Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby delivered opening remarks during a defense subcommittee hearing on the intelligence community in which he emphasized the importance of maintaining a robust intelligence apparatus.
“We are keenly aware of the pivotal role that the Intelligence Community plays in our nation’s security,” Shelby said in the hearing. “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,” Shelby said. “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,” Shelby said. “It is imperative that we have the capability to protect our most sensitive information.”
During the closed portion of the hearing, the following officials testified, providing an update on the intelligence community and the challenges the country faces: Avril Haines, the director of National Intelligence; William J. Burns, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and General Paul M. Nakasone, the director of the National Security Agency.
“I look forward to hearing about how your agencies are addressing these evolving challenges,” Shelby told the leaders of the intelligence community prior to the hearing.
Shelby is the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense.
Shelby is in his sixth term in the Senate representing the state of Alabama. He was first elected in 1986 after serving four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms representing Tuscaloosa County in the Alabama Senate. Shelby is not running for re-election next year.