H.R. 1892: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

H.R. 1892

Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Date
September 9, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Friday, September 9, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1892 under a rule.  The rule provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  Additionally, the rule makes in order amendments printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying H.Res. 392 and provides for one motion to recommit with or without instructions.  The nine amendments printed in the report are summarized below.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) on May 13, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Intelligence. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 1892 would authorize the intelligence activities of the United States government for Fiscal Year 2012.  This bill would fund the requirements of the men and women of the Intelligence Community (military and civilian), many of whom directly support the war zones or are engaged in other dangerous operations to keep Americans safe.  These activities are intended to enhance national security, support and assist the Armed Forces, and facilitate U.S. foreign policy. 

The bill would provide budget authority and personnel manning levels for the conduct of intelligence activities in the amounts specified in section 102, the Classified Schedule of Authorizations. 

The bill would authorize $590.3 million in FY2012 for the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Intelligence Community Management Account, as well as 794 full-time personnel for this account.  This is the principal source of funding for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and provides resources for the coordination of programs, budget oversight, and management of the intelligence agencies.  Additionally, the bill would provide additional flexibility for the DNI in managing the civilian personnel of the Intelligence Community. 

The bill would also authorize appropriation of $514 million for the Central Intelligence Agency Retirements and Disability System for FY2012.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Increase in employee benefits: The bill would provide that appropriations authorized for pay and benefits for Federal employees may be increased as necessary for increases in such compensation as authorized by law.

Restriction on conduct of intelligence activities: The bill would prohibit authorization of appropriations by the Act from constituting authority to conduct any activities not otherwise authorized by the Constitution of the United States.

Preperation of nuclear proliferation assessment statements: The bill would require the DNI to provide to the President and Congress an addendum to each Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement accompanying a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, containing a comprehensive analysis of the country’s export control system.

Guantanamo Bay detainees: The bill would modify the notification requirements to require 30 days notice to Congress, rather than 15 days, of a transfer of a detainee to another country.  In addition, the notification would include the terms of any monitoring assurance provided by the receiving country and identify the agency or department of the United States that is to ensure any agreement between the United States and the receiving country is carried out.

The bill would also require semiannual updates to reports required under separate statutes that document recidivist activities of former Guantanamo Bay detainees.  Additionally, the bill would require that not later than 45 days after the date of enactment, the DNI, in coordination with the Secretary of State, submit information to the congressional intelligence committees concerning the transfer or potential transfer of (past or present) Guantanamo Bay detainees.  This information is to include the following: (1) an assessment of the sufficiency of the monitoring undertaken by each foreign country to which a detainee has been transferred; (2) any written or verbal agreement between the Secretary of State and the government of a foreign country that describes monitoring and security assurances related to a detainee transferred to such country; and (3) each Department of State cable, memorandum, or report relating to or describing the threat such an individual may or may not pose.

MATTERS RELATING TO ELEMENTS OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):  The bill would codify the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security as an element of the Intelligence Community.  The bill would also require the DNI to submit a report to the congressional intelligence committees on intelligence collection and threat assessment efforts regarding drug trafficking organizations vis-à-vis the impact on public lands from their operations. 

Central Intelligence Agency: The bill would authorize the Director of the CIA both to accept gifts and to use them for the welfare of employees injured in the line of duty without legal concern regarding whether those actions are for the general welfare of the CIA employee population as a whole.  It would also provides that gifts may be used for the assistance of the family of CIA officers who were injured or who died from hostile or terrorist activities or in connection with other intelligence activities having a substantial element of risk.

The bill would also create foreign language requirements on certain personnel within the CIA.  This section is intended to tie the need for foreign language skills to officers in occupations where foreign language ability is most important, rather than to specific positions, within the Directorate of Intelligence career service or National Clandestine Service career service. It is intended to eliminate the need for the Director of the CIA to approve waivers for the promotion, appointment, or transfer of personnel such as attorneys or human resources officers for whom the requirement is not intended to apply.

An official record of the Osama bin Laden operation: The bill includes Congressional findings of the unclassified facts regarding the May 1, 2011 targeted killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. personnel.  In order to memorialize the event, the bill would require the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency to submit a classified report to the congressional intelligence committees within one year of the date of enactment.  The report will include a description of the pre-operational analysis, a description of the events of the raid, and the results of the intelligence gained.

National Security Agency:  The bill would also amend the National Security Agency Act of 1959 to provide that the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.  Under present law and practice, the President appoints the Director of the NSA.

The bill would also amend Section 11 of the National Security Agency Act of 1959 to authorize NSA security personnel to transport apprehended individuals from NSA premises to law enforcement officials.  Under current law, when NSA security personnel apprehend an individual, they must wait with the individual until local law enforcement personnel arrive to complete the transfer of custody.

Other elements:  The bill would authorize the establishment of accounts and allow for the transfer of appropriations to and from such accounts by the Secretary of Defense or the DNI for the purposes of intelligence-related activities and communications of the defense intelligence elements.  This section is intended to ensure improved auditing of defense intelligence appropriations.

Additionally, the bill would require the DNI and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to submit to the congressional committees on intelligence and armed services a report on the training standards of the defense intelligence workforce.

OTHER MATTERS

The bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to the congressional intelligence and homeland security committees a report on whether the restriction of airspace is hampering the use of unmanned aerial vehicles along the international border between the United States and Mexico.

Background

The bill authorizes Fiscal Year 2012 programs and funding levels for the Intelligence Community, as well as foreign intelligence activities of the Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Department, and Department of Homeland Security.  The United States Intelligence Community consists of 17 agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). 

