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Statement by Secretary Johnson on the Passage of Critical Cybersecurity Legislation

Release Date: 
December 11, 2014

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

Today and all this week, Congress passed four pieces of legislation critical to cybersecurity.

S. 2519, the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014, passed by the Senate yesterday and the House today, will enhance the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to work with the private sector on cybersecurity. The bill provides explicit authority for this Department to provide assistance to the private sector in identifying vulnerabilities and restoring their networks following an attack. The bill also establishes in law this Department's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center as a federal civilian interface with the private sector for purposes of cybersecurity information sharing.

S. 2521, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, passed by the Senate Monday and the House yesterday, codifies the responsibility of this Department to assist other federal civilian departments and agencies in each of their own cybersecurity activities, and administer implementation of government-wide cyber security policies.

S. 1691, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (passed yesterday; about which I issued a separate statement earlier today) includes language to enhance this Department’s ability to hire and pay a cybersecurity workforce. Similarly, H.R. 2952, the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act, provides that this Department undertake an assessment of its cybersecurity workforce and update Congress on the steps taken to enhance it.

On behalf of the men and women of this Department, I appreciate the bipartisan support by Congress for our cybersecurity mission. I also thank Congress for passage of H.R. 4007, the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorists Act of 2014, which authorizes and improves the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program administered by this Department. Congress this week has shown great overall support for this Department and its missions.

I thank the Congress for its bipartisan support for these bills. I also salute the leadership of Senators Tom Carper and Tom Coburn, and Representatives Michael McCaul, Patrick Meehan, Bennie Thompson, and Yvette Clarke, and their staffs, in pushing these bills through to passage, and for their support of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security.

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Last Published Date: December 11, 2014
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