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Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Before I begin, let me just say that my heart goes out to all those who lost their lives and were injured in the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and we pray for a quick recovery for all of those who were hurt. And our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston at this difficult time.

I also would like to take a minute just to comment on and to lend my support to the previous bill that was just debated, H.R. 1163, the FISMA reform bill that was before the House, vitally important for updating our reporting of cybersecurity incidents and other issues relating to enhancing our cybersecurity. And I commend Chairman Issa for his leadership on that, as well as others on the committee who are supporting that bill.

But, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to rise as a supporter and cosponsor of the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, offered by my good friend and colleague, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, as well as the cochair, along with me, on the Cybersecurity Caucus, Chairman McCaul.

Mr. Speaker, it seems that every week we read about a new cyber attack taking place. Last month, the Mandiant Report detailed a campaign of espionage against hundreds of corporations around the world. The New York Times and other media companies have also been victims of recent attacks; and we saw in South Korea last month the financial and communications sectors can clearly be vulnerable to these pernicious attacks as well.

Mr. Speaker, the cyber threat is real. Protecting our networks is a complex task that we, in Congress, need to focus more on and address. Chairman McCaul and I served together on the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, and I am happy to report that the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act builds on the important work that we did there.

As we are constantly reminded, today's threat may not be tomorrow's, due to the prodigious rate of technological innovation. This bill before us today encourages coordination between Federal agencies tasked with cyber research and development and requires them to develop a strategic plan for R&D activities.

Success in this area demands a skilled cyber workforce, something that we currently lack. This bill takes an important first step in correcting our course by reauthorizing NSF graduate fellowships in cybersecurity and requiring the President to issue a report addressing our critical cyber workforce shortage.

So, Mr. Speaker, with that, let me again thank the gentleman from Texas for his outstanding leadership on this issue. He's been a visionary on working to protect our Nation's cybersecurity, and I greatly appreciate his efforts and that of many others. I look forward to continuing to work with him, and I'm pleased to support this bipartisan piece of legislation.

I also recognize Mr. Lipinski and his leadership on this issue as well.


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