It is going to be a busy week for hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill. There are five House hearings and two Senate hearings currently scheduled that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog, two transportation hearings, two WMD related hearings and three cybersecurity hearings.
The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a markup hearing on the THUD spending bill for FY 2015. That spending bill is not normally introduced until after this hearing so we can’t tell for sure what will be in it. I would bet, however, that there will be language related to crude oil trains included in the bill.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will be holding a hearing on the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act. Again, lots of transportation safety issues will be discussed, but a big topic will be crude oil rail shipments.
The Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday looking at “Assessing the Biological Weapons Threat: Russia and Beyond”. Well, Russia certainly can be expected to have the technological where-with-all to produce bio-weapons so this is probably a reasonable hearing topic. Witnesses include:
• David R. Franz, USAMRIID; and
• Amy Smithson, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies;
The Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday looking at “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Threat to Critical Infrastructure”. This hearing was originally schedule on 2-26-14. Still no witness list.
The House Armed Services Committee will conduct a full committee markup of HR 4435, the FY 2015 NDA, on Wednesday. After a round of subcommittee markups last week there still does not appear to anything mentioning cybersecurity or cyber warfare in the bill. That may change at this markup.
The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday looking at “Investing in Cybersecurity: Understanding Risks and Building Capabilities for the Future”. This will almost certainly focus on Federal IT systems, but control systems may get mentioned. The witness list includes:
• Phyllis Schneck, Cyber, National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS;
• William Noonan, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS;
• Jonathan Katz, Maryland Cybersecurity Center, University of Maryland;
• Dave Mahon, CenturyLink;
• Scott R. Bowers, Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives
• Christopher Peters, Entergy Corporation
There will be a joint hearing on Thursday with two Homeland Security subcommittees looking at “Assessing Persistent and Emerging Cyber Threats to the U.S. Homeland”. Again I suspect an IT-centric focus, but you never can tell.
There is nothing currently scheduled for the House floor this week that will be of specific interest to readers of this blog.