The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed its own version of the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2019, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to permanently maintain cyber hunt and incident response teams that help prevent and mitigate attacks on federal agencies and the private sector.

Designated H.R.1158, the bill serves as an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It was first introduced in February as a companion legislation to S.315 – the Senate's version of the law, which was introduced January and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar last April. The Senate will now presumably attempt to reconcile the two versions.

H.R.1158 was Introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.; Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.; Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.; and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas. S.315 was introduced by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

When cyber-attacks occur, immediate expertise is needed to mitigate damage and ensure organizations are restored. Cyber Incident Response Teams provide that expertise and function as our cyber first responders," said Rep. McCaul, in a press release. If passed, "Today's legislation ensures that the Department of Homeland Security can foster collaboration between the public and private sector to ensure our nation can continue to adapt to the constant changes in the cyber landscape."

"I am pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve companion legislation to our bipartisan bill that will help prevent and mitigate cyber attacks that threaten the safety, security, and privacy of Granite Staters and Americans," said Sen. Hassan in a separate news release. "I urge the Senate to vote on this commonsense legislation as soon as possible to help strengthen our country's cyber defenses."

"Our cyber response teams play an important role in protecting against cyber threats, reducing cybersecurity risks, and helping to get our cyber infrastructure back up and running after an attack occurs," Sen. Portman said in the release. "I am glad the House passed the companion to our bipartisan legislation and I urge the full Senate to act on this bill quickly to strengthen our response efforts in the event of a cyberattack.