The primary vehicle for exercising credible congressional oversight over the intelligence agencies is the intelligence authorization bill.  The current challenging fiscal environment demands the accountability and financial oversight of our classified intelligence programs that can only come with an intelligence authorization bill. 

Congress has recently approved intelligence authorization bills, but a complete bill, including the classified annex, has not been enacted since 2004.  Actual funding for the Intelligence Community has recently been appropriated via “deeming” language within defense spending bills. 

Several portions of this bill are classified—the classified annex to the legislation contains specific funding and personnel levels for intelligence programs.  The annex is available to members in HVC-304.

The following was provided courtesy of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:

After passage of the Budget Control Act, the Committee revamped the bill it reported out of Committee in May -- to double its budget savings.  As a result, the bill is significantly below the President’s Budget request for Fiscal Year 2012 and further still below the levels authorized and appropriated in Fiscal Year 2011.  These savings were achieved without impacting the Intelligence Community’s important mission, as the cuts of the 1990’s did.

This bill was crafted using a five-part resource strategy to keep intelligence strong, even in an era of declining budgets:

  • Curb unnecessary personnel growth:  The cost of additional personnel would squeeze funding for high-tech investments, which is our competitive advantage in intelligence.  While the bills denies a substantial portion of the Administration’s requested personnel increases, it still adds some new key positions in high priority areas such as cyber defense and analysis of terrorist financial support networks.
    • Find major operating savings:  The bill promotes operating efficiencies in a number of areas, including data processing, IT, and office leases, finding over $100 million in savings. 
    • Make only “best value” investments: The bill shaves $1 billion from a handful of “big ticket” hardware programs.
      • Deliver acquisitions on-budget and on-schedule:  Stable funding, based on independent cost estimates, is key to keeping acquisition programs on cost and schedule.  Accordingly, the bill funds all best-value investments based on their independent cost estimates.
        • Protect investments in cutting-edge Research and Technology: The bill redirects roughly $500 million of various savings to invest in game-changing technologies.

          Cost

          Because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) does not provide estimates for classified programs, their cost estimate for H.R. 1892 addresses only the unclassified portions of the bill.  On that limited basis, CBO estimates that spending subject to appropriations under section 103 of the bill, providing funding for the Intelligence Community Management Account (ICMA), would total $590 million.  CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $585 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of specified amounts.    

          Additionally, CBO estimates that the bill would authorize the appropriation of $514 million in direct spending to the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System (CIARDS).  The appropriation to CIARDS is considered mandatory and the authorization under this bill would be the same as the amount under the CBO baseline.  Thus, the CBO estimate states that the bill would have an insignificant effect on direct spending and the bill would not affect revenues.

          Amendments

          Amendment No. 1—Rep. Rogers (R-MI): Manager’s Amendment—This amendment would make various modifications and technical corrections including: 1) clarifies the language contained in section 102 that would limit distribution of the classified annex to ensure that the Executive Branch may distribute within the Executive Branch as necessary to implement the budget; 2) strikes section 307 concerning amendments to provisions requiring certain information be provided to Congress prior to transfer of detainees so as to maintain the process in current law; 3) strikes section 309 concerning a requirement that the DNI provide certain State Department documents related to detainees; 4) clarifies that decisions made pursuant to the authority in section 310 may not be delegated to an official below the level of the service acquisition executive for the agency concerned; 5) adds a new section that would permit the President to make temporary appointments to fill vacancies in offices within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that require Senate confirmation (except the DNI, for whom by Section 103A(a)(6) of the National Security Act of1947 the Principal Deputy DNI is next in line) with a senior official who serves in another element of the Intelligence Community; and 6) strikes section 421, which requires confirmation of the Director of the National Security Agency.

          Amendment No. 2—Rep. Wolf (R-VA): This amendment would create a "Team B"—a counterterrorism competitive analysis council of outside experts—to continuously advise the Director of National Intelligence and the Congress on how best to revise plans, operations, concepts, organizations, and capabilities across the intelligence community in response to the evolving threat of terrorism and domestic radicalization.

          Amendment No. 3— Rep. Hinchey (D-NY): This amendment would require the Director of National Intelligence to report to the House and Senate Intelligence panels on information it has regarding the human rights violations of the military government in Argentina that resulted in 30,000 disappearances between the mid-1970's and mid-1980's.

          Amendment No. 4—Rep. Cuellar (D-TX): This amendment would direct each agency that deals with classified documents to report to Congress within 1 year of the date of enactment on the potential security risks associated with the acquisition of computer hardware. The report would include recommendations ofwhat steps need to be taken to ensure computer hardware that is acquired for use with classified documents is not at risk being used to disclose information to outside sources.

          Amendment No. 5—Rep. Holt (D-NJ): This amendment would direct the Director of National Intelligence to submit to Congress not more than 180 days after enactment a National Intelligence Estimate on the impact of the recent revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East on the security of the State of lsrael.

          Amendment No. 6—Rep. Hunter (R-CA): The amendment would require the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense to establish a coordinated strategy utilizing all available personnel and assets for intelligence collection and analysis to identify and counter network activity and operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan relating to the development and use of improvised explosive devices.

          Amendment No. 7— Rep. Carney (D-DE): This amendment would express the sense of congress that railway transportation should be included in the transportation security plans of the intelligence community.

          Amendment No. 8—Rep. Cuellar (D-TX): This amendment would require that the annual National Security Strategy Report include a section outlining efficiencies, cost saving mechanism, and methods to streamline national defense, and homeland security intelligence capabilities.

          Amendment No. 9—Rep. Keating (D-MA): This amendment would express the sense of congress encouraging the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, to integrate the intelligence-sharing capabilities of fusion centers and leverage participation from all intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security agencies to prevent acts of terrorism against the United States in a manner consistent with the Constitution.