GOP rep debates future of cybersecurity bill

GOP rep debates future of cybersecurity bill

Rep. Randy NeugebauerRobert (Randy) Randolph NeugebauerCordray announces he's leaving consumer bureau, promotes aide to deputy director GOP eager for Trump shake-up at consumer bureau Lobbying World MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday said if discussions to combine two competing data breach bills are unsuccessful, he will look to push forward his own proposal before the House breaks in July for the presidential conventions.

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“We’re operating on a pretty tight legislative schedule so I think we’re going to have to make a decision pretty soon if we’re going to be able to get some floor time,” Neugebauer said.

He said if GOP leaders are able to advance a 2017 budget resolution and begin drafting spending bills, “floor time is going to begin to be pretty precious.”

The House Financial Services Committee in December advanced a bill put forward by Neugebauer that would set nationwide data security standards and require businesses to notify customers following a breach.

But a competing bill from the Energy and Commerce Committee has been bogged down by a partisan scuffle over whether the law would preempt existing state data security regulations.

The staffs of both committees have been in discussions over the future of the two bills, with an eye toward combining them into a single bill supported by both committees.

But although issue is seen as the next likely target for Congressional action on cybersecurity, the two bills have garnered markedly different support amongst industry groups.

Neugebauer's bill has the support of the Financial Services Roundtable but has faced fierce pushback from retailers, which warn it would be overly burdensome to some smaller businesses while allowing other companies — like third-party vendors and financial institutions — to escape regulation altogether.

The Energy and Commerce Committee bill, put forward by Reps. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGraham warns of 5G security threat from China Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Trump, Senate GOP discuss effort to overhaul legal immigration MORE (R-Tenn.) and Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchBernie Sanders is hypocritical on most significant campaign issues Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (D-Vt.), has a little more traction among retailers, but has faced criticism from Democrats who say it would do away with stronger consumer protections at the state level.

Neugebauer said he hopes the bipartisan support his bill garnered coming out of committee will give it an edge if it is brought to the floor independently.

“We want to make sure we shore up and pass this bill with strong bipartisan support on the floor as well because I think that gives us better chances on it to get some action on it in the Senate,” he said.