WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Intelligence Committee proposed shrinking the government’s spy satellite program by $130 million in its version of the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, according to a Nov. 21 press release from the committee.

Intelligence agency budgets are classified so it is difficult to know exactly how severely the recommendation would affect the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which buys and operates the nation’s spy satellites. According to documents leaked to the Washington Post by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, however, the NRO requested $10.3 billion for 2013, a figure that puts it in the top five in spending among U.S. intelligence agencies.

The House committee’s Nov. 21 announcement provided no details of the proposed “reduction of more than $130 million in space programs.”

The bill, which is used to authorize funding for intelligence programs, passed by a voice vote. The overall funding recommendation for intelligence programs was slightly below the president’s recommended budget, the release said.

U.S. President Barack Obama requested $52.7 billion for national intelligence programs and $18.6 billion for military intelligence programs for 2014, according to publicly released government documents.

The bill now moves to the House floor.

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Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...