Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Andrew R. Garbarino, R-N.Y., voiced in a Nov. 2 letter to President Biden their “immense concern” that the administration has yet to release a plan for continuation of the U.S. economy following a crippling cyberattack.

Development of a Continuity of the Economy (COTE) plan by the administration is required under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 within two years.

The Biden administration faces a deadline of Jan. 1, 2023, to create the COTE plan.

The plan ordered by Congress should address how to “maintain and restore” the U.S. economy in response to “an event that causes severe degradation to economic activity in the United States due to a cyberattack or another significant event that is natural or human caused.”

“As the Great Power Competition with Russia and China continues to unfold on the world stage, the United States faces cyber threats across all sectors of our economy from adversarial nations who seek to sow discord within the Homeland and reduce our ability to flow forces and project power,” said Rep. Gallagher and Rep. Garbarino, who is ranking member of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation.

“Given this reality, it is unfathomable that since you received the requirement to develop a COTE plan in January 2021, there appears to be little to no progress on the implementation of this authority,” the House members asserted. They did not shed light on how they are gauging the administration’s progress to date.

They noted that Congress approved $200,000 for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to work up the plan.

“With threats against the United States from our foreign adversaries on the rise, we cannot afford to be caught unprepared,” Rep. Garbarino said. “The development of the COTE plan is a national security imperative, and it is therefore essential that the Administration address this matter with all urgency for the safety, security, and prosperity of the United States economy and American way of life.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.