WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today praised the Trump Administration’s recent legislative proposal that takes a similar approach to addressing supply chain security risks as McCaskill’s bipartisan bill introduced last month. Both legislative frameworks would establish a Council to equip executive agencies with the tools to mitigate supply chain risks, and ensure clear responsibilities and requirements for addressing the national security threats from information technology (IT) products.
“Safeguarding against IT supply chain security risks requires a new approach that brings together experts from national security and civilian agencies, and I’m happy to see the Administration’s proposal builds on the bipartisan legislation Senator Lankford and I introduced,” said McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “This is another great example of where Congress and the Administration can work together in a bipartisan manner to find common solutions. I stand ready to continue working with the Administration and my colleagues to fine-tune our legislation addressing emerging national security threats.”
The bipartisan Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act (FASCSA) of 2018, which McCaskill introduced last month with Republican Senator James Lankford (Okla.), would create a government-wide approach to addressing the problem of supply chain security in federal acquisitions of IT by establishing a Federal Acquisition Security Council to develop the policies and processes for agencies to use. The legislation would bridge the information gap between the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense, and the rest of the government on technology vulnerabilities and characteristics that could jeopardize our national security.
The Administration’s initiative closely mirrors McCaskill’s FASCSA, calling for the creation of a Federal Information Technology Acquisition Security Council to facilitate information sharing across the government. Similar to McCaskill’s measure, the White House proposal establishes a mechanism to evaluate products and services that pose supply chain risks, and it expands authorities for agencies to mitigate threats. Both McCaskill’s bill and the Administration’s language use similar methods to require greater accountability and increase transparency in the information technology acquisition process.
McCaskill has long supported action to address the nation’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. Last month, she voted to support President Trump’s nominee for the top cybersecurity official in the Department of Homeland Security. In April, the Senate approved a McCaskill-backed bill to strengthen cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security. She led a bipartisan effort to reinforce and enhance the Department of Homeland Security’s role in protecting the country’s cybersecurity by creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department, a change the Department of Homeland Security resoundingly supports. Last year, the Senate also approved a McCaskill-backed bill that addresses cybersecurity threats to small businesses. Following the Office of Personnel Management data breach, which compromised the personal information of at least 21.5 million individuals, McCaskill and a group of bipartisan Senators introduced language that was signed into law increasing the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to protect federal civilian networks from cyberattacks.