Lawmakers offer bill to shore up federal cybersecurity

Reps. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeTrump’s roller coaster August: a timeline Hillicon Valley: YouTube disables 200+ accounts over Hong Kong misinformation | Lawmakers sound alarm over Chinese influence efforts | DHS cyber agency details priorities | State AGs get tough on robocalls | DOJ busts online scammers Lawmakers sound alarm on China’s disinformation campaign in Hong Kong MORE (R-Texas) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaIran talks unlikely despite window of opportunity New Trump rule on military families riles LGBT community King incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks MORE (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill this week intended to modernize a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that ensures the cybersecurity of federal agencies. 

The Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act would formally codify the department’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, which provides tools and services to federal agencies to increase cybersecurity. 

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The bill would also require DHS to develop a strategy to ensure that the CDM program is able to adjust to evolving cyber threats and would require the DHS secretary to make the CDM program available for state, local and tribal governments. 

The legislation is the House version of a Senate bill introduced in July by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynGOP Sen. Johnny Isakson to resign at end of year Nervous Republicans focus energy on protecting Senate ‘firewall’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes MORE (R-Texas) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanTrump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Empower the VA with the tools to help our veterans Schumer to Trump: Demand McConnell hold vote on background check bill MORE (D-N.H.), which has not yet seen action. It has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

Ratcliffe, who was briefly nominated by President TrumpDonald John Trump Poll: 40 percent of voters don’t think Trump will win reelection Mattis: ‘I’ll speak out’ about policy issues ‘when the time comes’ China contests Trump claim it is fentanyl source MORE to be director of national intelligence in July, said in a statement that “as cyber threats continue to increase in frequency and complexity, we must constantly work to enhance our nation’s cyber defense capabilities.”

Khanna added in a statement that “our government must have the necessary tools to protect Americans against the massive cybersecurity threats of the 21st century. The technology is there: we just have to ensure our agencies have the necessary tools to defend against hackers and cyberthreats. A strong CDM program will be instrumental in that effort.”

Both Cornyn and Hassan expressed support for the upcoming introduction of the House version of the bill. 

Cornyn said in a statement that “by codifying the CDM program and providing congressional oversight, we can ensure the federal government is better prepared for cyber threats,” while Hassan noted that she “looks forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis across the House and Senate to move this bill forward.”

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