The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday approved a nearly 3 percent increase in funding for the intelligence community next year, sources said.
The details of the 1986 authorization measure, including money totals, are classified. But sources said that the increase approved by the committee for fiscal 1986 is substantially less than the Reagan administration requested. It also is a smaller percentage increase than Congress has provided before.
The legislation authorizes spending levels for the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI and other intelligence agencies, covering everything from computer equipment to covert operations.
The committee's action, by voice vote, leaves intact its vote last week to eliminate all funding for contras, or counterrevolutionaries, in Nicaragua. President Reagan had requested that the CIA receive $28 million next year in military aid for the contras.
The Democratic-dominated committee voted along party lines Thursday to deny that request and to leave intact a provision in current law prohibiting use of U.S. intelligence funds "directly or indirectly" to support "military or paramilitary" operations in Nicaragua.
Yesterday, the committee voted to amend that prohibition to include GOP-sponsored language to make clear that the CIA is allowed to remain in contact with the contras to collect intelligence data.
The amendment passed 9 to 7, apparently with three of the committee's 10 Democrats siding with the panel's six Republicans.
The bill is not expected to come to the floor for weeks, officials said. When it does, the GOP is expected to fight to restore the administration's request for $28 million for the contras next year, in either military or nonmilitary, humanitarian aid.
The Democratic-controlled House voted several weeks ago to deny further funds for the contras this year. Since then, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has gone to Moscow in search of Soviet aid and many House members have said they would change their votes and support some form of nonmilitary aid to the rebels.
Nicaragua was the only major source of dissension during the committee's consideration of the 1986 authorization, members said. On almost all other issues there was general agreement, members said.