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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) issued the following statement today after the House Republican leadership pulled the Intelligence Authorization Act from the Floor schedule for today. The bill was pulled from consideration after Republican leaders failed to agree on a measure that would allow the Director of National Intelligence to transfer personnel within the intelligence community:
“It is absolutely astounding – but perhaps not surprising – that some Republican leaders are still trying to submarine the intelligence reform act that Congress passed last year over what is essentially a turf battle.
“It’s almost as if they’ve closed their eyes to the key findings of the 9/11 Commission – that reform of our intelligence system is urgent; that terrorists who seek to attack us will only be strengthened by political squabbling and bureaucratic infighting.
“For months last year, Congressional Republicans and the White House sought to stonewall real, meaningful intelligence reform, even after two monumental intelligence debacles: the failure to uncover the plot to attack this nation on 9/11 and the failure to obtain accurate information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“Now, the opponents of intelligence reform are pulling out the stops to prevent the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) – a new position created under the act – from having a free hand to move up to 100 specialists within the intelligence community when he deems it necessary to further our national security.
“The Republican infighting on this matter is politics, pure and simple. And, I believe it could impede our ability to respond quickly and decisively to the terrorist threats that confront us.
“Republicans need to stop playing games with this crucial legislation, and move it forward without delay.”