HASC defense authorization bill on House floor

May 26, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Fierce Government IT

Defense spending would be authorized slightly more under a House Armed Services Committee-approved markup than the Obama administration had requested for next year’s federal fiscal budget. The bill was on the House floor May 26 for debate and amendments, with passage of the bill by that chamber possible on May 27.

The HASC mark would permit the appropriations committees to extend $690.1 billion for defense spending, slightly more than the $689 billion President Barack Obama asked for in his February budget request. Of the HASC amount, $571.1 billion would go to base Defense Department programs; the Obama requested amount was $553 billion.

Among the amendments attached to the authorization bill was one by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), which would prevent the executive branch from asking potential federal contractors to disclose political donations. A draft executive order that would require that leaked form the White House last month, causing some controversy. Cole’s amendment passed 261 to 162; 26 Democrats joined all Republicans present except one, Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.), in voting for it.

In a report accompanying the HASC mark, the committee criticizes how an efficiency drive launched by Defense Secretary Robert Gates has reshuffled some duties of the assistant secretary of networks and information integration, more commonly known as the DoD chief information officer. Elimination of “core management and oversight functions” within the ASD(NII) “appears to have been made without adequate planning, or justification,” the report states.

A newly established office of cyber threat analysis within the Defense Intelligence Agency could be understaffed, the report also states. The office, according to HASC, provides a range of functions including all-source analysis of cyber threats, counter intelligence investigations and supply chain risk management. The report language calls for a staffing assessment report to be submitted to Congress.

Continued here.