Chairman Schiff Statement on Inclusion of Intelligence Authorization Act in Omnibus Package
Washington, December 22, 2020
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“Over the past two months, the House Intelligence Committee has worked with our Senate colleagues to finalize one of our chief oversight priorities, the annual Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA). I am pleased that the omnibus includes the Fiscal Year 2021 IAA, and that it continues our responsibility to provide the Intelligence Community with the authorities and resources it needs to conduct its mission, while supporting the workforce and ensuring rigorous oversight.
“The final bill is the product of extensive negotiations. It includes important provisions related to global health and pandemics; the challenge posed by a rising China, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G; recruitment and retention for the workforce; and other regional priorities, including the Middle East, and Afghanistan. Further – and especially notable in light of the recent cyber breach of government agencies and private sector companies – the bill also includes several provisions designed to strengthen our cyber defenses, protect our supply chains, and provide additional resources and capabilities for responding to cyber-attacks. Many of the most important elements of the bill are contained within the classified annex that governs the necessarily secret elements of the IC’s work.
“The compromise bill regrettably does not contain some of the robust reforms we included in the bill passed by the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year, including provisions enhancing protections of inspectors general and whistleblowers, and election security. We will continue to press for those necessary reforms, and others, in the next Congress through the IAA and other legislative vehicles. However, I am pleased that we could ultimately come to an agreement to move this bill forward and continue the Committee’s history of effective, bipartisan support and oversight of the IC in the face of new and rapidly emerging threats.”