Friday, July 19, 2019

House Amends and Adopts HR 3494 – FY 2020 Intel Authorization

On Wednesday the House completed the amendment process and passed HR 3494, the FY 2020 Intelligence Authorization, by a bipartisan vote of 397 to 31. The Ruppersberger amendment that would establish a energy grid cybersecurity pilot program was adopted on Tuesday by a voice vote. For a more detailed discussion of that amendment see my blog posts on HR 680 and S 79 (from 115th Congress).

What will be interesting now is figuring out how this bill will move forward. The House passed this as a stand-alone bill, but the Senate passed their version (without debate) as two divisions (Division F – 2020 authorization and Division G 2018 and 2019 authorization) within the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, S 1790. Neither the House nor the Senate have ‘taken action’ on the other’s version of the NDAA, the process that would start the conference committee action on one of the two bills (S 1790 or HR 2500),

What would probably be easiest (for some version of easy) would be for the House to take up S 1790 and amend it to include the language from both HR 2500 and HR 3494. That would be passed with a party-line vote similar to that received on HR 2500. The Senate would then insist on its language and call for the conference committee to be formed. The resulting compromise bill would probably come back to Congress after the summer recess.

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