Senate Passes Portman, Sinema, Peters, King, Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure National Cyber Director Can Receive Detailees to Help Improve Cybersecurity Policy

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), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Angus King (I-ME), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and Mike Rounds (R-SD) applauded the unanimous Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to authorize non-reimbursable detailees for the Office of the National Cyber Director (NCD). The NCD is a brand new position tasked with coordinating the implementation of national cybersecurity policy and strategy. With cyberattacks increasing in both scope and consequence, it is crucial to provide the National Cyber Director the people necessary to accomplish this important mission. This legislation addresses urgent personnel needs by permitting the NCD to bring in detailees from other agencies on a non-reimbursable basis to fulfill his cybersecurity mission. 

“I applaud my Senate colleagues for unanimously passing this bipartisan legislation because it is important that the new Office of the National Cyber Director be allowed to be staffed as soon as possible, especially as our nation is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks,” said Senator Portman. “National Cyber Director Inglis is tasked with coordinating the implementation of national cyber policy and strategy and it is crucial that he be able to bring on staff. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the NCD can quickly bring on experts from other federal agencies to 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 Senator Sinema. 

“As our nation continues to face hostile and harmful acts of cyber-attacks from foreign adversaries and criminal organizations – our federal government must have sufficient resources and personnel to address this crisis head on,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to lead the charge to create the National Cyber Director position and confirm its first leader. Now that this important bill has unanimously passed the Senate – I’ll continue fighting to ensure it becomes law so we can provide the Administration with the necessary tools and professionals to help the National Cyber Director protect the American people from cybersecurity threats.” 

“The newly-created National Cyber Director position is vital to coordinating America’s cyberdefenses, and I believe Chris Inglis is the right man for the job – but I also know that he can’t do it alone. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to, because this evening the Senate passed legislation to provide his office with specialists that will bring vital resources and expertise,” said Senator King. “Any good field general needs troops and a team to execute the mission, and as we confront global cyberthreats and ransomware criminals, we must ensure that Director Inglis has the tools and capability to protect our society, economy, and nation from those seeking to do us harm. Today’s legislation is a good first step, and I will continue advocating for resources that allow the Office of the NCD to fulfill its mission.”

“Now more than ever, Congress must bolster the United States’ capabilities to respond to cyber-attacks,” said Senator Rounds. “Last year, we worked to successfully establish the National Cyber Director position which is dedicated to strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity.  Having a fully staffed and operational office for the National Cyber Director is vital to address current and emerging threats. I am glad to cosponsor this bill to help make certain the National Cyber Director has the personnel needed to fulfill this critical mission.”