Swalwell Authors Key Provisions Included In The Bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Chairman of the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, succeeded in including measures on education, parental leave, and Russian influence campaigns in this year’s bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA), which the House approved Wednesday on a 397-31 vote.
Swalwell’s provisions include reporting requirements on the creation of student loan repayment and forgiveness programs for the Intelligence Community (IC), 12 weeks of paid parental leave for IC employees in the event of the birth or adoption of a child, and an assessment of past and ongoing Russian influence campaigns in foreign elections. The IAA is the IC’s annual authorization bill.
“These provisions will help the Intelligence Community recruit and retain individuals capable of meeting the security goals of the United States and will set the example for other federal agencies,” said Swalwell. “Our subcommittee’s goal is to anticipate the Intelligence Community workforce’s needs. This bipartisan cooperation will help us secure the next generation of men and women protecting our nation.”
Swalwell’s reporting requirements for the IC student loan repayment and forgiveness programs are a major step toward reducing this financial burden and will help recruit and retain a talented and diverse workforce that’s competitive with the private sector.
The second of Swalwell’s measures would create a requirement providing up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for IC employees, in addition to the 12 weeks of unpaid leave available to all federal employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This 12+12 logic sends a strong message to the IC workforce that employees need not choose between career and family. It also makes IC service more attractive to prospective employees by providing benefits that are competitive with the private sector.
The third of Swalwell’s measures directs the IC to assess past and ongoing Russian influence campaigns against foreign elections other than the United States, with a focus on identifying the effectiveness of foreign responses and defenses to such influence campaigns. Swalwell has been an outspoken voice for protecting free and fair elections and including the IC community in this work is crucial for crafting a response to Russian influence campaigns.