Quick Hits

*** Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced new legislation that would set aside $500 million in federal funding for emergency vote-by-mail efforts across the country in the event that a widespread coronavirus outbreak inhibits voters from going to the polls this November.

The Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020 would require all states to offer "no excuse" mail in or drop-off of hand marked paper ballots to polling places if 25% of states declare a state of emergency related to the virus.

"When disaster strikes, the safest route for seniors, individuals with compromised immune systems or other at-risk populations is to provide every voter with a paper ballot they can return by mail or drop-off site," Wyden said in a statement. "This is a nonpartisan, commonsense solution to the very real threat looming this November."

*** The Cyberspace Solarium Commission released its long-awaited report March 10, detailing 75 recommendations for the federal government and its partners in private industry and critical infrastructure to meet a range of modern threats in the digital space. The proposals seek to broadly restructure of cybersecurity bureaucracies at the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and other federal agencies, and call for the creation of a new National Cyber Director position at the White House that would function similar to the now-defunct White House Cybersecurity Coordinator position.

Meanwhile, members of the House Homeland Security Committee used the report in a budget hearing the same day to explore ways to further bolster the resources and authority of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in line with the commission’s recommendations.