The House of Representatives today approved the Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 (H.R. 6237) on a bipartisan 363-54 vote.
This legislation provides the Intelligence Community (IC) the necessary resources and authorities to ensure they remain capable of protecting and defending the United States. The bill supports critical national security programs, particularly those focused on countering terrorism and cyberattacks. The total funding levels authorized by the bill are slightly above the President’s budget, balancing fiscal discipline and national security. This legislation:
Improves Retention and Recruitment of Personnel for Critical Cyber Missions by providing increased pay for certain employees with unique cyber skills;
Defends Against Foreign Threats to Elections by requiring the Director of National Intelligence to electronically publish an unclassified advisory report on foreign counterintelligence and cybersecurity threats to election campaigns for federal offices;
Protects Key Energy Infrastructure by creating an Infrastructure Security Center within the Department of Energy to coordinate intelligence on significant threats;
Authorizes Enhanced Injury Benefits to CIA Employees injured overseas due to hostile acts or terrorist activities;
Bolsters Intelligence Oversight by requiring the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense to develop a framework to assess the numerous roles, missions and functions of the Defense Intelligence Agency;
Improves IC Accountability to Congress by requiring the IC to provide reports on:
Investigations of leaks of classified information;
Security clearance processing timelines;
The process for reviewing information about computer vulnerabilities for retention or potential release; and
Russian influence campaigns directed at foreign elections.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said: “The Intelligence Authorization Act is Congress’ best tool for ensuring the Intelligence Community has the funding and resources it needs to protect Americans from foreign threats. This bill will also enable robust Congressional oversight of the Intelligence Community’s activities, and I look forward to the bill’s passage in the Senate.”