Today the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology of the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to markup the recently introduced DHS Science and Technology Directorate Authorization bill, HR 4842. A number of minor amendments were adopted by voice vote and the Subcommittee favorably reported the amended bill to the full Committee. Chairwoman Clarke (D, NY) explained that the purpose of this legislation “is to ensure that the Science and Technology Directorate has the right tools available to be successful”. She further explained that success “means delivering products into the hands of our first responders, law enforcement officials, or critical infrastructure owners to help them achieve their mission and make America more secure”. Amendments were offered by Rep. Austria (R, OH), Rep. Kilroy (D, OH), Rep. Sanchez (D, CA), and Rep. Lujan (D, NM). All were passed on a voice vote with no demands for recorded votes. In today’s political climate this is a remarkable showing of bipartisan support for this legislation.
Two of the amendments might be of interest to the chemical security community. Ms Kilroy’s amendment added a new research program requirement to “develop and support cyber forensics and attack attribution” to §404(b). As part of the cyber security incentives research the S&T Directorate is required to under take with the National Research Council, Ms Sanchez’ amendment would include “analysis of the current marketplace and recommendations to promote cybersecurity insurance” in §405(b).