Tester calls for immediate hearing into security clearance process

Senator pushes for tougher national security and government accountability

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today called on the Senate Homeland Security Committee to hold an immediate hearing on the background check process used to investigate individuals applying for security clearances.

In a letter to Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Tom Carper, Tester said given the recent troubling reports about serious lapses in the security clearance process, a hearing on the matter is urgently needed.

“This is a national security issue and a government accountability issue. Congress and this Committee must not sit idle,” wrote Tester, a senior member of the committee.

Tester’s letter comes on the heels of a 60 Minutes investigation which exposed flaws in the background investigations of Chelsea Manning, Aaron Alexis and Edward Snowden.

Tester, the former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, held a series of oversight hearings on the background check process last Congress. As a result, he introduced and passed into law the SCORE Act which allows for more resources to investigate cases where the background check process may have been compromised.

Tester has also introduced the SCARE Act to prohibit federal contractors and employees who have compromised the integrity of a background investigation from performing security clearance investigations in the future. This bill unanimously passed the Senate Homeland Security Committee six months ago and has been waiting on committee leadership to report it out.

Tester’s letter requesting a hearing can be read HERE.