Amendment would cut $4.2 million from 2015 National Security Council budget

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) submitted an amendment on Tuesday to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that would cut the National Security Council's 2015 budget by $4.2 million.

Frelinghuysen said the National Security Council is the president's staff and should solely serve to provide advice to President Obama on national security matters. In the past few months, Frelinghuysen said, the National Security Council staff mandated that the DoD and other agencies selectively withhold some information from congressional oversight committees, according to a House transcript.

"While the president has constitutional authority as commander in chief to provide for the nation's defense, this Congress was vested exclusively with the constitutional authority to fund that defense, a constitutional authority that is vested in the Appropriations Committee," Frelinghuysen said. "Mr. Chairman, it is important that all appropriate oversight committees are not restricted from the information they need to have to do their jobs."

The amendment would cut the National Security Council's staff budget by approximately one-third.

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) supported Frelinghuysen's amendment, reiterating that accurate, complete and timely reporting by the DoD is essential for the House Appropriations Committee to conduct its oversight responsibilities.

"I strongly urge the adoption of the gentleman's amendment, which underscores the constitutional prerogative of the Congress as well as of the Committee on Appropriations," Visclosky said.

The amendment was included in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which passed the House on Wednesday.