06.24.15

Senate Intelligence Committee Advances FY2016 Authorization Bill

WASHINGTON – Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced the committee voted 15-0 to approve the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. 

The bill’s next step will be consideration before the full Senate.

Senator Burr said: “Our nation is facing more threats every day. America’s security depends on our intelligence community’s ability to detect and thwart attacks on the homeland, our personnel and interests overseas, and our allies. This year’s legislation arms the intelligence community with the resources they need, and reinforces congressional oversight of intelligence activities.” 

Senator Feinstein said: “With the threat of terrorism greater than ever, the role of intelligence agencies to identify and analyze threats remains the best way to prevent an attack. Budgets constraints continue to threaten these roles, so it’s more important than ever that the committee conduct strict oversight and direct limited funds to areas where they’ll have the greatest impact.” 

The bill authorizes funding for the U.S. intelligence community and provides numerous legal authorities and requirements:

  • Makes the position of National Counterintelligence Executive subject to Senate confirmation.
  • Requires reports on matters relating to China and Russia.
  • Requires Director of National Intelligence to develop a strategy for comprehensive, interagency review of national security satellite systems.
  • Requires electronic communication service providers (such as social media companies) to inform authorities, as determined by the attorney general, when they become aware of terrorist activity.
  • Requires intelligence agencies to notify the committee of promotions and movement in positions in the senior levels of the intelligence community.
  • Directs the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a declassification review of video from the 2012 Benghazi attack.