it. Thus, on a mostly party-line vote of 181 to 241, the House rejected a Republican attempt to amend the intelligence authorization bill to cut $23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center and spend the funds on additional human intelligence operations. Legislation authorizing intelligence spending for fiscal 2008 proceeded without the provision.

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