Rep. James Moran (D-VA), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, took to the floor on March 12 to tell his colleagues that he disagrees with what he sees as the legislative branch yielding too much of its spending authority to the executive branch these days.
“What I am most concerned with in regard to this separation of powers was cited in a New York Times editorial today, and that is the fact that two successive Presidents have now absolved the Central Intelligence Agency for its conduct with regard to illegal detention, rendition, torture, and fruitless harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects,” Moran continued. “I don’t care about Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s pain, frankly, but that is not the point. The point is that we have a responsibility in the legislative branch to oversee the conduct of our Intelligence Committees.”
“When the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in the Senate [Dianne Feinstein] says that the CIA improperly searched computers that were her committee staff members’ computers, that is wrong,” added Moran, the second most senior Democrat on the defense appropriations subcommittee. “The entire legislative branch should stand behind her in upholding our responsibilities as the legislative branch, an equal branch under the Constitution.”