What: All Issues : War & Peace : Fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) amendment to strike the bill's requirement that a national intelligence estimate on global climate change be submitted to Congress (2007 house Roll Call 337)
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Fiscal 2008 Intelligence Authorization (H.R. 2082)/Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) amendment to strike the bill's requirement that a national intelligence estimate on global climate change be submitted to Congress
house Roll Call 337     May 10, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on a Republican amendment to strike language in legislation authorizing funding for the intelligence agencies for fiscal 2008 that would require a national intelligence estimate on global climate change be submitted to Congress.

The intelligence budget is classified, but it is estimated to be around $45 billion annually and includes money for the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. House leaders reported that this Intelligence budget was the largest in history.

Republicans disagreed with a section in the bill that called upon the National Intelligence Council produce a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the national security impact of climate change, an action requested by 11 three- and four-star generals. Democrats said the provision was important because, in the words of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), "climate change is impacting global security."

Republicans had previously tried and failed to prevent the bill from coming to the floor because of their opposition to this section (see Roll Call 324), and this was their last opportunity to remove it from the legislation.

Hoekstra said the provision would send the intelligence community back to the "bugs and bunnies" era of the early 1990s when Congress directed the intelligence agencies to focus on "politically correct priorities," such as "to spy on the environment." He said telling the intelligence agencies to move their priorities from radical Islam, North Korea, Syria and Iran to focusing on a National Intelligence Estimate on climate change "sends exactly the wrong message."

Democrats said Hoekstra missed the larger point and the interrelatedness of climate change to global security.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said the 11 three- and four-star generals and the American people "are ahead of us on this."

"As they noted, the geopolitical effects of global warming are likely to intensify instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world as people fight over access to water and food, creating humanitarian disasters and failed states that facilitate the establishment of terrorist safe havens," Eshoo said. "The intelligence community agrees, and they are already preparing an assessment on how our enemies could use global climate change to degrade our security interests. This NIE will not divert collection assets from other priorities. That's hogwash."

Hoekstra's motion was rejected by a near party-line vote of 185 to 230. Twelve Republicans broke with their party to vote against it, and only three Democrats voted for it. Thus, the House rejected a Republican attempt to strip legislation authorizing funding for the intelligence agencies of language requiring a report be submitted to Congress on the national security implications of global climate change, and the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization moved toward a final vote with the requirement intact.

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