McCaskill Seeks Answers on Potentially Duplicative Cybersecurity Initiative

WASHINGTON – Following a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on how to harmonize cybersecurity regulations, Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill called for answers from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price on an initiative that potentially duplicates an existing Department of Homeland Security platform.

“One of my top priorities as a Senator is focusing on how we can make government work better and more efficiently…and make government less intrusive into the lives of operating businesses in this country,” McCaskill said during the hearing. “It’s not clear that this new [HHS] cyber center is necessary or that it adds value.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the federal government’s central hub for cyber information sharing. McCaskill voiced concerns that HHS’s new program could be duplicative and emphasized the importance of the federal government centralizing these mechanisms to avoid redundancy and confusion.

“[The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act] was the culmination of years of effort to make the Department of Homeland Security, through the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), the cyber information sharing hub across the federal government,” wrote Senators McCaskill and Johnson in their letter to Secretary Price. “We are interested in learning more about the [new HHS program’s] purpose and how it will interact with the NCCIC, the rest of the federal government, and the private sector without duplicating efforts already underway by the Department of Homeland Security.” The Senators ask for details by July 12th “to better understand the need for [HHS’s program] and HHS’s plans for integrating it within existing structures.”

Read McCaskill and Johnson’s letter HERE.