U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) commended the inclusion of the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2021 as part of the COVID-19 relief package.
The bill, approved by the Senate on July 23, would authorize funding, provide legal authorities, and enhance Congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.
“Recent events make it all too clear that our nation continues to face ever-expanding threats from hostile foreign actors, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea,” Rubio said. “It is vital that our Intelligence Community has the necessary resources, authorities, and personnel to protect America’s national security, and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s strong, bipartisan legislation does just that. Our bill also increases government efficiency and represents comprehensive Congressional oversight to ensure that these tools are executed responsibly and cost-effectively.”
The Intelligence Authorization Act ensures that the Intelligence Community can continue its work while Congress provides oversight. Oversight focuses on the following key areas: deterring and uncovering core threats from China and Russia; countering attempts by adversaries to compromise telecommunications and cybersecurity technology; strengthening open-source intelligence capabilities for improved collection and analysis across the entire Intelligence Community; enhancing recruitment and hiring for our Intelligence Community; and ensuring accountability and integrity from Intelligence Community agencies.
“I am happy to say that the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 was included in the compromise legislation,” Warner said. “The IAA ensures that the women and men of America’s Intelligence Community have the tools and resources they need to keep our country safe and to ensure that decision makers are presented with the best intelligence, regardless of fear or favor. Passage of the IAA also ensures that Congress fulfills its mission of providing robust oversight of the nation’s intelligence agencies. This bipartisan bill includes key measures to improve our national security and America’s technological edge.”