January 06, 2023

How the Speaker Impasse Is Impacting U.S. National Security

Source: CNN

Journalist: Natasha Bertrand

Not only are those members barred from briefings, the key national security committees they would normally sit on cannot even be formed yet – including the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, which oversee the intelligence community and the Pentagon, respectively. In a small but revealing detail, the House Armed Services and GOP Foreign Affairs Committee websites were still offline as of Thursday.

“The committees don’t technically exist in this Congress until they convene, vote on the rules of the committee and basically vote themselves into existence,” said former House Armed Services Committee staffer Jonathan Lord, who now serves as director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security. “So all of the oversight work that those committees do on a day-to-day basis can’t officially go on.”

The White House told agencies and departments earlier this week that the administration would continue its work with Congress as usual, people familiar with the matter said, and there have been some informal briefings for still-cleared staffers even amid the uncertainty of the speakership race. In a strange twist, however, if the information is classified, those staffers cannot then brief their bosses on the intelligence since they don’t yet have a security clearance.

Read the full story and more from CNN.


  • Jonathan Lord

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Jonathan Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Lord served as a professional staff member for the House Arme...