The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted today to advance the Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act of 2021, sending the bill to the full Senate for consideration.

The Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act of 2021, introduced by committee Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., would codify the General Service Administration’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and ensure that Federal agencies can quickly and securely adopt cloud technologies.

The committee pulled the bill from a previous markup session “to better understand and improve the bill,” Ranking Member Rob Portman, R-Ohio, pointed out.

Additionally, the committee held a roundtable session on Nov. 30 to hear recommendations and suggestions for the bill from Federal officials and industry experts.

“I’m glad we took the time to get this legislation right,” Sen. Portman said. “The roundtable highlighted the need for reforms to address weaknesses in FedRAMP that leave the program vulnerable otherwise to foreign-backed hackers from countries like China and Russia. I believe our substitute amendment is a good step forward toward addressing those issues and improving the security of cloud systems in the Federal government generally.”

In addition to supporting the modified substitute amendment and the underlying bill, the committee also approved by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga.

Sen. Ossoff said his amendment “adds visibility for Congress through additional reporting with respect to supply chain risks and threats to the Federal cloud posed by hackers and foreign intelligence services.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.