Wednesday, June 22, 2016

House Passes Two Cybersecurity Bills

Yesterday the House took up two cybersecurity bills under the suspension of the rules process and passed both by strongly bipartisan votes. HR 5388, the Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2016 passed by a vote of 351 – 4. HR 5389, the Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act of 2016 passed by a vote of 347 – 8. In both cases the opposing votes came from Republicans.

HR 5388 includes specific control system security language. That language is in the section dealing with what types of research would be authorized under the new §319 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It would authorize research to “assist the development and support of technologies to reduce vulnerabilities in industrial control systems” {§319(b)(6)}. Still, no new funding for this research (or any of the cybersecurity research authorized by the bill) was provided in the bill, so the additional cybersecurity research effectively dilutes the money made available by DHS S&T for research grants.

Both bills now head to the Senate for consideration. If they do make it to the floor they will undoubtedly pass, but whether or not they are considered is an open question. I suspect that the best chance for their consideration is under the unanimous consent provisions, but that requires that no Senator object. With the minor conservative opposition in the House, the prospect of an objection by at least one conservative Senator is a very real possibility.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */