Press Releases

Knight and McCarthy Fight for Edwards, Plant 42, and NASA Armstrong's Work Force

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Washington, DC, October 31, 2018 | Chris Jusuf (202-225-1956) | comments
Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are pleased that the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is acting on their request to address the backlog of security clearance applications for personnel working at Edwards Air Force Base, Air Force Plant 42, and the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (NASA Armstrong).

Congressman Knight released the following statement:

“When our local workforce is held up from starting their jobs because of excessive delays in the security screening process, our local businesses who contract with the government lose some of the best talent and expertise in the nation. This not only hurts the local economy, but hurts our military and NASA’s ability to acquire the research, equipment, and technology that these jobs produce. I am very glad to have worked with Congressman McCarthy on this issue that impacts both of our constituencies, and I would like to thank him for his continued leadership for the Antelope Valley.” 

Congressman McCarthy released the following statement:

“I commend the Trump Administration and OPM for taking action to address the significant security clearance application backlog at Edwards Air Force Base, Plant 42, and NASA Armstrong. Our community is home to the finest organizations that work to ensure our nation remains the leader in aerospace. OPM’s actions will go a long way to ensuring that key Air Force and NASA personnel – Rep. Knight’s and my constituents - have the necessary security clearances to advance critical projects they are working on without delay.  The work these individuals do should not be disrupted because of red tape backlogs. I would also like to thank Congressman Knight for joining me in working to ensure that Edwards, Plant 42, and NASA Armstrong have a robust workforce with the requisite clearances so that they can focus on what they do best—ensuring that our nation remains on the cutting edge in the aerospace arena."

Background:

In early 2018, Congressmen Knight and McCarthy were made aware of the significant backlog and delays with employees at Edwards Air Force Base, Plant 42, and NASA Armstrong getting new or renewing existing security clearances. Following inquiries from Reps. Knight and McCarthy, the Air Force assembled a list of 165 security clearance applications, which had been pending for over 12 months, that needed to be expedited. At the Congressmen's request, OPM prioritized review of these applications and, since May, has conducted over 2,200 investigative elements. Of these applications, 92% are now complete and the remaining applications are being targeted for expedited review and decision. Additionally, Reps. Knight and McCarthy worked with OPM to prioritize a number of longstanding backlogged security clearance applications for employers of NASA Armstrong. NASA Armstrong submitted these applications to OPM, which was able to expedite their review and have since been closed out.

Previously, Rep. Steve Knight introduced H.R. 3210, the Securely Expediting Security Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act. The SECRET Act was signed into law in May. In September, NBIB published their report in response to the SECRET Act. The unclassified report can be read here.
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