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April 23, 2015

Bipartisan Cybersecurity Bill Overwhelmingly Passes House

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (H.R. 1731) by a vote of 355-63. This bipartisan legislation is the result of months of stakeholder outreach and collaboration and represents another step towards securing our nation's cyberspace by promoting the sharing of timely, cybersecurity threat information between and among the private sector and the Department of Homeland Security. During consideration, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member pf the Committee on Homeland Security, was pleased to have Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) agree to work with him, as the legislation advances, to clarify language in what the White House called a "sweeping" liability protection provision to address concerns about it incentivizing companies to take no action on timely, cybersecurity threats.

Before passage, the House approved a bipartisan amendment cosponsored by Ranking Member Thompson to sunset the provisions in the legislation after seven years. Since the cyber-threat landscape is constantly changing, this amendment, offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), simply guarantees that Congress will undertake a reauthorization process in seven years, in which oversight findings and stakeholder feedback can be taken into account.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the legislation he co-sponsored:

"Today, the House joined with the President and stakeholders from across our critical infrastructure sectors to make our nation – and our cyberspace – more secure. I want to thank Chairman McCaul for working with me and the other Democrats on the Committee to develop this legislation and ensure it is bipartisan. I will continue to work with him – as he has committed on the House floor today – to clarify the overly-broad liability protection language in the bill to ensure that the law promotes, and does not hinder, the sharing of information to protect our infrastructure and responsible cybersecurity practices. Liability protections must be appropriately targeted."

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Committee's Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee, added the following:

"This bill is an important step in our efforts to govern in the constantly-evolving world of cybersecurity; we must continue to legislate around the needs of individuals, businesses, and federal entities as they adopt new technologies which are more interconnected than ever before. Every day, U.S. networks face cyber-hacking attempts and attacks by cyber terrorists and cyber criminals. This legislation we passed today authorizes private companies to voluntarily share timely cyber threat information – a central tenet of cybersecurity. I am pleased that this bill includes key provisions to protect consumer's privacy and personal identifiable information. It requires corporations – and the Department of Homeland Security – to scrub irrelevant personal information from the data they share."

Bill Fact Sheet

Ranking Member Thompson delivers remarks on the House floor in support of the bill:

Ranking Member Thompson and Chairman McCaul engage in a colloquy on the House floor on the prospects of the legislation:



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Media Contact:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
(Richmond) Brandon Gassaway at (202) 225-6636