Rep. Kathleen Rice Introduces Bill Requiring Cybersecurity Training for All House Members
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, introduced new legislation today that will require all House Members to undergo annual cyber- and information security training, just as is already required for House officers and employees. H.Res. 355, the bipartisan Congressional Cybersecurity Training Resolution of 2019, co-led by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), will require the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives to carry out annual information security training for House Members, officers and employees. The legislation is intended to help ensure that all House Members and staff are fully aware of the rising threat of cyberattacks and have the knowledge and skills they need to protect the integrity of data and information on government systems. New Members would be required to undergo this training within 30 days of beginning service to the House, and all Members would be required to complete annual training by January 31st of each year.
“Cyberattacks continue to pose a growing and vexing threat at nearly every level of government and Congressional Offices are no exception,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “If we want to effectively counter those threats, then we need to make sure Members of Congress are equipped with the tools and knowledge to play an active role in this fight. Our employees and House officers are already required to take mandatory information security training, and it’s past time that Members are held to the same standard and bear the same responsibility.”
“Americans in the private and public sector are increasingly susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. Elected officials serving the House are no exception,” said Representative John Katko. “Members of Congress must be able to properly identify these risks. The staff in my official offices, as well as staff in every House office, are required to complete mandatory cybersecurity training. It is imperative Members of Congress do the same.”
“We applaud Rep. Kathleen Rice's introduction of a resolution to strengthen Congress's cyber security posture by requiring annual training for all members of Congress, officers, and employees,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress. “The threat landscape is ever-changing, and her legislation is an important component of keeping the House ahead of the curve.”
“I commend Congresswoman’s Rice’s effort to increase the cyber awareness of herself and her colleagues through education,” said Barbara George, executive director of the Washington Cyber Roundtable. “Because Congressional offices interact daily with constituents, government agencies and industry, one weak link in the institution’s cybersecurity could have disastrous ripple effects across the public and private sectors. To truly fortify the House – and ultimately the Republic – from adversaries, cyber awareness within the institution must be all-inclusive for best practices to take root and become routine.”
The full text of the bill is available here.