The U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 7 overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017, championed by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and fellow Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle, on a 404-3 vote.
H.R. 1997, which was introduced on April 6, 2017, would support U.S.-Ukraine cooperation in cybersecurity protection. The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.
“Cybersecurity is a complex and serious national and economic security issue for any nation,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
“For years, Ukraine has been under siege from nation-state cyberattacks that have sought to weaken its government and undermine hopes for an open and democratic society. The United States must play an important role in this fight,” said the congressman, who also co-chairs the Congressional Ukraine Caucus.
Joining Fitzpatrick as cosponsors of H.R. 1997 were U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and John Shimkus (R-IL). The bill had a total of 25 cosponsors.
If enacted, H.R. 1997 would reaffirm several U.S. commitments to Ukraine, among them U.S. assistance to the nation for making progress on reforms, anticorruption initiatives, and cybersecurity strategies, according to the bill text.
H.R. 1997 also would direct the U.S. State Department to offer Ukraine support in its government computer security protection, particularly critical infrastructure defense systems, and help the nation decrease reliance on Russian technology, among other provisions.
“By not adequately responding and adapting to these cyberthreats in Eastern Europe, our nation is both letting down an ally as well as failing to take proactive steps to protect itself,” Fitzpatrick said.
The House approval of H.R. 1997 shows “important progress to protect the American people and reaffirm that the U.S. stands strong with its NATO allies in this fight,” added Rep. Boyle. “I implore the Senate to pass this legislation quickly. Time is of the essence, with American and Ukrainian elections each right around the corner.”