U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, scored a win this week as the House passed his proposal protecting the nation from cyberattacks.
Yoho, the chairman of the U.S. House Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, brought out the “Cyber Deterrence and Response Act” back in April. The proposal sets up a three-step process for the federal government to identify, deter and respond to state-sponsored cyberattacks.
The legislation had support from both sides of the aisle as U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, the ranking Democrat on the committee, cosponsoring the bill. Other cosponsors included Republican U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Ted Poe of Texas and Democrats U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island and Brad Sherman of California.
The House passed his bill on voice vote and now heads to the Senate where U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Col., brought out a similar bill last month with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., as a cosponsor.
Yoho weighed in on the legislation after the vote on Wednesday.
“Today we took an important step in defending our nation from foreign cyber threats. Our foreign adversaries have developed sophisticated cyber capabilities that disrupt our networks, threaten our critical infrastructure, harm our economy, and undermine our elections. Collectively, we must do more to combat this digital menace. Countries like China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and other malicious actors conduct cyber- attacks against America on a daily basis. This must be confronted and stopped,” Yoho said.
“The Cyber Deterrence and Response Act will bring these aggressors out of the shadows and create a framework that deters and provides the proper response for their actions,” Yoho added. “It is vital that when these attacks happen, they are exposed and punished quickly and accordingly. I encourage the Senate to pass their companion bill and send this legislation to the president to be signed into law.”
Yoho has grown increasingly active on cybersecurity issues. Back in March, the North Central Florida Republican unveiled a proposal to allow “ethical hackers” to test the U.S. State Department’s cyber defenses. Yoho paired up with U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., to unveil the “Hack Your State Department Act.” Yoho’s proposal would have “ethical hackers” attempt to hack the State Department’s cyber defenses and identify any vulnerabilities and compensate them for their efforts. Last year, the Trump administration proposed setting up bug bounty programs in the “Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization.”