Intelligence Authorization passes House with Himes' support
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Act, which determines the funding for most of the United States’ intelligence community. Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) a ranking member of the NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, helped craft the bill.
“Everyone on the Committee understands the essential nature of terrorism and what it takes to battle against that threat,” said Himes. “Both Democratic and Republican members take that responsibility very seriously, and it’s reflected in this bipartisan bill that passed through Committee unanimously.”
Himes again championed the need for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s (PCLOB) independence and its thorough oversight of intelligence programs and activities during the mark-up of the bill. He also successfully led a provision to improve the process for reviewing articles and books published by former national security employees. Currently, too many of these officials have their voices and work stifled by a cumbersome and arbitrary system. Himes’ section seeks to ensure their stories and experiences can be shared publicly.
Other highlights of the bill include a renewed focus on facing long-term strategic threats suck as China and Russia as well as ensuring that the newest technologies are being developed to counter emerging threats in new areas, especially the cyber realm.
“This is a very fast-moving and high-stakes area,” continued Himes. “We have the dual responsibilities of staying several steps ahead of those who would do our country harm and protecting the privacy rights of our citizens. It’s a fine balance, but one that I think we have achieved with this bill.”
Congressman Himes also spoke on the floor of the House in favor of the bill. The video can be seen here.