Last night the House passed HR 4743, the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2016. After 13 minutes of debate the bill passed by a strongly bipartisan vote of 394 – 3. The three dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
The bill would allow the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with, and support with existing grant monies, an independent National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium to:
• Provide training to State and local first responders and officials;
• Develop and update a curriculum utilizing existing programs and models;
• Provide technical assistance services to build and sustain capabilities in support of preparedness for and response to cybersecurity risks and incidents;
• Conduct cross-sector cybersecurity training and simulation exercises for entities, including State and local governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and private industry;
• Help States and communities develop cybersecurity information sharing programs; and
• Help incorporate cybersecurity risk and incdent prevention and response (including related to threats of terrorism and acts of terrorism) into existing State and local emergency plans.
The bill now moves to the Senate where it will almost certainly be considered (if it makes it to the floor, that is not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination) under the Senate’s unanimous consent procedure without debate or vote.