From her new perch on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, at the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., announced she plans to bring out a bill “to disqualify participants in the violent assault on the United States Capitol and members of the conspiracy movement QAnon from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance, which an individual must possess in order to hold a national security position and to access classified information.”
The congresswoman, who served at the Pentagon during President George W. Bush’s administration offered some of the details of the “Security Clearance Improvement Act” on Friday.
“Before individuals can obtain a security clearance to work for or with the federal government, they are subject to a rigorous background investigation,” the congresswoman’s office noted. “This typically involves completing the Standard Form 86 (SF-86) questionnaire and undergoing an interview process. The purpose of the background investigation—or re-investigation, in the case of an individual who already holds a security clearance—is to examine the individual’s behavior, activities, and associations” in order to determine whether the individual is “reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the U.S.’”
Murphy’s bill would have the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) ask applicants “whether they have ever been a member of, associated with, or knowingly engaged in activities conducted by an organization or movement—like QAnon—that spreads conspiracy theories and false information about the U.S. government.”
Murphy’s bill would also ask applicants if they took part in the “Stop the Steal” rally two weeks ago which became a violent mob of supporters of President Donald Trump that stormed the Capitol, leading to the death of five people including a Capitol police officer.
The congresswoman said the attack on the Capitol was one of the reasons she is bringing out the bill.
“Any individual who participated in the assault on the Capitol or who is a member of the conspiracy movement QAnon should be required to disclose this fact when applying to obtain or maintain a federal security clearance,” said Murphy on Friday. “It is highly unlikely that such an individual will be found by investigators to have shown the conduct, character, and loyalty to the United States that is a prerequisite to holding a national security position and viewing classified information.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.