The House Rules Committee will be holding two hearings this week on HR 4909, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The first meeting will be this evening and will set the general consideration rule for the bill. The second meeting will determine which of the 372 amendments submitted to date will be allowed to be offered during the floor debate of the bill. Only seven of those amendments may be of specific interest to readers of this blog; five relating to cybersecurity issues and two to TWIC issues.
There are five cybersecurity related amendments that the Rules Committee will consider. They are:
#34 Sewell (D,AL) Allows cyber institutes to place a special emphasis on entering into a partnership with a local educational agency located in a rural, under served, or underrepresented community.
#44 Speier (D,CA) Establishes cybersecurity as a performance parameter for Department systems to protect critical information, mitigate cyber vulnerabilities, and respond to cyber-attacks.
#47 Meehan (R,PA) Expresses a sense of Congress that reiterates the importance of strong communications systems for the National Guard in the event of a cyber or terrorist attack.
#53 Walker (R,NC) Revised Provides that the President may not pursue bilateral cybersecurity working groups with the Russian Federation or the People’s Republic of China unless the President notifies Congress that Russia and China, respectively, has ceased carrying out state-sponsored economic, military, or industrial espionage in cyberspace against the United States or persons of the United States.
#136 Lofgren (D,CA) Prohibits using funds to mandate or request “backdoors” into commercial products that can be used to circumvent encryption or security protections.
None of these amendments would have any effect on industrial control system security issues.
There are two amendments deal with Transportation Workers Identification Credentials (TWIC):
#164 Hunter (R,CA) Expands the use of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) regarding access at DoD installations.
#226 Donovan (R,NY) Expedites processing of applications for transportation security cards for separating members of the Armed forces and veterans to facilitate employment in the maritime industry.
The Hunter amendment requires DOD to use the TWIC program to allow transportation workers unescorted access to military installations pending the development and implementation of the Identity Management Enterprise Services Architecture. Hopefully, DOD will learn lessons from the TWIC implementation.
The House is scheduled to take up HR 4909 on Thursday. I would be surprised if the House completes consideration of all three bills (includes military construction spending and Zika response spending) on Thursday and no votes are scheduled for Friday.
At this point there is no way of forecasting which (if any) of the above described amendments will be considered on the Floor of the House on Thursday.