“HR 5005, which establishes the Department of Homeland Security is important legislation for many reasons. This is the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century. Multiple committees, including both of the committees I serve on, this committee and Judiciary, are considering HR 5005. Unfortunately, we are doing this simultaneously. I wish we had more time to work this bill but I understand the tight schedule we are operating on.
“I would like to congratulate my Chairman, Mr. Boehlert and Ranking Member, Mr. Hall for the work you have done to improve this bill. I appreciate your willingness and foresight to listen to the concerns of industry and of many of our committee colleagues regarding the proposed move of the Computer Security Division of NIST to the New Department of Homeland Security. By accepting my amendment to prevent this transfer, I believe we have not only worked to make our country more secure in the face of terrorist attacks, but we have preserved the credibility and success of NIST’s Computer Security Division. This office will depend on having both effective independence and appropriate collaboration with law enforcement and national security agencies in the US and abroad as it continues to play a critical role in providing greater confidence in IT systems in both the public and private sectors.
“Another important aspect of the en bloc amendment is the creation of an Undersecretary for Science and Technology within the Department. Given the ever-increasing role of technology, the Department will use both existing technologies and those technologies that will evolve in the next few years, to protect Americans against Terrorism. Because of this fact, I believe it is important that the Department have someone to oversee this work.
“I look forward to today’s hearing, as we will attempt to further enhance this important legislation.”