Md. congressman among GOP `nays' on intelligence bill

December 09, 2004|By CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

Republican U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett broke with his party - and the rest of the Maryland delegation - to vote against the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 this week.

All seven of the state's other representatives voted for the bill, which was passed by the House in a 336-75 vote Tuesday.

Maryland Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes voted in favor of the measure yesterday in the Senate.

The bill, based on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, will create a national intelligence director, set up a counter-terrorism center and a civil liberties oversight board, increase the number of immigration agents, and upgrade aviation security, border control and cargo inspection measures.

Aides said Bartlett, whose district encompasses much of Carroll County, along with parts of Baltimore and Harford counties as well as Western Maryland, supported an earlier House version of the bill that included tougher immigration restrictions.

He voted against the final version because those provisions were dropped, they said, and worried that Congress rushed the measure through.

"It was impossible to produce a good bill on such a complex issue that fast," said Lisa Wright, Bartlett's press secretary, who said Congress' haste could bring "unforeseen, unintended consequences."

Bartlett was one of 67 Republicans who opposed the bill, which is supported by the Bush administration.

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