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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3523, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act; Providing for Consideration of Motions to Suspend the Rules; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4628, Interest Rate Reduction Act; and for Other Purposes

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to this rule and to the underlying bill in its current form. I greatly appreciate the nonpartisan work on the issue by Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger. They've worked in a refreshingly collaborative fashion on this bill and on the work of the Intelligence Committee, generally.

Yet, I find I cannot support the bill in its current form due to my concerns about its impact on civil liberties and the privacy of Americans. While amendments were submitted to the Rules Committee that would address these issues, including an amendment I jointly submitted with Ms. Schakowsky and Mr. Hastings, none of these amendments were made in order in this rule.

I share the view of the sponsors of the legislation that cybersecurity is a serious issue that requires congressional action. I also believe that information-sharing is an important piece of responding to the cybersecurity threats, though it is, by no means, sufficient alone without other elements such as hardening critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

I'm disappointed in the rule because the problems with the bill are eminently fixable and, in fact, multiple amendments, including my own, were submitted that would improve the bill.

Yesterday afternoon, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy saying the President's senior advisers would advise him to veto the bill if it came to him in the current form because of the lack of protection for civil liberties. As the administration's statement said: ``Cybersecurity and privacy are not mutually exclusive.''

I believe we can and must protect ourselves from cyberattack and that we can and must preserve our privacy. This is eminently doable, but we are not there yet.

My amendment, which was not made in order, would have accomplished four tasks. First, it would have made DHS, a civilian agency, the primary coordinating agency for information-sharing.

Second, it would require rules to minimize the sharing of personally identifiable information. The amount of personally identifiable information shared would be the least amount needed to combat the cybersecurity threat, and no more.

Third, it would narrow the uses of cybersecurity information to cybersecurity purposes, specific national security threats, and certain other serious crimes.

And, finally, it would more specifically define cyberthreat information to make sure that we don't sweep up information we don't intend to and don't need.

In conclusion, amendments like this one would have improved the bill and better balanced the need to protect ourselves against cyberthreats with the equal imperative of preserving the privacy of the American people.

I am disappointed that the House won't have the opportunity to vote on those amendments; and, as a result, I urge a ``no'' vote on the rule.


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