Carson, House Intelligence Committee Passes Fiscal Year 2016 Intelligence Authorization Bill
This week, by a unanimous voice vote, Congressman André Carson along with the rest of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence reported the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (H.R. 2596) to the full House of Representatives.
This legislation provides the Intelligence Community authorization needed to protect and defend the United States. It supports critical national security programs such as those protecting Americans against terrorism and cyber-attacks.
The bill included three amendments authored by Congressman Carson that increase the transparency of the United States Government’s efforts to counter violent extremism at home and abroad. These will:
- Require an assessment of domestic versus international terrorism investigations to ensure that resources are properly allocated to address current threats;
- Ensure oversight of the intelligence community’s support to the White House Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy; and
- Assess how the FBI conducts terrorism investigations involving minors along with actions taken to discourage them from violence. Furthermore, it calls for information on how the agency uses undercover assets in places of worship to ensure efforts are appropriate and do not violate religious freedoms.
“Today we face a wide array of threats around the globe, from ISIL advances in Syria and Iraq to Russian aggression in Ukraine to Chinese posturing across Asia,” said Carson. “It is critical that we give our intelligence community the resources, authorities and capabilities they need to keep our country safe. It is equally critical that we maintain strong oversight of these programs to protect American privacy and civil rights. I believe this bill, and the amendments I included, achieve both goals.”
“As this bill moves to the House floor, I look forward to working with my colleagues to address lingering issues, including the use of the Overseas Contingency Operations account to shield funds from sequestration and restrictions on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison,” Carson said.
In addition, the bill contains language:
- Sustaining critical capabilities to fight terrorism and counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
- Sustaining activities in Afghanistan and Iraq to continue the fight against ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban;
- Investing in the resiliency of our national security space architecture;
- Providing policy direction on sensitive intelligence operations;
- Promoting intelligence integration and sharing through investment in Intelligence Community-wide information technology enterprises;
- Enhancing investments in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft;
- Funding initiatives to thwart cyber-attacks and insider threats; and
- Requiring a report every 60 days on foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.