Congress tightens belt, trims spy budget for 2013

Topics: From the Wires,

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is drastically trimming the budget for spies and satellites for 2013, though not quite as deeply as the White House wanted.

House lawmakers voted Monday on a Senate-passed bill to slightly boost the president’s $72 billion budget request for intelligence agencies including the CIA, adding extra cash for counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

But that’s down from roughly $80 billion in 2012, which marked the peak of intelligence spending since the 9/11 attacks.

The bill was stripped of several measures meant to block the leaking of classified information, including a provision that would have limited which government officials could brief journalists on intelligence. But the bill still requires the White House to tell Congress when it decides to share classified information with reporters.

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