Two IT bills headed for House floor

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Measures on cybersecurity standards, high-performance computing that have cleared committee in the House died in the Senate’s previous session.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee marked up two bills March 14 with measures that direct agencies’ cybersecurity efforts.

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act (H.R. 756) empowers the National Institute of Standards and Technology to set security standards for federal computer systems and the .gov domain, creates scholarships for cyber workforce training, and tasks the National Science Foundation with basic cybersecurity research.

Read the bills:

Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013

Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013

Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) described the bill as making modest but important changes to the nation’s security posture. The measures will be paid for out of existing NIST and NSF funding. A manager’s amendment -- a package of amendments agreed to by both sides in advance -- updated the bill to call for expedited hiring of cyber specialists, but by and large, the changes were technical. A version of the bill passed the House by a vote of 395 to 10 last year, and it is expected to pass again.

The Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act, which also passed the House last year, updates the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to take into account new technologies and priorities. Among other things, the bill would coordinate the activities of the government agencies that participate in the Networking and IT Research and Development Program to prevent duplication of effort.

If passed by the full House, the next stop for the bills would be the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, where they languished without action in the last Congress.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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