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Smith Requests Minority Participation in Ongoing Oversight Efforts

Feb 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON- U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) on the committee’s oversight of federal cybersecurity standards.

“We were pleasantly surprised to learn of your newfound interest in the Committee’s oversight and investigatory responsibilities, particularly given your often heated rhetoric attacking the Majority’s cybersecurity investigations in the past.  This included statements that you were ‘outraged that the Chairman is recklessly abusing the Committee’s investigatory powers’ and that ‘[t]his is a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars by Chairman Smith and the Science Committee Republicans.’  We trust that your calls last week for oversight of cybersecurity issues are sincere and not, as you state in your letter, the result of ‘the change of party in the Executive Branch,’” today’s letter reads.

Chairman Smith affirmed his commitment to continuing strong oversight of government wide cybersecurity, invited the minority to join and assist with the committee’s ongoing oversight of cybersecurity, and assured his colleagues that he would continue to monitor issues raised in his letter.

Today’s letter can be found here.

Background

Last April, the committee commenced an investigation into the FDIC’s cybersecurity posture upon receipt of several notifications of major breaches at the FDIC.

The committee is also conducting an investigation into the security of former Secretary Clinton’s private email and server arrangement pursuant to the committee’s jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is responsible for updating and promulgating standards used to safeguard federal information systems.

In June, the committee commenced oversight of the Federal Reserve Board’s cybersecurity posture after press reports indicated that the Federal Reserve had detected more than 50 cybersecurity breaches between 2011 and 2015, which included hacks, acts of espionage, and instances of unauthorized access.   

115th Congress