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Volume XI, Number 260

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Cyber Policy Legislative Tracker

The bills listed reflect a relatively active cybersecurity agenda for the 117th Congress.  As reflected in the proposed legislation, many Members are interested in focusing federal policy on matters such as supply chain security, cyber workforce training, and international competitiveness, particularly with China.  The most ambitious bill may be the Endless Frontiers Act, which would establish a Directorate for Technology and Innovation within the National Science Foundation and further establish regional hubs (i.e., partnerships between government, private, and academic stakeholders) to drive R&D and commercial innovation in key areas of technology.  Endless Frontiers could be the centerpiece of a legislative agenda to ramp up the U.S.’s technological competitiveness with China.  The Senate Commerce Committee was scheduled to mark-up the bill last Wednesday, but it was pulled after over 230 amendments were reportedly filed, and Members failed to garner a critical mass of bipartisan support.  The committee will likely work through the recess to seek bipartisan agreement for passage. 

Members of Congress are also likely to drop additional bills that address cyber and data security.  For instance, as a result of the SolarWinds hack, Members have expressed interest in passing legislation that bolsters reporting requirements to the federal government, as well as threat information-sharing among relevant stakeholders.  Congress will also likely begin deliberations on a comprehensive, federal privacy bill that will have a strong data security component.

 

Bill Number Bill Title Sponsor Number of Cosponsors Date of Introduction Committee(s)

H.R. 1816

Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act

Representative DelBene (D-WA)

0

3/11/21

Energy & Commerce

Status: Referred to House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 3/11/21

This bill aims to protect sensitive personal information such as financial, health, genetic, biometric, geolocation, sexual orientation, citizenship and immigration status, Social Security Numbers, religious beliefs, and information pertaining to children under 13. It includes elements like an opt-in requirement, “plain English” privacy policies, and disclosure requirements before companies can share personal information.

H.R. 474

Protecting Consumer Information Act of 2021

Representative Lieu (D-CA)

0

1/25/21

Financial Services; Energy & Commerce

Status: Referred to House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on 2/2/21

This bill requires the Federal Trade Commission to review whether current privacy standards are sufficient to protect consumer financial information against cyber threats. The bill includes provisions related to investigations, enforcement, and regulations that apply to consumer reporting agencies

H.R. 1251

Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021

Representative McCaul (R-TX)

10

2/23/2021

Foreign Affairs

Status: Received in Senate, Read twice, and referred to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 4/22/21. Committee Meeting on 2/25/21

This bill would direct the Department of State to open the Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy. The bureau would have cyberspace responsibilities including cybersecurity, internet access, internet freedom, and the digital economy. The bill also would require the GAO to assess and report on the department’s organizational structure (including the new bureau) and its efforts to promote U.S. cyberspace policy to Congress. Lastly, the bill would require the department to report to the Congress on various aspects of cyberspace policy.

S. 224

Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act

Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV)

1

2/4/2021

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Status: Read twice and referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on 2/4/21

This bill directs the National Science Foundation to support merit-reviewed and competitively awarded research on privacy enhancing technologies. The award of grants for basic research on innovative approaches to the structure of computer and network hardware and software that are aimed at enhancing computer security may include privacy enhancing technologies and confidentiality. The bill also requires the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program to submit to Congress a report on the progress of research on privacy enhancing technologies and the development of specified voluntary resources.

H.R. 847

Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act

Representative Stevens (D-MI)

1

2/4/2021

House Science, Space, and Technology

Status: Referred to House Subcommittee on Research and Technology on 2/4/21

See S. 224.

S. 604

Democracy Technology Partnership Act

Senator Warner (D-VA)

7

3/4/21

Foreign Relations

Status: Read twice and referred to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 3/4/21

This bill directs the State Department to create an interagency “International Technology Partnership Office” to coordinate research and technology governance initiatives with other countries. The bill directs the Office to “fill gaps where U.S. capabilities are currently insufficient,” with a focus on “key technologies” such as AI, 5G telecommunications, semiconductor chip manufacturing, biotechnology, quantum computing, surveillance equipment, and fiber optic cables. The bill recommends that Congress appropriate $5 billion for a fund that would support joint research projects and technology investments in countries that meet criteria such as demonstrating a “strong commitment to democratic values” and having “an economy with advanced technology sectors.”

