US Capitol

Two cybersecurity bills sail through the House

The House easily passed a pair of bipartisan cybersecurity bills on Wednesday, though their future in the Senate is unclear.

Lawmakers approved the two measures 336-90 as part of a larger, en bloc batch of legislation.

The first bill, dubbed the Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Act, would require the Energy Department to establish a grant program that would provide financial aid to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers studying digital security and energy infrastructure.

"Our constituents rely on dependable energy sources for their lives and their livelihoods, and we cannot afford continued exposure to these types of attacks," Rep. Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), one of the bill's sponsors and who serves on the House Science Committee, said in a statement.

It would also let researchers study at the department’s national labs and increase outreach to historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.

The second piece of legislation, appropriately titled the Reporting Attacks from Nations Selected for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies (RANSOMWARE) Act, would require the Federal Trade Commission to submit biennial reports on ransomware incidents and other cyberattacks on U.S. targets conducted by a foreign group or government — with special attention paid to Russia, Iran, China and North Korea. 

Neither measure has a Senate companion, as of yet.

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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.