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Garbarino, Bipartisan Members Introduce The CISA Leadership Act

September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Andrew R. Garbarino, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee, joined by Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY), Subcommittee Chairwoman Yvette Clark (D-NY), and Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI), introduced the CISA Leadership Act. The bill would codify the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director’s tenure as a 5-year term and reaffirm that the position will be Presidentially appointed, and Senate confirmed.

CISA is the lead agency in charge of our nation’s cybersecurity and communications infrastructure. Currently the CISA Director lacks a defined term. This legislation will provide stability to the role and to the agency.

“The current threat landscape is ever changing and expanding to include a multitude of cyber risks. We must evolve along with it to be best prepared to mitigate these threats,” said Rep. Andrew Garbarino. “With cyber attacks on the rise, CISA, the lead federal civilian cybersecurity agency for the United States, needs consistent and stable leadership presiding over our nation’s cyber preparedness. This bipartisan bill will remove any uncertainty from the CISA Director role so that the Director can focus squarely on strengthening our cyber posture.”

"Cybersecurity isn't a partisan issue,” Chairman Bennie Thompson and Subcommittee Chairwoman Yvette Clarke said in a joint statement. “As the cyber threats facing the nation continue to evolve, we need steady leadership at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. We are proud to work with Ranking Member Garbarino on this important legislation and look forward to working with him to get it across the finish line.”

“As our nation faces the most dynamic and complex cyber threat landscape in history, we need stable leadership at the helm of CISA,” said Rep. John Katko, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “The CISA Leadership Act will provide necessary certainty at the agency by establishing a set term limit of five years for the CISA Director position. I commend Ranking Member Garbarino for his leadership of this important bipartisan effort. We will continue working together to ensure CISA has the resources, workforce, and authorities it needs to effectively carry out its mission.”

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the lynchpin for federal government cybersecurity and for coordinating the protection of our critical infrastructure. That is not a responsibility that should be taken lightly,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “By creating five-year terms for CISA’s director, the CISA Leadership Act ensures that this critical agency is a step removed from the day-to-day politics of Washington. I thank Ranking Member Garbarino for leading on this important issue and for being one of CISA’s steadfast champions in Congress.”

“Cyber Security is a 21st Century threat that our government needs to take seriously,” said Rep. Ralph Norman. “Our biggest adversaries are continuously looking for new ways to hurt our nation and in this day and age, cyber is one of the biggest threats. I am proud to support this important piece of legislation that would ensure the CISA director is a non-political appointee. It’s important to guarantee that politics does not play a role in the security of our nation.”

“CISA plays a critical role in protecting our nation’s infrastructure from cyberattacks,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. “Congress has taken important steps to strengthen this agency, but it’s clear we need to take further action to provide CISA with more stability. The CISA Leadership Act sets the CISA Director’s term at five years, which will ensure the person in this position can remain laser-focused on protecting our nation from the cyber threats of the day. I’m proud to join Rep. Garbarino in introducing this legislation.” 

Read the text of the bill here.

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