Senate ‘Hotline’ Vote Seen on Federal Website Bill

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The Senate is expected to take action on H.R. 5759, the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA Act), via a “hotline” procedure before the end of the current session of Congress, a knowledgeable Capitol Hill source told MeriTalk.

The hotline procedure allows the Senate to take action off the floor without a formal vote, but approval of the legislation must be by unanimous consent.

The timing of any Senate action of that type is complicated this week by the Federal government’s closure on Wednesday for the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.

The House last week approved its version of the bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas. The measure would create a series of minimum functionality and security requirements for all Federal government agency public-facing websites and digital services. The bill also would place on the shoulders of Federal agency CIOs the responsibility to ensure funding and implementation of the new requirements.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in September voted to approve S. 3050, a companion measure to the House bill, but the full Senate has not yet taken up that bill.

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