Top House conservatives are attacking incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over comments she made today about her new plan for intelligence reform, which involves creating a “hybrid” panel with members of the intelligence and appropriations committees.
The 9/11 Commission report called on Congress to overhaul the congressional intelligence system, but offered two options for achieving this goal (Pelosi chose the second):
For intelligence oversight, we propose two options: either a joint committee on the old model of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy or a single committee in each house combining authorizing and appropriating committees.
At a press conference today, Pelosi was asked why she had decided against “creating a joint House”‘Senate intelligence body.” Pelosi explained that the 9/11 Commission had provided multiple options for intel reform, and “if they are giving you different alternatives, then implicit in that is that you can’t do them all.”
The right wing has now jumped on this quote, claiming it is evidence that Pelosi has abandoned her pledge to enact all of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.
Peter King (R-NY), the outgoing House Homeland Security Committee chairman, issued a statement claiming Pelosi had “admitted she won’t be able to enact all the 9/11 Commission recommendations,” and called it a “direct contradiction of statements Ms. Pelosi has made in the past.” Outgoing House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) referenced Pelosi’s quote and said he “appreciate[s] the candor she has demonstrated” with respect to her “promise of enacting all of the remaining unresolved recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.”
These claims are misleading and wrong. Pelosi’s intelligence proposal is in line with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. Already, 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer has said Pelosi’s plan would “achieve the commission’s two major goals,” calling it “a major step forward.” House conservatives, meanwhile, refused to take such a step and earned a “D” for their efforts on intelligence reform from the commission.