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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor in support of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which passed the House this afternoon. Below is a video and transcript of his remarks:
Click here to watch a video of his remarks.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill. It will not be a controversial bill. It will not make the front page of the paper tomorrow. People will not be seized of this bill passing. But this bill may well have a very great consequence to it and to the efficiency and effectiveness of our federal government.
“Last July, I outlined a series of reforms to renew Americans’ faith in their government, which included modernizing government technology. Not long after, I introduced the Information Technology Modernization Act to achieve that goal, and, of course, Mr. Connolly was a co-sponsor with me on that bill.
“I’m glad that this bill that is on the Floor today includes my legislation and would be a major step toward ensuring that our government is using the latest technology systems, is well protected from cyber threats, and can serve the American people effectively.
“Mr. Hurd came over to me on the Floor and we talked about our two ideas, and as the gentleman from Virginia has said, they were complementary. And I’m pleased that we could work together to put these bills together and that we now have agreement with the Senate. We passed a bill through the House.
“Last week's major global cyberattack was yet another reminder of how critical it is that our government's technology systems are upgraded to the latest and most secure technology. If any lesson was needed, we got it.
“Americans count on government agencies to protect their personal data and our security agencies rely on our government systems to safeguard classified and sensitive information. Unfortunately, our government technology systems are now far behind the latest technology and are in desperate need of upgrades.
“I congratulate Ms. Kelly, the gentlewoman from Illinois, for her work on this effort.
“What this legislation does is authorize the creation of a technology modernization fund to finance rapid upgrades of government technology systems. Similar to funds that are available in the private sector, so they can move quickly and seize the best and latest technology available. It would prioritize the systems that are the most vulnerable and it would implement best practices from the private sector. In other words, those that are working least well will be the first addressed.
“Once upgrades are completed, agencies will pay back into the fund from the savings achieved through greater efficiency – i.e. a revolving fund – making it possible then to finance additional projects in a way that is self-sustaining after the initial investment. All of this would be done in a way that is transparent and accountable.
“Once this bill is enacted, we must take the next step and provide, of course, that initial funding.
“I’ve been proud to work across the aisle with Majority Leader McCarthy, Chairman Chaffetz, Mr. Hurd, and of course my dear, dear friend from Virginia, my colleague in the Washington Metropolitan area, Representative Connolly on our side. Representative Kelly, who I just mentioned, and Congressman Ted Lieu have also been champions of this effort and I thank them for their input and their strong support as we work to bring it to the Floor in a bipartisan fashion.
“Again, I want to say how pleased I am to work on these issues with all of my colleagues, but particularly with the Majority Leader, Mr. McCarthy, my friend from California and thank him for his leadership.
“I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the Modernizing Government Technology Act, and I hope the Trump Administration will include investment to capitalize this new fund in their fiscal 2018 budget and I yield back the balance of my time.”