Bennet Secures Key Provisions in Intelligence Authorization Act

Bennet-led Provisions Would Establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis, Close Gaps in U.S. Intelligence Capabilities

Washington, D.C. — 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 2023 (FY23), which passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday unanimously 16-0. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The IAA includes a Bennet-led bill to establish an Office of Global Competition responsible for analyzing U.S. leadership in key technologies relative to competitors like China to inform policy responses.

“Our national security and economic prosperity hinge on our leadership in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and semiconductors. An Office of Global Competition Analysis would help us understand where the U.S. stands against strategic competitors like China so that we can secure our edge,” said Bennet. “Our provisions also will help preserve U.S. leadership in space and address the fallout from Putin’s lawless war in Ukraine. The IAA will provide Intelligence Community personnel with the care they need and the tools and capabilities to keep our country safe.”

The Intelligence Authorization Act for FY23 includes key Bennet-led provisions that close existing gaps in the U.S. Intelligence Community. 

Bennet-led provisions in the FY23 IAA:

The bipartisan American Technology Leadership Act: Bennet introduced this legislation with U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to assess how the United States fares in key emerging technologies relative to other countries to inform policy and strengthen U.S. competitiveness. The Office of Global Competition Analysis would combine intelligence data with commercial data in order to conduct competitive analysis.

International Norms in Space: This amendment, led by Bennet and co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), highlights the importance of international norms in space. It requires the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of NASA, and other heads of intelligence agencies, to identify threats to U.S. interest in space that may be mitigated by international norms, rules, and principles and identify opportunities for the U.S. to influence these norms.

Global Food Instability Implications of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: This amendment, led by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Bennet, requires the Intelligence Community to conduct an assessment of the implications of food insecurity resulting from the Russia-Ukraine War, and opportunities for the U.S. to mitigate it. Specifically, it focuses on the potential for regional instability resulting from food insecurity.

Enhancing Workforce Recruitment: This amendment, led by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and co-sponsored by Bennet and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will modernize workforce recruitment by prohibiting intelligence community agencies from denying a security clearance to individuals based solely on past use of cannabis.   

Background:

The Intelligence Authorization Act for FY23 ensures that the Intelligence Community can perform its critical mission to protect our country and inform decision makers, while under robust Congressional oversight, including in the following areas:

  • Confronting the growing threat posed by China by increasing hard target intelligence collection and analysis, as well as by identifying and exposing China’s  online influence operations, leadership corruption, forced labor camps, and malign economic investments in telecommunications and semiconductors;
  • Bolstering intelligence support for Ukraine as it fights to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty since Russia’s second unprovoked invasion, including by assessing the effects of sanctions on Russia and its allies, and opportunities to mitigate threats to food security at home and abroad; 
  • Driving improvements to the IC’s hiring and security clearance processes by keeping the IC accountable for progress, including for timeliness in bringing cleared personnel on-board, ensuring that key management and contract oversight personnel in industry can obtain clearances, and assessing the use rates and accessibility of government and contractor secure facilities;
  • Establishing counterintelligence protections for IC grant funding against foreign-based risks of misappropriation, theft, and other threats to U.S. innovation;
  • Strengthening oversight of national security threats associated with the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela;
  • Establishing an Office of Global Competition Analysis to ensure U.S. leadership in technology sectors critical to national security;
  • Ensuring continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (“Havana Syndrome”) and maintaining continued oversight over the IC’s investigations into the causes of anomalous health incidents;  
  • Maintaining strong congressional oversight of, and protections for, IC whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud or abuse;
  • Promoting cybersecurity enhancements and establishing cybersecurity minimum standards across the IC, including for classified systems;
  • Enhancing oversight of IC and Department of Defense collection and reporting on Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena; and
  • Increasing transparency and promoting efforts to reform the declassification process.