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Major Defense Spending Act Includes Measures Authored By Rep. John Katko To Address Cybersecurity, Supply Chain Threats

cyber katko occ.jpg
Scott Willis
/
WAER News
Rep. Katko holds a cybersecurity summit at OCC back in July, before the Delta variant arrived.

Syracuse-area congressmember John Katko says there’s a lot to like from a local and national perspective in the National Defense Authorization Act which passed the house this week. He was one of 363 House members who voted to approve the bi-partisan 768-billion dollar bill. Katko says hundreds of millions of dollars have been set aside for various programs that include components supplied by Lockheed Martin in Salina.

"They're creating jobs to build devices and systems that will ultimately keep our soldiers safer and the American people safer. It's a win-win; spending money to keep us safe, and creating jobs in Central New York."

The NDAA also includes legislation authored by Katko that aim to monitor and detect cybersecurity risks to entities that support critical national functions. He says anything connected to the internet is vulnerable.

"In the average home, there used to be one or two devices attached to the internet. Now there are dozens, if not more. And they're all subject to attack, not to mention business systems, government systems, water systems, critical infrastructure systems."

Another one of Katko’s measures would identify and address risk in critical parts of our supply chain, which depends so heavily on China. There’s also funding to help Taiwan beef up its defenses against China.

"If China goes into Taiwan...you want to talk about a supply chain crisis. Taiwan controls about 80 percent of the high-end chip manufacturing in the world. If China all of a sudden becomes an adversary and takes over Taiwan, that's a huge problem."

The NDAA also takes care of servicemembers with a 2.7 percent pay increase, and expansion of parental leave and childcare programs. The package now heads to the senate.

FUNDING FOR ROME LAB

Congressmember Claudia Tenney also supported the NDAA, which included three of her amendments. This includes a $10 million amendment to establish a quantum network computing testbed program at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, also known as Rome Lab.

"This is a big win for Rome Lab and our community that will continue to cement the Lab as our nation’s leading center for quantum research and development, while supporting our region’s economic growth," Tenney said in a release. "The National Defense Authorization Act is vital for our Nation’s security as well as our military service members and their families."

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at srwillis@syr.edu.