May 15, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have joined a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues to introduce legislation that would reform and modernize the United States’ classification system. The Sensible Classification Act of 2023 would increase accountability and oversight of the classification system, limit overclassification, and direct federal agencies to justify security clearance requirements.
"Protecting our national security is of paramount importance, and this bill will ensure that that our classification system safeguards both the public’s access to information and properly aligns the classification levels to the critical intelligence that does indeed need protection,” said Senator Collins.
“We have an overclassification problem, a declassification problem, and – as we’ve clearly seen over the last few weeks – an access to information problem,” said Senator King. “The Sensible Classification Act of 2023 will spell out what information merits a classification, how long the classification lasts, and who is permitted access to that classified information. With an everchanging landscape of technology and threats, it’s an important step to promote public trust and keep Americans safe.”
The Sensible Classification Act of 2023 will codify classification authority, streamline the processes for declassification, direct training focused on sensible classification, invest in new technology to modernize the classification system, and direct a review regarding the necessity of existing security clearances to identify potential areas for additional reforms. Introduced in tandem with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Warner’s Classification Reform Act that Senator King has cosponsored, this legislation:
The bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).