Lawmakers offer bill to shore up federal cybersecurity

Lawmakers offer bill to shore up federal cybersecurity
© Greg Nash

Reps. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeBiden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Sunday shows preview: US grapples with rising COVID-19 cases Trump-era intelligence chief wants Beijing Olympics moved due COVID-19 'cover-up' MORE (R-Texas) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Dems demand accounting from Big Oil Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Democrats call for oil company executives to testify on disinformation campaign MORE (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill this week intended to modernize a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that ensures the cybersecurity of federal agencies. 

The Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act would formally codify the department's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, which provides tools and services to federal agencies to increase cybersecurity. 

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The bill would also require DHS to develop a strategy to ensure that the CDM program is able to adjust to evolving cyber threats and would require the DHS secretary to make the CDM program available for state, local and tribal governments. 

The legislation is the House version of a Senate bill introduced in July by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill MORE (R-Texas) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanOvernight Hillicon Valley — Majority supports national data privacy standards, poll finds Senator calls on agencies to take action to prevent criminal cryptocurrency use Trump praises NH Senate candidate as Sununu weighs own bid MORE (D-N.H.), which has not yet seen action. It has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

Ratcliffe, who was briefly nominated by President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE to be director of national intelligence in July, said in a statement that "as cyber threats continue to increase in frequency and complexity, we must constantly work to enhance our nation’s cyber defense capabilities."

Khanna added in a statement that “our government must have the necessary tools to protect Americans against the massive cybersecurity threats of the 21st century. The technology is there: we just have to ensure our agencies have the necessary tools to defend against hackers and cyberthreats. A strong CDM program will be instrumental in that effort."

Both Cornyn and Hassan expressed support for the upcoming introduction of the House version of the bill. 

Cornyn said in a statement that “by codifying the CDM program and providing congressional oversight, we can ensure the federal government is better prepared for cyber threats,” while Hassan noted that she “looks forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis across the House and Senate to move this bill forward.”