Washington, D.C. — Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Acting Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) applauded the upcoming passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (IAA) as part of the bipartisan, targeted COVID-19 relief package. The bill, which was approved by the Committee on a bipartisan 14 - 1 vote on June 8, 2020 and passed the Senate on July 23, 2020 as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances Congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.
“Recent events make it all too clear that our nation continues to face ever-expanding threats from hostile foreign actors, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea,” Rubio said. “It is vital that our Intelligence Community has the necessary resources, authorities, and personnel to protect America’s national security, and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s strong, bipartisan legislation does just that. Our bill also increases government efficiency and represents comprehensive Congressional oversight to ensure that these tools are executed responsibly and cost-effectively.”
“I am happy to say that the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 was included in the compromise legislation. The IAA ensures that the women and men of America’s Intelligence Community have the tools and resources they need to keep our country safe, and to ensure that decision makers are presented with the best intelligence, regardless of fear or favor. Passage of the IAA also ensures that Congress fulfills its mission of providing robust oversight of the nation’s intelligence agencies. This bipartisan bill includes key measures to improve our national security and America’s technological edge,” Warner said.
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:
- Deterring and uncovering core threats from China and Russia, by identifying their corruption, influence operations, and information suppression;
- Countering our adversaries’ attempts to compromise telecommunications and cybersecurity technology, and requiring complex, extensive assessments of our current critical technologies and their supply chains;
- Strengthening open source intelligence capabilities for improved collection and analysis across the entire Intelligence Community;
- Enhancing recruitment and hiring for our Intelligence Community, by giving the agencies the resources and tools they need to advance their talented workforce that protects our nation day in and day out; and
- Ensuring accountability and integrity from our Intelligence Community agencies, which undertake our most sensitive intelligence programs and activities.