Monday, September 21, 2020

Committee Hearings – Week of 9-20-20

This week with both the House and Senate in session but looking to get back home for campaigning quickly, there will only be one hearing that addresses topics covered in this blog; that is cybersecurity.

State and Local Cybersecurity

On Tuesday the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Operations Committee will be holding a hearing on “State and Local Cybersecurity: Defending Our Communities from Cyber Threats amid COVID-19”. The witness list includes:

• Christopher Krebs, CISA,

• Denis Goulet, New Hampshire Department of Information Technology,

• Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Hartford Public Schools,

• John Riggi, American Hospital Association, and

• Bill Siegel, Coveware, Inc

While State and local governments operate a wide range of operational technology, I really do not suspect that there will be much (if anything) in the way of mention of controls system cybersecurity in this hearing.

On the Floor

It is likely that the House will take up a relatively clean continuing resolution (CR) to carry the funding of the federal government (at current spending levels) through at least until early December and possibly through to next year. The White House wants some money in the bill for the agriculture industry so the House may get one of their funding priorities as well, but one that the White House will not take strong objection to.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up a spending bill this afternoon, but as I write this there is no language available for review.

The House needs to pass a CR early this week to allow the Senate to take action before the end of the month to avoid a government shutdown. At this point it looks like there is no major impediment to reaching a deal; neither side wants to appear to be responsible for a shutdown this close to the election.

The House is also scheduled to take up a large number of bills under suspension of the rules. For the most part these are non-partisan bills that members on both sides want to be able to tell voters that they supported. This could lead to some late night votes this week.

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