Press Releases

Houses Passes Kathleen Rice Measure Requiring Cybersecurity Training for All House Members

Provision was included in H.Res.756 among other recommendations adopted by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress

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Washington, March 10, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed a provision authored by U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, that will require all Members of the House to undergo annual cybersecurity and information security training, just as is already required for House officers and employees. The provision, originally introduced as a standalone measure with Representative John Katko (NY-24), was included in H.Res.756, a bipartisan resolution that includes several recommendations adopted by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. H.Res.756 passed the House by a vote of 395-13. 

“From attacks on our election systems to corporate data breaches, we have become all too familiar with the threats facing our society in cyberspace,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “Members of Congress are prime targets for hackers and foreign adversaries, and that’s why it’s imperative that Members are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to defend against these threats. Our staff members and other House offices are already required to undergo annual cybersecurity training and there should be no special treatment for your elected officials. I am proud my provision passed the House today to hold Members to this same standard.”

“I am pleased today that the House has approved a provision I authored with Representative Rice, requiring Cybersecurity Training for all House Members. As our nation faces an unprecedented threat from cyberattacks, we must ensure all Members of Congress are informed of the most pressing threats and best practices for preventing cyberattacks,” said Rep. Katko. “Security awareness training is vital to any organization or business.  Employees of the House are already required to undergo regular training -- and Members of Congress should not be exempt.”

"We applaud Representative Rice for her efforts to improve Congress's resiliency against cyberattacks by requiring Members of Congress to undergo cybersecurity training,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress. “This focused intervention can yield outsized benefits and provide additional security to the first branch of government."

“The cybersecurity community applauds the positive movement forward--cybersecurity and information security training is important professionally and personally,” said Barbara George, executive director of the Washington Cyber Roundtable. “Understanding how the threats and vulnerabilities can affect our national security as well as our private lives is a must do! Training helps us be prepared: wondering how to respond to ransomware when you cannot access your data or systems is not the time to review your options. House Members must model the leadership decision-making that the American people need to emulate.” 

Rice’s provision requires the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives to carry out annual cybersecurity and information security training for House Members, officers and employees. It 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 31 of each year.

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