Statement on Signing the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1986

December 4, 1985

I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 2419, the ``Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1986.'' This act represents another positive step in our efforts to revitalize America's intelligence capabilities and to protect our nation from hostile intelligence threats, particularly those of the Soviet Union and its surrogates. It is essential that we authorize sufficient appropriations and provide adequate authorities to enable our intelligence agencies to undertake effectively their vital mission. With this act, the Congress has provided the basis for ensuring that the intelligence community is equipped to deal with the increasingly complex and diverse challenges facing it.

The congressional vote of support for the Unified Nicaraguan Opposition (UNO) reflected in this legislation is a recognition of the threat the repressive Sandinista regime in Managua poses to all the peoples of Central America. H.R. 2419 demonstrates our resolve to support the brave men and women of the Nicaraguan resistance in the crucial campaign to achieve a democratic outcome in Nicaragua. Although the Congress did not authorize the full program requested by the administration to support the democratic forces in Nicaragua and to facilitate the reconciliation of the Nicaraguan people, the legislation is a positive step and furthers important United States policy objectives in this vital region.

I am disappointed that H.R. 2419 is used as a vehicle to amend the National Security Act of 1947 and mandates reporting requirements that are best left to working arrangements and guidelines agreed to by the Congress and the Director of Central Intelligence. Despite my disappointment, I believe, on the whole, that this legislation represents a positive step toward fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our intelligence capabilities.

Note: H.R. 2419, approved December 4, was asssigned Public Law No. 99 - 169.