Lawmakers want cyber committees

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Wednesday argued for the need to establish standalone cybersecurity committees in the House and Senate to address mounting threats and streamline an increasingly bogged down process to approve legislation.

“No committee wants to give up an ounce of its jurisdiction, and cyber is scattered all over the Congress,” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said during a panel at the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Summit on Wednesday.

King, a key supporter of cybersecurity legislation in the Senate and a co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, noted that in order to get 25 cyber-related amendments into last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), clearances from 180 committees, subcommittees and members had to first be obtained.

“It’s just a long slog, if you want to get a bill in somewhere, you’ve got to get clearance from the Republican side, the Democratic side on four or five different committees, that’s just in the nature of the legislative process,” King said.