Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments

Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday introduced a bill that would establish a $400 million grant program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help state and local governments combat cyber threats and potential vulnerabilities. 

Under the legislation — led by Reps. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice Bottom line MORE (D-La.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support States plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges GOP Rep. Pete King to buck party, vote for Democrats' coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-N.Y.), Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerDemocrats debate how and when to get House back in action Cornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Tech groups call on Congress to boost state funds for cybersecurity during pandemic MORE (D-Wash.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerTech groups call on Congress to boost state funds for cybersecurity during pandemic Political interference at the Justice Department puts our system of checks and balances in peril Hillicon Valley: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger | FTC to review past Big Tech deals | State officials ask for more cybersecurity help | House nears draft bill on self-driving cars MORE (D-Md.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Federal watchdog finds chemical facilities vulnerable to cyberattacks MORE (D-Miss.) and Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersBottom line Officials warn Chinese hackers targeting groups developing coronavirus treatments Hillicon Valley: Amazon VP resigns in protest | Republicans eye university ties to China | Support rises for vote by mail MORE (R-Ala.) — DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would be required to develop a plan to improve localities' cybersecurity and would create a State and Local Cybersecurity Resiliency Committee to help inform CISA on what jurisdictions need to help protect themselves from breaches. 

The group noted that state and local governments have become targets for hackers, having seen an uptick in attacks in recent years. 

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“It provides more grant funding to state and locals for cybersecurity my own state of Texas impacted, particularly as tensions rise in Iran, for instance, we are seeing more cyberattacks coming out of Iran,” McCaul told The Hill.  

“And then of course going into the election we will make sure that our voting machines are secure.”

Richmond — the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation  — said it’s a critical step in providing the framework needed to craft and implement adequate cybersecurity plans.

“The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act is a critically important piece of legislation that provides state and local governments the tools they need to significantly invest in their cybersecurity infrastructure,” he said in a statement. 

“Louisiana has long been vulnerable to cyberattacks, and this bill offers the resources needed to ensure protection against potential threats.” 

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The House Homeland Security Committee is slated to hold a markup on the measure on Wednesday. 

Sens. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersComey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe GOP chairman to seek subpoena power in investigation of Russia probe, 'unmasking' requests Michigan GOP candidate's Senate petition deemed 'insufficient' over signatures MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSoured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet On The Money: McConnell: Talking about fifth coronavirus bill 'in next month or so' | Boosted unemployment benefits on the chopping block | Women suffering steeper job losses from COVID-19 Kudlow: 0-per-week boost to unemployment benefits won't 'survive the next round of talks' MORE (R-Ohio) are leading the efforts on a similar bill in the upper chamber. 

— Maggie Miller contributed