House Intelligence Committee reports Intelligence Authorization Act to full House of Representatives

By a unanimous vote, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence reported on June 28 the Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 (H.R. 6237) to the full House of Representatives.

This legislation provides the Intelligence Community (IC) the necessary resources and authorities to ensure they remain capable of protecting and defending the United States, the committee said. The bill supports critical national security programs, particularly those focused on countering threats from China as well as cyberattacks; the legislation does not make any changes to key surveillance authorities.  The total funding levels authorized by the bill are slightly above the President’s budget, balancing fiscal discipline and national security. This legislation:

  • Improves Retention and Recruitment of Personnel for Critical Cyber Missions by providing increased pay for certain employees with unique cyber skills;
  • Defends against foreign threats to elections by requiring the Director of National Intelligence to electronically publish an unclassified advisory report on foreign counterintelligence and cybersecurity threats to election campaigns for federal offices;
  • Protects Key Energy Infrastructure by creating an Infrastructure Security Center within the Department of Energy to coordinate intelligence on significant threats;
  • Authorizes enhanced injury benefits to CIA employees injured overseas due to hostile acts or terrorist activities;
  • Bolsters intelligence oversight by requiring the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense to develop a framework to assess the numerous roles, missions and functions of the Defense Intelligence Agency;
  • Improves IC accountability to Congress by requiring the IC to provide reports on:
    • Investigations of leaks of classified information;
    • Security clearance processing timelines;
    • The process for reviewing information about computer vulnerabilities for retention or potential release; and
    • Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections

The bill will now advance for a vote by the full House of Representatives.

Source: HPSCI