[Extensions of Remarks]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018
HON. GREGG HARPER
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2810) to
authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military
activities of the Department of Defense and for military
construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for
such fiscal year, and for other purposes:
Mr. HARPER. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of the Harper/Brady
Amendment, which is included in this en block package of amendments.
Our amendment while simple is critical to the security of the House of
Representatives and its information technology systems. This amendment
allows the Speaker, with the concurrence of the Minority Leader, to
request assistance from the Executive Branch, within the confines of
current law, in the event there is a successful cybersecurity attack on
the House of Representatives.
Three scenarios readily come to mind in which Executive Branch
assistance would be critical.
The first scenario addresses a situation in which the House of
Representatives has a suspicion that a nation-state sponsored actor has
successfully infiltrated the House network. The House of
Representatives would need assistance from the National Security
Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, or possibly even the
Department of Defense's Cyber Command to help identify, eliminate and
remove the nation-state sponsored actor from our network systems. The
House of Representatives would also need additional assistance from the
intelligence community to identify and validate the nation-state
sponsored actor and their associated tactics, techniques, and
The second scenario involves assistance from the appropriate law
enforcement agency in the event the House of Representatives and its
network systems are victims of criminal activity conducted by a
malicious actor or actors.
Finally, the House of Representatives would need assistance from the
Executive Branch if a catastrophic event occurred and compromised a
significant amount of the House of Representatives' enterprise system,
and could not guarantee the integrity of the legislative process. The
House of Representatives would seek assistance from the National
Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence
community, or the Department of Defense's Cyber Command to identify the
root cause of the compromise; protect existing House information
systems; detect any collateral damage resulting from the incident;
respond, resolve, and remove the incident from the House systems; and
finally, restore the House of Representatives to an acceptable
The attempts to attack the House of Representatives are real. Every
month, the House successfully defends against the three to four million
cyber attacks against our networks. Before the July 4th recess, the
House of Representatives successfully fought off a “brute force
attack” in which more than 44,000 attempts to breach the networks
occurred in just one day.
We are not dealing with hypotheticals. It may be just a matter of
time before one of the millions of attempts is successful. The House of
Representatives must be prepared.
I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.