Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement:
“Today, I cast a vote against the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. I have continued concerns about the majority’s use of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds to bypass the sequester levels of spending. It’s a gimmick that adds to the deficit while ignoring the important debate surrounding investment in nondefense spending like transportation infrastructure and education.
“Further, the bill makes it more difficult to have meaningful oversight of intelligence agencies’ protections of civil liberties. I offered an amendment that would have allowed the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to have access to information on covert operations that may be related to protecting the US from terrorism, but it was defeated in the Rules Committee.
“While we must remain vigilant against our enemies to keep our country secure, we must balance this against our need to spend responsibly and protect the fundamental rights of US citizens. I believe it’s possible to achieve this balance, but this bill is not the right path forward.”