The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence passed legislation on May 22 authorizing U.S. intelligence activities for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The bill included and built upon provisions from the FY14 bill, which the Committee previously approved by voice vote in November 2013.
The bill and classified annex also contain provisions authorizing U.S. intelligence activities for FY 2015.
The legislation provides the Intelligence Community authorization needed to protect and defend the United States. It supports critical national security programs, such as those protecting Americans against terrorism and cyber attacks, explains a notice posted by the Committee.
The total funding authorized by the bill is slightly above the President’s budget request, but maintains fiscal discipline. Passing yearly intelligence authorization acts is a vital component of the Committee’s important oversight responsibilities, and helps ensure that the country’s intelligence agencies have the resources and authorities necessary to keep Americans safe, the Committee added.
Some highlights of the legislation, according to the Committee, include:
- Increased research and development on potentially game-changing technologies;
- New investments in modernized intelligence capabilities that will also have lower operating costs;
- Enhanced investments in select military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft;
- Enhanced investments to more efficiently task and operate our intelligence collection assets;
- Policy and funding direction on sensitive intelligence operations;
- Funding to thwart insider threats;
- Funding incentives to recruit and retain the nation’s cyber workforce;
- Funding reductions to activities that are inefficient or insufficiently justified
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Ranking Member “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD) said, “This critical legislation will allow our intelligence professionals to continue protecting our country by providing them with the resources and capabilities they need to do their important work. The bill also reflects the Committee’s continuing and comprehensive oversight of the IC.”
During Chairman Rogers’ and Ranking Member Ruppersberger’s tenure, the Committee has passed three Intelligence Authorization Acts through the House with overwhelming bipartisan votes, each of which has been signed into law.