"In a "shocking and inexcusable" action that may threaten the
institution of congressional intelligence oversight, an anonymous
Senator yesterday blocked Senate consideration of the pending
Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2007. No intelligence
authorization bill has been passed by Congress for the past two
If Congress remains unable to legislate an intelligence
authorization act, which is the principal product of the
intelligence oversight committees each year, then the committees
themselves could be rendered irrelevant, officials say.
"The Senate's failure to pass this critical national security
legislation for the past 2 years is remarkably shocking and
inexcusable," said an angry Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who
chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"The result of this continued obstruction will be diminished
authority for intelligence agencies to do their job in protecting
America. I hope the [anonymous] Senator involved takes
satisfaction in that," Senator Rockefeller said. See his March 6
The Senator who is holding up the bill is Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC),
according to Tim Starks of Congressional Quarterly.
Sen. DeMint "is said to be concerned about provisions of the bill
that require the Bush administration to report to Congress on its
detention policies, such as those pertaining to its secret CIA
prisons, as well as a provision to declassify the total
intelligence budget," CQ reported on March 6."
Sen. DeMint's contact info:
Wash. Phone: 202-224-6121
Wash. Fax: 202-228-5143
Greenville Phone: 864-233-5366
Greenville FAX: 864-271-8901
You should really contact him - especially if you're a constitutent - and let him know how you feel about his actions (and about how you're going to vote in the next election). Pete