Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is handling cybersecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, they said in an October 9 letter.

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Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said today that the $1 billion funding increase for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) included in the slimmed down HEROES Act pandemic relief legislation is probably not big enough to spur Federal agencies to undertake widespread IT modernization, but agreed that winning approval for the huge funding increase would be a good first step.

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Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., became the chair today of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation, one of the chamber’s primary panels with jurisdiction over cybersecurity issues.

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Members of the congressionally-mandated National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) told a House panel on Sept. 17 that “bolder action” is necessary to bring sufficient digital talent into the government, and recommended the creation of a United States Digital Services Academy to meet that need.

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A half-dozen technology-savvy individuals have been placed with members of Congress through TechCongress, a non-profit founded by a former Hill staffer in order to boost the legislative knowledge of the body on technology issues.

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An April decision by the Federal Communications Commission to grant wireless service provider Ligado permission to operate in a spectrum band adjacent to spectrum that the Defense Department says is critical for GPS services is not reviewable under the Congressional Review Act, said the Government Accountability Office in an August 13 finding.

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Sen. Angus King Jr., I-Maine, defended the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s key recommendation to create a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director before his Senate colleagues on Tuesday, finding commonality with the subcommittee chair on the position.  

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When it comes to the security of sensitive information in the energy sector, collaboration between the Department of Energy, intelligence community, and private sector are foundational to these efforts, Senior Advisor at the Office of Policy for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, & Emergency Response Alexander Gates said.

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Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat, who began in her current position eight weeks ago after serving as CIO at the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the hectic initial upswing of the coronavirus pandemic, discussed the fast pace of modernization efforts at Federal agencies in recent months, and how critical funding is to keep those efforts going.

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Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, voiced support at a July 30 subcommittee hearing for the European Union’s placement of sanctions on Russian, Chinese, and North Korean entities for their role in high-profile cyber attacks.

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During a high-profile hearing that focused largely on antitrust issues, members of the House Judiciary Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee on July 29 also grilled four major tech company CEOs on a range of other policy issues including privacy and misinformation.

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Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat, Education Department CIO Jason Gray, and Office of Personnel Management CIO Clare Martorana top the witness list for the House Government Operations Subcommittee’s Aug. 3 hearing to release the tenth version of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard. The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

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Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I. – one of the pioneering policy voices in Congress on cybersecurity issues – told MeriTalk in an exclusive interview that legislative oversight of Federal government actions in the cybersecurity arena remains “absolutely essential.”

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As the Federal Communications Commission began July 23 auctioning mid-band spectrum crucial to 5G deployment, senators on Capitol Hill questioned whether the decades-old spectrum management process is working properly, and asked witnesses if changes need to be made.

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Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy CIO Guy Cavallo assured members of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations today that cybersecurity at SBA is much stronger than metrics like those reflected in the FITARA scorecard may lead them to believe.

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Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee and a leading voice in Congress for IT modernization, emphasized today that the effectiveness of Federal and state IT systems carries tremendous weight in government’s ability to help the nation through the coronavirus pandemic.

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