Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after his amendment to H.R.6237, the Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019, was adopted by voice vote in the House of Representatives. H.R.6237 subsequently passed in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 363-54.
“Expanding the intelligence community’s (IC) recruitment of minorities in rural and underserved regions of the United States is a common-sense step to building a stronger, more diversified workforce. Although we have seen improvement in some areas – for instance, an increase in minority hiring for Fiscal Year 2017 over that of Fiscal Year 2016 – we have also seen a disappointing decrease in the percentage of women hired over that same time period. I believe that we can do better in both metrics and I think one smart way of doing that is by getting agencies to broaden their searches geographically. This country’s strength is borne from its dedication to the rule of law, the belief that the best form of government is one that is of the people, by the people, and for the people, and from its diversity. It is time for our IC agencies to more fully commit to reaching all American people in an effort to let them know that inspiring and important work awaits them in the Intelligence Community,” said Hastings.
The Hastings Amendment directs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of other Intelligence Community agencies, to create and implement a plan to expand the IC’s recruitment efforts so that rural and underserved regions in the U.S. are more fully represented in these efforts. The amendment is intended to help IC agencies actively join forces in order to broaden their respective recruitment efforts, and by so doing, increase the diversity among their ranks.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.