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Senate declassification 'didn’t survive ... process with House,' Intel Chair Warner says
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Senate declassification 'didn’t survive ... process with House,' Intel Chair Warner says

Ep. 189 — Sen. Mark Warner (1-23-2024)
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Transcript

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SCIF door, US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Who?

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) — Senate Intelligence Committee Chair

Ask a Pol asks:

“Any update on your guy’s effort — the bipartisan effort — on declassification?”

Key Warner: 

“Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the whole process with the House,” Warner exclusively told Ask a Pol. “I’m going back to them and saying, ‘Is there another way to come at this?’ Because…”

“Did it get killed in the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)?”

“It was more, kind of, in the final IAA (Intelligence Authorization Act), NDAA, you know, all that,” Warner replied. “And so even though we got it bipartisan in the Senate, we still got to convince them of the framework in the House. And so, it’s not starting from scratch.”

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Sen. John Cornyn interviewed outside Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) hearing with heads of top social media firms. Photo: Matt Laslo

Release after included in Senate NDAA, July 27, 2023:

Cornyn, Warner Bill to Reform Security Classification System Passes Senate

Warner & Cornyn dropped their declassification measure the day after David Grusch testified in front of the House Oversight Committee on July 26, 2023.

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Release after their measure GUTTED, Dec. 22, 2023:

Cornyn, Warner Bill to Reform Security Classification System Signed Into Law

Curious changes made between July-Dec?

Solid side-by-side of changes —>

Lawmakers find room for classification reforms in compromise NDAA, by Justin Doubleday, Federal News Network (12-7-2023).

Caught our ear:

“Where the problem is — everybody acknowledges that we way over classify — and then the end result of that is we don’t put enough fulsome protection around the stuff we really need to keep secret,” Warner told Ask a Pol.

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LISTEN: Laslo & Warner 

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Matt Laslo’s a veteran congressional correspondent, new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — a new, people-powered press corps.

Ask a Pol — asking your lawmakers your questions at your US Capitol. @Ask_a_Pol or @askpols 

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Laslo & Warner

Matt Laslo: “Any update on your guy’s effort — the bipartisan effort — on declassification?”

Mark Warner: “Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the whole process with the House. We’re — I’m going back to them and saying, ‘Is there another way to come at this?’ Because…”

ML: “Did it get killed in the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)?”

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MW: “It was more, kind of, in the final IAA (Intelligence Authorization Act), NDAA, you know, all that. And so even though we got it bipartisan in the Senate, we still got to convince them of the framework in the House. And so, it’s not starting from scratch. But this is, again, where the problem is, everybody acknowledges that we way overclassify, and then the end result of that is we don’t put enough fulsome protection around the stuff we really need to keep secret.”

ML: “Are you still in talks with [Sen. John] Cornyn (R-TX) on it or is it just kinda?”

MW: “No — Cornyn’s been fine. It’s just…”

Warner mini-shrugs, mini-rolls eyes.

ML: “Yeah? Between the chambers.”

Warner nods affirmatively.

ML: “Thank you.”

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