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Bipartisan bill would create cyber advisory panel at DHS

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to create an advisory committee of cyber professionals to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take on cyber issues.

The bill, introduced by Reps. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoRundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Republicans who could serve in a Biden government Fitzpatrick wins reelection in Pennsylvania MORE (R-N.Y.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseRep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (R-Wash.) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDivided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  Fitzpatrick wins reelection in Pennsylvania MORE (R-Penn.), would create an advisory committee within DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to offer recommendations on new cybersecurity policies and programs.

The committee would consist of 35 cybersecurity professionals from state and local governments, as well as industries like healthcare, energy, transportation and manufacturing.

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A maximum of three members from each industry would be allowed on the committee, and members would serve terms of two years.

Katko, the ranking member of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation subcommittee on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the bill “takes steps towards equipping the agencies within the Department of Homeland Security with the necessary tools to respond to evolving cyber threats.”

“By creating a Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, we can facilitate a vital dialogue between public and private partners and better secure the U.S.,” he said in a statement.

The legislation has also earned the backing of the National Technology Security Coalition (NTSC), which represents chief information security officers who often handle cybersecurity issues.

“The Cybersecurity Advisory Committee will provide the Director of CISA and the Secretary of DHS access to cybersecurity professionals who are at the frontline of protecting billion-dollar enterprises from state and non-state actors around the globe,” NTSC executive director Patrick Gaul said in a statement.

“Our CISO community is precisely the organization to draw upon when DHS is looking for members.”