Friday, July 3, 2020

S 4049 Amendments Adopted – 7-3-20

Yesterday during consideration of S 4049, the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the Senate adopted by unanimous consent 62 amendments in an en bloc consideration. Four amendments were included that are of interest here. They include:

SA 2178 – Sen Wicker (R,MS) - to improve the cyber workforce and establish cyber challenges [pg S 3569],
SA 2215 – Sen King (I,ME) - to strengthen the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency [pg S 3660],
SA 2231 – Sen Fischer (R,NE) - to ensure appropriate prioritization, spectrum planning, and interagency coordination to support the Internet of Things [pg S 3688], and
SA 2275 – Sen Peters (D,MI) - to require a plan for the continuity of the economy [pg S 3719]

Cyber Workforce

SA 2178 would add a new Title, Cyber Workforce Matters, to the bill. It includes sections on:

• Improving national initiative for cybersecurity education,
• Development of standards and guidelines for improving cybersecurity workforce of federal agencies,
• Modifications to federal cyber scholarship-for-service program,
• Modifications to federal cyber scholarship-for-service program,
• Cybersecurity in programs of the national science foundation,
• Cybersecurity in stem programs of the national aeronautics and space administration,
• Cybersecurity in department of transportation programs, and
• National cybersecurity challenges [Similar to S 3712].

The first section of the bill would amend 15 USC 7451(a), National cybersecurity awareness and education program. Part of that amendment would be to add a new subparagraph:

“(8) in coordination with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, considering any specific needs of the cybersecurity workforce of critical infrastructure, to include cyber physical systems and control systems;”

The section on DOT programs makes to changes to 49 USC. The first would amend 49 USC 5505, University transportation centers program. The amendment would add to focused research grant program description found in §5505(c)(3)(E):

“, including the cybersecurity implications of technologies relating to connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and autonomous vehicles”

Strengthening CISA

SA 2215 would move the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director from Level III to Level II of the Executive Schedule, increasing the importance of the Agency. The second section of the amendment would require DHS to conduct a comprehensive review of the ability of CISA to:

• Fulfill the missions of CISA and
• Fulfill the recommendations detailed in the report issued by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission under section 1652(k) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Public Law 115–232).

The third section would require a similar review by the Government Services Administration.

Internet of Things

SA 2231 is very similar to S 1611, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act, that Fischer introduced in 2019 (and earlier versions of the same bill in 2017 and 2016). The bill was passed in the Senate in January under the unanimous consent process. It has not been taken up the House.

Continuity of the Economy

SA 2275 would require the President to “develop and maintain a plan to maintain and restore the economy of the United States in response to a significant event.” {§XXX(a)(1)}. The term significant event is defined as an event that causes severe degradation to economic activity in the United States due to a cyberattack; or another significant event that is natural or human-caused.

Additional Amendments to be Considered

The Senate reached an agreement to resume consideration of the bill after the July 4th recess (on July 20th) by taking up six specific amendment with 2 hours of debate on each amendment. Once those amendments are dealt with the Senate will vote on the substitute language. One of the listed amendments address issues that I will cover in this blog.

There still remains a possibility that another batch of en bloc amendments will be considered before the listed amendments are brought up.

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