The staff for a commission that has produced dozens of recommendations to increase the cyber security of the U.S. and deter cyber-attacks against the country on Tuesday issued a set of 54 legislative proposals meant to help Congress expedite many of the recommendations.
"We have provided this compilation to the staffs of the relevant congressional committees and subcommittees, as well as to the American public, in the hope and expectation of participating in an ongoing dialogue about its content," Mark Montgomery, the executive director for the staff of the bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), says in a foreword to the 257-page set of proposals. "We are eager to discuss and further refine this language, with the ultimate goal of helping Congress quickly pass the most effective legislation possible."
The CSC in March released a report with 82 policy and legislative recommendations such as establishment of a White House National Cyber Director, the establishment of permanent select committees in the House and Senate on cyber security, clarification of National Guard capabilities, and require the defense industrial base to participate in a cyber threat intelligence program.
Some of the recommendations have been included as legislation in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees respective version of their defense policy bills for fiscal year 2021 and some others have been introduced as separate legislation. Indeed, the press release from the commission announcing the proposals points out that they were used during the markup and amendment phases of the defense authorization bills and that the commission "will also look for other legislative vehicles" for Congress to act on them.
"One of the things I've loved best about working on the Solarium Commission is that we've moved from admiring the problem of cyber security to providing actionable solutions," Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), one of the CSC's commissioners, said in a statement. "These legislative proposals are indispensable as we move on to implementing the layered cyber deterrence strategy outlined in our report. We are already seeing significant uptake from our colleagues as we move national security legislation through Congress, and I look forward to continuing to build on that success."
In his letter at the outset of the legislative proposal package, Montgomery said the staff relied on its own expertise and consulted the CSC's general counsel, legal advisers and commissioners but that the product wasn't approved by the commissioners.