Congress

Dems see opportunity on cyber

concept cybersecurity art 

Despite polarization on Capitol Hill, a group of House Democrats say they can tackle cybersecurity issues. A new agenda from the moderate New Democrat Coalition promises to "cut across siloed committees" in Congress and work across party lines.

"The risks aren't limited to blue districts or red districts," Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Coalition's cybersecurity task force, told reporters on Oct 26.

The group is pushing on plans to build cybersecurity support capacity into the National Guard, establish federally supported cybersecurity internships, streamline government hiring and improve information sharing via what Kilmer called the "underutilized" Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

Kilmer, along with co-chairs Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), in May requested that OPM make changes to federal recruitment and hiring practices and loosen certain job requirements.

On information sharing, Gottheimer told reporters that he was "blown away" by what he described as a lack of coordination between agencies.

"They all procure separately, and so they all have different standards and are on different systems. I never understood why we weren't actually putting everyone around a table and putting all our brains together to fight the problem," he said.

The group also is calling for the continued "strict implementation" of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act; supporting federal IT modernization through revolving working capital funds; changes to the cloud certification program FedRAMP "to serve as a model of standardized security certification processes for government IT acquisition;" improved digital identify verification techniques for public- and private-sector use; and standardized breach notification laws to eliminate the often confusing patchwork of laws across U.S. states and territories.

About the Author

Ben Berliner is an editorial fellow at FCW. He is a 2017 graduate of Kenyon College, and has interned at the Center for Responsive Politics and at Sunlight Foundation.

He can be contacted at bberliner@fcw.com.

Click here for previous articles by Berliner.


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