House Panel Approves DHS Bill with ‘Historic’ Funding for Cybersecurity
The bill would increase the budget for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency from both the previous year’s and the president’s request for fiscal year 2022.
A bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security now heads to the full Appropriations Committee in the House after passing unopposed through the related subcommittee with $2.42 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
“As the nature of the threats facing the country changes, the missions and investments of the Department of Homeland Security must quickly adapt and respond. This bill makes historic investments in cyber and infrastructure security,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.
The bill approved Wednesday—which includes funding to deal with contentious immigration issues and a host of other things such as defending the U.S. against Russian aggression in the Arctic—makes $52.81 billion available to DHS in discretionary funding, $934 million more than for 2021. Roughly a third of that increase—$397.4 went to boosting CISA, DHS’ newest agency.
After the committee released a draft of the bill Tuesday, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., a member of the Cybersecurity Solarium Commission, thanked Roybal-Allard for CISA’s funding level in the bill, which is also $288 million more than President Joe Biden requested for the agency.
“If we are going to stop the current wave of ransomware and prevent another SolarWinds-like hack, Congress must step up to the plate and adequately fund CISA,” Langevin said. “I’m thrilled that the Appropriations Committee is allocating $2.42 billion for CISA, our nation’s premier cybersecurity agency, in line with the Solarium Commission’s recommendation. For months, I’ve been calling for Congress to allot more resources for CISA, and I’m so grateful to Chairwoman Roybal-Allard for her abiding commitment to shoring up our nation’s cyber defenses.”
During the markup, Roybal-Allard noted that while immigration can be a difficult place to find consensus, Republicans and Democrats agreed more than they disagreed on other aspects of the bill. With recent high-profile cyberattacks and ransomware plaguing the country, cybersecurity was likely one of those areas.
“As recent events like the Colonial Pipeline hack have demonstrated, it is obvious that we must do more to secure our nation’s cyber infrastructure,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Calif., said. “That’s why this bill’s investments in preventing cyber attacks and rooting out cyber intrusions are so critical.”