House panel approves major cash infusion for CISA

House appropriators on Friday voted in favor of a $2.9 billion budget for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The House Appropriations Committee approved its homeland security funding bill, 32-25. The amount allocated for CISA is $417 million more than the Biden administration requested for the DHS cyber wing and $334 million above its fiscal year 2022 allotment.

“As our economy and infrastructure continue to grow more reliant on the internet, cyberattacks and intrusions by foreign actors are of increasing concern,” Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said in her opening statement.

She noted the spending bill also included $12.8 million for the Homeland Security Investigations — the department’s investigative arm — to “combat cybercrime.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who chairs the Appropriations Homeland Security subpanel and is not running for re-election, said the legislation makes “important investments in critical infrastructure cyber defense.”

The Democrat-controlled panel approved the measure after dispensing with a number of Republican amendments on southern border security and other hot button immigration issues.

Democrats intend to take up all 12 annual funding bills before the end of June and plan to consider most of them on the chamber floor in July. 

However, they could opt not to vote on passage of the homeland security bill in order to avoid riling their own caucus over immigration policy before the midterm elections.

Appropriation leaders are trying to hammer out a bipartisan government funding agreement that could pass both chambers but, with just months left until the new fiscal year, lawmakers likely will turn to a stopgap spending measure to continue current funding levels and keep the government open before a final package is agreed on.

Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.

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