Today, the House of Representatives passed two cyber-security bills that Congressman Alan Grayson strengthened in a March 14th Science, Space, and Technology Committee markup. Grayson passed four amendments in committee, all of which passed unanimously by a voice vote. Both bills, H.R. 756 and H.R. 967, were fast-tracked on the "suspension calendar", and passed by the House. The two bills will now head to the Senate.
Grayson offered three amendments to H.R. 756, the "Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013' which passed the House of Representatives with 402 votes. Grayson's first amendment provided for increased participation of women in the Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service Program. His second amendment added community colleges to the list of eligible institutions for receiving federal scholarship grants from the same program. Grayson's third amendment requires research into how American companies and the U.S. military purchase electronics, aimed at preventing the purchase of electronics infected with spyware or viruses, which could jeopardize national security.
Grayson also passed an amendment to H.R. 967 "Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013'. His amendment added "resilience" and "reliability" to the research priorities of the National High Performance Computing Program. "Resilience" means the ability to adapt to hostile conditions, like responding to a cyber-attack. "Reliability" refers to the structural ability to withstand adverse events, such as maintaining electricity during a hurricane. Grayson explained that these priorities reflect our nation's increasing reliance on internet and telecommunication technology, which is vulnerable at multiple different stages in its delivery.
"Don't tell me that you can't get anything done in Washington," said Grayson. "These were commonsense amendments that both Democrats and Republicans could support. Our country needs more women involved in science and technology, so we explicitly encouraged that in H.R. 756. Another one of my amendments made community colleges, like Valencia Community College, eligible for the first time for federal cyber scholarship grants. Our technological world is increasingly interconnected, so I wanted to prioritize research that supports these systems in H.R. 967. My colleagues and I were able to work in a bipartisan fashion to improve both of these bills, which are now on their way to becoming law. I'm proud to have contributed substantially to that process."