WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation that authorizes funding for the U.S. military and intelligence community and includes four provisions spearheaded by U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., to strengthen national security. In addition, theNational Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020(NDAA) provides the largest pay increase for military service members in a decade. It is likely to be approved by the Senate soon and then sent to the President to be signed into law.
The Murphy-led provisions will require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to develop a strategy to combat the use of deep fake technology by foreign adversaries to undermine American security and democracy, which will be the first deep fakes federal legislation ever to become law; require the DNI to craft a plan to prevent Iran from establishing an enduring presence in Syria that could threaten U.S. and Israeli interests; establish a notification process to Congress that will deter executive branch officials, including the President, from sharing highly-sensitive information with foreign adversaries like Russia; and make it easier for younger Americans to get jobs in public service working for the federal government.
“I proudly voted for the House-passed bipartisan legislation to provide a well-deserved pay increase to our service members and support the quiet heroes in the intelligence community who help keep our nation safe and free,”said Murphy, a former national security specialist at the Pentagon. “I am especially pleased this critical defense bill includes four measures I authored to safeguard our country from threats, protect classified information, support our allies like Israel, and streamline the process for young Americans to work in public service.”
The 2020 NDAA includes:
An amendment Murphy offered with Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., on deep fake technology, which is the digital falsification of images, video, and audio to portray an individual as having done or said something he or she didn’t do or say. By sowing confusion, deep fake technology can be used by foreign nations to undermine U.S. security interests. The Murphy measure will require the DNI to provide Congress with a comprehensive strategy to deter and respond to the use of deep fake technology by foreign adversaries intended to harm the United States.
A Murphy amendment that addresses the threat posed to the U.S. and Israel by Iran’s presence in Syria. Syria borders Israel to the northeast and American troops operate in the country. Murphy’s provision requires the DNI to craft a comprehensive strategy to prevent Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah from using Syria as a platform to attack Israel, threaten American forces, and further destabilize the region.
The language of H.R. 3476, thePOISE Act, which Murphy introduced with Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. Murphy and Himes filed the POISE Act in response to a 2017 incident in which President Trump disclosed highly-sensitive information to senior Russian officials during a White House meeting. This information had evidently been entrusted to the United States by its ally Israel. ThePOISE Actspecifies that Congress must be notified when a member of the executive branch, including the President, discloses sensitive information to a foreign adversary outside of established intelligence channels, namely the governments of North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, and Cuba. The purpose of the provision is to deter careless disclosure of classified information and to enable Congress to take steps to mitigate the harm if such disclosures do occur.
An amendment that Murphy authored, working with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., to authorize federal agencies to use expedited procedures to hire younger Americans to avoid a potentially debilitating worker shortage in the coming decades. As Chair of Future Forum, Murphy has focused attention on encouraging younger Americans to choose careers in public service and fought to reduce barriers that too often discourage younger Americans from serving their country.