Bill Includes Amendment Requiring Presidential Campaigns to Report Illegal Offers of Foreign Assistance
Washington, D.C. — The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (IAA) on a bipartisan vote of 14 to 1. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances Congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).
“This bipartisan intelligence authorization provides our intelligence community with the necessary support and resources to protect our country while also keeping the United States at the forefront of 21st century technology leadership and ahead of next generation technology threats,” said Bennet. “The bill reflects many lessons from the 2016 election, for example, by requiring campaigns to report illegal offers of assistance from foreign agents.”
The bill includes an amendment, sponsored by Bennet and others, to protect U.S. elections by requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI illegal offers of assistance from known foreign agents. The provision, which is based on the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections (FIRE) Act, which Bennet offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 along with Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), works to protect U.S. elections from foreign influence threats like those in 2016.
The bill also includes several Bennet-backed provisions to address threats and harness opportunities related to next generation technologies, including by:
- Investing in 5G technologies by establishing an open-architecture technology fund, and an international multilateral fund to bolster U.S. 5G technologies.
- Bolstering Open Source intelligence capabilities through an IC-wide open source intelligence strategy and plan.
- Enhancing AI capabilities and securing semiconductor supply chains by mapping vulnerabilities, identifying opportunities for collaboration with partners and allies, and assessing compute power trends of adversarial nations.
The IAA for Fiscal Year 2021 ensures that the Intelligence Community can continue its critical work for our country while Congress continues its oversight, including in the following key areas:
- Confronting adversaries’ attempts to compromise telecommunications and cybersecurity technology;
- Development and deployment of secure 5G networks based in open-standards to compete with adversaries;
- Identifying corruption, influence operations, and information suppression by the Chinese government, in particular in this critical time for the people of Hong Kong;
- Uncovering Russian and Eastern European oligarchs’ corruption and illegal activities;
- Protecting against foreign influence threats and election interference on social media platforms;
- Creating Intelligence Community-wide policies to facilitate sharing cleared contractor information with private companies to enhance the effectiveness of insider threat programs;
- Requiring the publication of guidelines for granting, denying, or revoking a security clearance and preventing the revocation or denial of a clearance for reasons of discrimination, political beliefs, or retaliation; and
- Advancing Intelligence Community hiring flexibilities, student loan repayment programs, and child care for IC personnel.