Cybersecurity Funding Faces Political Clash During Appropriations Markup

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann House Television via AP

Republican lawmakers continue to withhold support for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency until their immigration concerns are addressed.

A leading Republican on the House Appropriations Committee will not support a bill that significantly increases funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency due to disputes over immigration issues raised by the administration of former President Donald Trump.

“For some of the bill's funding, we are in complete agreement: cybersecurity, [Transportation Security Administration], Secret Service, and Scientific and Technology, just to name a few,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., ranking member of Appropriation's subcommittee on Homeland Security. “The proposed investments are worthy of our support. However, in order to truly get across the finish line, we must come to a reasonable agreement on the immigration issues and until that is done, we just cannot support this bill in its current form.”

The subcommittee held a business meeting Tuesday to markup funding bills for the departments of Homeland Security and Defense. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chair of the full Appropriations committee, said she expects markups of all 12 funding bills for the federal government will be complete by the end of the week.   

Amendments to boost the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies, including for border wall construction, were defeated along party lines with Democrats in clear control. An increase of $397 million for CISA hangs in the balance as Congress proceeds to funding negotiations with the more evenly divided Senate. And key Democrats argue the infusion would be coming at a crucial time as organizations across the country face ransomware and other cyberattacks.

“Now more than ever, the risks we face from cyberattacks threaten both our economic and our national security,” DeLauro said. “As the Colonial Pipeline hack demonstrated, we need historic investments to protect our networks. With $2.42 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, this bill responds with the urgency necessary to meet the moment.”

Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., offered to work with Republicans to address some of their concerns—including those outlined in an amendment on border surveillance technology—but she stressed increasing funds for the border security agencies “would put us in a position of having to cut in other high priority areas.” 

That particular amendment would have struck language in the committee’s funding report for DHS requiring CBP to publicly disclose and notify border communities of surveillance technologies before they’re deployed.

“This would effectively give the cartels and other nefarious actors a map [to] security information,” Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., said introducing the amendment. “Not only does this put our border patrol agents and American citizens at higher risk. It puts undue stress on those technologies and the providers that maintain them, as it would escalate them as targets.”

Roybal-Allard countered that the provision simply helps with the committee’s oversight but was sympathetic and offered to negotiate. 

“The language in the report addresses legitimate concerns with surveillance and other technologies that potentially infringe on the privacy rights of border and indigenous communities,” she said. “This report language helps the committee with its oversight, and that is exactly what it is intended to do. However, I do understand the concerns that the gentleman has, and if he is willing to withdraw the amendment, perhaps, you know, we can work on something, to make sure that it addresses the specific concerns that he has with regards to this provision.”

Cline declined the offer as Republicans continue to use whatever leverage they can to drive their immigration priorities. 

On Monday, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., chairwoman of Homeland’s subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation released a statement on the Senate confirmation of Jen Easterly to lead CISA. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla, had been blocking Easterly’s vote until Vice President Kamala Harris visited the southern border.   

“It is unfortunate that political games delayed her confirmation, but we are pleased the Senate has finally acted to confirm Jen Easterly as CISA Director,” the chairs said. “At a time when cyber threats are increasing and evolving, Jen Easterly brings the experience and leadership needed to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity. We look forward to working with her to ensure CISA is best positioned to fulfill its mission of protecting Federal networks and critical infrastructure.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.