Government data security bill faces House opposition

The Senate-passed update to the decade-old federal information security laws will face opposition, when it moves back to the House this week.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (R-Calif.), who drafted a House-passed version of the bill, has come out against the Senate’s measure, approved late Monday night.


"Chairman Issa does not support the [Senate] bill being sent over and encourages the Senate to move the unanimously approved House version," said Becca Watkins, the Oversight Committee’s communications director, in a statement.  

The Senate unanimously approved the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA), which gives the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a greater role in overseeing federal agency data security and directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help carry out OMB’s policies.

The Senate hotlined the measure last week, meaning it could move for quick passage if no senators objected. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) sponsored the bill.

The Senate’s version included roles for the DHS not found in Issa’s House-passed bill.

Lawmakers have disagreed over which agency is best suited to oversee federal information security, including the .gov websites.

Issa strongly backs the OMB. Others, like House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), believe the DHS should have a strong role.

McCaul told reporters in mid-November that Carper agreed with his stance.

Watkins did not elaborate on the exact source of Issa's objections.