Lawmakers offer bill to shore up federal cybersecurity

Lawmakers offer bill to shore up federal cybersecurity
© Greg Nash

Reps. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeFlynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show READ: Newly declassified transcripts of Flynn calls with Russia ambassador Intel chief Ratcliffe declassifies transcripts of Flynn calls MORE (R-Texas) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Khanna calls for internet 'fairness doctrine' in response to controversial Trump tweets Khanna: Coronavirus has 'accelerated' the need for rural broadband 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 CornynGOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas Castro, Warren, Harris to speak at Texas Democratic virtual convention Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (R-Texas) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSenators ask DeVos to adjust FAFSA form due to the coronavirus pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump spotted wearing a face mask Sen. Shaheen tells Biden campaign she does not want to be vetted for VP 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 John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points 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.”