Both the House and Senate are in town this week. The House will be dealing with spending bills (THUD and DOD) and the Senate will be dealing with their DOD authorization bill, HR 1735. There will be some committee hearings that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog including DOD-civil support, transportation technology, energy cybersecurity, and the Senate DOD spending bill.
DOD Spending Bills
The House Rules Committee will be holding a hearing to develop the rule for the consideration of HR 2685. This will be the typical free-for-all amendment process that have come to make spending bills so interesting. There were no cybersecurity provisions of note in the original bill, but we may end up seeing some added in the amendment process. The Majority Leader’s web site expects that the bill will make it to the House floor this week.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is finishing up work on their version of the DOD spending bill this week. The Armed Services Subcommittee will mark it up on Tuesday and the whole Committee on Thursday.
DOD Civil Support
The Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on Defense Support of Civil Authorities: A Vital Resource in the Nation’s Homeland Security Missions. I’ve long maintained that the military has response capabilities that would provide valuable augmentation for any number of different civil emergencies.
With the recent introduction of S 1478, with its requirement for DOD planning for cybersecurity support for the Homeland, this hearing should provide a more realistic look at DOD capabilities. I don’t really expect to hear much about cyber support capabilities in this hearing.
The Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on Friday on US Surface Transportation: Technology Driving the Future. I expect that we will hear about vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, but not the potential cybersecurity or communications security problems with that developing technology.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday on Energy Accountability and Reform Legislation. A high-powered selection of witnesses will testify about a VERY large list of bills under consideration by the Committee. Only two may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:
S 1068, to amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system from cyber security threats;
S 1241, to provide for the modernization, security, and resiliency of the electric grid, to require the Secretary of Energy to carry out programs for research, development, demonstration, and information-sharing for cybersecurity for the energy sector, and for other purposes.
With the huge number of bills listed for consideration at this hearing, it is unlikely that there will be much detail provided about anything. This will be even worse than the typical congressional hearing because of the wide variety of topics under consideration.