S. 687

STRATEGIC Act

Senator Risch (R-ID)

10

3/10/21

Foreign Relations

Status: Read twice and referred to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 3/10/21

This bill seeks to counter Chinese influence by creating a comprehensive China policy that protects the US from China’s discriminatory economic practices, reinvests in American and allied technological competitiveness, safeguards America’s institutions, maintains the integrity of international organizations, bolsters US and allied defense and security, and ensures strategic security. The bill would create a Tech Coalition among allies in order to promote international technology and cybersecurity standards on issues such as cybersecurity, AI, semiconductors, the internet, and the internet of things.

H.R. 1157

Department of State Authorization Act of 2021

Representative Meeks (D-NY)

1

2/18/21

Foreign Affairs

Status: Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote by House Committee on Foreign Affairs on 2/25/21. Committee Meeting on 2/25/21

This bill allocates certain funding and authorities to the Department of State including for hiring purposes. Among other things, the bill establishes the Vulnerability Disclosure Policy and Bug Bounty Pilot Program aimed at improving Department of State cybersecurity.

H.R. 2259

To Establish the Office of Supply Chain Preparedness within the Department of Commerce

Representative Stevens (D-MI)

1

3/26/21

House Energy and Commerce

Status: Referred to House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 3/26/21

Establishes the Office of Supply Chain Preparedness within the Department of Commerce

S. 1260

Endless Frontiers Act

Senator Schumer (D-NY)

13

4/20/21

Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology

Status: Read twice and referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on 4/20/21. Committee Meeing on 4/28/21

Establishes a Directorate for Technology and Innovation in the NSF, establishes a regional technology hub program, requires a stretgy and report on economic security, science, research, manufacturuing, and job creation, and establishes a critical supply chain resiliency program.

H.R. 2731

Endless Frontiers Act

Representative Khana (D-CA)

6

4/20/21

House Energy and Commerce; House Science, Space, and Technology

Status: Referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Committee on Energy and Commerce on 4/21/2021

See S. 1260.

H.R. 1591

Chief Manufacturing Officer Act

Representative Ryan (D-OH)

1

3/3/21

House Energy and Commerce

Status: Referred to House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 3/3/21

Establishes the position of Chief Manufacturing Officer in the Executive Office of the President who should, among other things, evaluate the effectiveness of existing measures designed to improve innovation, productivity, energy efficiency, economic growth, cybersecurity, and manufacturing industries’ contribution to national security, and foster the use of best practices for manufacturing, information technology, and cybersecurity by identifying and encouraging their use across all Federal Government programs and throughout the procurement process.

S. 1169

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021

Senator Menendez (D-NJ)

1

4/15/21

Senate Foreign Relations

Status: In Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Ordered to be reported with amendments favorable on 4/21/21. Committee Meeting on 4/21/21

Addresses issues involving the People's Republic of China including supply chain and cybersecurity concerns.

H.R. 1512

CLEAN Future Act

Representative Pallone (D-NJ)

18

3/2/21

House Energy and Commerce; House Transportation and Infrastructure, House Oversight and Reform; House Education and Labor; House Ways and Means; House Natural Resources; House Armed Services; House Foreign Affairs; House Science, Space, and Technology; House Intelligence, House Financial Services

Status: Referred to House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change on 3/3/21. Committee Meetings on 4/15/21 and 5/5/21

The CLEAN Future Act would achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050, with an interim target of reducing pollution by 50 percent from 2005 levels no later than 2030. The bill presents both sector-specific and economy-wide solutions to meet those targets. Smart manufacturing, digitally connecting the supply chain, and improving electric grid cybersecurity is included.

©1994-2021 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 125
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About this Author

Alexander Hecht, Vice President of Government Relations, Mintz Levin law Firm
ML Strategies - Executive Vice President & Director of Operations

Alex is Executive Vice President & Director of Operations, ML Strategies, Washington, DC. He is an attorney with more than 10 years of senior-level experience in Congress and trade associations.

Alex assists clients with their legislative and regulatory needs on a wide range of issues, including health care, telecommunications, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), technology, energy, and federal procurement. Prior to joining ML Strategies, Alex served for over six years as chief counsel for Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) on the US Senate Committee on Small Business...

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Christian T. Fjeld Vice President Mintz Strategies Lobbying & Public Policy
Vice President

Christian is based in our Washington, DC office and is a Vice President of ML Strategies. He assists a variety of clients in their interactions with the federal government.

Prior to joining ML Strategies, Christian spent nearly 10 years in staff leadership roles with the US Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation serving Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) as the former Chairman, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) as the former Ranking Member, and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the current Ranking Member of the committee. During...

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