H.R. 5459, Cyber Preparedness Act of 2016

H.R. 5459

Cyber Preparedness Act of 2016

Date
September 26, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On­­­­ ­­­­­Monday, September 26, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5459, the Cyber Preparedness Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5459 was introduced on June 13, 2016, by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote on September 13, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5459 enhances preparedness and response capabilities for cyberattacks and bolsters the sharing of information related to cyber threats. Specifically, the bill directs the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to share information about cybersecurity best practices, as well as cyber threat indicators and defensive measures with state, local, and regional fusion centers. In addition, H.R. 5459 authorizes representatives from State and major urban area fusion centers to be assigned to the NCCIC.

Further, the legislation authorizes the use of State Homeland Security Grant Program and Urban Area Security Initiative funds for cybersecurity enhancements. These expenditures are currently allowable under yearly grant guidance for these programs and H.R. 5459 codifies the practice.

Finally, H.R. 5459 expresses the sense of Congress that the Department of Homeland Security should work to lessen the classification level or provide information in an unclassified form to state, local, and private sector stakeholders, to enable greater sharing of actionable intelligence related to cyber threats.

Background

Cybersecurity remains a major national security issue. The threats against critical infrastructure are real and immediate, and could have widespread implications on public health and safety.

On May 24, 2016, the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, held a joint hearing with the Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies to examine the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to assist states in preparing for and responding to cyber attacks.[1]

Among the issues raised by the witnesses was: the need for better information sharing between the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and state and major urban area fusion centers; the need for clarity on the use of homeland security grants to address cybersecurity; and the impact the level of classification of cyber threat information has on states and fusion centers’ ability to share that information with relevant stakeholders.

According to the bill’s sponsor, “Information sharing and adjustments to grant rules might sound mundane, but defending against cyber-attack requires attention to every detail. The tweaks make in my bill come directly from expert testimony at a hearing last month, and they’ll have a meaningful impact on cyber defenses.”[2]

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[1][1] See https://homeland.house.gov/hearing/enhancing-preparedness-response-capabilities-address-cyber-threats/
[2] See Rep. Donovan’s Press Release, June 14, 2016

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates would have no significant effect on the federal budget over the 2017-2021 period.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.