Friday, March 23, 2018

Bills Introduced – 03-22-18

Yesterday with the House and Senate preparing to leave for their Easter Recess, 94 bills were introduced. Of these, two may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:

HR 5399 To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to clarify that grants made pursuant to the Urban Area Security Initiative and the State Homeland Security Grant Program may be used to increase the preparedness of high-risk State, local, territorial, and tribal governments against weapons of mass destruction and biological and chemical attacks, and for other purposes. Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]

S 2620 A bill to establish a Federal cyber joint duty program for cyber employees of Federal agencies. Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI]

As always, the large number of bills introduced before a major break in congressional attendance in Washington is not an indicator of congressional zeal. Rather, it is an indicator of campaigning initiatives. The talking points provided by most of these bills show that the introducing congresscritters are committed/interested in specific concerns of their constituents. The vast majority of these bills will see no congressional action beyond their introduction

It will be interesting to see if the wording of HR 5399 will allow the use of these grants for preparedness activities for attacks on chemical facilities or chemical transportation assets designed to specifically release hazardous chemicals. I am not going to hold my breath.

As with any of these clearly federal-limited cyber efforts, I will be watching this bill to see if it includes specific provisions related to industrial control system cybersecurity efforts. Yes, the federal government does have ICS, if you include building automation and security systems under the ICS umbrella.

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