McCaul Urges the Senate to Act on Bipartisan Cyber and Election Security Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Under the leadership of Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), the House Homeland Security Committee has prioritized cybersecurity legislation over the last several years and has taken strong, bipartisan action.
Recently, Vice President Mike Pence spoke out on the importance of Chairman McCaul’s bipartisan House-passed legislation, H.R. 3359, to enhance DHS’s vital cybersecurity and critical infrastructure-related missions and authorities by streamlining the current structure of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) and elevating it to a stand-alone operational organization to be known as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
In addition, the Committee has held hearings on the cyber threat to election and other critical infrastructure and has championed legislation to strengthen our nation’s cyber defenses and enhance the resilience of our critical infrastructure, including H.R. 3359, H.R. 2825, and H.R. 5074. While these actions will do much to improve our cybersecurity capabilities, there is more work to be done.
Chairman McCaul: “With each passing day, the cyber threats facing our homeland continue to grow. FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week, ‘This threat is not going away. As I have said consistently, Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.’ Russia is not our friend, and we cannot allow anyone to undermine the confidence in our electoral process.
“The House has passed bipartisan bills to protect our digital networks from cyber intruders—including nation states, hackers, and cybercriminals—who are relentless in their pursuit to target our election and other critical infrastructure. I encourage the Senate to take up these key measures quickly so we can provide the direction and support needed to best combat an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape to keep the American people and our democracy safe and secure.”
Notable legislation includes:
H.R. 2825, the Department of Homeland Security Reauthorization Act of 2017
- The first ever, comprehensive reauthorization of DHS passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 386-41. This bill eliminates and streamlines programs within DHS, re-asserts Congress’s Article I authority, protects taxpayer dollars, and supports America’s first responders and front-line defenders.
- Of note, this bill ensures that DHS prioritizes assistance to state and local election officials when requested.
H.R. 3359, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2017
- This bill creates a stand-alone operational organization within the Department to elevate and prioritize its vital obligation to protect our information technology networks and critical infrastructure.
H.R. 5074, the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018
- This bill codifies and improves DHS’s cyber incident response teams. These teams work within the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and can provide assistance and support to asset owners and operators. This legislation allows private sector cybersecurity experts to participate on these “fly away” response teams.