The last time the government voluntarily disclosed the intelligence budget was in 1998, when it was $26.7 billion -- indicating a tripling of the budget over 12 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"It is clear that the overall spending on intelligence has blossomed to an unacceptable level in the past decade," U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. Feinstein heads the Senate intelligence committee, which sets the budget and oversees policy.
The intelligence-gathering budget surpassed spending on the Department of Homeland Security ($53 billion) and the Justice Department ($30 billion) this fiscal year and represents 12 percent of the total defense budget of $644 billion, the Times said.
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