WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Mike Rounds (R-SD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced that their bipartisan priority to provide $21 million in funding for the Office of the National Cyber Director (NCD) is included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act that will be considered on the Senate floor this week. The NCD is a brand new position tasked with coordinating the implementation of national cybersecurity policy and strategy. Because the position was created in the middle of a fiscal year, Congress has not yet directly appropriated funding for the Office. With cyberattacks increasing in both scope and consequence, it is crucial to provide the National Cyber Director the funding and resources necessary to accomplish this important mission. The inclusion of this bipartisan priority in the broader, bipartisan infrastructure package will provide a one-time funding allocation of $21 million through Fiscal Year 2022.
“I applaud the inclusion of this important funding priority for the new Office of the National Cyber Director in the bipartisan infrastructure package,” said Portman. “The Office of the National Cyber Director is tasked with coordinating the implementation of national cyber policy and strategy and it is crucial that it has the funding and resources needed in order to able to effectively and efficiently develop national cyber policies that best protect federal networks, data, and critical infrastructure.”
“Equipping the National Cyber Director with qualified staff strengthens America’s ability to protect itself against increasingly frequent cyber attacks, helping ensure Arizona families, employers, and communities stay safe and secure,” said Sinema.
“As we work hard to negotiate investments in our infrastructure priorities, it’s essential to support and strengthen the security of our digital networks -- which connect our economy and culture just as much as our highways, railways and bridges,” said King, Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission that created the position of National Cyber Director. “As we strengthen our networks against global cyberthreats and ransomware criminals, we must ensure that Director Inglis has the resources to implement a comprehensive plan to protect our society, economy, and nation from those seeking to do us harm.”
“We cannot ignore the massive cybersecurity vulnerabilities in American infrastructure systems,” said Rounds. “As we saw with the recent hacks of U.S. companies, our country must act now to identify and prevent future cyberattacks. This strengthens the United States’ cyber defenses while providing additional resources and personnel for cyber agencies. As the Ranking Member of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, I am glad to join my colleagues to make certain we are prepared to combat these increasingly sophisticated and targeted attacks.”
“Strengthening cybersecurity is a fundamental part of protecting our infrastructure, from energy grids to health care systems,” said Hassan. “I am pleased that we worked on a bipartisan basis to immediately provide funding for the Office of the National Cyber Director in the infrastructure package. This will help us better protect our economy and national security alike from cybersecurity threats, and I will keep working to move this bipartisan legislation forward.”
“The size, scope, and frequency of cyber attacks has made it abundantly clear that the United States’ cyber warfare readiness is extraordinarily weak,” said Romney. “This important funding will support the Office of the National Cyber Director in developing and implementing a national cybersecurity policy and strategy, which will better protect our country from growing cyber threats.”