Rep Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who originally co-sponsored cybersecurity legislation that was kicked to the side by House Republican leaders, pushed on Wednesday to resurrect some of those proposals in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Langevin pressed the House Rules Committee to allow him to offer two amendments to the NDAA during debate of the bill on the House floor. One would establish a National Cyberspace Office to ensure that federal agencies secure their own networks. The House passed a similar amendment in the 2010 NDAA, but it was taken out in discussions with the Senate.
His second amendment would give federal officials more oversight of certain critical infrastructure networks like electric grids and water systems. After initially winning bipartisan support, similar language was dropped from consideration at the bidding of GOP leaders.
"Without these amendments we are ignoring key aspects of what is fast becoming the biggest threat to our security," Langevin told the Rules Committee. "We are running out of time to address cybersecurity as nations like Iran and China rapidly increase their capabilities."
The White House has threatened to veto the House version of the NDAA.