Politics Bipartisan senators introduce bill to protect small businesses from cyberattacks
Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack Gives Democrats Opportunity to Get Tough on Foreign Hacking | Opinion
Congress must take the lead in protecting our government, our corporations and our citizens against one of the most pressing foreign threats to our national security. Fred Turner, senior vice president at BGR Group, previously spent 25 years working on Capitol Hill. Most recently he was chief of staff to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Menendez and previously served as staff director of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.
A bipartisan group of senators Thursday introduced a bill intended to protect small businesses from cyberattacks after hacks crippled some of the country's largest companies.
Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) reintroduced the Small Business Credit Protection Act, which would mandate credit bureaus inform small businesses of a nonpublic personal data breach within 30 days. It would also bar credit bureaus from charging such businesses for a credit report within 180 days of a breach.
"Entrepreneurs need to build and maintain healthy credit as they grow their businesses," Coons said. "That's why it is so vital that government help protect the private credit information of small business owners, just as they do for consumers.
Senators eye $579B in new infrastructure spending, $1T plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators is eyeing an infrastructure deal with $579 billion in new spending as negotiators try to strike a nearly $1 trillion deal on President Joe Biden's top priority, according to those briefed on the plan. The 10 senators have been huddling behind closed doors, encouraged by Biden to keep working on the effort after he walked away from a Republican-only proposal this week unable to resolve differences. The senators are briefing their colleagues privately and cautioned changes could still be made.
"We've taken important steps to protect consumers, but small businesses' credit data have also been compromised, and they deserve protection," added Kennedy. "Consumers and mom-and-pop businesses are counting on us to safeguard their data privacy when new threats arise every day."
Rubio first introduced the legislation in November 2018, but the bill takes on heightened importance now after a series of prominent cybercrimes. Rep. Gregory Steube (R-Fla.) will introduce companion legislation in the House.
"The federal government must uphold the trust that Americans need to fully participate in our economy," Rubio said. "My legislation, the Small Business Credit Protection Act, would ensure that small businesses receive protections in cases of a security breach. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this bipartisan bill so that we can continue to protect America's small businesses - the cornerstone of our economy."
Biden World on bipartisan infrastructure talks: Little harm in still trying
The White House sees some positive signs to the new round of negotiations. They also see little downside in letting the talks play out.The move to keep bipartisan negotiations going sparked a round of progressive anger Wednesday as liberals warned their demands need to be met, too, and that prolonged negotiations could hamper other big legislative priorities. But even if it were to move forward on infrastructure with just Democratic support, the White House hasn’t finished one of its most important sales jobs: wooing Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.
The legislation comes as Congress looks to beef up cyber protections for the federal government and the private sector after a slew of crippling hacks.
Colonial Pipeline, the company that supplies 45 percent of the East Coast's fuel, temporarily shut down its operations last month after a ransomware attack targeted some of its data. JBS USA, the nation's largest beef supplier, was later hit by a similar ransomware attack.
Both hacks are believed to have been perpetrated by Russian-based criminal groups.
The Justice Department said this month that, in response to those and other intrusions, it plans on elevating investigations into ransomware attacks to the same priority as probes into terrorist strikes.
Senators eye $579B in new infrastructure spending, $1T plan .
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators is eyeing an infrastructure deal with $579 billion in new spending as part of a $1 trillion package. It could be rolled out as soon as Thursday as negotiators try to strike a deal on President Joe Biden's top priority, according to those briefed on the plan. The 10 senators have been huddling behind closed doors, encouraged by Biden to keep working on the effort after he walked away from a Republican-only proposal this week unable to resolve differences. The senators are briefing their colleagues privately and cautioned changes could still be made. “We got a piece of paper with every line and a total,” Sen.