Bennet-led Provisions Would Establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to Strengthen American Tech Leadership, Close Gaps in U.S. Intelligence Capabilities
Denver — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, secured key provisions in the bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), which passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee this week with a unanimous vote. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances Congressional oversight of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The IAA includes a bipartisan Bennet-led bill to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis responsible for analyzing U.S. leadership in key technologies relative to strategic competitors like China to inform policy responses.
“On the Senate Intelligence Committee, we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to safeguard America’s national and economic security. This unanimously-supported legislation advances the quiet mission of the individuals in the Intelligence Community, and includes several critical provisions that strengthen intelligence collection, improve the way we share intelligence across federal agencies, and ensure the U.S. leads the world in emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence,” said Bennet. “As Vladimir Putin destroys international norms and China continues its saber-rattling in the Pacific, it is more important than ever for Congress to work together to strengthen our democratic institutions.”
The Intelligence Authorization Act for FY24 includes key Bennet-led provisions that close existing gaps in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Bennet-backed provisions in the FY24 IAA:
Office of Global Competition Analysis: This provision, led by Bennet and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), will establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to assess United States leadership in science, technology, and innovation sectors critical to national security and economic prosperity relative to other countries, particularly those countries that are strategic competitors of the United States. This provision follows a bill introduced by Bennet, Warner, and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) last week.
Expanding CFIUS to Protect Critical National Security Sites: This amendment, led by Bennet, will require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to update regulations to extend the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) jurisdiction around foreign real estate transactions in close proximity to sensitive sites, such as intelligence agencies and national labs. Currently, CFIUS has established jurisdiction over transactions mainly surrounding certain military installations
Bolstering Intelligence Support for Export Controls: This amendment, led by Bennet, will strengthen intelligence support and sharing between the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Department of Commerce, including for the purposes of strengthening export controls. The provision would require the IC to engage in intelligence collection and analysis that supports the Department’s missions, including export controls, entity listings, and end user monitoring. The amendment also promotes intelligence sharing between the IC and the Department by reducing legal barriers that have hampered such sharing in the past. This amendment will enhance the Department’s ability to protect U.S. technology and strengthen controls against China and Russia. The IAA also includes a provision backed by Bennet to bolster the intelligence support to export controls by requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to embed detailees in the Bureau of Industry and Security.
Intelligence Support for Combatting Uyghur Forced Labor in China: This amendment, led by Bennet, will direct the IC atrocities coordinator on China to share intelligence related to entities operating in the Uyghur region with the Treasury Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Task Force responsible for enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Act This will empower CBP and Treasury to strengthen sanctions for human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party and enforcement against Uyghur forced labor.
Strengthening AI Governance in the Intelligence Community: This provision, led by Chairman Warner and backed by Bennet, will strengthen the Intelligence Community’s procurement, adoption, and integration of artificial intelligence by requiring the DNI to establish policies related to governance of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems developed, procured, and used by the IC.
Enhancing Workforce Recruitment: This amendment, led by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and co-sponsored by Bennet and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D N.M.) will modernize workforce recruitment by prohibiting intelligence community agencies from denying a security clearance to individuals based solely on past use of cannabis.
Addressing Foreign Technology in the United States: This provision, led by Warner and backed by Bennet, would establish a dedicated IC support mechanism for the Department of Commerce’s transaction review authority under Executive Order 13873 to address risks of foreign technology in the United States.
The IAA for FY24 authorizes funding for the IC and ensures that it has the resources, personnel, and authorities it needs to protect our country and inform decision makers, while ensuring continued robust congressional oversight. The bill’s provisions focus on the following key areas:
- Increases oversight of the national security threats posed by the People’s Republic of China, including its predatory economic practices, political influence operations, military capabilities, and investments in, and attempts to dominate the supply chains of artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation energy technologies, and biotechnology, among many others;
- Establishes a new IC atrocities coordinator to increase collection, analysis, and intelligence support to government-wide efforts to hold China accountable for its egregious human rights abuses;
- Promotes reform of the nation’s security classification system, including by reducing overclassification; establishing a new system of interagency governance and accountability; preventing mishandling of classified information; and promoting better use of technology to facilitate declassification and enhance public trust;
- Strengthens the security of America’s voting systems by requiring that they undergo simulated attacks as part of their standard certification process, allowing for the discovery of potential vulnerabilities before these can be exploited by adversaries;
- Requires the IC to conduct a “lessons-learned” assessment of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine and the long-term implications for United States national security and the NATO alliance;
- Protects against foreign counterintelligence risks at Department of Energy National Labs;
- Ensures the IC has a workforce that is second-to-none, by instituting improved IC workforce recruitment through education-based assistance; improving workforce mobility among IC agencies to meet national security needs; increasing recruitment priorities for candidates with financial intelligence and technical expertise; and requiring a standard procedure for investigating CIA sexual misconduct complaints, among other measures;
- Increases transparency by strengthening Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) funding and reporting requirements;
- Builds upon the Committee’s work in reforming the nation’s outdated security clearance system by requiring the codification of new timeliness standards for processing personnel vetting determinations;
- Maintains strong congressional oversight of and protections for whistleblowers who come forward to report fraud, waste, or abuse;
- Ensures continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (AHIs or “Havana Syndrome”) by improving the CIA’s funding flexibility for payments to qualified victims; and requiring each IC element to issue regulations and procedures for implementing HAVANA Act of 2021 authorities.