What: All Issues : War & Peace : Intelligence Agencies' Oversight : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Provide Additional Resources for Language and Cultural Education Programs for U.S. Intelligence Officers. (2003 house Roll Call 555)
 Who: All Members
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Provide Additional Resources for Language and Cultural Education Programs for U.S. Intelligence Officers.
house Roll Call 555     Oct 17, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In an effort to improve the effectiveness of the U.S. intelligence community, Congressman Reyes (D-TX) proposed an amendment to the $87 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan which would have added $5 million to already-existing scholarships and programs designed to increase language proficiency and workforce diversity in intelligence agencies. Progressives supported Reyes's proposal because, in their view, preventing future acts of terrorism requires a cultural and linguistic understanding of intelligence targets. Too few U.S. intelligence officers, Progressives argued, thoroughly understand the language and culture of Middle Eastern terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Even fewer are of Middle Eastern descent and have some capacity to infiltrate the enemy on their own soil. Conservatives generally supported Reyes's proposal but voted against the measure on the grounds that the supplemental spending bill was the wrong forum to address problems in the intelligence community. On a party-line vote of 206-221, the Reyes amendment was defeated and the additional money for language and cultural programs for U.S. intelligence officers was not included in the underlying supplemental spending bill.

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