Jun 21, 2016

To Face New Threats, We Need Innovation

Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today on two bills of the Innovation Initiative that will make America safer—H.R. 5388, the Support for Rapid Innovation Act, and H.R. 5389, the Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act.

Full remarks are below, or watch online here.

“I thank the gentleman for yielding.

“The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ratcliffe (TX-04), has put two bills before this House—two bills part of a broader Innovation Initiative that take the power of human discovery and apply it to national security.

“We know that what protected us in the past isn’t sufficient for today or the future. Oceans were our greatest defense for much of our history. But distance became less important in the age of jets and rockets. Radar was a revolutionary discovery that helped us see threats before they arrived. But radar can’t help us find a potential terrorist being radicalized in our very own neighborhoods. 

“We can’t rely today on what worked in the past. We need new weapons, new tools, and new defenses. We need more, and the government can’t do it alone. The dangers are too pressing for Washington to find the best ways to protect the American people all by itself.  

“Across this country there are innovators who are finding the answers, and we need to listen to them. The House knows this, and one of our bills directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to engage with private citizens who can join in the task of making our great country safe.

The second bill of the Innovation Initiative today focuses explicitly on cybersecurity to update and improve detection of intrusions, improve recovery, and reduce vulnerabilities in the industrial systems we rely on. We have seen repeatedly from the Office of Personnel Management to the IRS to businesses in the private sector that our cyber defenses are simply not up to the task. But we can do better. We always can and we always will.

“Mr. Speaker, I’m proud of the ideas being put forward for the Innovation Initiative so far. America has unprecedented potential, and through the focus of this Initiative we will discover new and better ways to keep America safe. 

“I yield back.”