This was a vote on amendment by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) that required the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress outlining a plan to consolidate U.S. intelligence agencies. This amendment was offered to legislation authorizing annual funding for U.S. intelligence agencies.
Gibson urged support for his amendment: “…I will tell you that, particularly, my experiences in Iraq commanding an airborne infantry battalion task force…I saw firsthand the virtues of intel and operations being fused for successful operations. And so what concerns me today is the fact that since the 11th of September, we've had significant growth in the intel community to address various concerns. And what I think we need to do now is pause, reflect, and look for ways to consolidate all that growth so that we can continue to have effective intel operations in a manner that's consistent for Republicans, and one that we can afford. So what I offered is actually a very simple amendment. It asks the Director of National Intelligence to provide his recommendations on consolidation with an eye towards effectiveness and efficiency.”
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) opposed the amendment: “I appreciate Congressman Gibson's intent. And I also want to thank him for his service in the military.…I believe we should always be looking for efficiencies to help reduce costs throughout the government. The Director of National Intelligence is conducting a similar review that will identify redundancies without sacrificing core missions. I want to see the product of those efforts before asking the DNI, Director of National Intelligence, to submit an additional report. For this reason I oppose the amendment.”
The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 278-123. All 222 Republicans present and 56 Democrats voted “yea.” 123 Democrats, including a majority of Republicans, voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment that required the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress outlining a plan to consolidate U.S. intelligence agencies.