Monday, September 28, 2015

Congressional Hearings – Week of 09-27-15

Both the House and Senate will be in session this week. It looks like the short term funding fight was resolved on Friday so the Congress turns to other items. Hearings this week will include three markup hearings in the House, a number of military related cyber hearings on both sides of the Capitol, as well as a pipeline safety and TSA management hearing.

Markup Hearings

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup hearing on Tuesday that will look at HR 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015. It will be interesting to see if any changes will be made to the Cyber Sense program to deal with the problems that I identified earlier.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup hearing on Wednesday that will look at HR 3490, the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act. It is unlikely that this Committee will address the control system forensics concerns that I mentioned earlier. If that is to be addressed it will have to be in the Homeland Security Committee hearing described below. Both Committees will consider the same substitute language on the bill that is the result of the earlier subcommittee markup.

The House Homeland Security Committee will also hold a markup hearing on Wednesday with a large number of bills being considered. The bills of specific interest to readers of this blog include:

HR 3350, the Know the CBRN Terrorism Threats to Transportation Act;
HR 3490, the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act;
HR 3503, the Department of Homeland Security Support to Fusion Centers Act of 2015;
HR 3510, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy Act of 2015;
HR 3578, the DHS Science and Technology Reform and Improvement Act of 2015;
HR 3583, the Promoting Resilience and Efficiency in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies Act*;
HR 3584, the Transportation Security Administration Reform and Improvement Act of 2015;
HR 3586, the Border and Maritime Coordination Improvement Act*; and
HR 3598, the Fusion Center Enhancement Act of 2015*

Note: I have not had a chance to review the bills marked with an ‘*’ yet. I should publish reviews on them by Wednesday.

Military Cyber Issues

Military cyber issues are certainly going to touch on some IT and ICS security issues, but that will not be their primary focus. I am just going to list the hearings here without discussion.

Senate Armed Services - Cybersecurity policy and threats


The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday to examine the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to address inspector general findings. There will only be two witnesses:

• Peter V. Neffenger, TSA Administrator; and
• John Roth, DHS Inspector General

Pipeline Safety

The Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday to examine pipeline safety, focusing on oversight of our nation's pipeline network. Witnesses will include:

• Susan Fleming, US GAO;
• Christopher Hart, NTSB;
• Michael Bellamy, PII Pipeline Solutions;
• Donald Santa, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America; and
• Terry McCallister, American Gas Association

On the Floor

In addition to the clean version of HR 719 [Bill # corrected 17:00, 9-28-15] (the Continuing Resolution that will continue funding through December 13th) that the Senate will consider tonight and the House will consider on Wednesday, there are a couple of bills of specific interest that are scheduled to make it to the floor of the House this week. They are:

HR 2786, Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules; and
HR 1735, 2016 NDA conference version, under a rule.

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