Welch, Wyden Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency of Intelligence Spending
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), joined by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have introduced legislation to force the president to disclose the topline annual budget request for each of the 16 federal agencies conducting intelligence activities. Currently, topline spending levels are classified and hidden from the taxpayer.
The Intelligence Budget Transparency Act would require the president’s annual budget request to make public the amount of funding budgeted for intelligence agencies and activities, creating greater transparency and oversight over how much is spent annually by the intelligence community.
"Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent every year gathering intelligence to protect the nation, yet neither the public nor most Members of Congress know just how much is being spent, or what it is being spent on. This lack of transparency has led to dubious policies, wasted money and questionable effectiveness. Americans have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent and that their national security interests are being well served.”
The bill would require disclosure of topline funding requests from the following agencies: Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Department of State, and Navy Intelligence.
Rep. Welch is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and its national security subcommittee.