Friday, December 15, 2023

Review - HR 6524 Introduced – CISA Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Programs

Last month, Rep Houlahan (D,PA) introduced HR 6524 , the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act. The bill would require CISA to establish an apprenticeship program that would lead to cybersecurity related employment with CISA or other Federal entity. The bill would also require the Veterans Administration to establish a pilot program providing cyber-specific training for eligible individuals. There is no funding authorized in the legislation.

This bill is very similar to S 2256 [removed from paywall], introduced in the Senate on July 12th, 2023, and recently reported in the Senate. While there are many editorial differences between the two bills, the major difference is that the Senate bill is a standalone act, whereas this legislation would add a new section to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (§2220F). Where the Senate bill would have to be codified as a note to an existing USC section, this bill would become a new section in 6 USC. This makes finding the resulting codified language much easier.

Moving Forward

Neither Houlahan, nor any of her four cosponsors, are members of the House Homeland Security Committee to which this bill was assigned for primary consideration. This means that there would probably not be sufficient influence to see this bill considered in Committee. I see nothing in the bill that would engender any organized opposition. I suspect that there may be sufficient bipartisan support that the legislation could move to the floor under the suspension of the rules process.


The lack of funding authorization in HR 6524 removes a possible source of opposition to the bill from the fiscal conservatives in the House. Unfortunately, it would also mean that any spending on these apprenticeship programs would have to come out of existing CISA budget authorizations. This effectively limits the size and number of apprenticeship programs that CISA could operate. It would also make it easy for CISA to decide to opt out of any new apprenticeship program.


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

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