A Joint Committee on Intelligence and Alternatives: Proposals from the 9/11 Commission and Others
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In mid-2004, the U.S. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States commonly known as the 911 Commission released a unanimous report covering a wide range of issues and concerns. As part of this, the panel concluded that congressional oversight of intelligence was dysfunctional and proposed two distinct solutions. These were 1 creation of a joint committee on intelligence JCI, modeled after the now-defunct Joint Committee on Atomic Energy JCAE, with authority to report legislation to each chamber or 2 enhanced status and power for the existing House and Senate select committees on intelligence, for instance, making them permanent standing committees and giving them both authorization and appropriations authority. Since then, Congress has looked into the matter, through existing committees and a Senate bipartisan working group, leading to that chambers agreement on restructuring its oversight panels. This report first describes the current select committees on intelligence and then covers the defunct Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. The analysis then sets forth proposed characteristics for a Joint Committee on Intelligence, their differences, and their pros and cons. It also discusses alternatives for congressional oversight in the field. This report will be updated as events dictate.
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