H.R. 2952, The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act

H.R. 2952

The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act

Date
July 28, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, July 28, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 2952, the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013 (CIRDA Act of 2013), under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 2952 was introduced on August 1, 2013 by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and was referred to the House Homeland Security Committee.  The bill was marked up on October 29, 2013 and was ordered reported, as amended, by voice vote.[1]

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[1] House Committee Report 113-324.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2952 makes several reforms to address gaps in the protection of critical infrastructure.  H.R. 2952 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to submit to Congress, within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, 1) a strategic plan to guide Federal research and development efforts for protecting critical infrastructure; and 2) a report on use by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of public-private research and development consortiums to accelerate the development of technology for critical infrastructure protection.  The Secretary must submit updated reports every two years.

H.R. 2952 requires the Secretary to designate a technology clearinghouse where government and private partners can share proven solutions for protecting critical infrastructure.  Within two years of the bill’s enactment, GAO must assess the effectiveness of the clearinghouse.  H.R. 2952 specifies that no new funds are authorized to carry out the bill.

Background

“[DHS] is responsible for the prevention of, and defense against threats to United States critical infrastructure.  Such threats come in many forms and include threats to people, property, and information.  The events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated that terrorist attacks on the homeland can occur in unconventional ways and can result in unanticipated consequences to National security posture and economic vitality.”  The U.S. infrastructure, which is largely “owned and operated by the private sector,” is “technologically complex, interdependent, and potentially vulnerable to physical and cyber attack.”  As threats rapidly evolve, so too must the technologies to protect the nation’s infrastructure.  Given the private sector’s critical role in protecting U.S. infrastructure, “improved mechanisms are needed to advance government-sponsored research and development . . . .”  Therefore DHS’s overall strategy must identify ways to enhance collaboration and coordination between the Federal government and the private sector.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 2952 would cost less than $500,000 in each of years 2014 and 2015.  The legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.