Chairman Langevin’s Opening Remarks at IETC Hearing on U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report

Jul 30, 2020 Issues: Armed Services, Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities and a member of the United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission, offered the following opening remarks at the subcommittee hearing he is chairing entitled: “Review of the Recommendations of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.” Video of Langevin’s statement and a live feed of the proceedings:

“I want to welcome everyone to today’s hearing on the findings of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a Congressionally mandated commission charged with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequence.

“Inspired by Project Solarium, a task force assembled by President Eisenhower in the early 1950s, the Solarium Commission brought together representatives from academia and the private sector with representatives of the Executive and Legislative Branches.

“In the spirit of transparency, I want to make clear that I had the privilege of being selected by Speaker Pelosi to serve as one of four elected commissioners, and one of two from the House of Representatives, along with our distinguished Subcommittee colleague  Mike Gallagher, who is appearing as a witness before us today. Mr. Gallagher along with Senator King, also with us today, serve as Co-chairs of the Commission, and I am proud to call them both colleagues and friends.

“This Subcommittee, more than most, has heard from numerous individuals on the centrality of cyberspace to our modern lives. The novelty of the Solarium’s work and its findings is in examining how to secure cyberspace with an emphasis on a whole-of-government approach.

“Congress is methodical in its views of jurisdiction, and we are often too focused on viewing our oversight responsibilities exclusively through the lens of committee jurisdictions. What the Solarium has presented in its final report, completed on March 11th of this year, is a blueprint for legislative and executive actions that force the country to break apart the institutional stovepipes.

“In this respect, I see the findings of the Solarium Commission as being similar to those of the 9/11 Commission, in that both bodies recognized government siloes that had been artificially constructed and harmed the national approach to addressing cross-cutting issues. Whereas the 9/11 Commission applied this to the problem of terrorism, Solarium applies it to cyberspace.

“The Commission’s recommendations have resulted in more than twenty provisions in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, passed just last week by the House of Representatives. In that one bill, this Chamber was able to address matters as diverse as Reserve support for military cyber operations, to the cyber insurance marketplace, to the establishment of a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director.

“While we obviously have more work to do, I am proud that the NDAA reflects the whole-of-government action called for by the Commission. I applaud the example set by our European partners in approaching cyber in novel and holistic ways as recently as today with the announcement of the first-ever cyber sanctions issued through the European Union against six individuals and three entities responsible for the ‘WannaCry,’ ‘NotPetya,’ and ‘Operation Cloud Hopper’ attacks.

“As I noted earlier, we have four witnesses appearing in front of the Subcommittee today. In addition to the distinguished gentlemen from Wisconsin and Maine, we are joined by two additional commissioners.

“The Honorable Patrick Murphy, a former member of the House Representatives from Pennsylvania, is here today.  Commissioner Murphy has served with distinction as Acting Secretary and Under Secretary of the Army, and today continues his service as the Distinguished Chair of Innovation at the United States Military Academy.  Commissioner Murphy was the first veteran of the war in Iraq to be elected to Congress.

“Finally, we have Commissioner Frank Cilluffo, who in addition to his service with the Solarium, serves as the Director of Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security. From 2001 to 2003, Commissioner Cilluffo served as Special Assistant to President Bush on Homeland Security and then led the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University.”