Monday, July 28, 2014

House Passes Four Homeland Security Bills

As I noted this morning the House addressed a number of bills today under suspension of the rules. Four of them were mentioned as being of probably interest to readers of this blog:

HR 2952 - The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act;
HR 3107 - The Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act;
HR 3202 - The Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential Assessment Act; and
HR 3696 - The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.

All four bills, as expected, passed with impressive bipartisan support. Two of the bills (HR 2952 and HR 3696) passed by voice votes. The other two bills passed in voice votes; HR 3107 (395 to 8) and HR 3202 (400 to 0). Interestingly, HR 3107 was incorporated into HR 3696 before the bill was reported by the Homeland Security Committee.

I suspect the four bills could also garner similar bipartisan support in the Senate. There is a possible problem for HR 3696. This bill is as close at things will get in the near future to being a comprehensive cybersecurity bill. ‘Comprehensive bills’ have been routinely held up by Sen. Reid (D,NV) as the various affected committees in the Senate tried to craft their own bills. I suspect that Reid will do the same for this bill as the leadership tries to craft a deal to pass S 2588, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014. It is not really a competing bill, but Reid seems to figure that he can only pass one significant cybersecurity bill each session.

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