What: All Issues : Environment : Providing consideration for the fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Adoption of the rules package (2007 house Roll Call 325)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
Providing consideration for the fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Adoption of the rules package
house Roll Call 325     May 10, 2007
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This was the final vote on the rules for debate on a bill to authorize funding for the intelligence agencies for fiscal 2008. The intelligence budget is classified, but it is estimated to be around $45 billion annually and includes money for the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) said the legislation represented the largest budget for intelligence spending in history.

The resolution outlined the rules for debate for the legislation, including how much floor time would be granted to each side and which amendments would be considered in order. The resolution is thus commonly known as the rules package.

Republicans opposed the rules package because of their opposition to the so-called "structured rule" proposed by the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee. Under a structured rule, only amendments pre-approved by the Rules Committee can be offered on the House floor. In this case, the rule made in order a total of 10 amendments, almost half of which were offered by Republicans.

Republicans also opposed the rules package because of their discontent with a provision in the bill itself that would request that the National Intelligence Council produce a National Intelligence Estimate on the national security impact of global climate change, an action requested by 11 three- and four-star generals. Democrats said the provision was important, in the words of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), because "climate change is impacting global security."

"Just look at the Middle East, the battle for scarce resources among those who have been displaced, particularly in Iraq, has the potential to generate sociopolitical environments that foster the creation of terrorist cells," Hastings said. "If we can't agree on this, I can assure you that we are going to have significant problems in the future. Even the National Defense University has recognized these implications by prioritizing response to large-scale national disasters in some of its most recent training simulations."

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) said that the provision eroded what otherwise would have been bipartisan support for the bill. He said it was unwise to direct the intelligence community's "limited resources" to an assessment "on theoretical risks from global warming."

The rules for debate was adopted on a completely party-line vote. All Republicans present voted against the resolution, and all Democrats present voted to approve it. Thus, by a vote of 226 to 198, the House adopted the rules for consideration for legislation to authorize a classified amount for the intelligence agencies for fiscal 2008 and made way for the legislation to be brought to the House floor for debate, amendment and a final up-or-down vote.

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