Portman, Klobuchar, Blunt, Peters Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Congressional Cybersecurity Defenders Receive Timely Cybersecurity Information Advances in Senate

WASHINTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, and Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, applauded the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for passing their bipartisan Intragovernmental Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. The bipartisan legislation will ensure sharing of cybersecurity information between operational cybersecurity staff in the executive branch and the Senate and House of Representatives. This legislation will ensure that cybersecurity defenders in Congress can work collaboratively and directly with cybersecurity defenders in the executive branch and will require regular reporting to Congress on the status of implementation. It will also ensure the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives receive direct, timely, and actionable cybersecurity information from the executive branch.  

“As we have recently seen, cyberattacks are increasing against our critical infrastructure as well as the federal government. Unfortunately, some of the cybersecurity professionals in Congress have faced lengthy delays in getting information on cybersecurity threats from the Executive Branch. That should not be the case,” said Portman. “Our cyber adversaries move quickly and do not distinguish between branches of government—we need a unified and coordinated defense. That is why I’m proud that this bipartisan legislation requiring the executive branch to enter cybersecurity information-sharing agreements with the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate and Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives has been passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.” 

“Cybersecurity threats against our government require a timely, coordinated response. Yet too often a lack of communication between the Executive Branch and Congress leaves us vulnerable to damaging cyberattacks,” said Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will better protect us against cyberattacks by requiring the Executive Branch to increase cybersecurity information sharing with Congress.” 

“The federal government faces numerous, persistent cybersecurity threats and must be able to respond effectively,” said Blunt. “This legislation will help ensure Congress’s cybersecurity professionals have access to the timely and sensitive information they need to better protect the Senate and House from the alarming rise in cyberattacks. I’m pleased to see it one step closer to becoming law.” 

“Foreign adversaries, like the Russian government, and cybercriminals continue their attempts to infiltrate our most essential networks. That is why every branch of government must work together to secure federal systems, and protect sensitive personal information,” said Peters. “This bipartisan bill will make sure as criminal hackers try to breach federal systems, Congressional cybersecurity professionals are working in coordination with the rest of the federal government to effectively defend critical information technology systems.”  

The text of the legislation can be found here