Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

House Intelligence Committee Unanimously Approves Intelligence Authorization Act

Jun 27, 2019
Press Release
Bill includes Sewell provision to improve federal campaign security

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence approved the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020, by unanimous voice vote. The bill authorizes funding and enables comprehensive congressional oversight of elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), and includes a provision authored by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), chair of the Subcommittee on Defense and Warfighter Support, aimed at improving federal campaign election security.

“When it comes to securing our elections, nothing less than our democracy is at stake. The Intelligence Community agrees that unless the United States acts, Russia and others will continue to attack our elections,” Sewell said. “Arming our federal campaigns and the public with the knowledge and resources to best protect themselves from cyber-attacks is a commonsense step to protect the integrity of our elections.”

Sewell’s provision would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to work with the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to make available an advisory report on foreign counter-intelligence and cybersecurity threats to election campaigns for federal offices. Additionally, it would require the DNI work jointly to publish a summary of best practices that federal campaigns can employ to counter such threats.

In the event that Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis jointly determine that a federal election campaign is subject to a heightened foreign counterintelligence or cybersecurity threat, the provision would allow them to make available additional information to those campaigns to help thwart outside interference.