Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
Interest in congressional oversight of intelligence has risen again in the 110th Congress, in part because of the House Democratic majoritys pledge to enact the remaining recommendations from the U.S. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, commonly known as the 911 Commission. Its 2004 conclusions set the stage for reconsideration of the problems affecting Congresss structure in this area. The commissions unanimous report, covering many issues, 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 defunct Joint Committee on Atomic Energy JCAE, with authority to report legislation to each chamber or 2 enhanced status and power for the existing select committees on intelligence, by making them standing committees and granting both authorization and appropriations power. Congresss interest in a joint committee on intelligence dates to 1948 and the early years of the Central Intelligence Agency CIA and Director of Central Intelligence DCI. Similar recommendations have arisen in the meantime, although the lions share were made before separate Intelligence Committees were established in the House 1977 and Senate 1976. The numerous proposals for a JCI, which would end the two existing intelligence panels, moreover, vary in their specifics and raise competing viewpoints over practical matters and matters of principle.
- Government and Political Science