Speeches and Statements

SPEECH: Rep. Murphy Floor Statement on Inclusion of the POISE Act in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2018

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Washington, July 28, 2017 | comments
Mr. Speaker:

I rise in support of the Intelligence Authorization Act.

Good intelligence safeguards our nation from adversaries. It is used to support our armed forces, our diplomats, and our homeland security professionals.

The men and women of the U.S. intelligence community make enormous sacrifices on behalf of our country. While others seek the limelight, they shun publicity and self-promotion. They are silent warriors and quiet heroes.

I want to highlight Section 609 of this legislation. It is a version of a bill that I authored, called the Prevention and Oversight of Intelligence Sharing with Enemies Act, or the POISE Act.

I introduced the POISE Act in May, after the President disclosed highly-sensitive information to senior Russian officials during a White House meeting. This information had been entrusted to the United States by a key ally.

Under federal law, the executive branch is required to inform the congressional intelligence committees of U.S. intelligence activities. The POISE Act would specify that the executive branch must notify the committees when a member of the executive branch, including the President, intentionally or inadvertently discloses top-secret information to an adversary foreign government.

It is dangerous for a U.S. official to share classified information with an adversary, especially outside of established intelligence channels. The adversary could use the information to harm the United States or its allies. Moreover, our partners might decide to stop sharing critical intelligence with us if they lose confidence in our capacity to keep it confidential.

The congressional notification requirement in the POISE Act would help deter inappropriate disclosures of classified information to adversaries. Once formally notified of the disclosure, Congress would be in a position to take any appropriate oversight action.

I am so pleased that the core of the POISE Act is contained in Section 609. I want to thank Chairman Nunes and Ranking Member Schiff for including this provision in the bill, and I urge the bill’s swift passage.

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