Sewell Amendments to Intelligence Authorization Act Pass Committee
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, the Intelligence Committee unanimously advanced the bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, including two amendments offered by Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL). 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. Rep. Sewell offered two amendments to the FY18 IAA, including an amendment to strengthen protections against election-related cyber threats, and an amendment to promote in the IC workforce.
“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,” said Rep. Sewell. “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.”
“One of the greatest threats to our democracy today is the vulnerability of our elections to cyber-attacks. That is why I introduced an amendment to this year’s IAA that provides our lawmakers, election officials, campaigns, and the public with additional information and resources to defend our democracy against emerging cyber threats. Our intelligence community warns that if we do not act on this issue, our democracy will again fall victim to Russian cyber-threats. The cybersecurity of our elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I was proud to see our Committee take a step forward together by passing my amendment.”
“The Committee today also accepted my provision to continue to promote diversity in the IC workforce. By passing this amendment to the IAA, we will continue to be able to provide a summer internship program to students from the existing Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE). We also continue to hold the IC 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.”
The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is also responsible for the House investigation Russia’s attack on American elections in 2016. As a Member of the Committee, Rep. Sewell has heard testimony from high-ranking intelligence officials who agree that another cyberattack by Russia is imminent should the United States fail to act.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.