Intelligence Reform Bill Update
We hear that the White House pressed very hard at a private congressional leadership retreat for quick passage of the intelligence reform bill–to little avail. Everyone was surprised at the vehemence of the White House lobbying, since it is conventional wisdom that the White House is supporting the bill with a wink and a nod. Not so. The proceedings were contentious at times. At the Irvington, Va. gathering, the White House strongly urged the House leadership to commit to bringing up the bill for a vote. The House leadership responded that the bill will only pass if the White House can win over Duncan Hunter, whose worries about interfering with operational military intelligence are shared by roughly 100 Republican members of the House. (A little noted fact is that several key Republican senators share Hunter’s concerns.) Without Hunter, the bill is dead for now. Maybe the Senate should considering addressing his concerns–and those of the joint chiefs of staff.