Senator Hassan Created a New State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program as Part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
WASHINGTON – During a hearing with nominees for key administration positions, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan pushed for quick implementation of the state and local cybersecurity grant program that she established; cutting waste, fraud, and abuse; strengthening affordable, reliable mail service for Granite Staters; and addressing sexual harassment.
To watch her questioning, click here.
Senator Hassan started by discussing the new state and local cybersecurity grant program that she established as part of the new bipartisan infrastructure package that was signed into law this week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will run the program. Senator Hassan asked FEMA Deputy Administrator nominee Erik A. Hooks, “What steps will you take to ensure that this grant funding will quickly and effectively get to entities that need it, including in my state of New Hampshire?”
Hooks said, “Cybersecurity and our critical infrastructure are extremely important as we face challenges both domestically and internationally.” He said he looks forward to working with federal agencies and state and local partners to implement the new state and local grant program. Senator Hassan also pushed Hooks on taking action to address serious sexual harassment concerns at FEMA.
Senator Hassan pressed Laurel Blatchford, the nominee for Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management, on addressing wasteful government spending. “The federal government’s reliance on outdated and obsolete technology harms our ability to deliver services to the American people, threatens our cybersecurity, and also drives wasteful spending,” said Senator Hassan. If confirmed, Blatchford would be in a position to prevent wasteful spending on outdated technology by setting financial management policies that take an agency’s technology needs into account.
Senator Hassan also raised concerns over mail delivery delays. “The U.S. Postal Service proposed delaying delivery times for first-class packages – commonly used by pharmacies and banks for example to send lightweight products inexpensively,” said Senator Hassan to Postal Regulatory Commission nominee Michael Kubayanda. “These delays would affect roughly a third of first-class package volume and cause delays on essential items that people in my state of New Hampshire certainly rely on. In September, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued an advisory opinion on this proposed change and found that the Postal Service’s proposal to delay service would not substantially affect its overall financial condition – contrary to the stated goals of the proposal.”
Senator Hassan asked Kubayanda about ways the Postal Service can address its challenges without compromising mail service. Kubayanda discussed steps that the Postal Service can take, for instance investing in upgrades to its vehicle fleet, that could result in future savings.