Barrasso, Marshall Introduce Polygraph Legislation to Protect National Labs

July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced S. 4634, which would require the Department of Energy (DOE) to administer polygraph examinations to non-green card holding foreign nationals from countries of particular concern, including China and Russia, before working in DOE National Laboratories. It also provides for subsequent polygraph testing for this same group under certain circumstances. 

“The groundbreaking research and technologies at America’s national labs must be safeguarded. All too often these highly sensitive materials have been compromised. They’ve been used to harm the United States, our allies, or our interests. This can have enormous consequences both for our national security and economic competitiveness,” said Ranking Member Barrasso. “The polygraph program will serve as a deterrent to foreign nationals with malevolent intentions. It will also provide a tool to protect critical research and identify security threats.” 

“The research being done at our National Laboratories is funded by American tax payers, and it needs to be the American people reaping the rewards. Yet, we know that American innovation is constantly being stolen and smuggled overseas by our enemies, particularly China. This is simply unacceptable,” said Senator Marshall. “We currently have thousands of Chinese and Russia foreign nationals working in the Department of Energy, and while I have no doubt that most are faithfully contributing to American progress, the war in Ukraine has shown it is more vital than ever that we do all we can to protect our technological advancements. I am proud to join Ranking Member Barrasso in introducing this legislation which will establish the same polygraph procedures used by the intelligence community to separate those who want to work for American interests from those who may have split loyalties.”

Read the text of the bill here.