Reps. Connolly, Issa establish IT modernization caucus

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Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. and Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have established a bipartisan IT modernization caucus in the House.

The new group is intended to bring together federal policymakers and private enterprises who have joint interests in working to help modernize government IT systems and will serve as an informal discussion group.

In a statement, Connolly said: “The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the consequence of this inaction from the Small Business Administrations’ loan processing system crashing multiple times to the state of Connecticut website not handling more than 8,300 unemployment applications.”

He added: “It has become abundantly clear that to generate the necessary resilience against future crises effectively, governments at all levels must fully embrace cutting-edge technology and data analytics.”

Commenting on the formation of the group, Issa said: “Our nation should not be satisfied only with a leading position in global IT modernization. America must instead commit to the pinnacle of invention, innovation, and discovery. This is the best way to meet and exceed competition from China and safeguard our technological independence. This bipartisan caucus has a key role to play.”

Connolly and Issa are long-time supporters of IT modernization efforts across the federal government and are the co-authors of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.

Earlier this month, Connolly along with Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., sent letters to five federal agencies requesting a status update on their work to comply with the 2019 CASES Act.

Earlier in his career, before winning a seat in Congress, Connolly was a vice president at scientific research non-profit SRI International, also held a senior post at federal contractor SAIC. Over the course of his business career before entering Congress, Issa ran multiple consumer electronics businesses.

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COVID-19, Darrell Issa, Gerry Connolly, IT Modernization