WASHINGTON – Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she will create a new congressional panel to examine the administration's intelligence budget and to make sure the money is being spent properly.
Creating the panel, Pelosi said at a news conference, "makes oversight stronger and makes the American people safer."
Democrats have been highly critical of the conduct of intelligence agencies in the days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Pelosi, D-Calif., also said that one of the first tasks of the Democratic-controlled House she will lead beginning in January will be approving the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including taking steps to make intelligence decisions more transparent.
The Select Intelligence Oversight Panel proposed by Pelosi would be made up by members of the Appropriations Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence, and would work within the Appropriations Committee.
It would examine, through hearings, the president's intelligence budget, prepare the classified annex to the annual defense spending bill and conduct oversight of the use of appropriated funds by intelligence agencies.