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Ryan Critical of Bills that Ration Funds for Troops, Misuse Intelligence Resources

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May 10, 2007 | Kate Matus ((202) 226-7326) | comments

WASHINGTON – First District Congressman Paul Ryan expressed serious concern over several bills on which the House of Representatives has voted or will vote today that essentially set surrender dates for precipitous withdrawal in Iraq, make only short-term funding available to support U.S. troops in Iraq, and divert intelligence resources to study climate change. 

“Our troops deserve better than this. They need the resources and support from this Congress to succeed at their mission. They don’t need further stalling and half-measures that hinder their progress and could put them in greater danger,” Ryan said. “Bills that set withdrawal dates or put necessary funding for our troops on an installment plan are counterproductive. They send the wrong signal to the terrorists and insurgents, as well as Iraqis who may be on the fence trying to decide whether to support their government in securing a free Iraq. From what I learned from talking to our troops in Iraq, this could make things tougher for them.”

“We also need to invest in quality intelligence gathering and analysis that will keep America safe from terrorism and other threats. CIA personnel should be focused on that – not on global climate change,”
Ryan added. 

While H.R. 2237, the troop withdrawal measure, was defeated soundly in the House by a vote of 171-255, the short-term war supplemental spending bill (H.R. 2206) passed by a vote of 221-205. The President has already stated he would veto the supplemental bill in its current form. The intelligence authorization bill (H.R. 2082) is expected to pass in the House later tonight. Ryan voted against H.R. 2237 and H.R. 2206, and intends to vote against H.R. 2082. 

The war supplemental splits troop funding into stages, making over half the funding conditional on further congressional action in July – delaying the availability of this funding until late July at the earliest. The bill also retains about $16 billion in non-war and non-emergency spending, and it violates budget rules that Ryan worked to secure last year to prevent such spending from being tucked into emergency spending legislation. 

The Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned in a letter to congressional leadership about the supplemental: “In my view, such a proposal would cause significant disruption to the effective and efficient operation of the Department of Defense and the health and welfare of the U.S. military.”

The intelligence authorization act is also cause for concern as it includes deep cuts to classified CIA programs and begins to return America to the failed intelligence policies of the 1990s – when intelligence funding was cut and resources were diverted to pursue politically correct projects such as using spy satellite time to survey the polar ice caps and sea turtle nests.

While much of the intelligence authorization bill is classified, one of the unclassified items calls for the Director of National Intelligence to submit to Congress a national intelligence estimate on the geopolitical effects of global climate change. The U.S. is already spending more than $6.5 billion this fiscal year to study global climate change, and this is not the proper use of intelligence resources. 

As Congressman Hoekstra, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, put it in an opinion editorial for the Wall Street Journal: “My objection is not about the validity of global climate change. I am concerned about whether it is an intelligence issue. Does it require analysts to make assessments using classified information that can only be acquired from sensitive human sources and billion-dollar spy satellites? Does it take holding a high-level security clearance and reviewing information in high-security, classified offices to write assessments about the environment?” 

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