Intelligence authorization fails in House
© Getty

House Democrats and a handful of Republicans on Monday blocked the passage of the annual authorization for intelligence agencies under an expedited process, looking instead to bring it up in a way that allows for more debate.

The intelligence policy bill authorizing funds for the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and other programs typically passes each year by wide bipartisan margins.

House GOP leaders scheduled it for a vote this week under a process, known as suspension of the rules, that limits debate to 40 minutes, forbids amendments and requires a two-thirds majority for passage.

ADVERTISEMENT
Democrats and 10 Republicans prevented the legislation from reaching the necessary two-thirds threshold to pass in the failed 241-163 vote. It’s expected that House GOP leaders will schedule it for floor consideration in the near future under a procedure that will need only a simple majority vote and more debate time.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged her caucus in a missive Sunday night to vote against the bill so that it is brought up again under a different procedure.

“Although the underlying bill is not problematic, taking it up under suspension is,” Pelosi wrote.

“Democratic Members have expressed interest in engaging in full debate on critical intelligence matters and offering amendments to this intelligence legislation. We are therefore asking Members to vote no on the bill when it comes up under suspension so that we can take it up under a rule.”

Democrats weren’t the only ones opposing the intelligence authorization on Monday based on procedural grounds.

The libertarian-leaning House Liberty Caucus issued a statement urging opposition because of the expedited process.

“Such a vast, significant piece of legislation demands debate and input from the entire Congress, not just the intelligence committees,” the Liberty Caucus said in a statement.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHenry Kissinger, Tim Cook among guests at White House state dinner Overnight Finance: Stocks fall hard | Trump sending delegation to China for trade talks | SEC fines Yahoo M over breach | Dodd-Frank rollback dominates banking conference To keep control of House, GOP must have McCarthy as next Speaker MORE's (R-Wis.) office blasted Democrats for blocking the intelligence authorization by taking a dig at the Democrats' "Better Deal" economic message unveiled earlier Monday.

Ryan and the House GOP leadership team rolled out an agenda during the 2016 campaign that had a similar title: "A Better Way."

"Democrats should stop playing politics with our national security, drop these partisan demands, and help us get this bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible," Ryan's office said in a statement. "That is a better way."