H.R. 5077, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

H.R. 5077

Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Date
May 23, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 23, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5077, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5077 was introduced on April 27, 2016, by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), together with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and was referred to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Intelligence Committee ordered the bill reported, by unanimous voice vote, on April 29, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5077 authorizes appropriations for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. government for fiscal year 2017. The bill authorizes funds for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the: Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Central Intelligence Agency; Department of Defense; Defense Intelligence Agency; National Security Agency; the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; Coast Guard; Department of State; Department of Treasury; Department of Energy; Department of Justice; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; National Reconnaissance Office; National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; and, the Department of Homeland Security.  The bill also authorizes funding for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB).  The amounts authorized by the bill for these elements for the conduct of intelligence activities are specified in a classified schedule of authorizations, including associated explanatory language, which accompanies the bill.

In general, the bill: “sustains critical capabilities to fight terrorism and counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; shines a light on Guantanamo transfers by requiring declassification reviews of intelligence on past terrorist activities of individuals transferred out of Guantanamo Bay; strengthens Congressional oversight of the PCLOB by setting authorization requirements and directing PCLOB to keep Congress fully informed of its activities in a timely way; caps fees for mandatory declassification reviews to match costs of similar Freedom of Information Act requests; updates Intelligence Community whistleblowing procedures; clarifies eligibility for death benefits for Central Intelligence Agency personnel; and improves Intelligence Community reporting to Congress.[1]

Select provisions of the unclassified portion of H.R. 5077 are as follows:

Intelligence Community Management Account (ICMA): The bill authorizes approximately $519 million for the ICMA. The ICMA provides a source of funding for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and resources for managing the intelligence agencies.

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB): Section 303 authorizes approximately $10 million for the PCLOB to perform its statutory functions, the full amount of the PCLOB’s request for fiscal year 2017. The PCLOB is an independent agency within the executive branch responsible for ensuring that measures taken by the federal government to combat terrorism are balanced against the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.

CIA Retirement and Disability System: The bill authorizes $514 million for the CIA Retirement and Disability Fund for fiscal year 2016.

Restriction on Conduct of Intelligence Activities:  The bill clarifies that funds authorized to be appropriated under the bill shall not be deemed to constitute authority for the conduct of any intelligence activity which is not otherwise authorized by the Constitution or the laws of the United States.

Reports on Major Defense Intelligence Acquisition Programs: Section 305 requires milestone decision authorities to provide Congressional intelligence and defense committees with reports on major defense intelligence acquisition programs at each milestone approval.

Whistleblower Protection Modifications: The bill clarifies employees who are assigned or detailed to a combatant command or other element of the federal government may file a complaint with the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. In addition, the bill eliminates the requirement for Intelligence Community whistleblowers to route classified complaints through the head of their employing agencies before they can contact the congressional intelligence committees.

Analysis and Impact Statements on Committee on Foreign Investments:  The bill directs the DNI to provide to the congressional intelligence committees the analysis and impact statements it already produces for the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.  The bill also requires the DNI to report on the potential effects of a transaction on the intelligence community, and what steps will be taken to mitigate such effects.

Living Quarters Allowance (LQA): The bill prohibits the Defense Intelligence Agency from paying LQA to any of its employees assigned to a directorate of a combatant command that has its headquarters located outside of the United States. Two combatant commands meet that condition – U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, which are located in Stuttgart, Germany. LQA is used as an incentive to recruit eligible individuals for assignments overseas.  Annual rates are determined by the Department of State and are based on location, employee grade, and family size.  For 2016, annual LQA rates published for Stuttgart, Germany, range from $32,700 to $41,800 for employees without families and $39,200 to $42,300 for employees with families.[2]

Law Enforcement Officers: Section 412 allows the CIA Inspector General to designate individuals performing certain investigative functions as law enforcement officers (LEOs) for purposes of pay and retirement benefits. The average difference between a LEO and a non-LEO retirement annuity is approximately $25,000 per year.  LEOS are also required to contribute 0.5% more of their salaries toward their future retirement annuities than non-LEOs.

Matters relating to United States Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: The bill directs the DNI to complete a declassification review of reports on the past terrorist activities of individuals who were transferred or released from the Naval Station after the signing of Executive Order 13492. Such a review shall be publicly available.

Reports on Foreign Fighters: The bill requires the DNI to report to Congress, no later than 60 days after enactment and every 180 days thereafter, on foreign fighter flows to and from terrorist safe havens.

Report on Counter-Messaging Activities: The bill requires Department of Homeland Security to submit a report on the counter-messaging efforts of the Department of Homeland Security with respect to the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

——————
[1] See Press Release—“House Intelligence Committee Passes Fiscal Year 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill” April 29, 2016.
[2] See CBO Score for H.R 5507

Background

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) consists of 17 agencies and organizations, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), within the Executive Branch that work both independently and collaboratively to gather and analyze the intelligence necessary to conduct foreign relations and national security activities.[1]  The mission of the ODNI is to lead intelligence integration and forge an Intelligence Community that delivers the most insightful intelligence possible.[2]

According to Chairman Nunes, “This bill will keep the Intelligence Community fully funded so it can carry out its vital work protecting Americans from a wide range of pressing foreign threats. At the same time, the bill ensures that Congress has the means to conduct vigorous oversight over the Intelligence Community’s activities.”[3]

—————–
[1] http://www.dni.gov/index.php
[2] http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/mission
[3] Id.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing the unclassified provisions of the bill would cost about $521 million over the 2017 to 2021 period, subject to appropriation of the specified and estimated amounts. Enacting H.R. 5077 would affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO does not provide estimates for classified programs.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.