What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Punishment Fitting the Crime : (H.R. 2701) Legislation authorizing funding for U.S. intelligence agencies -- On a motion to recommit with instructions
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(H.R. 2701) Legislation authorizing funding for U.S. intelligence agencies -- On a motion to recommit with instructions
house Roll Call 72     Feb 26, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) requiring the Inspector General (IG) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) compile any objections raised by a Member of Congress to a covert operations after September 11, 2001. (IGs are generally responsible for conducting internal investigations within departments and agencies.) The IG would then assess whether the CIA addressed those objections. In addition, he or she would be required to make publicly available an unclassified version of "all memoranda for the record memorializing briefings made to members of Congress on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques."

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.

Hoekstra argued his amendment protect the intelligence community from unwarranted prosecutionand hold members of Congress accountable with respect to their knowledge of intelligence operations: "The motion to recommit would stop the criminalization of our national security policy and ensure that Members of Congress would be as accountable for their conduct as the majority wants to hold the men and women of the CIA. The motion would ask the CIA Inspector General to conduct an independent review of whether any Member of Congress objected to the use of the techniques to review what steps were taken and to require the release of all of the briefing memos. If the majority was not briefed or raised concerns, it should have nothing to fear from an independent and objective review by the facts of the Inspector General. And, secondly, the motion would also clarify once and for all that the Director of National Intelligence should be in charge of coordinating interrogation of terrorists and should ensure we have collected all actionable intelligence before reading terrorists their Miranda rights."

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) argued the amendment would jeopardize anti-terrorism operations: "Mr. Speaker, to me, it seems that the minority would have us fight terrorism with one hand tied behind our back. This motion to recommit would require that before a Miranda warning can be issued, an investigator or a beat cop would have to get permission from a gaggle of Cabinet-level officials in Washington. This is simply absurd. The minority would put FBI agents who arrest potential terrorists in a bitter catch-22. The courts require that Miranda warnings be given in certain circumstances. The minority would have an FBI agent ignore those rules and shut down the possibility of ever building a criminal case, or the agent can stop an interrogation while someone tries to get signatures from half of Washington. The provision doesn't even include authority for these officials to delegate the required certification. This means that if one official happens to be traveling, it's just going to take that much longer for that beat cop or that FBI agent to start gathering evidence. Let's get the facts straight about Miranda. Federal agents are not required to Mirandize terrorism suspects when there is an imminent risk to public safety. They are free to interrogate suspects on concerns about any immediate or ongoing threat to our country. Federal agents questioned the Christmas Day bomber without the Miranda warnings under this very public safety exemption. Federal agents also don't need to give Miranda warnings when an interview is voluntary. The FBI routinely secures intelligence from suspected terrorists without Miranda in this manner."

The House rejected the amendment by a vote of 186-217. ." All 158 Republicans present and voting and 28 Democrats voted "yea." 217 Democrats voted "nay As a result, the House did not agree to an amendment requiring the Inspector General (IG) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) compile any objections raised by a Member of Congress to a covert operations after September 11, 2001."

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