Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rules Committee Adopts Rule for Amending HR 1960

Early this morning the House Rules Committee adopted H Res 260, a structured rule for the consideration of amendments to HR 1960, the FY 2014 DOD authorization bill. The rule provides for the consideration of 172 amendments to the bill on the floor of the House with up to 10 minutes of debate authorized for each of the amendments (this could take some time).

There is an interesting provision of the rule which could significantly shorten the time it takes to consider these amendments. At any time in the debate the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee can offer the remain amendments en-bloc (all at one vote) with just 20 minutes of debate for all of the amendments to be considered. This makes it more likely that the later amendments in this extensive list will be adopted.

Cybersecurity Amendments

Six of the amendments to be considered deal with cybersecurity issues.

• 98 #220 Version 2 Cárdenas (D,CA) Revised Ensures that an assessment of the retention, recruitment, and management of the cyber operation forces is included in a comprehensive mission analysis of cyber operations by the Department of Defense.

• 99 #218 Version 2 Cárdenas (D,CA) Revised Ensures that the investigations launched by the Department of Defense related to the compromise of critical program information include an estimate of economic losses resulting from the intrusion and any actions needed to protect intellectual property.

• 100 #126 Version 1 Ruiz, Raul (D,CA) Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the Congress on the feasibility of establishing a small business cyber technology office to assist small business concerns in providing cybersecurity solutions to the Federal Government.

• 101 #219 Version 1 Cárdenas (D,CA) Authorizes the Department of Defense to create a education program to assist small business understand cyber security threats.

• 102 #267 Version 1 DeSantis (R,FL) Prohibits funds from being authorized for collaborative cyber-security activities with the People's Republic of China.

• 166 #117 Version 1 Issa (R,CA) , Connolly (D,VA) Reforms the process by which Federal agencies procure products and services related to information technology.

NOTE: The first number in the above listing shows the order in which the amendment will be considered. It will be interesting to see at what point in the debate that the decision is made to consider the remaining amendments en bloc.

I have not yet had a chance to review them in detail but it does not appear that any of them specifically deal with control system security issues.

Moving Forward

The debate on HR 1960 could resume any time after H Res 260 is adopted by the House. I expect that that vote will happen today and we will see late night sessions today and tomorrow with a vote on the final bill on Friday morning. The bill will certainly pass, probably with substantial bipartisan support. Gaining that Democratic support is the main reason for the consideration of so many amendments.

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