The Administration has concerns regarding H.R. 1775 and will work with the
conferees to resolve problems in the bill and the classified annex as noted
below. The Administration appreciates the Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence's support for granting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the
authority to enter into multiyear leases and to establish a central services
working capital fund. The Administration also welcomes the provision
concerning protection of CIA facilities.
The Administration objects to several new intelligence acquisition programs,
particularly in the National Reconnaissance Office, that were not requested in
the President's Budget. These starts would drain resources from higher
priorities, particularly in future years when the cost of the starts would
The Administration also objects to several restrictions placed on high priority
intelligence programs until future reports, panels, or Committee actions are
completed. Such restrictions -- referred to in the classified report language
as "fences" or "caps" -- would hinder the Administration's ability to manage
these intelligence programs and place in jeopardy the Intelligence Community's
ability to support future military operations.
Finally, the Administration opposes section 607, which discontinues the Defense
Space Reconnaissance Program, and section 608, which terminates the Defense
Airborne Reconnaissance Office. The Secretary of Defense has created a Defense
Reform Task Force to examine ways to consolidate functions, eliminate
duplication, and improve the efficiency of these programs. The Administration
prefers to await the Task Force's November 1997 report before deciding the
future of these offices.