Bills to foster cybersecurity, Homeland security relationship pass House

June 21, 2016

Joe Uchill

Two bills from Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to foster relationships between Homeland Security and cybersecurity researchers passed the House on Tuesday night. 

“Across this country there are innovators who are finding the answers, and we need to listen to them. The House knows this,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on the floor before the second of the two bills, the Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act, passed. 

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That bill, which passed 347-8, encourages Homeland Security to engage with promising private sector cybersecurity firms. It includes permission to open remote offices in areas “with high concentrations of such innovative and emerging technology developers and firms.” The agency is required to submit a private-sector engagement plan within six months. 

The other bill, which passed 351-4, the Support for Rapid Innovation Act, encourages Homeland Security to fund and advise academic and private sector research with a focus on technologies with a “high probability of successful transition to the commercial market within two years.”

“With these growing cyber threats posing significant danger to our homeland and critical infrastructure, it is critical that our government keep pace by actively working with the private sector to find solutions to protect our network,” said Ratcliffe in a written statement.