The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday marked up a number of bills, including one that would grant a five-year term to the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
CISA is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is billed as the nation's risk adviser for cyber and infrastructure security. The agency is currently led by Christopher Krebs, who doesn't have a specified term.
Congress in the fall of 2018 mandated a five-year term for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide stability at the leadership level and improve efficiency at the agency.
"By establishing a set term limit of five years for the CISA director position, my legislation will improve efficiency at the agency and provide certainty outside of ad hoc appointments and varying term lengths that are currently in place," Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), sponsor of the CISA Director Reform Act (H.R. 5679), said in a statement.
The committee also approved another cyber security bill, the Cybersecurity Vulnerability Identification and Notification Act (H.R. 5680), that gives CISA administrative subpoena authority to help identify and notify critical infrastructure entities of cyber vulnerabilities on their systems. CISA asked Congress for this authority last year so that it could subpoena companies that provide internet access to warn owners and operators of critical infrastructures of specific vulnerabilities on their systems.
Currently, CISA has tools to discover vulnerabilities but isn't able to know who the users are. The administrative subpoena power will allow them to get contact information from internet service providers that is associated with the affected internet protocol address.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), who stated that "There have been numerous instances where CISA has not been able to identify the owner of a vulnerable system and warn them of their exposure."
A bill requiring DHS to create a plan to scan 100 percent of commercial and passenger vehicles entering the U.S. at land ports of entry using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems also passed the committee.
The Securing America's Ports Act (H.R. 5273), introduced by Reps. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), directs the plan be provided to Congress within six months of enactment into law.
The committee also approved two bills related to TSA. The Transportation Security Transparency Improvement Act (H.R. 5670) is aimed at improving the sharing of security information with relevant stakeholders. The bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.).
The other bill having to do with TSA would provide Transportation Security Officers with collective bargaining rights. The Rights for Transportation Security Officer Act (H.R. 1140) was introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, and was approved by a vote of 17 to 9.