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Senate Passes Intelligence Authorization Act

Jul 27, 2023 | Press Releases

The Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) was included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024. The IAA authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and passed the Committee unanimously in June.  

  • “Our global adversaries, particularly China and Russia, are growing increasingly aggressive and collaborative in their efforts to degrade the international rules-based system around the world and within our own backyard. The Intelligence Community must continue to more forcefully adapt and strengthen our ability to mitigate these significant threats. Last month, every Senate Intelligence Committee Member voted in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, and I applaud my Senate colleagues for supporting this critical legislation as part of the FY 2024 NDAA. This IAA strengthens our Committee’s vigilant oversight of intelligence activities, prohibits DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis from collecting information on U.S. Persons, and ensures that the IC effectively manages critical resources, authorities, and personnel to preserve our American values and protect our national security.”   – Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL)

  • “Today’s passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act will help ensure that America’s intelligence agencies have the resources they need to protect our country. This year’s bill increases the IC’s ability to track threats posed by adversarial nations, including technological and economic competition with China. It also promotes a reform of the nation’s security classification system, strengthens the security of our election systems, and furthers the Committee’s efforts to reform the security clearance process, so that the IC can attract and expeditiously on-board a talented, diverse, and trusted workforce to meet the emerging challenges we face.” – Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) 

Background:

The IAA for Fiscal Year 2024 authorizes funding for the IC and ensures that it has the resources, personnel, and authorities it needs to protect our country and inform decision makers, while ensuring continued robust congressional oversight. The bill’s provisions focus on the following key areas:

  • Increases oversight of the national security threats posed by People’s Republic of China, including its economic practices, foreign malign influence operations, military capabilities, and investments in, and attempts to dominate, the supply chains of artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation energy technologies, and biotechnology, among many others.
  • Establishes a new IC atrocities coordinator to increase collection, analysis, and intelligence support to government-wide efforts to hold China accountable for its egregious human rights abuses. 
  • Promotes reform of the nation’s security classification system, including by encouraging the President to issue a revised Executive Order with minimum standards for classifying materials and timelines for declassifying materials, narrowing the criteria for what should be classified and exemptions from automatic declassification, and promoting better use of technology to facilitate declassification and enhance public trust.
  • Strengthens the security of America’s voting systems by requiring that they undergo simulated attacks as part of their standard certification process, allowing for the discovery of potential vulnerabilities before these can be exploited by adversaries.
  • Improves the IC’s procurement, adoption, and integration of emerging technologies by requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish policies for the IC’s acquisition, adoption, development, and use of AI.
  • Prohibits IC research funding for foreign adversaries, to protect our national security and U.S. intellectual property.
  • Enhances insight into the Venezuela Maduro regime’s imprisonment of United States persons.
  • Ensures the IC has a workforce that is second-to-none by improving workforce mobility among IC agencies to meet national security needs; increasing recruitment priorities for candidates with financial intelligence and technical expertise; and requiring a standard procedure for investigating CIA sexual misconduct complaints, among other measures.
  • Increases transparency by strengthening Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) funding and reporting requirements.
  • Continues to drive improvement in the security clearance process by renewing a report on the number of clearance holders in the government and industry; requiring updated timeliness standards the granting of clearances to reflect progress under the Trusted Workforce (TW) 2.0 initiative; annually measuring satisfaction among agencies, industry, and applicants with TW 2.0; and promoting shared IT among Intelligence Community elements to harmonize their clearance processes.
  • Prohibits the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis from collecting information or intelligence on U.S. persons.
  • Maintains strong congressional oversight of and protections for whistleblowers who come forward to report fraud, waste, or abuse.
  • Ensures continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (AHIs or “Havana Syndrome”) by improving the CIA’s funding flexibility for payments to qualified victims; and requiring each IC element to issue regulations and procedures for implementing HAVANA Act of 2021 authorities.