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 on a 397-31 vote.
Swalwell’s reporting requirements for the Intelligence Community (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 message to the IC workforce that employees need not choose between career and family, and 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.