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Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Joe Wilson Present Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act””

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Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and Joe Wilson, R-S.C., have introduced a bill to better protect small defense manufacturers from cyber threats. The legislation, known as the "Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act" would authorize awarding grants to partnership centers that provide cybersecurity services to these businesses, Panetta's office said Thursday.

These manufacturing extension partnership centers may use the grants to assess and implement cybersecurity, secure needed talent and promote the compliance of manufacturers with standards imposed by the Department of Defense (DoD). The bill aims to bolster the cybersecurity of manufacturers involved in the defense industry's supply chain.

"MEP Centers, public-private partnerships located in all 50 states, are uniquely positioned to assist small businesses with cybersecurity requirements and have worked closely with the Pentagon to bolster defense supply chain resiliency,” Panetta said. 

The bipartisan bill's other co-sponsors include Reps. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., and Salud Carbajal D-Calif.