Friday, May 14, 2021

Cybersecurity Legislation Watch – 5-14-21

I received two emails from this morning about the publication of text for two cybersecurity bills. Anyone can sign up for this service for tracking changes in the files for individual pieces of legislation on that site. It has been especially valuable to me this session because of the large number of bills being introduced and the problems the Government Printing Office is having publishing text of those bills in a timely manner.

Anyway, back to the two bills. The two cybersecurity bills are:

HR 2980, the Cybersecurity Vulnerability Remediation Act, and

HR 3138, the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act

Generally speaking, the GPO tries to publish the text of bills in the order that they were introduced. This keeps them out of problems with congresscritters screaming favoritism when someone else’s bill is published first. These two bills, however, are being published well outside of that sequence. This typically means that the leadership has notified the GPO of their particular interest in seeing these bills published early in the que.

Now I have not had time yet to do a detailed comparison, but it looks like each of these bills is substantially the same as bills introduced in the 116th Congress:

• HR 2980 – HR 3710, which passed in the House on September 26th, 2019, and

• HR 3138 – HR 5823, which passed in the House on September 30th, 2020

I suspect that later this afternoon when the House Majority Leader’s ‘The Weekly Leader’ is published outlining what will be happening in the House next week, we will see both of these bill on the list of bills that will be considered under the suspension of the rules process. Bills are not typically seen on the floor before they are considered in committee, but with the current attention on cybersecurity and the fact that both bills went through the committee process last session, this would not be a very unusual process.

There are two other cybersecurity bills that could also be considered on the floor next week, as they have both been considered in committee:

HR 1833, the DHS ICS Capabilities Enhancement Act, and

HR 1850, the Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act

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