The House of Representatives passed the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act Sept. 29 by an overwhelming 410-15 margin. If approved by the Senate and enacted, the bill would create a cybersecurity personnel rotation program for Federal employees.
The bill, introduced by Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Ca., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., in May, would allow Federal cybersecurity employees to work across multiple agencies to expand their expertise, and allow employees to return to their original or similar position upon completion of their rotation.
“To maintain our nation’s leadership and security in the 21st century we need an integrated federal workforce, particularly one that possesses the knowledge, skills, and competencies to counter increasingly sophisticated threats from foreign actors,” Rep. Khanna said in a press release.
“As the largest employer in the country, the federal government’s cybersecurity program sets the pace for American competitiveness in this growing career field, making this investment a critical link toward building a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure across the country,” he added.
The bill mirrors a program included in the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA). The program, however, was not included in either of the two House-passed alternatives to the bill and thus requires additional legislative action.
With the focus in both chambers now split between the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, the $3.5 trilling reconciliation bill, raising the debt ceiling, and passing a continuing resolution by the end of the day to keep the government open, movement on the research-focused USICA and its House-passed alternatives has stalled.
Given the broad bipartisan support for the cybersecurity rotation program, Rep. Mace urged the Senate to pass the standalone bill to get the bill to President Biden’s desk.
“Cyber security is national security. We’ve all seen just how much damage can be done to our economy and infrastructure when we don’t take it seriously,” Rep. Mace said. “Our cyber security challenges are dramatically increasing. I’d like to thank Rep. Ro Khanna for working with me to get this bill through the House, and I urge the Senate to send it to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible.”