Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement at the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Hearingng

2022-04-28 14:19

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency:

This afternoon we welcome the Honorable Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — or “CISA” — who is here to discuss CISA’s operations and its fiscal year 2023 budget request. Director Easterly, we look forward to a productive discussion this morning.

The threats facing our nation’s networks, critical infrastructure, elections, emergency communications, schools, and public gatherings continue to evolve in complexity, sophistication, and scale that pose novel challenges and test our capacity to keep pace with our adversaries.

We are in a moment in our nation’s history where our response must urgently rise to the occasion to address these growing risks. As the President stated in his Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, "Incremental improvements will not give us the security we need; instead, the Federal Government needs to make bold changes and significant investments in order to defend the vital institutions that underpin the American way of life."

Since my time as Chairwoman of this Subcommittee, I have taken this responsibility to heart – seeking opportunities to strengthen  CISA’s capabilities by bolstering funding for  each of its mission areas to transform the country’s capacity to defend against our adversaries.

But I know that there are no easy answers, and that funding alone will not close the gaps in our capabilities.

The problems we face are not just the federal government’s responsibility to resolve. We need to work collectively with our state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners to study the threats, evaluate best practices, and develop and implement strategies to shore up our defenses.

Director Easterly, I have seen you and your staff work tirelessly towards these objectives. We owe each of you a debt of gratitude – whether it’s responding to the new crisis du jour or working proactively with communities to provide needed advice and guidance, CISA has become a trusted agency and I appreciate the discipline and dedication it has taken to get us here.

But there remains much work to do. As technologies change, our reliance on new technologies evolves, and our adversaries seek to capitalize on any vulnerability they can find. We have witnessed that those who wish to do harm to the integrity of our elections have and will continue to deploy sophisticated mis- dis- and mal-information campaigns. And we have seen the devastating need to prepare our communities for acts of domestic terrorism.

We cannot afford to shy away from the complexity and urgency of these challenges, yet we must be thoughtful and strategic in our response.

Director Easterly, I look forward to hearing from you today on these issues and how Congress can help you better accomplish your mission.

117th Congress