Sunday, April 14, 2013

Committee Hearings – Week of 4-14-13

This week the House and the Senate will be hard at work in Washington and the President’s budget request will take up a lot of time in committees. There will also be a cybersecurity hearing and a look at Sequestration. Oh yes, it’s going to be Cybersecurity Week on the floor of the House.

Budget Hearings

There are too many to discuss in detail so here is a listing:

United States Coast Guard Budget – House Appropriations
Department of Defense Budget – House Appropriations
Department of Transportation Budget – House Appropriations

I’ve added the NIST budget to the ones that I’ll be following this year because of the Cybersecurity Framework under development by that agency.


CISPA (HR 624) will be coming to the floor this week so there will be a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon to develop the rule for the consideration of the bill. The only question is if it will be an open rule with amendments from the floor (my guess – not) or a lengthy list of amendments included in the rule (probably). At least a couple of the amendments rejected in Committee last week may be considered by the Committee of the Whole House.


The Subcommittee on National Security of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday looking at Sequestration Oversight: Prioritizing Security over Administrative Costs at TSA. There is no witness list yet so we really have no idea if surface transportation security will be addressed, but based upon past history, I doubt it. Congress has a tendency to forget security of trains, trucks and busses.

Cybersecurity Week

As I mentioned earlier, CISPA will be coming to the floor of the House this week as will a number of other cybersecurity bills. At this point CISPA is the only one that will be covered by a Rule; the others will be debated under suspension of the rules.

On Tuesday three bills will be covered under suspension of the rules. This means no more than an hour of debate, no amendments and the leadership considers these bills a slam-dunk for passage since it takes a 3/5th majority to pass bills this way. The bills that will be considered are:

• H.R. 1163 - Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2013 
H.R. 756 - Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013 
H.R. 967 - Advancing America’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012 

HR 756 does contain some control system language as does HR 967 though neither are going to have a significant impact on ICS security issues. HR 1163 is a federal IT security measure that I am quite frankly ignoring.

The current plans for CISPA, according to the Majority Leader’s web site, is for debate to start on Wednesday with a final vote before 3:00 pm EDT on Thursday.

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