WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel on Tuesday approved a bill that authorizes funding for U.S. intelligence agencies and includes new provisions to reform the nation’s old security clearance system and counter aggression from countries like Russia and China.
The bill passed 15-0 and is now headed to the Senate floor.
Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the bill also contains measures to enhance the security of elections and prevent interference from adversaries.
“New security clearance reforms included in this bill will help deter insider threats, protect classified information and ensure the intelligence community has a capable, agile workforce,” Burr said. “In the wake of foreign efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections, which this committee continues to investigate, I am pleased to see this bill contains comprehensive measures to enhance our election security.”
Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the bill also includes provisions to modernize what he describes is an “antiquated security clearance process” and reduce a security clearance backlog of nearly 700,000 people.