House of Representatives passes FY18 intelligence authorization bill

On July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 3180) on a bipartisan 380-35 vote.

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 bill supports critical national security programs, particularly those focused on countering terrorism and cyberattacks. The total funding levels authorized by the bill are slightly below the President’s budget, balancing fiscal discipline and national security. This legislation:

Focuses the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on core missions by eliminating several DIA components and functions or realigning them to other IC elements;

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;

Bolsters intelligence oversight by ensuring that IC contractors can meet freely with Congress; and

Improves IC accountability to Congress by requiring the IC to provide reports on:

o   Investigations of leaks of classified information;

o   Security clearance processing timelines;

o   The process for reviewing information about computer vulnerabilities for retention or potential release; and

o   Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections and threat finance activities.

The Act makes no changes to any surveillance authorities, including those set to expire later this year, which will be addressed in separate legislation.

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said: “This is a crucial, bipartisan bill that will keep the Intelligence Community fully funded and subject to robust congressional oversight. I thank the House for passing the IAA on a bipartisan basis, and I look forward to its quick passage in the Senate.”

Ranking Member Adam Schiff said: “I am pleased that the House has once again passed the Intelligence Authorization Act with a strong bipartisan majority. This year’s intelligence authorization bill makes sure our intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense have the resources, authorities, and capabilities they need to protect our nation, but it also ensures vigorous oversight, particularly to make sure privacy and civil liberties are protected.”

For more information on the bill, click here.

Source: HPSCI