Federal List

5 key IT bills still pending in Congress

Shutterstock image: the Capitol Building in autumn with orange leaves.

Congress is gone until after the November elections, but these measures may yet get attention in the lame duck session.

1. The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, the perennially pending update to the Clinger-Cohen Act, appears to have new momentum in the Senate, but leaders will decide if it comes up for a vote.

2. The Reforming Federal Procurement of IT Act, which seeks to make it easier for new entrants to the federal market to bid on government projects, has bipartisan support in the House but has yet to get out of committee.

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3. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act is considered a no-brainer by many observers. Essentially, it updates privacy protections for email to give items stored in the cloud the same legal protections as items stored on a user's hard drive. Still, some in Congress believe its provisions weaken the powers of law enforcement.

4. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), is the latest in a long list of attempts to come up with a method for government and the private sector to share information about cybersecurity threats. In the past, bills have failed over issues related to the civil liability of private-sector entities that report breaches.

5. The Federal Spectrum Incentive Act is a bit of a sleeper, but it could boost federal spectrum policy by allowing agencies to benefit directly from funds generated by the auction of spectrum they opt to relinquish.

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