House committee rejects Obama cyber proposal

The House Budget Committee late Wednesday voted down an amendment that would have funded the White House’s proposal for a $3 billion technology modernization initiative.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who sponsored the amendment, said he was “greatly disappointed” with the vote, accusing Republicans of putting “politics ahead of national security."

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The Information Technology Modernization Fund would have gone toward upgrading the government’s woefully outdated networks, which hackers have repeatedly infiltrated over the last year, pilfering millions of government workers’ personal data, even President Obama’s private schedule.

Lieu said that fixing these systems, “which are both hard to secure and expensive to maintain, should be an approach both sides of the aisle can agree on.”

“Instead, Republicans on the Budget Committee rejected my amendment,” he added.

The modernization fund was just one component of the White House’s major cyber push in its annual budget request. The administration called for more than $5 billion in new funding across the government to strengthen cyber defenses.

The boost would put federal cyber spending at more than $19 billion, a 35 percent increase over last year’s allotment.

“We cannot stand idly by and let our national security be endangered by inaction and underfunding,” he said.

The Lieu amendment was one of 29 Democratic edits offered during the nine-hour markup. All were rejected.

While the panel easily approved its budget, the trillion-dollar proposal could fall short on the House floor if the 40-member House Freedom Caucus doesn't support the measure.