The House this week passed a number of homeland security and cybersecurity bills, including one that would allow interagency rotations of cyber workers aimed at ultimately better integrating cyber talent across the federal government.
The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act (H.R. 3599), introduced by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), passed on Tuesday evening on a vote of 410 to 15. The bill allows agency heads to establish cyber workforce positions eligible to be rotated with other federal agencies.
The bill would also require the Office of Personnel Management to create a Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce operation plan to guide the detailing of employees to the rotating positions.
“To maintain our nation’s leadership and security in the 21st century we need an integrated federal workforce, particularly one that possesses the knowledge, skills and competencies to counter increasingly sophisticated threats from foreign actors,” Khanna said in a statement.
The House on Wednesday passed by voice vote the One-Stop Pilot Program Act of 2021 (H.R. 4094), introduced by Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), that would establish a pilot program to streamline international travel and increase global baselines for aviation security to allow passengers screened at airports overseas to not have to be-screened in the U.S. before continuing on a domestic flight as long as the last point of departure airport has the same level of screening as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration conducts.
The six-year pilot program would be conducted at up to six last point of departure airports for travelers flying to the U.S. Katko said that in addition to improving the passenger experience the one-top screening would also streamline airport security efforts.
The Unmanned Aerial Security Act (H.R. 4682), also approved by voice vote on Wednesday, prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from purchasing unmanned aircraft systems made in China or other adversaries. Introduced by Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), the bill is aimed at preventing the transfer of data collected by foreign-made drones to the Chinese or other adversarial governments.
Similar to how the Defense Department publishes contract awards each day above a certain dollar threshold, the DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021 (H.R. 4363) would establish a daily public reporting requirement for contracts valued at $4 million or higher. The bill was introduced by Reps. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.).
Katko said the reporting bill will increase transparency at DHS.
The House also passed by voice vote the K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S. 1917), which had already been approved by the Senate. The bill, which now awaits President Biden’s signature, directs the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to assess the challenges elementary and secondary schools face in securing their information technology systems and provide recommendations and voluntary resources to help with cybersecurity solutions.