Monday, September 18, 2023

Review - S 885 Reported in Senate – DHS Civilian Cyber Reserve

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee published their Report on S 885 [removed from paywall], the Department of Homeland Security Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve Act, and an amended version of the bill. The Committee met on May 17th, 2023, and adopted (item 8) the substitute language offered by Sen Rosen (D,NV) without further amendment by a vote of 10 to 1. The bill would authorize DHS to establish a pilot program for a civilian cybersecurity reserve.

Moving Forward

With the publication of this report, the bill is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. The strong bipartisan support for the bill should be reflected in how the bill will be accepted when it comes to the floor of the Senate. Unfortunately, the sole vote against the bill came from Sen Paul (R,KY). One vote should not make a difference, but Paul is one of a handful of Senators that has an established reputation for objecting to unanimous consent motions for consideration of legislation. Typically, Paul does not need to have a specific problem with legislation to object to such motions, but a problem with a bill would certainly make such an objection that much more likely.

If the bill were to be considered under regular order, it would almost certainly pass with strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately, regular order takes too much of the Senate’s limited time for it to be used for any but the most politically important bills. This bill hardly meets that standard. So, the most likely way that this bill would be taken up by the Senate is through the unanimous consent process with fingers crossed.


For further information about the changes made to S 885 and Committee’ Report, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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