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COLUMN — Congress should be briefed about bounty intelligence

I am excited to be back in Washington this week representing you and the 5th District.

On Tuesday, June 30, I gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in strong opposition to H.R. 5332 and in defense of consumer protections.  The “Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019” would create a database compiling the three major credit reporting agencies and would put consumer data at risk.

Creating a one-stop-shop for the credit report, personal information, and social security number of every individual would be disastrous in the event of a cyber hack or data breach. We need to find targeted solutions that focus on increasing the cybersecurity capability at credit reporting agencies, increase competition and increase access to credit for consumers and businesses rather than put forward proposals that undermine the consumer reporting system and further empower unelected bureaucrats at the expense of the free market.

Earlier this week we learned of disturbing reports that the Russian government was offering bounties to Taliban affiliates to kill American service members. 

All members of Congress should be briefed immediately on the possible Russian bounty program targeting American service members. We all have soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines from our districts serving in harm’s way. We need to know the sources of this intelligence.  We need to know what courses of action are needed to mitigate the threat, if there is a threat at all.

Leaks and hearsay are an unacceptable way for members of Congress to receive information. The information leaked also calls into question the reliability and professionalism of certain members of the intelligence community. Service before self does not mean leaking finished or unfinished intelligence to the media.

Denver Riggleman represents Charlotte in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached by visiting https://riggleman.house.gov/ or by phone at (434) 973-9631.