Citing cybersecurity as one of the most significant and complex challenges facing Congress, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) renewed his call on Monday for a permanent Select Committee on Cybersecurity in the Senate.
Gardner is advocating for creating the committee amid reports from the intelligence community that Russian hackers attempted to influence the presidential election.
The senator, who launched the bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Caucus with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in June, said the Senate’s current structure remains insufficient to address cyber attacks.
At least 19 standing committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate have held hearings related to cybersecurity, according to the Congressional Research Service.
“That’s why I’m renewing my call for the creation of a permanent Select Committee on Cybersecurity, which would be narrowly focused on providing oversight of our strategy to protect sensitive data, defend our networks and to deter malicious cyber actors,” Gardner said.
“Recent reports from our intelligence community concluded that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election, serving as yet another reminder of the host of emerging threats in cyberspace. These allegations must be thoroughly investigated, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to address the sanctioning of Russia and specifically, bad actors identified following an investigation,” he said.
Gardner first called for a permanent Select Committee on Cybersecurity in July 2015 after U.S. investigators indicated that China was behind a cyberattack on the Office of Personnel and Management. The attack compromised the personal data of more than 21.5 million federal employees.