US House green lights huge infrastructure plan including $1.9 billion for cybersecurity

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will see investment of approximately $2 billion in cybersecurity efforts across the federal government. The final vote was 228-206 with thirteen Republicans joining the majority of Democrats to support the measure; six Democrats voted against it. The bill will be at President Joe Biden’s desk for signing into law. President Biden lauded the bill’s passage.

The infrastructure bill allocates $1.9 billion in cybersecurity funds, with $1 billion reserved for the creation of a new cybersecurity grant program for improvements of state, local, tribal and territorial governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the Homeland Security Department’s existing grant programs will administer the funds and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency would act as a subject matter expert when determining the awards. 

The Cyber Response and Recovery Act is also incorporated where $100 million over five years is authorised  to support federal response to cyber incidents. In addition the Homeland Security Secretary, working with the National Cyber Director can declare a significant cyber incident, coordinate the response and tap the emergency fund to help both private companies, and the government, recover from cyberattacks.