In the 115th Congress, a new study found that 226 cybersecurity-focused bills were introduced which was an increase compared to past sessions, but only 10 had been signed into law. By comparison, the 114th Congress only introduced 22 cybersecurity bills.
Third Way, the think tank behind the study, found that the majority of bills introduced by the last Congress were focused on protecting government infrastructure. Seventy-one of the 226 bills introduced were geared towards improving the government’s cyber infrastructure, including the SECURE Act and the NASA Transition Authorization Act.
According to School House Rocks, it takes more than one chamber of Congress to pass a bill. The 115th Congress saw 42 bills passed in the House that did not receive a Senate vote and the Senate in turn passed six bills that did not receive a House vote. Despite the differences in House and Senate bill numbers, the study found a reason for hope in future cybersecurity bills with 129 introduced bills receiving bipartisan co-sponsorship in either the House or Senate.
“On the side of ‘hope,’ more than half of the bills introduced were bipartisan, including every bill that eventually became law,” Ishan Mehta, a policy adviser for the Third Way’s National Security Program, wrote.
The study also found that only 31 of the 226 bills introduced and just two of the ten that were signed into law, took aim at “imposing consequences on human actors behind cyberattacks.”