WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved three bills today: the To Research, Evaluate, Assess, and Treat Astronauts Act (H.R.6076); the Cybersecurity Responsibility and Accountability Act of 2016 (H.R. 6066); and the ADVISE Now Act (H.R. 5829). All three bills were favorably reported out of committee by voice vote.

 Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): "Committee approval of these three bills will advance America’s future security through increased space activity, hardened information infrastructure, and an expanding food supply."

 The To Research, Evaluate, Assess, and Treat Astronauts Act, or TREAT Act, sponsored by Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas), establishes an occupational healthcare and advanced monitoring program for former American astronauts. H.R. 6076 ensures that our brave men and women that venture into space receive support for medical issues associated with their service. It also allows NASA to get more research data on the effects of human spaceflight. 

  Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas): “I am proud to say that I represent a great number of these astronauts who call the Houston area home.  As a nation we have obligations to those we put in harm’s way.  As a Congress, we have a responsibility to provide for the treatment of conditions caused by federal service.  As a health care professional and as their representative, you could say it is my duty to make sure these folks are taken care of properly.  This is why I have sponsored H.R. 6076, the TREAT Act, a common sense, fiscally responsible, bipartisan bill that makes sure our brave men and women that venture into space receive support for medical issues associated with their service.”

 The Cybersecurity Responsibility and Accountability Act is an important step in addressing shortcomings by agencies in fulfilling Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements through more research, agency-head accountability, and Office of Management and Budget enforcement. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Federal agencies have significant weaknesses in information security controls that continue to threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information and information systems used to support their operations, assets, and personnel.”

 In this Congress, the Science Committee has held numerous hearings related to federal cybersecurity issues based on its jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its FISMA authority. These hearings have underscored a need for accountability, responsibility and transparency within these agencies specifically, and the federal government in general, relative to the cybersecurity of information and information systems. 

 Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.): “H.R. 6066, the Cybersecurity Responsibility and Accountability Act of 2016, is a product of the good work conducted by this Committee. The dozen or so hearings held this Congress on federal cybersecurity issues have identified a need for H.R. 6066, a need further revealed by the work of other committees and entities as well.”

 In February of 2014, the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law. Section 12307 of that Act directed EPA to “establish a standing agriculture-related committee” to provide farmers with an opportunity to express concerns in the federal rule making process regarding regulations that would impact agriculture. Despite having over two years, the EPA has failed to establish this committee. The ADVISE Now Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create the Science Advisory Board Committee on Agriculture within 30 days of its enactment.

 Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.): “EPA has failed to keep Congress informed of its progress, despite numerous requests from members. It appears that EPA is willfully delaying implementation, contrary to legislative intent. The ADVISE Now Act would ensure farmers and the American people that their interests are heard within the rulemaking process at EPA.”