Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter •  Volume 2, Number 11  • Summer 2006

CSIA Congressional Spotlight

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)


Born: Lynwood, Calif., January 7, 1960

Elected: 1996 (began 5th term in January 2004)

Committee Assignments: Committee on Homeland Security: Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection & Cybersecurity, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science & Technology, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing & Terrorism Risk Assessment; Joint Economic Committee. Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Defense Review Threat, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces;

Education: Chapman University, B.S. 1982 (Economics); American University, M.B.A. 1984 (Finance)

Career: Financial adviser; strategic management associate

Notable: Congresswoman Sanchez is a member of the Hispanic Caucus, the Blue Dog Democrats, the New Democratic Coalition, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She also is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues, the Older Americans Caucus, the Law Enforcement Caucus, and the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus. Ms. Sanchez and her sister, Linda, are the first sister duo ever to serve in Congress.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez represents the California 47th Congressional District of California, which encompasses the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and some of Fullerton in Orange County. She began her congressional career in November 1996, and is serving her fifth term in the House of Representatives.

Congresswoman Sanchez is the ranking woman of the House Armed Services Committee. Loretta was instrumental in requiring the Department of Defense to include the City of Palmdale, CA, when it investigates cost alternatives for Joint Strike Fighter production. She has served on the Terrorism Panel of this Committee, where she joined other Members to investigate intelligence progress and terrorist threats to the United States. As terrorism becomes more and more of a concern for Americans, Congresswoman Sanchez is actively participating in protecting members of the Armed Services stationed around that world and on our own soil, as well as the citizens of this nation.

Congresswoman Sanchez was selected by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve as the second-ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Congresswoman is the Ranking Member of the Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cyber Security Subcommittee which has primary jurisdiction over cyber security issues. The Committee provides oversight to the Department of Homeland Security to assure it is working effectively and quickly, and plays a central role in fighting the war on terrorism.

While serving on the Homeland Security Committee, Congresswoman Sanchez took a leave of absence from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which oversees education and labor issues. During her tenure on the Committee, she has protected parental involvement initiatives and successfully saved national gender equity in education program. She spearheaded efforts to promote school safety, including the well-being of children walking and bicycling to and from local schools in Orange County. She is also the author of legislation to facilitate tax-free bonds to encourage school construction across the country.


Cyber Security Leadership and Vision: Where are the Answers and Actions?

July 13, 2006 marked the one year anniversary of Secretary Michael Chertoff’s announcement of the creation of an Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security. My colleagues and I – along with many of you in the private sector – endorsed the move as an important step to provide real leadership on cyber security within the Department.


365 days after taking
the positive step of
announcing the creation of an
Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security
the Department has apparently
found itself stuck in the mud

All of us expected that the new Assistant Secretary would be able to martial both the resources and the authority to effectively direct public-private efforts to harden our nation’s IT and communications infrastructure against cyber attacks. But 365 days after taking a positive step forward, the Department has apparently found itself stuck in the mud. The office of the Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security stands just as empty today as it did last year. Given America’s dependence on networked infrastructure and technology, the federal government simply cannot afford this significant delay.

Unfortunately, leadership and vision is precisely what has been lacking in the Department’s efforts to secure cyberspace. In addition to the absence of an Assistant Secretary, the fact that the Department would enter into a two year contract with a contractor to serve as “Acting Director” of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) raises questions about the Department’s long term goals and vision in the area. Doing so seems to suggest that the Department is not planning long term solutions; it also raises questions about whether the Department can effectively communicate and coordinate with the private sector. I am pleased that the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity, of which I am Ranking Member will be holding hearings on the vision of the Department and the NCSD. Hopefully these hearings will provide answers to these critical issues.

Cuts in funding for the
National Cyber Security Division
represent a dangerous trend
for our country’s efforts in
achieving security
of cyberspace.


In addition to long term strategic planning, investment in science and technology research and development is necessary to achieve a high level of security on our networks.

Unfortunately, I fear that budget cuts in the House and Senate will frustrate those vital efforts. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently recommended a $4.7 million cut from the President’s Science and Technology Directorate’s cyber security budget. This decrease, coupled with both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ cuts in funding for the NCSD ($200,000 and $9.95 million, respectively), represents a dangerous trend for our country’s efforts in achieving security of cyberspace.

With the support of Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee, I have offered several amendments that would have increased the cyber security research and development budget within the S&T Directorate to $50 million. Unfortunately, each of those efforts has been defeated along party lines. In spite of these setbacks, I, along with my colleagues, will continue to raise these important issues before our Committee.

We need to take more steps towards securing our cyber infrastructure and I am committed to working across party lines to make that happen.