Monday, October 5, 2015

Congressional Hearings – Week of 10-04-15 –

Both the House and Senate will be in session this week. Budget issues have been pushed to the backrooms so we are going to see a variety of issues coming up in hearing rooms this week. Hearing of probable interest to readers of this blog include: drones, NPPD organization, and maritime cybersecurity.


The Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on “Ensuring Aviation Safety in the Era of Unmanned Aircraft Systems”. The witness list includes:

• Michael G. Whitaker, Deputy Administrator, FAA
• James Hubbard, Deputy Chief, United States Forest Service
• Captain Tim Canoll, President, Air Line Pilots Association
• Rich Hanson, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Academy of Model Aeronautics
• Dr. Mykel Kochenderfer, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

NPPD Organization

On Wednesday the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on “Examining the Mission, Structure, and Reorganization Effort of the National Protection and Programs Directorate”. The witness list includes:

• Ronald J. Clark, Deputy Under Secretary, NPPD
• Chris P. Currie , US GAO
• Phyllis Schneck, Deputy Under Secretary, Cybersecurity and Communications, NPPD
• Suzannee Spaulding, Under Secretary, Cybersecurity and Communications, NPPD

Looking at the witness list this certainly looks like it will concentrating on the cybersecurity side of NPPD. I doubt, however, that much mention will be made of ICS-CERT.

Maritime Cybersecurity

The Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on “Are Our Nation’s Ports at Risk for A Cyber-Attack?” The witness list includes:

Jeh C. Johnson, Secretary, DHS;
James B. Comey, Jr., Director, FBI;
Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director, National Counterterrorism Center,

Don’t expect to hear too many actionable details from this hearing. It is going to concentrate of policy and broad threat overviews.

On the Floor

Among the many bills that will be considered in the House on Tuesday under suspension of the rules, there is one bill that might be of specific interest to readers of this blog:

HR 3510 – Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy Act of 2015, as amended

This bill was marked up in Committee last week. There was one amendment adopted dealing with privacy issues. HR 3510 is expected to pass with bipartisan support, minimal debate and no floor amendments will be authorized.

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