House approves two bills to foster DHS outreach to private sector

House approves two bills to foster DHS outreach to private sector
House approves two bills to foster DHS outreach to private sector

House lawmakers voted on two bills aimed at creating effective partnerships between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the private sector. The bills, introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) earlier this month, were approved Tuesday evening.

Legislators voted 347-8 in favor of the Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act, a bill that will encourage DHS to actively engage with private sector cybersecurity organization such as venture capital firms and startup companies. The legislation will require the agency to create a strategic plan for engagement with the private-sector within six months and submit the plan to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.

The House voted 351-4 to approve the Rapid Innovation Act. The bill prompts DHS to cooperate with academic and private sector researchers to fund the research of emerging technologies that demonstrate a “high probability of successful transition to the commercial market within two years.” The legislation encourages technologies the Under-Secretary for Science and Technology to focus on the development of information security systems, real-time diagnostics and analytic technologies, remediation methods, industrial control system vulnerabilities, and forensics and attack attribution capabilities.

“With these growing cyber threats posing significant danger to our homeland and critical infrastructure, it is critical that our government keep pace by actively working with the private sector to find solutions to protect our networks,” Ratcliffe said in a statement on Tuesday.

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