Sunday, May 19, 2013

Congressional Hearings – Week of 5-19-13

While both the House and Senate will be in Washington this week, we only have to worry about hearings from the House, at least those of us in the chemical safety/security and cybersecurity communities. There will be two House cybersecurity hearings and two hearings on spending matters.


Two different subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will both be looking at cybersecurity issues on the same day. Fortunately one is in the morning and the other is in the afternoon; otherwise the cybersecurity staff would be hard pressed to whisper the right questions into the correct congressman’s ear.

In the morning the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee will be holding a hearing on “Cyber Threats and Security Solutions”. The witness list is available and it is lengthy. Dr. Gallagher, Director of NIST, will be the first panel; no prizes for guessing what he will be talking about.

The second morning panel (I almost expect a second and third panel) will include:

• Dave McCurdy, American Gas Association
• John M. (Mike) McConnell, Booz Allen Hamilton
• R. James Woolsey, Woolsey Partners LLC
• Michael Papay, Northrop Grumman Information Systems
• Phyllis Schneck, McAfee, Inc.
• Charles Blauner, Citigroup, Inc.
• Duane Highley, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
• Robert Mayer, United States Telecom Association

The afternoon hearing will be conducted by the Communications and Technology Sub-Committee and will address “Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Communications Supply Chain”. While this does not directly affect control system security (except of course where it interfaces with a communications network) many of the same issues will apply to the control systems supply chain. The Subcommittee does have a staff background memo up on the Committee web site that provides the witness list and a description of the topics to be addressed.

Money Hearings

We will need to monitor the outcome of two mark-up hearings this week that will be looking at money matters.

The House Appropriations Committee will be marking up the as yet un-numbered FY 2014 Homeland Security spending bill on Wednesday. I’ve already described some of the CFATS and TWIC related language that is in the draft document. The Homeland Security Subcommittee met last week to do their markup, but we will not seeing the results of that mark-up until the bill is introduced.

There will be a whole series of hearings this conducted this week by the various subcommittees of the House Armed Forces Committee on the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, HR 1960. The one that will probably be of interest to the cybersecurity community will be the markup being conducted Wednesday by the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Again, we probably will not be seeing the results of this hearing until the Committee Report is prepared.

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