Press Releases

Chairman Schiff Applauds Passage of Intelligence Authorization Act

Washington, December 10, 2019

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, applauded the passage of the bipartisan Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020. The IAA was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020.

“Crafting an Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) Is one of our committee’s most important responsibilities. With it, the Committee conducts oversight, sets funding levels, protects civil liberties, and ensures that our intelligence professionals have what they need to keep the Nation safe.  

“The IAA approved today prioritizes capabilities against hard targets and bolsters the government’s ability to guard against foreign interference in U.S. elections.  It helps the IC recruit the most diverse and highly qualified workforce and ensures that the undeniable threat of climate change is appropriately included in intelligence analysis.  It incentivizes cutting edge research and insists on new and rigorous reporting about domestic terrorism and human rights issues.  It is, in short, strong and bipartisan intelligence legislation. 

“I am grateful to Chairman Smith for including the IAA in the NDAA, and I look forward to both bills’ final approval by the Senate and swift enactment into law,” said Rep. Schiff.  

The bipartisan legislation – which previously passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 397 to 31 - authorizes funding for and enables rigorous congressional oversight of elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), including the Defense Intelligence Enterprise.  The IAA is named in tribute to two dedicated staff members on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Damon Nelson and Matt Pollard, who tragically passed away last year.

Among many other things, the IAA includes:

  • Climate Security Advisory Council: The new body would, among other things, ensure that IC analysts appropriately incorporate climate matters into intelligence analysis.
  • Election security:  Provisions require assessments and reports on malign influence and threats to federal and foreign elections; as well as notifications to congressional committees of significant foreign cyber intrusions and active measures campaigns against federal elections. 
  • Human rights matters:  The IAA directs reports on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and on the repression of Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang province.  
  • Domestic terrorism: The bill requires provision of extensive information to Congress and a strategic intelligence assessment regarding domestic terrorism trends.
  • Deepfakes and 5G prize competitions: Provisions instruct the DNI, through IARPA, to carry out prize competitions to leverage commercial innovation in these two high-tech areas.

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