WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released the following statements on the Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which included the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020:
“I am thrilled to know that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan authorization act passed today through the Senate as part of our nation’s defense authorization bill,” said Vice Chairman Warner. “The bipartisan authorization bill ensures that the women and men of our intelligence agencies have the resources they need to do their jobs. I am particularly proud of a provision within the bill that will help recruit and retain top talent within the Intelligence Community by providing 12 weeks of paid parental leave to personnel, including adoptive and foster parents. I am also pleased that it includes a number of other provisions aimed at deterring foreign influence in our elections, tackling the technological threats from China as the U.S. and other nations move to 5G communications, revamping our outdated security clearance process, and enabling the IC to exchange talent with the private sector.”
“Today’s passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) marks a significant investment in the men and women of our Intelligence Community and the work they do to keep our nation safe,” said Chairman Burr. “The IAA was approved unanimously by the Senate Intelligence Committee last month, and I am glad to see it included in this year’s bipartisan defense bill. This legislation is critical for advancing the IC’s mission of deterring foreign adversaries, strengthening our election security, protecting our technology supply chains, and building a capable workforce. It strikes the right balance between giving our intelligence agencies the resources they need to operate effectively, while keeping them accountable to American taxpayers. I look forward to the IAA’s passage in the House.”
The IAA for Fiscal Years 2018-2020 authorizes funding and enables comprehensive, Congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community. This legislation is named for two dedicated staff members on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Damon Nelson and Matt Pollard, who passed away last year.
Specifically, the bill improves the Intelligence Community’s ability to defend the United States by:
- Deterring aggression from Russia and other foreign actors by increasing the United States’ capability of detecting malign activities, such as active measure campaigns, illicit financial transactions, and other intelligence activities.
- Securing our elections from foreign meddling by requiring strategic assessments of Russian cyber threats and influence campaigns, and facilitating increased information sharing between local, state, and federal government officials.
- Enhancing the security clearance process by requiring a plan to reduce the backlog, increase efficiencies, create an interagency information sharing program for positions of trust, and ensure compliance with uniform clearance eligibility procedures within the federal government.
- Protecting the U.S. Government technology supply chain by creating a task force within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and improving the procurement process to defend against intrusion and sabotage.
- Bolstering the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals by enhancing career path flexibility and benefits for cybersecurity experts working within the Intelligence Community.
- Improving the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s oversight by establishing an effective appeals panel process and enabling consistency among Intelligence Community agencies’ processes and procedures.
- Advancing the Intelligence Community workforce by requiring 12 weeks of paid parental leave for civilian IC personnel, and by establishing a Public-Private Talent Exchange to foster professional experiences and growth.
The IAA was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on a bipartisan and unanimous 15-0 vote on May 14, 2019.