Dingell Statement on House Rules Committee Blocking Amendment to Keep State Department Cybersecurity Office Open
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) released the following statement after the House Rules Committee blocked debate and a vote on her amendment to prevent the State Department from using any funds to close, merge or otherwise demote the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. Dingell offered the amendment after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced plans in July to shut down the office, leaving the U.S. as the only major country without a lead cybersecurity diplomat.
“The United States was the first country to appoint a lead cyber diplomat, and many countries – both allies and adversaries – have followed suit. This leadership has given us a place at the head of the table, and we would be well-served to not give up our seat. Hacking into power grids, governments, and private companies is fast becoming commonplace and it is vital our voice be heard loudly when behavior of other countries runs afoul of international norms.
“Cyber security is one of the last areas where bipartisan agreement on policy and strategy still exist. In a world growing ever more connected, the closing of this office is a mistake and one we can ill-afford to make. I will continue to pursue this issue and press Secretary Tillerson to reconsider shuttering the Cyber Office.”
Dingell led 24 Representatives in sending a letter to Secretary Tillerson urging him to reconsider his decision to shut down the office. That letter can be read here.