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Senators Hassan, Cornyn Secure Bipartisan Cybersecurity Amendment in National Defense Bill

New Hampshire National Guard Leaders Applaud Critical Provision

WASHINGTON – The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that the U.S. Senate passed today includes a bipartisan amendment introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and John Cornyn (R-TX) to ensure that the National Guard can provide cyber support services to critical infrastructure entities – including local governments and businesses, and to support and improve cyber defense capacity.


“State and local governments, as well as private entities, are struggling to defend their online systems against pervasive cyberattacks,” Senator Hassan said. “By making it easier to leverage the talent and expertise of the National Guard across the board, our bipartisan amendment will help prevent cyberattacks before they happen, and quickly respond to attacks that do occur. I am glad that annual defense bill includes our important measure, and I look forward to it being signed into law.”


“The National Guard fights to protect Americans from cybersecurity threats every day, and it is essential that they have the authority to provide support to state agencies and local governments working to keep us safe online,” said Senator Cornyn. “By ensuring the National Guard is able to work with states and localities to improve their cyber infrastructure, we can make sure the U.S. stays one step ahead of bad actors.” 


Senator Hassan pushed this measure in response to the needs that New Hampshire leaders have raised with her, and they applauded the inclusion of this amendment in the defense bill.


“From her time as our governor and commander-in-chief, Sen. Hassan has always understood and valued the multifaceted role the National Guard has played in the safety and security of our states and nation,” said NH Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities. “Cyber defense has become a critical mission for the Guard. This amendment will enhance our ability to respond to and prevent cyber-attacks as well as expand real-world training opportunities with our state and national partners.”


“This legislation highlights the extensive cybersecurity capabilities of nearly 3,000 National Guard Cyber Soldiers and Airmen in support of national security,” added Colonel Woody Groton, NH Army National Guard.


Senator Hassan has prioritized efforts to address state and local cybersecurity threats as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and the bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Caucus. The previous National Defense Authorization Act included a measure led by Senators Hassan and Cornyn to establish a Cybersecurity State Coordinator position in every state.