Texas Republican would limit CIA’s use of UAVs to carry out weapons strikes

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
Rep. Michael Burgess

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), a longtime physician, on Feb. 11 introduced legislation, H.R. 4036, which would prohibit the Central Intelligence Agency from using an unmanned aerial vehicle to carry out a weapons strike or other deliberately lethal action.

The bill, which was referred to the House Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, would also transfer the authority to conduct such strikes or lethal action to the Department of Defense.

The proposed text of H.R. 4036 has not yet been printed and is not yet available.

Rep. Burgess is a frequent critic of the Obama administration on national security and intelligence-related matters.

On January 17, he released a statement about the President’s proposed changes to the current National Security Agency (NSA) telephone data collection program.

“Today’s announced changes to the National Security Agency’s Section 215 metadata collection program is an admission by President Obama of the overreach of government that has occurred under his watch,” said Rep. Burgess. “While the program was authorized before his taking office in 2009, mission creep has made it unsustainable.”

“At the same time, making changes to the way intelligence is gathered and collected by the U.S. government is the job of Congress, not for the president to unilaterally decide not to follow the law,” the Republican lawmaker continued. “Today’s announcement is yet another in a long line of decisions by this administration to ignore the law.”