Shelby Highlights Importance of Maintaining a Robust Intelligence Apparatus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today delivered opening remarks during a defense subcommittee hearing on the intelligence community.  During the closed hearing, the following officials testified, providing an update on the intelligence community and the challenges our country faces: Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, William J. Burns, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and General Paul M. Nakasone, Director of the National Security Agency.


Vice Chairman Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, are as follows:


“Thank you Mr. Chairman.  Director Haines, Director Burns, and General Nakasone, welcome.


“Thank you for being here today to provide an update on the Intelligence Community as a whole and the challenges that your agencies are facing.


“We are keenly aware of the pivotal role that the Intelligence Community plays in our nation’s security.


“I recognize that we have not received the budget and as a result, our conversations about specific funding items may be limited.


“However, this subcommittee has been committed to providing the necessary resources to maintain our strategic advantage over our adversaries.


“It is very clear that China and Russia are actively engaging in activities to undermine the United States. 


“Maintaining a robust intelligence apparatus is necessary to thwart these efforts and protect U.S. interests. 


“Cyber-attacks seem to be on the rise with the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds hacks as two recent examples.  


“It is imperative that we have the capability to protect our most sensitive information. 


“I look forward to hearing about how your agencies are addressing these evolving challenges.  Thank you.”