Congress considers adding cyber security position in the White House

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — Some members of Congress say it’s time to create a dedicated position within the White House to protect against cyberattacks.

New York Representative Carolyn Maloney says the country’s adversaries have the U.S. in their digital sights.

“China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea [are] waging a silent war capable of shutting down critical infrastructure,” Rep. Maloney said.

On Wednesday, Maloney, along with members of the House Oversight Committee, warned about the digital dangers the U.S. faces.

“Cyber attacks are a critical, complex, prevalent and growing threat to the nation’s safety and economic security,” she said.

There’s now a push by some in Congress, including Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher, to create a dedicated position within the White House to oversee the nation’s cyber defense.

“I view the creation of a single focal point in the White House, the least bureaucratic, the least onerous, and the most efficient of all possible options,” Rep. Gallagher said.

Maloney said a similar position was created under President George W. Bush and expanded by President Obama but then eliminated by the Trump administration two years ago.

“This new position would restore the cyber coordination and planning function to the White House,” Maloney said.

There’s already a bill to create the position and Gallagher says it’s a job Congress should oversee, not a president.

“Making the role Senate confirmed, in other words, would provide greater permanence,” Gallagher said.

While it’s something Republicans and Democrats largely agree on, it’s not clear when a vote on the bill might happen.

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