Washington, DC – Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) today released the following statement regarding intelligence reform legislation. Senators Collins and Lieberman, who co-authored the original Senate version of the bill and who are the lead Senate negotiators in the conference on the bill, crafted new legislative language that further addresses the military chain of command issues raised by Congressman Duncan Hunter, while preserving strong budget and other authorities for the new Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Congressman Duncan Hunter today reportedly has agreed to approve the language written by Senators Collins and Lieberman.
The following is a joint statement from Senators Collins and Lieberman:
“We are pleased that Congressman Hunter appears to be prepared to endorse the conference agreement, including the new language that we authored clarifying the military chain of command issue that he raised earlier. Congressman Hunter had some well-motivated concerns – the Senate and the White House believed that those concerns had already been addressed in the conference agreement, but we have worked out some language that appears to satisfy all parties.
“Our legislation clarifies the chain of command language while preserving the strong budget and other authorities that the Director of National Intelligence needs to fight the war on terrorism and counter other emerging threats. Our bill creates a more coordinated intelligence community with one person in charge, to help make Americans safer and better serve the President, the military, Congress, and other agencies that rely on national intelligence.
“We hope that this support will provide the final momentum necessary to take intelligence reform across the finish line. We are confident there are enough votes in the House and Senate to pass the conference report and send it to the President for his approval.”