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 RichmondHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Underwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel Rep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel MORE (D-La.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost cybersecurity of local governments, small businesses Underwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel MORE (R-N.Y.), Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerPelosi asks panels to draft new COVID-19 relief measure Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-Wash.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director MORE (D-Md.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonUnderwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel House panel pans ICE detention medical care, oversight Senate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week MORE (D-Miss.) and Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersDemocrats slam DHS chief for defying subpoena for testimony on worldwide threats Remembering 9/11 as we evaluate today's emerging threats Hillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account 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 PetersHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Postmaster general says postal service can't return mail-sorting machines The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Romney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes Congress needs to prioritize government digital service delivery MORE (R-Ohio) are leading the efforts on a similar bill in the upper chamber. 

— Maggie Miller contributed