House passes legislation to strengthen federal cybersecurity workforce | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

The House on Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening the federal cybersecurity workforce, an issue that has garnered support following a year of massive information security incidents. 

The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, sponsored by Reps. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaLeft warns Pelosi they’ll take down Biden infrastructure bill House passes sweeping defense policy bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House MORE (D-Calif.) and Nancy MaceNancy MaceLawmakers making Instagram appearance before Free Britney rally at Capitol GOP seeks to keep spotlight on Afghanistan as Dems advance Biden’s .5T spending plan At least 90,000 students have had to quarantine because of COVID-19 so far this school year MORE (R-S.C.), would establish a program to allow cybersecurity professionals to rotate through multiple federal agencies and enhance their expertise. 

The bill would also encourage federal agency leaders to identify cybersecurity positions that can be rotated through government, and give the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) jurisdiction over the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program. 

The bill was approved by the House by a vote of 410-15. 

“We have to make sure that our government is protected from increasing cyberattacks,” Khanna said Wednesday in a statement provided to The Hill. “That doesn’t just mean ensuring the Pentagon and the Department of Defense are well-equipped to tackle these threats. It means ensuring that we have a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity implemented across all of our federal agencies.”

“My bipartisan bill with Representative Mace will rotate current federal workers through different agencies to help develop a consistent cyber response and retain top professionals,” he said. 

Mace stressed in a separate statement issued Wednesday that “cyber security is national security.”

“We’ve all seen just how much damage can be done to our economy and infrastructure when we don’t take it seriously,” Mace said. “In fact, just last year 11 federal agencies were hacked by a group affiliated with Russia. Our cyber security challenges are dramatically increasing. I’d like to thank Rep. Ro Khanna for working with me to get this bill through the House, and I urge the Senate to send it to President BidenJoe BidenVaccination increase includes largest Republican gain since April: Gallup Power grab? The Federal Reserve soon may be our only bank Ford asking salaried workers for vaccination status MORE‘s desk as soon as possible.”

The bill was previously approved by the Senate in 2019, but failed to get a vote in the House. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary PetersGary PetersHillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — Bill would give some groups 24 hours to report ransomware payments Senators roll out bill giving organizations 24 hours to report ransomware attack payments Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks MORE (D-Mich.), along with Sens. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHeller won’t say if Biden won election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (D-Nev.) and John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenThe 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (R-N.D.) reintroduced the bill in the Senate earlier this year, where it was passed as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act in June. 

The bill was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress amid escalating major cybersecurity incidents, including the SolarWinds hack that allowed Russian government-backed hackers to compromise numerous U.S. federal agencies, along with ransomware attacks on companies including Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS USA.

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