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Ratcliffe, Langevin U.S.-Israel cybersecurity legislation passes House

(ROCKWALL, TX — Feb. 1, 2017) Legislation introduced by Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday to strengthen cybersecurity collaboration between the United States and Israel. The United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act (H.R. 612) will create a cybersecurity grant program for joint research and development ventures between Israeli and American entities. It is the result of a congressional delegation trip to Israel the two lawmakers took in May of last year.

“Israel is America’s strongest and most strategic ally in the Middle East, and I’m glad the House just passed our bill to further fortify this strategic partnership through enhanced joint cybersecurity efforts. After Jim and I traveled to Israel last year to discuss this important aspect of our national security with top officials, we defined key areas where we could boost our collaboration to strengthen our countries’ cybersecurity posture. I’m grateful for Jim’s continued work with me on these efforts in the new session of U.S. Congress, and I’m looking forward to the progress we’ll make with Israel in the years to come,” said Ratcliffe, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection.

“Cybersecurity is at the center of our national and economic security, as well as the personal security of consumers. The United States and Israel have an opportunity here to work together to develop innovative solutions to the threats we face in cyberspace,” said Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “We have a mutual interest in strengthening our cyber defenses, and I believe this legislation will fortify our productive partnership in tackling the cyber threats of today and the future. I thank Chairman Ratcliffe for his continued leadership on this issue, and I call on the Senate to take up the bill as soon as possible.”

Under the cybersecurity grant program created through this legislation, 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.

In December of last year, the United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016 (H.R. 5877), also introduced by Ratcliffe and Langevin, was signed into law.

Submitted press release.

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