WASHINGTON – Today it was announced that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) will serve as the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 115th Congress.
“With a new administration starting to assemble its national security team, I look forward to fulfilling the Committee’s primary responsibility to provide vigorous and bipartisan oversight,” said Sen. Warner. “One of things I value most about my service on the Intelligence Committee is the tradition of members leaving partisanship at the door when we enter the committee room. In a dangerous world, the responsibilities of the Intelligence Committee are more essential than ever.”
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was created by the Senate in 1976 to “oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government,” to “submit to the Senate appropriate proposals for legislation and report to the Senate concerning such intelligence activities and programs,” and to “provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” While all Senators have access to classified intelligence assessments, access to intelligence sources and methods, programs, and budgets is generally limited to the fifteen members of the Intelligence Committee and by law, the President is required to ensure that the Committee is kept “fully and currently informed” of intelligence activities.
Sen. Warner, who joined the Intelligence Committee in 2012, has been a leader in the Senate on issues surrounding cybersecurity, and co-founded the bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Caucus earlier this year. He has been a leader in focusing oversight efforts on how the intelligence community plans for, acquires, and operates national security space systems. He is the lead sponsor of annual resolutions marking Intelligence Professionals Day, and currently is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation unanimously adopted by the Senate to award the OSS Gold Medal Act before the 114th Congress adjourns.
In addition to serving as the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Senate Democratic Leader-elect Charles E. Schumer announced today that Sen. Warner will continue to hold a leadership role within the Democratic caucus as Vice Chair of the Conference in the 115th Congress.