The House Committee on Homeland Security passed late Monday three bipartisan cybersecurity-related bills.
H.R. 3696, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (NCCIP) and H.R. 2952, The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013 passed by a voice vote, while H.R. 3107, the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act, passed by a vote of 395-8.
The committee’s chairman, Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said in a statement after the bills passed that the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which he introduced, was “an important step toward addressing the cyber threat.” The bipartisan bill, he said, “establishes a true partnership between DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and the private sector to ensure the distribution of real-time cyber threat information in order to secure our nation in cyberspace without burdensome mandates or regulations.”
Ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., added in the statement that with the bills’ passage, “the House will have taken meaningful action to move the ball forward on improving our Nation’s cybersecurity posture.” Noting passage of the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act, Thompson said that the success of DHS “depends on how well it recruits, hires and trains its cyber work force.”
The bill requires the secretary of Homeland Security to establish cybersecurity occupation classifications, assess the cybersecurity work force, develop a strategy to address identified gaps in the cybersecurity workforce, and for other purposes.
The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make certain improvements in the laws relating to the advancement of security technologies for critical infrastructure protection.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed July 8 the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014, legislation that was introduced June 17 by committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. The bill was referred to the full Senate.
The Financial Services Roundtable and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association had urged the committee in early July to pass the bill, as the two groups said it would further strengthen the ability of the private sector and the federal government to work together to develop a more effective information sharing framework to respond to cyber threats.
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