Sen. Marco Rubio: Here’s what Congress should do to help small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (AP Photo)

American ingenuity has long been the cornerstone of the global economy. However, our nation’s position as a global economic leader is threatened by government overreach and foreign competition.

To keep our country competitive in the global economy, Congress must pass legislation that encourages American entrepreneurs to innovate, thrive and grow. This is because American ingenuity relies on innovation and risk borne by the American small business owner.

As the incoming chairman of the Senate Committee […] Read more

Congress Still Doesn’t Understand Cybersecurity – InsideSources

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif), author of the 21st-Century Integrated Digital Experience (IDEA) Act

It’s almost the end of the 2018 Congressional session, and despite efforts to address national security and cybersecurity issues with various bills and hearings, Congress still doesn’t know what it’s doing.

The clumsy, failed attempt to pass an election security bill, the recent passage of Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-Calif.) 21st Century IDEA Act and the House Oversight Committee’s report last week on the Equifax data breach are all examples of politicians still struggling to grasp the true impacts of the technology they’re attempting to regulate.

While Congress is finally aware […] Read more

Congress Releases Report on the Mega-Breach

Contributed by SecureWorld

Congress has issued the most detailed report yet on the Equifax data breach, and it is full of lessons for IT security teams.

The report is 96 pages long, and here are the top highlights.

5 key Equifax failures, according to Congress

Overall failure at cybersecurity: “Entirely preventable. Equifax failed to fully appreciate and mitigate its cybersecurity risks. Had the company taken action to address its observable security issues, the data breach could have been prevented.”
IT management failure: “Lack of accountability and management structure. Equifax failed to implement clear lines of authority within […] Read more

Lawyers in Equifax Data Breach Case Want Material Surrendered to Congress

Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is presiding over the case. (Photo: John Disney/ ALM)

Attorneys suing Atlanta-based credit bureau Equifax on behalf of consumers and financial institutions in a massive class action stemming from the firm’s 2017 data breach want documents and witness statements the company turned over to Congress.

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after a congressional committee released a 96-page report finding the breach was preventable, plaintiffs lawyers filed a motion asking for the materials that served as the basis for that report.

Plaintiffs counsel is seeking the […] Read more

Congress passes one-week flood insurance extension

WASHINGTON — Congress passed a one-week extension to the National Flood Insurance Program Thursday night to avoid a lapse in coverage, just a day before the program is set to expire.

Lawmakers have had to extend the program eight times since October 2017, as Congress has been unable to pass broader legislation to reform the program and extend it further.

The extension will keep the program in place until Dec. 7, at which point Congress must pass a resolution to continue funding the government or risk a shutdown. A longer extension could be incorporated in that resolution next week.

“I […] Read more

How To Help Gig Workers Qualify For A Mortgage (Without Waiting For Congress)

In August 2018, the Senate introduced a bipartisan bill that would help the self-employed and gig economy workers qualify for mortgage loans. The Senate wants to make it easier for these workers to receive mortgages by giving lenders the flexibility to review more documents during the underwriting process.

Obviously, it’s no secret this bill has some legs. The self-employed and gig economy workers have to navigate hurdles when seeking mortgage loans, and most of the obstacles deal with documentation. The self-employed don’t always have the same documents regarding their income, making it harder for them to prove to lenders why […] Read more

We Warn Congress: After Equifax, Firms Will Step Up Trojan Horse Efforts to Eliminate State Privacy Laws

Like clockwork, after any big data breach is disclosed, powerful special interests seek to turn the problem into a bigger problem for consumers by using it as an opportunity to enact some sort of narrow federal legislation that broadly eliminates state data breach notification, state data security and other privacy protections.  I testified yesterday in the House Financial Services Committee (link to full hearing archive and video transcript) warning of their efforts. I warned in particular of their Trojan Horse efforts to hide their broader plans. They don’t simply want to create a “uniform national breach law.” Inside that Trojan […] Read more

Congress votes to disallow consumers from suing Equifax and other companies with arbitration agreements

The Senate voted late Wednesday night to strike a federal rule that would have allowed consumers affected by the Equifax hack to sue the company. Without it, the millions affected by the historic security breach may be disallowed from related joining class action lawsuits. This specific rule, and only this rule, would be nullified if the joint resolution is signed by the President.

The vote was 50/50, with the tie-breaking aye cast by Vice President Pence.

The rule in question was entered into the Federal Register by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in July; it prevents financial companies that bind […] Read more

DAVID W. MYERS: Congress mulls tax ideas that could hurt homeowners and new buyers – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

There’s no formal legislation on Capitol Hill yet to overhaul our nation’s tax code, but some ideas that are floating about could hurt millions of property owners if the new measures are approved.

DEAR MR. MYERS: Is it true that Congress is planning to place a limit on the amount of tax deductions that homeowners can take for their mortgage interest payments? This would really hurt our family, because those write-offs are really the only thing that makes our home affordable!

ANSWER: There isn’t any formal tax-reform proposal in Congress — at least, not yet. But some ideas are floating about in […] Read more

IRS suspends $7.25 million Equifax contract after pressure from Congress

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are pictured in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Tami Chappell/Reuters

WASHINGTON — The IRS suspended a $7.25 million contract with the credit reporting company Equifax Friday after members of Congress complained the tax agency had awarded a no-bid contract to a company that recently had a massive data beach.

The IRS had contracted with Equifax to validate the identity of taxpayers communicating with the agency on the telephone or through its website.

In a statement Friday, the IRS said it suspended the contract as “a precautionary step” while the agency reviews the company’s security systems.

“During this […] Read more