The House Homeland Security Committee will mark up its portion of the legislative language for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill tomorrow, but the released text of the chairman’s amendment to the bill shows that Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., proposes to give the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) $865 million to fund various programs and operations expenses.

Among the funding is $400 million for CISA to implement President Biden’s cyber executive order (EO), $210 million for general operations, and $100 million to fund the creation of a cybersecurity education and training program.

Compliance with President Biden’s cyber EO includes implementing a variety of programs and directives, and the $400 million would help fund the implementation of such. Among the directives the funding could be used for includes endpoint detection and response, implementing multi-factor authentication, securing cloud systems, and improved logging.

$210 million represents around 10 percent of CISA’s annual operating budget, and the additional operations funding would be available to the agency until the end of fiscal year 2031.

The Cybersecurity Education and Training Program would be a CISA workforce development program focused on “cybersecurity and upskilling veterans,” “implementing cybersecurity apprenticeships at the agency,” and “cybersecurity programs for underserved communities,” according to the chairman’s amendment.

Other Cyber Funding Included

Beyond those three funding levels, the chairman’s amendment also includes other funding for CISA to fund programs and initiatives that the agency will lead.

The bill appropriates $50 million for establishing a Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and another $50 million for expanding CISA’s Crossfeed program. Additionally, the bill appropriates $25 million for CISA to help develop and execute a national multi-factor authentication campaign and $20 million for the agency to expand its programs that work with international partners to protect critical infrastructure.

The smallest line-item in the chairman’s amendment would fulfill a requirement from the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to develop a continuity of economy plan if the nation experiences a major disruption and needs a rapid restart. The chairman appropriated $10 million for the agency to develop that plan.

The print and the chairman’s amendment will likely undergo some changes when the committee marks it up on Sept. 14, but it appears that all, or nearly all, of the committee’s funding will go to CISA.

The deadline for committee language is Sept. 15.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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