Congressmen Demand End to 'Black Budget' SecrecySubmitted by PaulFanDC on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 17:29
A bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives is seeking disclosure for themselves and the public of top-line budget figures for 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.
“If you have unlimited money and nonexistent oversight, bad things happen,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., tells U.S. News. “The idea is that they know it’s not a free ride.”
Welch and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., introduced the “The Intelligence Budget Transparency Act” with Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and David Price, D-N.C., in January and last week recruited 60 colleagues to join them in asking President Barack Obama to voluntarily disclose top-line budget requests for individual spy agencies when he proposes a budget for fiscal year 2015 later this year.
Members of Congress do not automatically have a right to know anything about funding for the intelligence agencies and therefore cannot participate in debates, oversight or votes on those appropriations. Funding for the intelligence agencies is generally approved by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.