Committee chairs embrace bill, schedule hearings as leadership rallies for the cause
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the first bill addressing security failures of the ObamaCare website, Healthcare.gov, while Congressman Kerry Bentivolio's bill, the Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of 2013, received 34 co-sponsors in under 48 hours.
Introduced December 3, 2013, The Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act is the first and only bill in Congress that would impose specific security requirements on new and future federal agency websites that collect sensitive information from the public.
After an aggressive outreach campaign from Rep. Bentivolio, the Republican caucus announced it would take up ObamaCare website security in the first week of the new session. Since then, Rep. Bentivolio's office has coordinated efforts with House leadership, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which will hold a hearing on Thursday the 16th. This morning, these efforts were praised by Majority Leader Eric Cantor on the floor of the House. (
Bentivolio was moved by the astonishing testimony of security experts at a November 19 Science committee hearing to inspect the issue more closely.
“I was sent to Washington to protect our rights, not take them away,” said Congressman Bentivolio. “The reckless implementation of Healthcare.gov has left our constituents and federal government systems vulnerable to those who wish to do us harm. It’s great that so many of my colleagues joined the fight to protect the privacy of our constituent’s personal information.”
This website -- which the Obama Administration expects millions of Americans to use to obtain health insurance -- is a prime target for hackers, according to testimony by several non-partisan software security experts. The administration ignored warnings from its own testing team that the site was unsafe to launch.
This bill, which was introduced on December 3rd, 2013, requires all future federal websites that collect personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, be reviewed by GAO and certified as secure by the issuing agency's Chief Information Officer before being made available to the public. Further, any federal websites published after July 1, 2013 which are not certified as secure must be taken down until they are secure.
The Members of Congress who have co-sponsored The Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act are:
Frank Lucas, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture
Jeff Miller, Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Jim Jordan, Chairman, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affrais, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and former Chairman, Republican Study Committee
Jack Kingston, Chairman, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, Committee on Foreign Affairs; Vice Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; former Chairman, Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee
Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, Committee on Foreign Affairs; Vice Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; former Chairman, Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee
John Mica, Chairman, Subcommittee on Government Operations, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Sam Johnson, Deputy Whip; Chairman, Subcommittee on Social Security, Committee on Ways and Means
Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce
Richard Hudson, Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation Security, Committee on Homeland Security
Mo Brooks, Vice Chairman, Subcommittee on Space, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Dan Benishek (MI-1), Bill Huizenga (MI-2), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3), Joe Wilson (SC-2), Michele Bachmann (MN-6), Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Tom Cole (OK-4), Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL), Ted Yoho (FL-3), Mark Meadows (NC-11), Luke Messer (IN-6), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Tom Rice (SC-7), Bill Posey (FL-8), Andy Barr (KY-6), Doug LaMalfa (CA-1), Mike Kelly (PA-3), Trent Franks (AZ-8), Randy Weber (TX-14), Kevin Cramer (ND-AL), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Steve Stockman (TX-37), Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
To read the Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act in its entirety, please visit: