Two cybersecurity bills sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) passed the House on Tuesday night. The bills, which are said to “foster relationships between Homeland Security and cybersecurity researches,” passed with overwhelming support (351-4 and 347-8). “Across this country there are innovators who are finding the answers, and we need to listen to them. The House knows this,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on the House floor prior to the votes. .
The first bill, the Support for Rapid Innovation Act, encourages Homeland Security to help fund private sector and academic research focused on technologies with a “high probability of successful transition to the commercial market within two years.” The second of the two, the Levering Emerging Technologies Act, pushes Homeland Security to work alongside private sector cybersecurity firms and grants permission to open offices in remote areas with “high concentrations of such innovative and emerging technology developers and firms.” The agency must submit a “private-sector engagement plan” in the next six months. “With these growing cyber threats posing significant danger to our homeland and critical infrastructure, it is critical that our government keep pace by actively working with the private sector to find solutions to protect our network,” said Ratcliffe in a written statement.