The House will be considering on the floor this week (dubbed “Cyber Week”), the following four cybersecurity bills, as described by Speaker Boehner in a press release last Friday:
- Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523), introduced by Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), will help private sector job creators defend themselves from attacks from countries like China and Russia by allowing the government to provide the intelligence information needed to protect their networks and their customers’ privacy. The bill also provides positive authority to private-sector entities to defend their own networks and to those of their customers, and to share cyber threat information with others in the private sector, as well as with the federal government on a purely voluntary basis.
- Federal Information Security Amendments (H.R. 4257), introduced by Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), will enhance the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) by improving the framework for securing information technology of federal government systems. It also establishes a mechanism for stronger oversight of information technology systems by focusing on “automated and continuous monitoring” of cybersecurity threats and regular “threat assessments and reaffirms the role of OMB with respect to FISMA, recognizing that the budgetary leverage of the Executive Office of the President is necessary to ensuring effective security over information technology systems.
- Cybersecurity Enhancement Act (H.R. 2096), introduced by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), will improve coordination of research and related activities conducted across the federal agencies to better address evolving cyber threats. The bill strengthens the efforts of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the areas of cybersecurity technical standards and cybersecurity awareness, education, and talent development.
- Advancing America’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Act (H.R. 3834), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), reauthorizes the NITRD program, which represents the federal government’s central R&D investment portfolio for unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technology and involves 15 member agencies. In the area of cybersecurity, the NITRD program focuses on R&D to detect, prevent, resist, respond to, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten to compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of computer-and network-based systems.
Notably, no House Homeland Security Committee bill is being considered at this time, nor is H.R. 4263, the SECURE IT Act, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. Rep. Bono Mack’s bill was the House companion bill to S. 2151, the SECURE IT Act, sponsored by Senator McCain (R-AZ), Ranking Minority Member of the Armed Services Committee, and cosponsored by five other Ranking Members of the committees of jurisdiction interested in this issue.
In the Senate, the McCain bill is considered the leading Republican alternative bill to S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and endorsed by the White House and Senate Majority Leader Reid. Leader Reid has indicated he will take the Lieberman bill (or a modified version of it) to the floor after Senators Lieberman and McCain conclude their negotiations to find a compromise solution. Senator Lieberman announced recently that he expected it to be on the floor sometime in May.
For more information on the House consideration of cybersecurity legislation this week, please see the following links:
- House Majority Leader’s Floor Schedule for Week of April 23: http://majorityleader.gov/floor/4-23-12.pdf
- House Rules Committee Meeting Announcement on H.R. 3523: http://www.rules.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=814