WASHINGTON –WASHINGTON – Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced the committee voted 14-1 to approve the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
The bill’s next step will be consideration before the full Senate.
Senator Burr said: “The threats facing our nation continue to grow and this year’s legislation provides the Intelligence Community the resourcing and authorities it needs to keep America safe. The bill also strengthens the Committee’s ability to conduct vigorous oversight over the intelligence activities of our government to ensure they are conducted effectively, efficiently, and within the rule of law.”
Senator Feinstein said: “Intelligence authorization bills not only direct funding to where it’s most needed, they also provide a key tool to strengthen intelligence community management and ensure that proper oversight is being done by Congress. After a six-year drought, this would be the eighth consecutive intelligence authorization bill to pass Congress, a record of which I’m very proud. The threat of terrorism remains high, so it’s vital that we provide intelligence agencies with all the resources they need to prevent attacks both at home and abroad.”
The bill authorizes funding for the U.S. intelligence community and provides numerous legal authorities and requirements:
- Promotes the hiring, further education, and retention of employees with science, technology, engineering, or math expertise.
- Strengthens oversight of intelligence and intelligence-related activities conducted by the Department of Defense.
- Provides death benefits to employees of the Central Intelligence Agency similar to those authorized for members of the Foreign Service.
- Provides protections for independent inspectors general of elements of the Intelligence Community.
- Requires the President to establish an interagency committee to counter Russian active measures.
- Encourages a greater focus on and utilization of Research and Development within the Intelligence Community.