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Public Statements

Cybersecurity Enhancement Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of H.R. 4061. We are all aware of the importance of cybersecurity and how it has grown dramatically in recent years, as most of the critical systems upon which we depend, from telecommunications to electricity to banking and commerce, rely on secure and reliable computing.

There are short-term policy actions that we can and must take to protect our networks, but over the long term the key to cybersecurity is winning the technological race against our adversaries. That is what this legislation is really aimed toward.

The Science and Technology Committee has a long record of leadership on these issues, dating back to the 1980s, led well by the gentleman from Tennessee, and the agencies and programs we oversee are critical to the success of Federal efforts to address cybersecurity weaknesses and their threats.

This bill will help to support these efforts through authorization of activities in three general areas: the first one being basic research at the National Science Foundation; the second one, expanded NSF scholarships to increase the size and skills of the cybersecurity workforce; and third, increase R&D standards, development and coordination, and public outreach at the National Institute of Standards and Technology related to cybersecurity.

Now, these are modest but important changes that will help us do a better job of protecting our communications network, and I am pleased to join my fellow Texan, Mr. McCaul, as a cosponsor, along with two of our key subcommittee ranking members, Dr. Ehlers of Michigan and Representative Smith of Nebraska.

I also want to note my appreciation for what this bill doesn't do. It avoids calling for any activities that could amount to being regulatory in nature. I think this is important. The committee heard from multiple outside witnesses that heavy Federal involvement in private sector cybersecurity processes would actually be counterproductive to security. I hope we can ensure this bill continues to restrain from such action as it moves through the legislative process.

This is a good bill, and it represents a small but important step in the government's overall efforts to address cybersecurity issues. I want to thank Chairman Gordon and our colleagues in the majority for working closely with the Republicans on this legislation, and I look forward to continued cooperative efforts as we move forward.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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