House lawmakers lead efforts to include IT modernization funds in next stimulus bill

House lawmakers lead efforts to include IT modernization funds in next stimulus bill

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is working together to gather support for including funds to boost state-level information technology security and modernization efforts in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.

Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulNational security adviser says Trump was not briefed on bounty intelligence, condemns leaks Pentagon: 'No corroborating evidence' yet to validate troop bounty allegations The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, alongside Reps. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director Overnight Defense: State Dept. watchdog was investigating emergency Saudi arms sales before ouster | Pompeo says he requested watchdog be fired for 'undermining' department | Pensacola naval base shooter had 'significant ties' to al Qaeda, Barr says MORE (D-R.I.), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director House Republican accuses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube of not doing enough to combat Chinese propaganda MORE (R-Wis.), and Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondBlack Caucus unveils next steps to combat racism Gaetz tweets photo of teenage adopted son after hearing battle Tensions flare between Reps. Cedric Richmond and Matt Gaetz during police reform hearing MORE (D-La.), plan to send a “Dear Colleagues” letter next week to House lawmakers asking them to support funding state efforts to boost network security. 

“Unfortunately, our digital infrastructure is (virtually) crumbling,” the lawmakers wrote in the planned letter. “Federal agencies often rely on IT systems that are decades old, and the problems are all the more acute at the state and local level.”

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They emphasized that “we believe the urgent need for revamping our digital government infrastructure has never been more clear,” and asked their colleagues to join them in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Cheney clashes with Trump MORE (R-Calif.) asking for IT modernization funding. 

The lawmakers requested that any funding sent to states include IT modernization and security funds for local governments as well, and that the funds address both current and future IT needs. 

“As we consider additional legislative measures to address the urgent needs of our citizens, we encourage you to consider the digital infrastructure on which so many of our constituents rely to access vital government services,” the House members wrote. 

Richmond serves as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s cyber panel. Langevin and Gallagher are member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a group composed of government and industry officials that released recommendations on how to defend the U.S. in cyberspace in March. 

The House members are not the first on Capitol Hill to advocate for cybersecurity and IT modernization funds. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHouse to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling Black Caucus unveils next steps to combat racism Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-Miss.) and other Democrats sent a letter to Pelosi and McCarthy last month specifically asking that they support funding cyber defense at the state and local levels.

A coalition of major tech groups has also pushed Congress to include these funds in recent weeks. 

But timing around when the House will consider the next COVID-19 stimulus package is unclear, with the House still out of session, and Senate Republicans increasingly cautious about what will be included in the package.