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Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2952, the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Meehan), the chairman of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee, for introducing this very vital legislation. I appreciate him working with me and the rest of the committee to bring a thoughtful and bipartisan bill to the floor today.

In May, the Department of Justice released the names of five members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army that are suspected of carrying out cyber attacks against American companies for over 8 years. These indictments underscore the significant cyber vulnerabilities that the Department of Homeland Security works to identify and to thwart.

Some of the Department's most important efforts are targeted at protecting our critical infrastructure systems, such as communication systems and the electric grid. These systems have complex technological components that Americans expect will function without a glitch.

To carry out this mission, DHS is constantly researching and developing new technologies and defenses to help protect our infrastructure. This R&D is extremely important to the safety of American infrastructure.

At the same time, Congress must do proper oversight to ensure that it is done in an effective and efficient and focused way. That is why I cosponsored this act, which requires DHS to have a research and development strategy for critical infrastructure protection. This strategy is to be focused on identifying the most immediate threats and then developing a comprehensive set of initiatives to address them. It directs DHS to employ public-private partnerships, intragovernmental collaboration, University Centers for Excellence, and national laboratory technology transfers to make sure that DHS is working with state-of-the-art researchers and facilities. This strategy will help DHS keep ahead of the rapidly evolving cybersecurity attack that we hear about each and every day.

I am confident that, with the focused measures set forth in this bill and increased attention to the importance of science and technology in our antiterrorism efforts, we can be better equipped to defend America's critical infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, cyberterrorists and cyber criminals are constantly innovating. We must do more to protect against these threats and foster great resilience of critical infrastructure networks to such threats. H.R. 2952 will make sure that we fight the new threats of this era with the most advanced technology solutions.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 2952, the CIRDA Act, and I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Meehan) for making it possible for us to have this on the floor today and to bring this new piece of legislation to fruition.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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