Welcome to this week’s double-sized installment of TheIntelligence Brief… recently, it was learned that several top members of Congress had launched an effort to block an amendment in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the release of government records on unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). In our analysis this week, we’ll be looking at 1) what the UAP Disclosure Act of 2023 would accomplish if it were passed into law, 2) why recent developments on Capitol Hill spell trouble for the provision, and 3) a last-minute effort by a bipartisan coalition in Washington to try and raise awareness about the issue and their demand for UAP transparency, and 4) why not everyone in Washington is wild about the Senate’s version of the UAP legislation going into law.
Quote of the Week
“The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena.”
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With all the housekeeping out of the way, it’s time to head back to Washington for the latest on the developing situation regarding legislation aimed at UAP disclosure and whether it will make its way into law next year.
The UAP Disclosure Act of 2023
Back in July, an amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require the release of government records related to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) was presented by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).
Mandating that UAP documents “carry the presumption of disclosure,” the amendment, officially titled the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act of 2023, was modeled after the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
Among its provisions had been the requirement that documents related to UAP be released no more than 25 years after creation unless they were deemed to be of great enough risk to national security to warrant further classification, as well as the creation of an official UAP Records Collection and the establishment of a review board. The original wording of the act also included a controversial eminent domain clause that would allow the U.S. government to acquire any materials believed to belong to UAP.
Given the passage of similar UAP legislation in recent years, it seemed likely that the new amendment, generally referred to as the Schumer Amendment since it was introduced, would likely pass into law. However, breaking developments in recent days are now casting significant doubt over that prospect.
House Republicans Work to Block the Schumer Amendment
Late last week, it was revealed that several top House Republicans were working to block the Schumer amendment from passing. The effort, reportedly led by Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Mike Rogers (R-AL), managed to garner support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.
Reasons for their opposition remain somewhat unclear, although it has been said that Turner and Johnson had allegedly argued that the Schumer Amendment was too similar to previous wording that appeared in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which directed the establishment of the DoD’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). However, many have pointed to the large amounts of campaign funding Rep. Turner and Rep. Johnson receive from the aerospace and defense companies, as well as the proximity of Turner’s district to Wright Patterson Base in Ohio, and Johnson’s to Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
Another possibility is that the issue may be primarily political, with the Republican lawmakers attempting to quash the Schumer amendment along with other measures included by their political opponents in the Senate version of the NDAA that they deem to be too costly.
Speaking with News Nation this week, Turner claimed that despite pushback from members of the House who support the UAP amendment, he has not directly heard from any of them.
“What I really find interesting about what I call the pro-alien caucus over here in the House,” Turner said, “[is] you would think that if this is that important of an issue to them, at least one member of the House who’s, you know, advancing this cause would actually come up and substantively talk to me about this issue.”
The “pro-alien caucus” Turner had mockingly referenced while speaking to News Nation refers to a bipartisan coalition that calls itself The UAP Caucus. The group, consisting primarily of Republicans, includes Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), and several others (an unofficial website that is not directly endorsed by any members of the group but which does provide some details about their efforts can be found here). Earlier on Thursday, the group held a press conference where they addressed the current issues regarding UAP transparency provisions in the NDAA.
“It all comes down to one word,” Rep. Tim Burchett said during Thursday’s press conference. “Transparency.”
“We need the UAP Disclosure Act,” Luna affirmed during Thursday’s press conference. “We do not want to go forward with fake promises to the American people.”
“The pushback we got is what interested me,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz said, speaking after Luna on Thursday. “If these are advanced technologies, we aren’t interested in hurting national security, but we are interested in knowing what these UAP are.”
“If this is all false, why at every turn are there people trying to stop transparency and disclosure?” Moskowitz also said.
“This is not about whether there are aliens or there are not aliens.”
As was made evident during the UAP Caucus’s press conference on Thursday, not everyone who supports the disclosure of information the U.S. government has on UAP is aligned with the Schumer amendment.
Calling attention to a similar measure included in the House version of the NDAA by Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) released a statement on X Thursday morning before also participating in Thursday’s press conference, which argued against passing the Schumer amendment, adding that Rep. Mike Rogers had actually shown support for the House Republican’s UAP bill.
“The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House includes an amendment by [Rep. Tim Burchett] which mandates the Department of Defense (DoD) to declassify the military’s knowledge on UAPs within 180 days of the NDAA’s enactment. This proposal is currently the most effective way to expose what the DoD is hiding,” read the statement on Gaetz’s X account.
“Instead, [Sen. Schumer] is trying to jam his amendment through the NDAA conference that would establish a commission akin to the decades-long JFK investigation. Under the commission, it could take up to 25 years to declassify documents and records related to UAPs.”
Altogether, it remains to be seen whether either of the proposed UAP-related bills will make their way into the final version of the NDAA that is signed into law. However, a decision on the matter is likely to be made by lawmakers as early as today… and as news happens, you can rest assured that you’ll be hearing more about it in follow-up reporting from The Debrief.
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