House intelligence briefing on worldwide threat assessment delayed

House intelligence briefing on worldwide threat assessment delayed
© Greg Nash

A House Intelligence Committee public hearing scheduled for next week has been canceled, pushing back the U.S. intelligence community's presentation on the top threats facing America.

"We are still having productive discussions with the committees on the timing of the Worldwide Threat Assessment hearings," a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told CBS News on Friday.

Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCoronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Schiff: Remote voting would not compromise national security MORE (D-Calif.) had initially requested both public and closed-door hearings for Wednesday, Feb. 12, but a committee member confirmed to the network that the proceedings had been put on hold.

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In a Jan. 15 letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireFormer intelligence chiefs slam Trump for removing officials Acting director of National Counterterrorism Center fired: report Trump taps new director for National Counterterrorism Center MORE, Schiff described the hearing as a chance for the his committee "to provide an unclassified, yet important broad understanding of how threats have evolved and what the nation can expect in the year to come."

Historically, the annual hearing takes place during the first half of the year. Since it includes the convening of the director of national intelligence and the heads of the CIA, National Security Agency, FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency, scheduling of the hearing can sometimes take a while.

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey House chairman cautions against remote voting, suggests other options amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Congress tiptoes toward remote voting MORE (D-Calif.), who is also a member of the Intelligence Committee, told CBS earlier in the week that it was important for the public hearing to happen this year.

"We need the American people to know what the threats are and then justify why we're investing in protecting people from those threats," Swalwell said. "They need to answer to congress and we're going to keep pressing."