Cybersecurity Bills Center Stage in House

April 22, 2015

pic-tech-computerIn addition to the cybersecurity hearing held by the House Committee on Small Business at which NSBA’s Todd McCracken testified today, cybersecurity measures are being taken up by the full House for votes. Among the measures the House will vote on this week are the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 1731).

The Protecting Cyber Networks Act, introduced by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), will be voted on by the House on Wednesday, April 22. The bill would establish a dedicated office within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) charged with analyzing and coordinating information on cyber threats from the intelligence community. H.R. 1560 also would require the government to develop policies and procedures to enable information sharing on cyber threats both among federal agencies as well as private industry. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assigned a price-tag of $186 million between 2016 and 2020 to the bill.

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, the House will vote on the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and would codify the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. This center is charged with aiding in the exchange of cyber threat information among federal agencies and private industry. The measure also outlines additional procedures be followed during the information sharing, including checking for and expunging personal information, and requires a number of status reports to Congress. The CBO cost estimate for this bill is $20 million over the 2016-2020 period.

While the current plan is for the House to consider and vote on each bill independently, they likely will roll the bills together after their expected passage and then send one bill to the Senate, where leadership has indicated they soon will take up their own version of cybersecurity legislation, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754).

Leaders on both sides of the Capital are aiming to send a final cybersecurity bill to the White House by the end of May.