House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the chairman of the House GOP's Cybersecurity Task Force, announced today that the House of Representatives next week will consider four bills designed to address the cybersecurity threat facing our country. The focus of these bills is consistent with the recommendations released by the task force last October that address the central issue the federal government and industry have stated must be addressed now: updating existing cybersecurity laws to provide the legal authorities to allow for information-sharing and public-private partnerships. Information-sharing is crucial to stopping the persistent and aggressive threat facing all aspects of our economy, our critical infrastructure, our communications, and our nation's security.
"Cybersecurity attacks are a direct threat to our economy and job creation, as well as our national security," said Speaker Boehner. "The task force made thoughtful and substantive recommendations, and I'm pleased that our chairmen have worked with our members to move these common-sense, bipartisan bills through their committees through regular order. I particularly want to thank Rep. Thornberry, our chairmen, and our members for their leadership and hard work on this critical issue."
"Ensuring that our networks and information systems are secure is critical to protecting our national security, promoting economic growth, and creating jobs," said Leader Cantor. "I thank Representative Thornberry and the Cybersecurity Task Force for their recommendations, and Chairman Mike Rogers, Chairman Peter King, Chairman Darrell Issa, and Chairman Ralph Hall for their hard work throughout this process. This bipartisan package will make sure our cyber laws are up to date and safeguard our country's ability to maintain its status as a global leader in technology and innovation."
"The task force made a number of important cybersecurity recommendations, and it is encouraging to see several of them incorporated into each of the committee bills that we will consider," said Thornberry who chaired the Cybersecurity Task Force. "Bringing these bipartisan pieces of legislation to the House floor is definitely an important first step toward improving our country's cybersecurity."
NOTE: Next week, the House will consider the following four bills designed to address the cybersecurity threat:
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.