The House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday advanced 12 bills for consideration by the House, including measures to strengthen the lead role of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in cyber incident response and codify the role of the Acquisition Review Board within the Department of Homeland Security to help oversee program acquisitions.
All the bills were approved by voice vote. Some of the bills approved include:
The DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act of 2021 (H.R. 565), introduced by Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), would require DHS to submit to Congress a report on the roles and responsibilities of the department and its components relating to cyber incident response, what authorities are used in the federal government’s response to cyber incidents, and recommendations for further clarity on these roles and responsibilities.
The committee also approved a cybersecurity bill that passed the Senate this summer, the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act (S. 658), introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), that directs DHS to work with consortia in support of the department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which is now called CISA Central, to help state and local governments and agencies prepare for and respond to cybersecurity risks and incidents.
The DHS Acquisition Review Board Act of 2021 (H.R. 5652), introduced by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), codifies existing responsibilities of the DHS Acquisition Review Board to ensure that programs pass through key milestones in compliance with requirements.
Another bill, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Transparency Act (H.R. 5633), introduced by Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), would require the IG to resume providing unredacted copies of some reports to Congress and “transmit reports that substantiate allegations of whistleblower retaliation or an allegation of misconduct, abuse, fraud, or violation of policy by an official in authority.”
The Homeland Security Capabilities Preservation Act (H.R. 5615), introduced by Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), would require DHS to submit a plan on federal assistance to urban areas that previously received grants under the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program. She said that the legislation would provide stability in the UASI funding streams, allowing emergency planners to know that when they begin a program, they will be able to sustain the effort.