Monday, October 25, 2021

Committee Hearings – Week of 10-24-21

This week, with both the House and Senate in Washington, there will be a full slate of hearings in both bodies. There are two hearings of note here; a markup hearing and a hearing on transportation cybersecurity.

Markup Hearing

On Tuesday, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a markup hearing looking at 12 pieces of legislation.

HR 5616, “DHS Basic Training Accreditation Improvement Act of 2021”,

HR 5658, “DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act”, and

S 658, "National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2021",

I have not yet published reviews of HR 5616 and HR 5658. While HR 5616 does not appear to affect chemical security inspector training, it could have future impact on cybersecurity law enforcement teams that could be developed within CISA or TSA. HR 5658 is a ‘report to Congress’ bill that may inform future cybersecurity legislative efforts. S 658 passed in the Senate in July and I do not expect any significant amendments in this week’s hearing.

Transportation Cybersecurity

On Tuesday the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on “Transportation Cybersecurity: Protecting Planes, Trains, and Pipelines from Cyber Threats.” The witness list includes:

• Suzanne Spaulding, Center for Strategic & International Studies,

• Patricia F.S. Coswell, Guidehouse,

• Jeffrey L. Troy, Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and

• Scott Dickerson, Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center

Commentary - It is disappointing to see this industry only panel without having the TSA Administrator providing some insight into what that agency is trying to do with the limited resources it currently has available.

On the Floor

According to the House Majority Leader’s web site, we may actually see a vote on HR 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. There is a lot of new cybersecurity program language and funding tied up in that bill. This is still tied up in the negotiations over the Build Back Better bill, so do not hold your breath waiting on the vote.

As I noted yesterday, we may see the Senate take up HR 4350, the FY 2022 NDAA, this week. The amendment process for that bill may see additional cybersecurity language added.

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