Sunday, June 22, 2014

Congressional Hearings – Week of 6-22-14

Both the Senate and House will be in town this week. The House has a fair number of hearings scheduled, but none of specific interest to readers of this blog. The Senate, however will be having three separate mark-up hearings that will be of interest; one spending bill, one authorization bill, and a trio of bills that have not yet been introduced.

DHS Spending

The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be meeting on Tuesday to mark up the FY 2015 DHS spending bill. A draft copy of that bill is not yet available.

Coast Guard Authorization

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will meet on Tuesday to mark-up 8 bills including S 2444, the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016.

Three Homeland Security Bills

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will meet on Wednesday to address one nomination and mark-up 11 bills. Three of those bills have yet to be introduced and those are the ones of specific interest here. They are:

• The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014;
• The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act of 2014; and
• The Protecting American Chemical Facilities From Attack Act of 2014.

The first may possibly contain language that affects control system security (not too likely) but the second has a better chance.

The third bill will be the long awaited Senate plan for the longer term reauthorization of the CFATS program. This will certainly contain provisions not seen in HR 4007 that has not yet made it to the floor of the House. I would not be surprised to see IST or worker participation language in this bill, both of significantly absent from the House bill. If they do show up here in strongly worded language, then that might signal that the House bill would not be considered in the Senate; that would be the death of comprehensive chemical security legislation for another session of Congress.

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