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Photo: Axios

Congress needs to move swiftly to respond to ransomware attacks, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said at an Axios virtual event on Thursday.

Why it matters: Cyberattacks have plagued critical companies recently, stopping a fifth of beef production in the United States and compromising a major oil pipeline, among others.

  • Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, reiterated the importance of bipartisan legislation he is working on that would require companies to report their cyber vulnerabilities to the government.

What he's saying: Asked about the government's response to recent ransomware attacks, Warner said, "[T]he Biden administration has moved aggressively, but they can only do a certain amount of things. Congress needs to act."

  • "[W]e need to put this mandatory reporting bill in place," Warner added. "I've been saying for years, we have underestimated our cybersecurity vulnerabilities."
  • "My fear is cyber is moving from more and more sophistication. It's moving from simply exfiltrating information to potentially extraordinarily destructive actions. And we need to up our game."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Senate Dems vow to investigate "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez. Photo: Office of Sen. Bob Menendez

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday he would hold hearings into the "flawed" U.S. troop withdrawal of Afghanistan.

Driving the news: Menendez, who blamed both the Biden and Trump administrations for the crisis unfolding in the Taliban-controlled country, is one of three top Democrats who head Senate committees who've vowed to investigate the Afghanistan crisis.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.