Katko’s bipartisan cybersecurity measure gains House committee approval

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Sept. 25 advanced bipartisan cybersecurity legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY).

The congressman in March sponsored the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee Authorization Act of 2019, H.R. 1975, which would establish a cybersecurity advisory committee to the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Committee (CISA). Rep. Katko is ranking member of the U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation.

“I applaud Ranking Member Katko for his leadership on this important issue and I am hopeful the House will move H.R. 1975 in short order,” said Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL) following the committee’s action on Wednesday. “It is essential that CISA stays ahead of cyberthreats that are evolving by the day.”

If enacted, the bill would direct the advisory committee to advise, consult with, report to, and make recommendations to the CISA director on the development, refinement and implementation of policies, programs, rulemakings, planning, training, and security directives pertaining to the CISA’s mission, according to the bill’s text.

“Today, many state and non-state actors are poised to utilize cyberspace to infiltrate companies and government networks,” said Rep. Katko. “To combat these ongoing and emerging threats, it is imperative that we promote cybersecurity efforts by forming partnerships between private industry and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”

Rep. Katko said that H.R. 1975 would achieve this goal “by establishing a committee of cybersecurity experts representing every major business sector who will regularly provide feedback to DHS on cyber issues facing private industry.”

The measure has 27 cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Will Hurd (R-TX), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), John Ratcliffe (R-TX), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and remains under consideration in several other House committees.