H.R. 2417 – Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2004

(Rep. Goss (R) Florida)

The Administration appreciates the support of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the work and efforts of the Intelligence Community (IC), as well as the Committee's inclusion in its bill of a significant number of requested provisions. The Administration would support H.R. 2417 if the concerns outlined below are addressed.

The Administration has not had the opportunity to review the classified schedule of authorizations, and reserves comment on those authorizations. The Administration would strenuously object if certain high priority transformational development programs affecting the IC's future collection and research and development strategies, are not authorized as requested.

The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for our initiatives to improve our nation’s intelligence capabilities, and believes that section 336, regarding improved information sharing among federal, State, and local government officials, addresses significant and important issues. However, the Administration has concerns with this and other sections of the bill (such as section 321) which seek to direct specific roles and responsibilities to be carried out by particular components of the Executive Branch. They could impinge on the President's constitutional authority to determine how Executive Branch agencies should be organized to carry out national defense and anti-terrorism activities.

Section 505, concerning the measurement and signatures intelligence (MASINT) research program, would provide the Defense Department the authority to review CIA and other intelligence agencies' MASINT programs. The Administration would oppose this expanded authority for DoD, as we believe the existing authorities and responsibilities are properly vested.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on these and a number of other policy and technical concerns as H.R. 2417 moves through the legislative process.

* * * * * *

PDF Version