Legislative Activity

“Cyber Week” Begins April 21st in the House

The House has designated this week as “Cyber Week” and plans to expeditiously move key cybersecurity bills focusing on critical information sharing tools. The first is the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (H.R. 1731), which the House Homeland Security Committee unanimously passed out of Committee last week. Additionally, the House Intelligence Committee’s information sharing bill – the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560) – will be part of the package of bills that will be considered on the House floor this week. At this time, the House plans to consider the two bills separately and have stand-alone votes on the House floor on each bill. It is expected they will be rolled together after passage and then sent to the Senate for debate.

It has been discussed that the House would also consider the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (H.R. 1770) on the floor; however as of late last week, that seemed doubtful. The bill was marked up in the Committee last week and ultimately passed on a 29-20 party-line vote. The House Rules Committee has not officially announced that it will hold a hearing on this bill for floor consideration but the possibility exists that it could be added to the schedule at the last minute.

Senate Consideration of Cyber Legislation is Coming Soon

While the House will move first on cybersecurity legislation in the 114th Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated last week that the Senate will consider the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754) soon. To date, Congressional leaders have said they want to have a final information sharing bill sent to President Obama by the Memorial Day recess.

The Senate is also looking at considering data security legislation in the near future as well. Last week, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Tom Carper (D-DE) reintroduced their Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961) while Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) is also looking at introducing another data security bill in the near future.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, April 22: The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing titled “Small Business, Big Threat: Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks.”
  • Wednesday, April 22: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled “Enhancing Cybersecurity of Third-Party Contractors and Vendors.”

Regulatory Activity

U.S. Department of Defense to Issue New Cyber Strategy

This week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will issue a new cybersecurity strategy that would outline the Pentagon’s cybersecurity priorities, its new spending initiatives, and strategies to recruit cyber experts to work at DOD. This will be the first time that DOD will update its cyber strategy document since the 2011 release of the Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will make the announcement about the updated strategy at an event in Silicon Valley. The report was originally due to be sent to Congress by September 2014 but has been delayed.