Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 and 2020 to authorize funding and enable comprehensive congressional oversight of elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The bill includes key provisions aimed at understanding and countering Russian and other foreign interference in U.S. and foreign elections, countering domestic terrorism and adapting the IC to operate in a strategic environment of rapid technological change, among other important provisions.

Also included in the IAA are provisions authored by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Defense and Warfighter Support, aimed at improving federal campaign election security and improving the IC’s ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

“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. “Providing 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.”

“This legislation also continues the Committee’s longstanding and bipartisan work to promote increased diversity within the Intelligence Community’s workforce,” Sewell continued. “Today’s bill directs the Intelligence Community to expand its annual demographic hiring report by adding grade level, years of service, career category, gender identity and sexual orientation reporting categories. This change will improve the IC’s ability to track how well it retains and promotes employees with diverse backgrounds.”

Sewell’s campaign security 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.

The IAA now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Video of Sewell’s floor remarks on the IAA is available here.