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Statement on Signing the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987

October 27, 1986

I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 4759, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987. This act represents another significant step forward in our effort to improve our foreign intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities. It is essential that we authorize sufficient appropriations and provide adequate authorities to enable our intelligence agencies to undertake effectively their vital mission. In this era of budget stringency, the Congress found it necessary to reduce the amounts I requested for our nation's foreign intelligence program. Despite these reductions, I am pleased that the Congress did not impose further cuts that would have seriously jeopardized the intelligence community's ability to deal with the increasingly complex and diverse challenges facing it.

I am particularly pleased with the provisions contained in title IV of the act, which enhance the counterintelligence authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense. These new authorities will enable us to detect and apprehend those who would betray our country for personal gain and improve the security of the country against hostile intelligence threats.

I am concerned, however, about the amendment of the National Security Act of 1947 to require that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees be notified of a transfer of defense articles and services in excess of $1 million. The scope of such notifications should be governed by appropriate agreement between the intelligence community and the intelligence committees of the Congress. Once an agreement has been reached, I hope that this amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 will be repealed. I also view those provisions of the bill that set forth the policy of the Congress as advisory and not binding on me as President. Despite these concerns, I believe that this legislation as a whole represents another positive step toward fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our nation's foreign intelligence capabilities.

Note: H.R. 4759, approved October 27, was assigned Public Law No. 99-569.

Ronald Reagan, Statement on Signing the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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