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Bipartisan Hassan-Portman Bill Bolstering “Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams” Passes Homeland Security Committee

Committee Also Passes Other Key Bipartisan Bills, Including Two Bills to Increase Transparency Introduced by Portman and Cosponsored by Hassan 

WASHINGTON – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today passed the bipartisan Hassan-Portman Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act. The bill, introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) would bolster cybersecurity by requiring DHS to make permanent the “cyber hunt” and “cyber incident response” teams that work to help prevent cyberattacks on federal agencies and the private sector, and help mitigate the impact of such attacks when they occur.

“Cyberattacks pose a massive threat to Americans’ safety, security, and privacy – and these cyber response teams play an important role in helping to prevent and mitigate attacks,” Senator Hassan said. “I’ll keep working with Senator Portman, as well as Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Gary Peters, to move this and other critical bills forward to strengthen our country’s cyber defenses.”

“Our cyber response teams play an important role in protecting against cyber threats and help get our cyber infrastructure back up and running after an attack occurs,” Senator Portman said. “I applaud the committee for approving this bipartisan legislation and urge the full Senate to pass it soon so we can ensure that DHS has the authorities it needs to effectively reduce cybersecurity risks as soon as possible.”

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also passed today the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act and Modernizing Congressional Reporting Act, which were both introduced by Senator Portman and cosponsored by Senator Hassan to increase transparency by publishing federal reports online.  

Additionally, the Committee passed the following bills that Senator Hassan introduced or cosponsored:

·             The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, which Senator Hassan introduced with Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), to develop and retain highly skilled cybersecurity professionals in the federal workforce.

·             The Presidential Transition Enhancement Act, which Senator Hassan introduced with Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Tom Carper (D-DE), to improve the orderly transfer of executive power during Presidential transitions.