Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Review – S 4673 Introduced – NCIF Reauthorization

Back in late July, Sen Grassley introduced S 4673, the National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022. While the bill shares a title with HR 7174 that was passed in the House back in July, there are significant differences between the two bills. For instance, this bill will only reauthorize the program through 2028 instead of the 2032 set in the House bill. Nor does it specifically expand the scope of the NCIF.

Moving Forward

Grassley is the Ranking Member, and four {Sen Feinstein (D,CA), Sen Klobuchar (D,MN), Sen Cornyn (R,TX), and Sen Whitehouse (D,RI)} of his seven cosponsors are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be sufficient influence to see the bill considered in Committee. I see nothing in the bill that would engender any organized opposition. I suspect that the bill would pass with significant bipartisan support in Committee.

The timing problem that I have been talking about the last couple of months now is further aggravated in the Judiciary Committee. With there being a chance that the Republicans will ‘control’ (NOTE: anything less than 60 votes is not really controlling” the Senate, the Senate leadership is pushing to see as many judicial nominations as possible moved out of Committee to the floor of the Senate. Nomination hearings (and the requisite staff work) means that there is time for little else, at least between now and the first week in November.


There is a chance that the Senate could take up the House bill under the unanimous consent process. They could also adopt the language of this bill as substitute language under the same process. It all depends on if the Senate leadership {Schumer (D,NY) and Chairman Durbin (D,IL)} supports the House or Senate language. Alternatively, language from either bill could be included as part of the year-end spending bill.


The changes made by this bill are mainly window dressing, important only to political infighters. They would have no real influence in the operation of the NCIF. The House bill, makes many similar meaningless changes, but it does expand the scope of coverage from strictly IT related issues to include (in passing) control system incidents and crimes in the scope of the systems covered by forensics training and research conducted by NCIF.


For more details about the changes to the NCIF authorization made in this bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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