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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 RichmondBiden emphasizes investment in police, communities to combat crime Trey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden faces pressure amid infrastructure negotiations MORE (D-La.), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoDemocrats to create select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack Bipartisan lawmakers highlight COVID-19 impact on mental health, addiction Overnight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices MORE (R-N.Y.), Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Head of House Office of Diversity and Inclusion urges more staff diversity House lawmakers roll out bill to invest 0 million in state and local cybersecurity MORE (D-Wash.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerHouse lawmakers roll out bill to invest 0 million in state and local cybersecurity House approves cyber funds in relief package as officials press for more Maryland lawmakers ask Biden to honor Capital Gazette shooting victims with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (D-Md.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDemocrats to create select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack DHS considering asylum for migrants whose cases were terminated under Trump Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE (D-Miss.) and Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersDefense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors A balance of pragmatism and agendas shaped the U.S.-Russia summit 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday 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 PetersHillicon Valley: Tech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup | Rick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border | John McAfee dies Rick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Harris casts tiebreaking vote to confirm OPM nominee MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOcasio-Cortez criticizes bipartisan infrastructure deal for lack of diversity among negotiators Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' MORE (R-Ohio) are leading the efforts on a similar bill in the upper chamber. 

— Maggie Miller contributed