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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I'd first like to thank Chairman Aderholt for his hard work. His efforts to support and strengthen cybersecurity activities within the Department of Homeland Security have been commendable, and I want to thank him and his staff, as well as Mr. Price and his staff, for crafting this important piece of legislation.

There can be no doubt of the importance of ensuring DHS has the resources it needs to execute its role in protecting against cyberthreats, and key to this is attracting and retaining a robust and skilled cyber workforce.

DHS has been delegated numerous critical responsibilities in securing Federal networks through Federal statute and OMB memorandum. These include operating the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US CERT, and overseeing the Trusted Internet Connection initiative. DHS also has prime responsibility within the executive branch for the operational aspects of Federal agency cybersecurity with respect to the information systems that fall under the Federal Information Security Management Act.

While I applaud the chairman for delivering on the need to strengthen America's homeland security efforts in the face of reduced Federal spending, I would ask him if he gave consideration to the hiring, development, and retention of our top-tier cybersecurity talent charged with performing the aforementioned critical duties. An organization such as the Department of Homeland Security absolutely must be able to attract and keep these highly skilled and highly valued individuals in order to defend Federal networks and inform better policy.


Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman. In that spirit, I would like to encourage the gentleman to work together with Mr. Price on efforts to determine and address potential DHS cyber workforce challenges. Specifically, I believe it would be a great value to have DHS study a report on its efforts, challenges, and recommendations to address cyber workforce requirements at the agency.

Given their critically important roles with regard to Federal cybersecurity, I believe we absolutely must make sure that DHS can attract and, equally as important, retain the best and the brightest to defend our networks.


Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the chairman. I certainly look forward to working with my good friend to ensure that our Federal Government is properly addressing these critically important cybersecurity and cyberworkforce challenges. It's a very important issue, and I thank the chairman for all of his hard work and also thank Ranking Member Price for his outstanding work on this important bill.


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