House Passes Cybersecurity Funding and Outreach Bills

By Daniel L. Farris

The U.S. House of Representative passed the Support for Rapid Innovation Act (H.R. 5388) and the Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act (H.R. 5389), on Tuesday. Both bills gained broad bipartisan report, after being recommended by the House Homeland Security Committeelast week. If enacted, the bills will appropriate new funds to DHS for outreach and private-sector collaboration for the development of innovative cybersecurity technologies.  

“We need more [capabilities] and the government can’t do it alone; the dangers are too pressing for Washington to protect the American people all by itself,” Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal.) said. Democrats made similar statements in support of the bills. DHS needs to “nurture and maintain robust relationships with tech developers,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said, in order to stay ahead of cyber threats.  

“Cybercriminals continue to develop even more advanced cyber capabilities, and in 2016 these hackers pose an even greater threat to the U.S. homeland and our critical infrastructure,” bill sponsor Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) said. “The federal government desperately needs to keep pace with these evolving threats and more actively work with the private sector to find solutions.”

Two other bills - Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency Act (H.R. 5390) and the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act (H.R. 5064) – may soon follow.  

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