Monday, May 17, 2021

Committee Hearings – Week of 5-16-21

This week, with both the House and Senate in session, there is a full slate of committee hearings. There are two cybersecurity hearings of interest this week, one a markup hearing and the other a look at the cybersecurity of the defense industrial base.

Cybersecurity Markup

Tomorrow, the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a markup hearing for seven pieces of legislation, including at least three cybersecurity bills. I say ‘at least’ because three of the bills slated to be covered are listed on the calendar page are simply listed as “H.R.____”. I suspect that one of those three blank will be HR 3243, I discussed that briefly on Friday. The cybersecurity bills we know for sure are:

HR 2980, Cybersecurity Vulnerability Remediation Act

HR 3138, State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act

HR 3223, CISA Cyber Exercise Act

Sharp eyed readers will recall that I thought those three bills might be coming to the floor this week. That is not the case. It seems that Rep Thompson (D,MS), Chair of the Homeland Security Committee asked the GPO to print those bills earlier than ‘normal’ so the Committee did not have to rely on committee prints for their markups.

Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity

The Subcommittee on Cyber of the Senate Armed Services Committee will be holding a hearing Tuesday on “Cybersecurity of the Defense Industrial Base”. The witness list includes:

• Rear Admiral William Chase III, DOD

• Jesse Salazar, DOD

The DIB is increasingly becoming the most heavily regulated industry for the purposes of cybersecurity. We should probably be watching this area of regulation as a potential test-bed for cybersecurity regulations for other critical infrastructure sectors.

On the Floor

There will be nothing of particular interest on the floor of the House this week, but there is some potential for some cybersecurity action in the Senate. Last Thursday, the Senate started to consider S 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act. This bill will establish a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation at the National Science Foundation. I have not been covering this bill, but there are indications that there could be come cybersecurity amendments offered that may be of interest here.

The Senate will vote today to close debate on the motion to consider. That will start the amendment process, so I will be watching the Congressional Record closely for any potential cybersecurity amendments.

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