(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) announced today that she has joined the Congressional Internet Caucus and is also serving on a new Committee Defense Review panel. Both will focus on growing our technology industry and strengthening our national security.
“Eastern Washington is earning a reputation for the amazing cutting edge work of its high-tech companies and technology is a growing driver in our region’s economy,” said McMorris. “Spokane has been nationally recognized for its wireless networks, Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville was recently named as one of the 100 Most Wired Hospitals in the nation, and our local tech companies are creating innovative products to improve our quality of life. We are also currently working to secure broadband for our rural areas. This technology is helping create jobs and enabling people to work smarter and more efficiently”
The Internet Caucus was founded in 1996 as a bipartisan group and currently has over 170 members from both the House and Senate. Members of the caucus support the goals of promoting the growth and advancement of the Internet; promoting commerce and the free flow of information on the Internet; and advancing the United States’ leadership in the digital world.
The Committee Defense Review is a bipartisan effort by the House Armed Services Committee, of which McMorris is a member, to review national security threats and the military capabilities required to address those threats. McMorris will be serving on one of six panels, responsible for reviewing Asymmetric and Unconventional Threats. Specifically this panel will look at threats to U.S. information superiority and security, threats to U.S. space dominance, threats to U.S. critical infrastructure, and weapons of mass destruction.
“It is critical that we begin identifying potential threats in order to strengthen our national security. As we become increasingly dependent on a digital infrastructure, we must be prepared to respond to new types of cyber threats in the form of viruses, spy ware, phishing, and hacking. Another important element of our national security is making sure our armed forces have the latest and most advanced technological equipment. This is why I am working to secure new KC 135 refueling tankers at Fairchild Air Force Base.”
Eastern Washington has a growing technology base focused on the defense industry. General Dynamics has acquired Itronix who is working on new methods to make computers more durable and enable them with a variety of wireless and positioning technologies. Isotherm Systems Research (ISR) has developed a new alternative coolant fluid that will lead to increased performance of systems. Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) is looking to introduce the use of Electronic Medical Records into the military.
In May, McMorris was named to the Speaker’s High-Tech Working Group, whose priorities include encouraging broadband development and deployment, making the R&D tax credit permanent, keeping the Internet free of new taxes and regulations, and supporting efforts to use technology to improve our health care system.