Monday, February 21, 2022

Review - HR 4521 Passed in House – COMPETES Act

Earlier this month the House passed HR 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022. While billed as a ‘bioeconomy’ bill, this legislation is another huge (3610 pages) legislative conglomeration that addresses a large number of disparate issues. It includes 10 distinct sections addressing cybersecurity issues, funding for a cybersecurity training program and 12 separate mentions in passing of cybersecurity provisions in loosely related requirements.

Spending for Cybersecurity Training

Section 10303 authorizes spending for a variety of programs through the National Science Foundation. This includes money for the Cybercorps Scholarship for Service Program:

FY 2022 - $70,000,000,

FY 2023 - $72,000,000,

FY 2024 - $78,000,000,

FY 2025 - $84,000,000, and

FY 2026 - $90,000,000

Cybersecurity Sections

The bill contains ten sections that deal specifically with cybersecurity issues. Many of these sections are essentially the same as standalone legislative proposals that have already been offered in the House and/or Senate. Most of those earlier bills have little chance of making it through the legislative process on their own. The ten cybersecurity sections are:

§10223. NIST authority for cybersecurity and privacy activities

§10224. Software security and authentication.

§20102. Understanding cybersecurity of mobile networks. [HR 2685]

§20106. NTIA policy and cybersecurity coordination [HR 4046]

§20107. American cybersecurity literacy [HR 4055]

§30127. Digital connectivity and cybersecurity partnership.

§40101. Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program [HR 3599 or S 1097]

§50107. Improving cybersecurity of small entities [HR 6541]

§50108. Critical Technology Security Centers.

§90601. Dr. David Satcher cybersecurity education grant program. [S 2305]

Moving Forward

The bill passed in the House by a nearly (1 Democrat and 1 Republican voted the other way) straight party-line vote of 222 to 210. This would indicate that the bill would never pass the cloture process for consideration in the Senate. Nor is it a given that if it did make it to a vote in the Senate, that there would be enough votes for it to be sent to the President.

There is one potential route forward for this bill. If the House were to vote to amend S 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act (a similar conglomeration bill) with the language from this bill, then the Senate would insist on their language and the two versions of the bill would go to conference to work out the differences. A conference version would pass in the House on a party-line vote and may make it through the Senate (with judicious paring and reduced spending).

For more details about the cybersecurity provisions of this bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */