Sunday, December 20, 2009

Executive Branch Threatens Veto of House and Senate Versions of 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act

On July 8, 2009, the Executive branch issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) 61 in
which it stated that it strongly objected to the House Committee’s action to replace the Gang of
Eight statutory provision, and that the President’s senior advisors would recommend that the
President veto the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act if the Committee’s language was
retained in the final bill. According to the executive branch’s statement, the Committee’s new
statutory language “... would run afoul of tradition by restricting an important established means
by which the President protects the most sensitive intelligence activities that are carried out in the
Nation’s vital national security interests... ”62

Although the Executive branch has not issued a Statement of Administration Policy with regard to
the Senate’s bill, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair has indicated that he
would recommend that the President veto the bill if the covert action notification changes it
contained remained in final legislation.63


61 See Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 2701, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, July 8, 2009.

62 Ibid.

63 See Ellen Nakashima, “Intelligence Oversight Bill Faces Obstacles,” Washington Post, September 18, 2009, p. A-3.

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