Senate intel committee passes Intelligence Authorization Act

On June 3, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (IAA) today on a bipartisan 14 – 1 vote. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances Congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“The IAA for Fiscal Year 2021 represents the Senate Intelligence Committee’s strong, bipartisan effort to give our Intelligence Community the resources, authorities, and personnel to protect America’s national security while increasing government efficiency,” Acting Chairman Marco Rubio said. “As a nation, we face ever-expanding threats from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Our legislation is vital to the Intelligence Community, and it provides the men and women who serve our nation the tools they need to keep our country safe. At the same time, our bill represents comprehensive Congressional oversight, ensuring that these tools are executed responsibly and cost-effectively.”

“This bipartisan intelligence authorization bill ensures that the women and men of our intelligence agencies have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Vice Chairman Mark Warner. “This bill takes key steps to improve our national security, including investments in 5G technology, reforms to our security clearance process, and important protections for whistleblowers to report wrongdoing within the IC.”

The IAA for Fiscal Year 2021 ensures that the Intelligence Community can continue its critical work for our country while Congress continues its oversight, including in the following key areas:

  • Confronting our adversaries’ attempts to compromise telecommunications and cybersecurity technology;
  • Development and deployment of secure 5G networks based in open-standards to compete with our adversaries;
  • Identifying corruption, influence operations, and information suppression by the Chinese government, in particular in this critical time for the people of Hong Kong;
  • Uncovering Russian and Eastern European oligarchs’ corruption and illegal activities;
  • Protecting against foreign influence threats and election interference on social media platforms;
  • Creating Intelligence Community-wide policies to facilitate sharing cleared contractor information with private companies to enhance the effectiveness of insider threat programs;
  • Requiring the publication of guidelines for granting, denying, or revoking a security clearance and preventing the revocation or denial of a clearance for reasons of discrimination, political beliefs, or retaliation; and
  • Advancing Intelligence Community hiring flexibilities, student loan repayment programs, and child care for IC personnel.

Source: U.S. Senate