Monday, August 29, 2022

S 4670 Introduced – FY 2023 THUD Spending

Last month, Sen Schatz (D,HI) introduced S 4670, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2023. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not produced a report on this bill. The bill contains one cybersecurity funding mention, but no specific language about cybersecurity issues.

Cybersecurity Spending

On page 11, under the heading Cyber Security Initiatives, the bill provides $48.1 million for DOT “cyber security initiatives, including necessary upgrades to network and information technology infrastructure, improvement of identity management and authentication capabilities, securing and protecting data, implementation of Federal cyber security initiatives, and implementation of enhanced security controls on agency computers and mobile devices”. This is the same amount as authorized in HR 8294, the House version of this bill.

NTSB vs CSB Funding

In a post last month about problems at the Chemical Safety Board, I noted that CSB funding levels in the Committee Report (pg 132) on HR 8262 provided $14 million for the funding of CSB operations in FY 2023. The National Transportation Safety Board funding is actually listed in this bill (a measure of the increased relative importance of the NTSB over the CSB) at $129.3 million. The NTSB does conduct significantly more investigations than does the CSB (which has not initiated any new investigations in over a year), but that is probably more a measure of the amount of funding available than it is a reflection of the number of incidents worthy of investigation.

Moving Forward

HR 8294 was included in the House minibus spending bill (HR 8294) that was passed in the House before the Summer Recess. If (not really likely) the Senate takes up that bill before the end of next month, the language from this bill will likely be rolled into the substitute language that the Senate would actually consider. It is unlikely that the Senate would be able to get the 60-votes necessary to begin actual debate on the House bill, since that passed with a near party-line vote.

We will most likely see a continuing resolution (CR) passed late next month that would provide funding at current levels through some time in December. Depending on the outcome of the congressional elections in November, we could see another CR carrying over spending until January or February if Republicans manage to gain control of both the House and Senate. Otherwise, a consolidated spending bill will likely pass in late December after one or more short term CR’s are passed.

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