Congress is coming back to work from their two week Easter Recess. There are lots of hearings taking place, but only a couple that might be of interest to the chemical and cyber security communities; both dealing with appropriations bills. Media reports of this week being ‘cybersecurity week’ in the House were optimistic at best.
The Senate Appropriation Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies will hold a markup hearing on Tuesday for the FY 2013 appropriations bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies.
Energy and Water
Wednesday the House Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee will conduct a markup hearing on their FY 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. This hearing will not be webcast.
Early last week there had been some news reports that this week would be ‘cybersecurity week’ in the House with a number of related bills coming to floor votes. Unfortunately there is nothing on the Majority Leader’s website or the Rules Committee website that indicates that any cybersecurity legislation will be considered this week. It is remotely possible that we could see some additions to the list of bills intended to be considered, but it’s unlikely that the whole host of bills could be added.
In fact, there is a good indication that there is some committee infighting holding up any real floor consideration of cybersecurity legislation. The House Homeland Security Committee has a hearing already scheduled for April 24th (a full week ahead) entitled: America is Under Cyber Attack: Why Urgent Action is Needed.
Here is a quick status update on the cybersecurity legislation that has been introduced in the House:
• HR 76 (Jackson-Lee, D) – No hearings held
• HR 174 (Thompson, D) – No hearings held
• HR 1136 (Langevin, D) – No hearings held
• HR 1261 (Connolly, D) – No hearings held
• HR 2096 (McCaul, R) – Reported, ready for floor action
• HR 3523 (Rogers, R) – Ordered reported
• HR 3674 (Lungren, R) – Reported out of subcommittee, pending hearings in 4 other committees
• HR 3834 (Hall, R) – Reported, ready for floor action
The Roger’s bill is the bill currently under wide spread attack by cyber-activists as being a ‘threat to the freedom of the internet’.
The Lungren bill is the most comprehensive which is why it must also be considered by the additional committees including those chaired by Rogers and Hall. It is unlikely to be considered by those two committees as there are some conflicts with the bills sponsored by their chairs. Oh, yes, Lungren is a Subcommittee Chair on the Homeland Security Committee, that’s why they have the hearing scheduled for next week to put pressure on the leadership to break his bill out of the other committees.