With the 2014 election behind us, Congress returns this week for a Lame Duck session that will round out the 113th Congress. Our government affairs affiliate ML Strategies has published its take on what to expect in the coming weeks on Capitol Hill and from the Administration in the cybersecurity arena.
Cyber and Surveillance Reform: In June, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved two cybersecurity measures, the National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center Act and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act. While the bills are bipartisan, final passage is uncertain and could wait until next year. In July, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved S. 2588, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bipartisan bill proposed by committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) who is retiring. Introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361), amending the Foreign Intelligence Service Act of 1978, was approved in the House in May. A companion bill, S. 2685, was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and placed on the Senate calendar in July. Despite this legislative activity on cyber, it is probable that this issue will not be addressed during the Lame Duck, barring some triggering event. However, Senator Leahy, who serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is reported to be pushing hard for passage of the USA Freedom Act in the Lame Duck before he relinquishes control of the committee in the new congress.