Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

McCain: Putting Drone Language in Classified Omnibus Annex ‘Outrageous’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain is incensed about a report that says the omnibus spending bill essentially blocks the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Pentagon.

The Arizona Republican, who is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, says he was not advised of the inclusion of any such provision in the classified annex that accompanies the Defense Department portion of the $1.1 trillion catch-all discretionary spending bill. The Washington Post wrote about the provisions on Wednesday night, after the House had already easily passed the legislation.

“It’s one of the most outrageous violations of … the authority of the authorizing committees. This is clearly an issue for the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and I’ve talked to members of the Appropriations Committee that didn’t even know this was in,” McCain said. “You can’t do business like this.

“This is a major aspect of this nation’s security — the use of drones. This is not a small item. This isn’t … the price of milk,” McCain continued. “It has everything to do with our national security, and to … act in that way, without a hearing, without notification.

“Sen. Levin didn’t know about this — of course he didn’t,” McCain said. “Sen. Inhofe didn’t know about it.”

Michigan Democrat Carl Levin and Oklahoma Republican James M. Inhofe are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, on the Armed Services Committee, respectively. Appropriators and authorizers frequently spar over the use of funding limitations as policy provisions in spending bills, so on one level a potential turf war is not unusual.

“There’s a classified section but you know, but which one of us, you know, goes down and sees a classified section,” McCain said. “It’s crazy.”

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a senior appropriator, said that he does take the step of reviewing the classified annex.

“I don’t know whether all members do,” Alexander said. “All members can, and I do.”

The annex itself is a routine part of defense appropriations, which includes secretive funding for intelligence programs. Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., also serves as chairman of the subcommittee that governs defense spending.

Durbin said that all material is not available to all members.

“When you’re dealing with classified information, by definition there is some information here that if it is made public could endanger security of the United States,” Durbin said. “I’ve served on the Intelligence Committee, and I now have a new responsibility funding the intelligence agencies, and there are just certain areas that we can’t discuss publicly for fear that it might endanger our country.

“I’m going to try and talk to John and tell him what I can tell him, and I don’t know if it will allay his fears,” Durbin said.

“I’m always glad to talk to him. He’s a good friend, but this is in law now,” McCain said, calling the move “a major policy decision, which not only violates the authority of the appropriators and the authorizers, but places restrictions on the actions of the president of the United States.”

Comments (45)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. ivan

    Jan. 16, 2014
    4:10 p.m.

    McCain acts as if this kind of thing is never done. Consider however all the bills that are passed without the general pubic who pays for it all is never told anything until after the bill is passed. Hiding items is one thing our congress has always been good at. They however, do not like things hidden from themselves. What they all hide from the voters though is just fine.

  2. Socialism: Organized Evil

    Jan. 18, 2014
    6:52 a.m.

    With the institutions of freedom, private property, and rule of law in place during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, the citizens of the West voluntarily unleashed their abilities and created wealth on a scale never before seen.

  3. Bruno's Beach

    Jan. 19, 2014
    4:08 a.m.

    After confusing liberty with wealth, collectivists can appeal to liberty to attack freedom and appeal to plunder in the name of illusions such as “social justice” and “fair share”.


    Dec. 23, 2014
    11:14 a.m.

    dvdrip regarder film Online, dvdrip regarder film streaming Gratuitment, dvdrip regarder gratuitement, dvdrip Regarder Gratuitment, dvdrip stream, dvdrip

  5. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    12:33 p.m.

    I’ll immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:40 p.m.

    Well I truly liked reading it. This article provided by you is very useful for accurate planning.

  7. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    11:02 a.m.

    I conceive you have mentioned some very interesting points, appreciate it for the post.

  8. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:22 p.m.

    Absolutely written content, Really enjoyed reading.

  9. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:47 a.m.

    Hi my family member! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and include almost all important infos. I’d like to look more posts like this.

  10. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:11 a.m.

    Hello there, I discovered your site by way of Google at the same time as looking for a similar topic, your site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  11. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    6:21 a.m.

    Hello. Great job. I did not anticipate this. This is a remarkable story. Thanks!

  12. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    12:17 p.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  13. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    5:23 p.m.

    F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your article. Thank you a lot and i am looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    10:48 a.m.

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    8:16 a.m.

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:21 p.m.

    Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:57 p.m.

    I?¦ve read some just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you place to create this kind of fantastic informative site.

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    7:16 p.m.

    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Cheers!

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    6:06 a.m.

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss problem? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:13 a.m.

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really frustrating. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    11:27 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write fantastic, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    10:03 a.m.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:27 p.m.

    of course like your web site however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality on the other hand I will surely come again again.

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:43 p.m.

    Hello.This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on this subject last Friday.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:40 p.m.

    I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  26. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    3:44 a.m.

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  27. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    10:54 p.m.

    Awesome site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!

  28. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    11:50 p.m.

    I’m often to blogging and i actually admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for brand new information.

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    9:22 a.m.

    Very good written information. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

  30. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    11:54 a.m.

    Perfect piece of work you have done, this website is really cool with great information.

  31. tom si jerry romana

    Sept. 10, 2015
    9:24 p.m.

    I am so grateful for your blog article.Really thank you! Great.

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    1:47 a.m.

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    3:31 a.m.

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    11:32 a.m.

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  35. home insurance rates

    Sept. 20, 2015
    9:53 a.m.

    Get quotes on Esurance for auto and home policy. Save with esurance quote!

  36. state farm quote

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:50 p.m.

    Compare State farm quotes to save more on auto and home insurance policies.

  37. amica mutual insurance company

    Sept. 21, 2015
    4:28 p.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies, combine, compare and save on quotes. Get cheapest policies from top companies.

  38. amax insurance near me

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:48 p.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  39. federated mutual insurance quotes

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:16 a.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  40. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:51 p.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  41. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    4:05 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals. I certainly liked reading everything that is posted on your site.Keep the stories coming. I enjoyed it!

  42. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    4:49 p.m.

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the subject and found most persons will approve with your blog.

  43. low cost homeownes insurane

    Sept. 28, 2015
    11:58 a.m.

    Compare quotes by zip code instantly. Save up to $520 on combined auto policies!

  44. commercial insurance agent

    Sept. 29, 2015
    5:38 p.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  45. www acuity com login page

    Oct. 1, 2015
    4:37 p.m.

    Best quotes in the USA on auto and home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save on policy!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...