US lawmakers want to revive spy-catching agency amid renewed Russian threats

U.S. lawmakers want to resurrect a Cold-War agency to flush out spies amid a fresh spate of Russian threats, according to reports.

The 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill is heading for a full Senate vote after being passed by its Intelligence Committee back in May, according to Buzzfeed which originally broke the story.

Colin Anderson | Getty Images

The bill will require the U.S. President to "establish an interagency committee to counter Russian active measures," according to Senate press release issued in May.

Citing an anonymous U.S. intelligence source, Buzzfeed said the new group would be modelled on the now defunct "Active Measures Working Group," a Cold War era committee erected in the 1980s to expose covert operations by the Soviet Union.

Buzzfeed reported that the committee would also uncover Russian-sponsored assassinations, investigate 'front' groups, media manipulation, covert broadcasting, and secret funding. The FBI would also have to investigate Russian diplomats who plan to travel 50 miles from their U.S. post.

It comes amid a new spate of cyber espionage believed to have been launched by Russian hackers. that the Democratic National Committee was breached by Russian government sanctioned hackers which had previously targeted the White House, and accessed a research database on Republican opposition candidates including presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The same hackers are believed to have accessed computers

Why did Russians hack DNC?
Why did Russians hack DNC?

"The threats facing our nation continue to grow and this year's legislation provides the Intelligence Community the resourcing and authorities it needs to keep America safe," North Carolina Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said according to a May press release.

"The bill also strengthens the Committee's ability to conduct vigorous oversight over the intelligence activities of our government to ensure they are conducted effectively, efficiently, and within the rule of law," Burr added.

The Senate vote on the 2017 bill is expected to be pushed through before the summer break in July.

Disclaimer: CNBC's parent, NBC Universal, owns a stake in Buzzfeed.