Congresswoman Terri Sewell on the Intelligence Committee Unanimously Passing FY 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act
Washington, DC – The Intelligence Committee unanimously advanced the bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The annual IAA ensures that the programs and activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), including Department of Defense (DoD) intelligence elements, are ratified in law and have adequate resources to protect the nation from local and foreign threats.
“Our national security is truly a bipartisan issue, and this legislation is a reflection of both parties’ shared commitment to the safety and security of all Americans. This bill helps provide our Intelligence Community with the necessary resources and capabilities to defend our nation against ongoing and emerging threats around the world. Additionally, this legislation takes important steps towards enhancing thorough oversight of our surveillance capabilities while continuing to make calculated investments in critically important strategic efforts. I am also pleased that President Obama’s budget request for the FY17 IAA is nearly equal to the ultimate base budget of the authorization.
“As a committee, we took great pains to cut unnecessary funding while prioritizing the need to improve upon processes and efficiency. In the IAA we invested in our greatest national security resource-- our people. By accepting provisions that I drafted to promote diversity in the IC workforce, we are now able to provide a summer internship program to students from the existing Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE). We also now hold the IC more accountable for doing a better job of developing a matrix to assess how minority fellowships and internships actually achieve their desired results, which is to increase the number of minorities hired by the IC. I was also successful in including bipartisan language that promotes accountability and transparency in all IC federally-funded academic programs by requiring agencies to report on their recruitment and retention efforts.
“We live in a world where potential threats to our nation are constantly developing and changing. As our military missions and intelligence objectives continue to evolve, we will need an Intelligence Community that is agile and adequately funded. I am proud to support this year’s Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA), and I look forward to its full consideration and passage by Congress.”