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RELEASE: Khanna, Mace Introduce Bill to Strengthen Cybersecurity Workforce in Government

May 28, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip and Member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Nancy Mace (R-SC), introduced the bipartisan Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act to bolster America’s cybersecurity capabilities to match the heightened threats in the digital age.

To maintain American leadership & security in the 21st century, Khanna and Mace recognize that our country needs an integrated federal workforce, particularly one that possesses the knowledge, skills, and competencies to counter increasingly sophisticated threats from foreign actors. As the largest employer in the country, the federal government’s cybersecurity program sets the pace for American competitiveness in this growing career field, making this investment a critical link toward building a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure across the country. 

“If we want to continue the era of excellence in American innovation, we need to make a bold investment in our cyber workforce,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Silicon Valley has and will continue to lead the world in creativity & scientific discovery, but we can’t rely on private investment alone to protect our cyber-infrastructure from bad actors. The federal government, America’s largest employer, must lead. This dynamic rotational program will give our cyber professionals the wide-ranging experience they need to defend us from growing threats abroad. We can and we must set the pace for the rest of the world. Proud to introduce this meaningful legislation with Rep. Mace. I look forward to pushing it across the finish line.”

"In light of recent events, we've seen the importance of cybersecurity now more than eve,” said Rep. Nancy Mace. “This program will equip not only our current generation of cybersecurity professionals but our next, ensuring America's grid is prepared for attack. To strengthen our cybersecurity workforce is to strengthen our national defense. I thank Congressman Ro Khanna for working with me on this important issue."

Specifically, the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act: 

  • Entrusts leadership of the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program (FRCWP) with the Office of Personnel Management and requires consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the Chief Information Officers Council, and the Department of Homeland Security. The bill provides ample flexibility to OPM and participating agencies to ensure the FRCWP can be executed in a manner consistent with existing rotational programs to reduce administrative burden.
  • Encourages the heads of each agency to identify rotational cyber positions with a focus on positions that relate to multi-agency, integrated cyber missions.
  • Promotes federal workforce awareness of career development opportunities by requiring OPM to distribute an annual list of available FRCWP positions.
  • Selects FRCWP applicants in a manner consistent with the merit system principles and allows participants to return to their original position (or similar) upon completion of rotational service. 
  • Directs GAO to assess the program’s effectiveness ahead of the pilot program’s termination.

The full text of the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act can be found here.

 

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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.