Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have called on Senate appropriations leadership to stop implementing a Defense Department policy that has cut travel reimbursement since Nov. 2014.
Section 209 of the Senate's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act would give DHS emergency powers during a cyber attack on federal or contractor networks holding federal data. Some say the provision is too vague.
A bipartisan group of six senators introduced the Federal Information Security Management Reform Act of 2015 to give DHS the clout it’s been lacking over the last five years and, in some respects, put it on par with the National Security Agency.
Four senators have introduced a bill to extend to members of the military the same whistleblower protections enjoyed by civilian agency employees. The bipartisan bill already has gained the support of one advocacy group -- the Government Accountability Project.
Five senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing how the Office of Personnel Management handles the clearances of federal employees and contractors to access classified information. If enacted, the legislation would require OPM conduct random, automated reviews twice every five years of public records and databases for information about individuals with security clearances.
The upper chamber fails to move cyber bill out of starting blocks by receiving 60 votes to end cloture. Lawmakers couldn't get past their concerns over the requirement for regulations and DHS' oversight role.
Following Tuesday's election, Democrats maintain control of the Senate and Republicans continue to hold sway in the House. Retirements, term limits and a few new lawmakers alter the leadership of some committees.
Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate wrote to President Barack Obama urging him to not issue an executive order setting voluntary cybersecurity standards for private-sector operators of critical infrastructure.
In an Oct. 9 letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinskei, Sen. Susan Collins requested the agency disclose whether employees responsible for planning the two conferences held in Orlando, Fla., last summer, also worked on other conferences. In addition, Collins said she wants to know how much conference planners earned in bonuses and other awards for their work.
Senate lawmakers and the agency's Inspector General say the strategy to reorganize the General Services Administration and make it more accountable is on the right track. Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said he will consolidate IT and HR across the agency, and reduce contracting fees charged by the Federal Acquisition Service.
Lawmakers returned to Washington, D.C., this week with a packed agenda. Topping the list of priorities is hammering out final details of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year -- Sept. 30. Amid the election-year politicking, the list of unfinished business also includes legislation to restructure the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service and a cybersecurity bill that aims to safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure. Perhaps looming largest of all is what Congress plans to do about automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. Failure to avert the cuts could send the country over a "fiscal cliff," budget experts warn.
Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) want regular updates from Justice officials on the steps they are taking to better input and share information on vendors who have committed crimes. The DoJ IG found the agency's internal controls and training were lacking.
The revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 removes DHS from having sole oversight authority of critical infrastructure and shares the responsibility across an interagency council. The bill also would make the implementation of cyber standards by critical infrastructure operators voluntary. The legislation encourages an incentive-based program.
Longstanding problems with integration put DHS' mission to protect the country at risk, former leaders and lawmakers said. Nine years after it was created, the department still struggles to make its many components and agencies work as one.