Senate

Senators’ personal office staffers to get top security clearance: report

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
Greg Nash

Senators’ personal office staffers will be able to get top security clearance, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday, people familiar with the conversation told Politico.

Schumer said at a caucus lunch with Democrats that top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance will be available for one aide for each senator, in addition to existing clearance allocations.

“This is a small but important change to the Senate Rules that will significantly improve the Senate’s performance of its constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch and legislate on national security matters,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who led the push for the change in rules, told Politico. 

The bipartisan push for the rule change comes after more than three decades of restrictions limiting top security clearances to only staffers in leadership offices or on select committees, according to Politico.

Those restrictions meant that a minority of senators were allowed a staffer with TS/SCI clearance. As of April 2019, according to the nonprofit watchdog Project on Government Oversight, just 37 senators had such a staffer.

The Hill has reached out to Schumer’s office for comment.

Tags Charles Schumer Chris Murphy Chuck Schumer Security clearance Senate staff

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