Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, a long-time champion of Federal IT legislation and oversight, announced August 1 that he will not be running for reelection in 2020, and instead will pursue opportunities in the private sector “at the nexus between technology and national security.”

Hurd, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IT Subcommittee from 2015 to 2019, has played a large role in Federal IT legislation, in recent years, including serving as the primary sponsor on the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act. Hurd also was active in many other bills, such as the Federal CIO Authorization Act, the 21st Century IDEA Act, and the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, among others.

In his statement on Thursday, Hurd said he is proud of his work on IT issues, noting that “It was never about the size nor difficulty nor sexiness of the problem; It was about making a difference.”

Hurd’s work on IT extends beyond legislation as well. As a member of Congress, Hurd he has used his bully pulpit to push the Office of Management and Budget to update contractor cybersecurity guidance, release a paper to encourage more Federal engagement with artificial intelligence, and launch a computer science initiative in his home state.

After Hurd left the House Oversight and Reform Committee during the 116th Session of Congress, his influence on Federal technology issues has endured. Hurd has used his new position on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies to push the Department of Veterans Affairs on its $10 billion Electronic Health Record Modernization effort. And Hurd has remained involved in the development of the FITARA Scorecard, as Kevin Walsh, FITARA executive at the Government Accountability Office, noted during a July 31 event.

“I will keep fighting to ensure the country I love excels during what will be a time of unprecedented technological change. I will keep fighting to make certain we successfully meet these generational challenges head on,” said Hurd.

With 17 months to go until Hurd leaves Capitol Hill, his term and ability to influence policy is far from over. The Federal CIO Authorization Act and IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act have yet to be passed, as Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill. noted in her response to the news.

“Thank you @HurdOnTheHill for your friendship, leadership & partnership. Together, we’ve passed revolutionary, bipartisan bills that will spur innovation, protect critical systems and save money – and we’re not done yet,” tweeted Kelly.

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MeriTalk Staff