House approves almost $2 billion in cyber, tech funds as part of relief package

The House on Wednesday allocated almost $2 billion toward cybersecurity and technology modernization as part of passing the American Rescue Plan, which officials described as a “down payment” on the funds needed to fully confront recent massive foreign cyberattacks.

The COVID-19 relief bill, which was approved Wednesday by the House along party lines and now goes to President Biden for his signature, included $650 million in funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The funds are meant to boost federal cybersecurity and protect the vaccine supply chain, which has come under attack by hackers.

The legislation also included $1 billion for the General Service Administration’s Technology Modernization Fund to update outdated IT systems and $200 million for the U.S. Digital Service.

But the funds are a fraction of the almost $10 billion originally proposed by Biden in his COVID-19 relief package, and CISA officials urged Congress on Wednesday to set aside more cybersecurity funds in the face of recent major cyber espionage incidents.