Four Latta security, innovation bills pass House

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved several bills authored by U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) regarding the security of the nation’s energy grid and innovation around the Internet of Things (IoT) and unmanned delivery services and advanced them to the U.S. Senate. 

“These bills that passed the House today ensure the United States can remain a global leader in innovation, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to consider and pass these initiatives,” Rep. Latta said.

The House on Sept. 29 passed the bipartisan Cyber Sense Act of 2019, H.R. 360, which Rep. Latta sponsored with lead cosponsor U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) in January 2019. If enacted, the bill would require the Secretary of Energy to establish a voluntary Cyber Sense program to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system, according to the congressional record summary.

The House also on Sept. 29 approved the Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act, H.R. 359, which Reps. Latta and McNerney introduced last January to direct the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships that address and mitigate the physical security and cybersecurity risks of electric utilities, according to the congressional record.

“The ongoing pandemic has highlighted the importance of American ingenuity, leadership, and security,” said Rep. Latta. “Over the last quarter century, we have seen incredible changes to the way we communicate with each other and the rest of the world. Along with these changes, we have also seen innovation in the technologies that power society. Having a more efficient and streamlined electric grid is essential to our national security as we continue to transform how we live and work.” 

Additionally, the House on Tuesday also passed the SMART IoT Act, H.R. 2644, and the bipartisan Advancing Unmanned Delivery Services Act, H.R. 6943, both sponsored in May 2019 by Rep. Latta, as part of the larger American Competitiveness on More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act, H.R. 8132, a package of eight bills introduced in May that collectively would help develop strategies toward enhancing U.S. competitiveness and ensuring the security of U.S. supply chains. 

H.R. 8132 includes Rep. Latta’s H.R. 2644, which would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to study the state of the internet-connected devices industry, also known as IoT, and his other bill, H.R. 6943, which would require the Commerce Department to study and report on the impact of unmanned delivery services on U.S. businesses conducting interstate commerce, according to the congressional record bill summaries.