The House today voted to approve the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which green-lights $847 billion of spending for defense-related purposes, and includes numerous technology and cybersecurity provisions.

House members approved the bill by a vote of 350-80. A two-thirds majority of votes was required because the bill was considered under a suspension of normal rules.

The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week. Since the annual defense spending authorization bill is considered by most legislators to be “must-pass,” approval by the Senate next week is expected.

On the technology front, the FY2023 NDAA notably features legislation to codify into law and update the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). It also includes numerous cybersecurity-related provisions and funding bumps for a variety of Defense Department (DoD) security functions.

“I am thrilled that the House has again voted to pass the FedRAMP Authorization Act,” said House Government Operations Committee Chairman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who authored the FedRAMP bill that was approved within the NDAA, in a statement today.

“FedRAMP helps agencies adopt cost effective, secure, and nimble cloud technologies so agencies can serve the public anywhere at any time,” Rep. Connolly said. “I am grateful to Chairman Adam Smith for working with me to ensure this legislation had a place in the FY23 NDAA and to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of modernizing our federal IT systems, which are the backbone of any successful public policy.”

“Smart cybersecurity reforms and technology modernization are fundamental to the efficient, effective, and secure operation of the American government,” added Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

“The FedRAMP Authorization Act will ensure a consistent process for federal agencies to purchase cloud computing services that meet established federal cybersecurity standards,” Rep. Comer said. “The legislation will also provide better clarity for industry vendors providing modern technology solutions to the government.”

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the committee’s ranking member, have led the charge for the FedRAMP legislation in the Senate.

“Cloud-based systems are critical to the federal governments’ efforts to save taxpayer dollars and efficiently deliver services to the American people,” Sen. Peters said. “I was pleased to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation that will make it easier for agencies to quickly acquire cloud systems, while also ensuring these technologies – which store a tremendous amount of sensitive data – are safe and secure from cyber-attacks.” 

 “Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation builds on the successes of FedRAMP and improves it for the future,” said Sen. Portman. “Supply chain security experts have warned us about the weaknesses in FedRAMP that leave our cloud systems vulnerable to interference from countries like Russia and China, North Korea, Iran,” he said. “I am pleased this bill will increase transparency and monitoring of possible foreign influences in FedRAMP approved systems.” 

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.