Lawmakers Want to Protect Security Clearances from Politics

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, at a hearing about security clearances last March.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, at a hearing about security clearances last March.

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers want to stop government leaders from manipulating the security clearance process for political purposes.

Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Thursday proposed legislation that would require executive branch officials to stick to a common set of criteria when deciding whether to approve or revoke security clearances. By codifying those steps, the Integrity in Security Clearance Determinations Act aims to make the system “more fair and transparent,” Collins said in a statement.

The bill would forbid government leaders from making decisions based on the person’s exercise of constitutional rights like free speech or other factors like race, gender and nationality. Leaders would also be barred from revoking or approving clearances as an act of “retaliation for political activities or beliefs.”

Under the legislation, government…

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