National Background Investigations Bureau bill passes House floor

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constituents during a town hall at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

A bill that seeks more transparency from the National Background Investigations Bureau passed on the House floor Wednesday, one week after it passed through a House committee.

Introduced by Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), H.R. 3210, or the Securely Expediting Clearances through Reporting Transparency Act, would require a quarterly report from the bureau regarding investigation backlogs.

“In order to protect our nation and the job opportunities it provides to secure those protections, we need to fight for a better and more transparent system to get rid of these overriding backlogs,” Knight said in a statement.

The required reports would note the size and length of time of the investigation process backlog, would be separated by clearance level and would specify whether it was periodic.

“Too many of our skilled workers are being set aside by government agencies in other jobs because of these backlogs that affect their ability to work,” Knight said. “We should not be punishing those who are skilled and willingly choosing to serve their country in national security positions because of bureaucratic red tape.”

Knight’s bill is a response to conversations between defense employers and employees in the 25th congressional district, his office said.

“National security programs have always been at the center of California’s 25th district,” Knight said. “This bill comes directly from the concerns of constituents in my district as they struggle to keep these jobs secured.”

The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

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