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Congressman John Ratcliffe

Representing the 4th District of Texas

Ratcliffe, Langevin cybersecurity legislation passes House

November 29, 2016
Press Release
Two bills strengthen U.S.-Israel cyber collaboration

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) passed the U.S. House today to strengthen collaborative cybersecurity research and development efforts between the United States and Israel. The two bills were introduced in July, after the lawmakers returned from a congressional delegation trip to Israel that focused on key cybersecurity issues facing both countries.  

The United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016 (H.R. 5877) and the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016 (H.R. 5843) both passed unanimously out of the House and now await action in the Senate.
“Israel is a vital strategic partner, and I’m pleased to be working closely with Rep. Langevin to preserve and strengthen this important bond through joint cybersecurity efforts. Cybersecurity is national security, and enhancing joint research and development efforts between the United States and Israel will improve our countries’ ability to deter malicious cyber actors,” said Ratcliffe, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies. 

“I’m glad the House passed these bills to amplify the work already being done to tackle the growing cyber threats we both face, and I’m hopeful this legislation will serve as a solid foundation for a sustained cybersecurity partnership as we look to address new and evolving cyber issues moving forward.”

“My trip to Israel with Congressman Ratcliffe was an illuminating experience, and reinforced my belief that our countries have much to learn from one another when it comes to cybersecurity,” said Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. 

“This belief has only been reinforced in the intervening months as we saw cyber-attacks that targeted the very foundation of our nation, our electoral system. Nations share many cybersecurity problems with the private sector, but they do have distinct national security challenges in cyberspace that they must address. Our legislation will further strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and drive innovative, collaborative thinking about homeland security priorities. I am so pleased that my colleagues in the House recognize that cybersecurity is the security challenge of our time, and I urge the Senate to act without delay.”

The United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act expands a successful binational research and development program at the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency to include cybersecurity technologies. This collaboration between DHS and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security helps new products through the “valley of death” between basic and early-phase applied research and successful commercialization, and will help both countries develop solutions to the unique security problems found in the cyber domain.

The United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act will create a cybersecurity grant program for joint research and development ventures between Israeli and American entities. The Secretary of Homeland Security will determine research requirements with help from an advisory board made up of members from successful U.S.-Israeli partnerships, such as the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the United States-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation.