Pushed forward by House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the bills were both introduced last week by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, and the House Committee on Homeland Security.
The goal of this two-part legislation is to make it easier for more companies, particularly U.S. cybersecurity startups, to do business with federal agencies — thereby encouraging the acquisition of innovative technologies in the public sector.
This legislation is part of a broader Innovation Initiative championed by McCarthy — who has close ties to his home state’s vibrant tech industry — and fellow Republican Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.
The Innovation Initiative — which focuses on IT- and innovation-related laws — is made of 17 pending bills, most recently Ratcliffe’s pair of proposed tech-acquisition laws.
Some of the initiative’s other bills are the Fostering Innovation Act, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups Act, or HALOS Act, which passed in April.
Innovation Initiative-backed legislation is designed to garner bipartisan support, explained a McCarthy spokesperson. “These are bills that have both a real chance at making a difference and surviving the Senate.”
Reflecting on the aim of the HALOS act, the House Majority Leader told FedScoop, “the act gives new companies an opportunity to identify and interact with potential investors – thus opening the door for the next great idea to get the initial funding it needs to get up and running.”
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