DHS cyber bill awaits Obama's signature

A bill to codify the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity role will hit the president’s desk after House passage Thursday morning.

“I think that’s a very important move,” Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperHillicon Valley: Facebook to label 'newsworthy' posts that violate policies | Unilever to pull ads from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram | FEC commissioner steps down Senate Democrats push federal agencies to combat coronavirus scams and robocalls The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases MORE (D-Del.) told The Hill directly following the bill’s passage. Carper, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sponsored the Senate bill that passed unanimously earlier this week.


The bill officially authorizes the creation of a cybersecurity information sharing hub. Known as the NCCIC, or National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, the hub is a repository for cyber information from myriad government and industry sources. It also dissiminates cyber threat information to its partners.

But to this point, the NCCIC “exists on paper only,” Carper said.

“There’s no real authorization for it, there’s nothing in the law that says this should exist, what the authorities are, what the responsibilities are,” he added. “So we addressed that.”

The last week of Congress has seen a surprising wave of piecemeal cyber legislation pass after larger bills stalled.

Three other cyber bills are also awaiting the president’s signature.

Wednesday night, Congress passed a bill to implement new policies about how government agencies manage and respond to data breaches.

Lawmakers were also able to push through two cyber workforce measures this week that bolster the ability of DHS to recruit and retain cyber-focused employees.

The White House has not indicated it would veto any of the bills.