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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 RichmondBiden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday MORE (D-La.), 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.), Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerHillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments House approves legislation to send cybersecurity resources to state, local governments Is Congress reasserting itself? MORE (D-Wash.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerHillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments House approves legislation to send cybersecurity resources to state, local governments Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE (D-Md.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonTrump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract Democrats accuse GSA of undermining national security by not certifying Biden win MORE (D-Miss.) and Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersFormer GOP congressman calls for Biden to receive presidential briefings Democrats slam DHS chief for defying subpoena for testimony on worldwide threats Remembering 9/11 as we evaluate today's emerging threats 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 PetersRepublican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden says transition outreach from Trump administration has been 'sincere' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE (R-Ohio) are leading the efforts on a similar bill in the upper chamber. 

— Maggie Miller contributed