Congressman Steve Buyer - Working for Indiana - News Release

  For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 30, 2006
  Introduces legislation requiring security clearance for certain committees  
Washington, D.C.Members serving on two of the most sensitive committees in the U.S. Congress would be required to obtain a security clearance under legislation introduced today by Congressman Steve Buyer (IN-04).  H. Res [747] would amend the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives to require any Member who wants to serve on either the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence or the Department of Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to first obtain a security clearance. 


The House Committee on Rules is currently working on a package to address House lobbying reform and Congressman Buyer urged the Committee to include his language in such a measure.


Testifying before the Rules Committee today, Buyer stated, “These two Committees have access to the most closely guarded secrets our nation possesses.  These Committees are positions of the highest level of trust.  I do not believe that asking Members to obtain a clearance in exchange for the privilege of serving on these Committees is too much to ask to show the American people that we take this trust seriously.”


Currently, all Members must take an oath of office at the beginning of each Congress. The only other measure required of Members is the signing of a non-disclosure oath prior to accessing classified information.   


 As recently as last year, one of our Members had access to the highest levels of classified material that this country possesses due to his seat on the House Intelligence Committee and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  This same Member was also convicted of taking bribes and steering millions of dollars in defense and intelligence contracts.  As disgraceful as that is to our institution, what if the disgrace had involved classified information?” Buyer added.


“It is my hope that this legislation is included in the comprehensive lobbying and ethics reform package.  This Chamber is at a crossroads right now and we must take advantage of the will of its Members and the will of our constituents to ensure that this nation’s secrets are guarded by individuals of the highest integrity,” said Buyer.


Source: Office of Rep. Buyer