House Limits Debate on Largest Intelligence Budget Ever

04.27.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

House Republicans foreclosed Democratic efforts to offer amendments on warrantless domestic surveillance and other controversial intelligence topics when the FY 2007 Intelligence Authorization Act was brought to the floor yesterday.

Instead, the House approved by a vote of 327-96 what Rep. Leonard Boswell (R-Iowa) described as “the largest intelligence budget in our history.”

Democratic amendments, such as a proposal that domestic surveillance be conducted consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, were blocked in the Rules Committee so they could not be debated.

“We are not even going to be allowed to vote on an amendment that would deal with this central constitutional question,” complained Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA).

“We are now in the process of instructing the people of Iraq about how to ruin parliamentary democracy,” he said. “If anybody from the Iraqi Parliament is watching our procedures, please do not try this at home.”

See the April 26 House floor debate here.

The House Rules Committee report which identifies the Democratic amendments that were ruled out of order is House Report 109-438.