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Resources for Startups
Posted by on August 13, 2015
What the Department of Commerce Can Do For Your Startup

Congressman Don Beyer, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt S. Erskine, visited 1776 this afternoon for a roundtable and walkthrough at the incubator and venture fund’s recently opened Crystal City location.

Beyer, Deputy Secretary Andrews, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Erskine engaged with small business and tech leaders to highlight federal resources available to startups and the business community; from offering grants, facilitating the patent process and incentivizing collaborative research and development, to inspiring young entrepreneurs at home and abroad, and fostering strong relationships between established corporations and start-ups. This event, a part of Start-Up Day Across America, was also a follow up to the Department's recent Open for Innovation event, held in conjunction with the White House's first Demo Day, during which a number of exciting commitments to inclusive innovation were announced.

The Department’s following programs help create the conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive by promoting and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship:

1. In 2014, National Institute of Standards and Technology released the first version of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.  The Framework, created through collaboration between industry and government, consists of standards, guidelines, and practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure.

2. Minority Business Development Agency serves to provide access to all demographics and drive inclusive innovation. The MBDA ensures minority entrepreneurs have access to capital, contracts, and markets.

3. The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides the patents that protect the great ideas of innovative thinkers.  This year USPTO issued its 9 millionth patent. USPTO has also opened new offices in Detroit, Dallas, Denver and Silicon Valley to provide better access to entrepreneurs.

4. Startup Global empowers early-stage companies to think globally and understand how to export their products.  This includes technical assistance and the basics of exporting goods and services abroad.

5. In their first year, The National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship members drafted a set of recommendations for how DOC and the Administration can expand their work to support regional innovation and entrepreneurship. This includes:
i.      Standardizing labor market data;
ii.      Creating and implementing a Community Playbook for regional innovation;
iii.      Exploring ways to incentivize companies to conduct more collaborative R&D in the U.S.

6. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants.  Each regional economy has the opportunity to grow and build its innovation capacity and provide the tools and resources that inventors, entrepreneurs, research universities, and other stakeholders need to commercialize their discoveries. This funds cluster grants for capital funds and science/research parks.

7. Commerce launched the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The goal is for the Federal Government to support local economic development. Twelve manufacturing communities have already been selected.

To learn more about the ways the Commerce Department can help make it easier and more efficient for entrepreneurs to build and grow their own companies, click here.
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Information for Federal Employees
Posted by on June 8, 2015
It is shocking to hear that our dedicated public servants had their personal financial information exposed in a breach of the Office of Personnel Management. Our federal workforce keeps the country running; their personal information should be treated with the utmost importance and security. We must and we will do better, and I will work closely with OPM and others to ensure that improvements are rapid and deep. My office is ready to help the 77,000 federal employees in the 8th District navigate this process.

Information from Office of Personnel Management

Since the end of 2013, OPM has undertaken an aggressive effort to upgrade the agency’s cybersecurity posture, adding numerous tools and capabilities to its various legacy networks.  As a direct result of these steps, OPM was able to identify two separate but related cybersecurity incidents on its systems. 

Today, OPM announced the results of the interagency forensic investigation into the second incident.  As previously announced, in late-May 2015, as a result of ongoing efforts to secure its systems, OPM discovered an incident affecting background investigation records of current, former, and prospective Federal employees and contractors.  Following the conclusion of the forensics investigation, OPM has determined that the types of information in these records include identification details such as Social Security Numbers; residency and educational history; employment history; information about immediate family and other personal and business acquaintances; health, criminal and financial history; and other details.  Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and fingerprints.  Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen. 

While background investigation records do contain some information regarding mental health and financial history provided by those that have applied for a security clearance and by individuals contacted during the background investigation, there is no evidence that separate systems that store information regarding the health, financial, payroll and retirement records of Federal personnel were impacted by this incident (for example, annuity rolls, retirement records, USA JOBS, Employee Express).

This incident is separate but related to a previous incident, discovered in April 2015, affecting personnel data for current and former Federal employees.  OPM and its interagency partners concluded with a high degree of confidence that personnel data for 4.2 million individuals had been stolen.  This number has not changed since it was announced by OPM in early June, and OPM has worked to notify all of these individuals and ensure that they are provided with the appropriate support and tools to protect their personal information.

Analysis of background investigation incident.  Since learning of the incident affecting background investigation records, OPM and the interagency incident response team have moved swiftly and thoroughly to assess the breach, analyze what data may have been stolen, and identify those individuals who may be affected.  The team has now concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases.  This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, predominantly spouses or co-habitants of applicants.  As noted above, some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 1.1 million include fingerprints.  There is no information at this time to suggest any misuse or further dissemination of the information that was stolen from OPM’s systems.

If an individual underwent a background investigation through OPM in 2000 or afterwards (which occurs through the submission of forms SF 86, SF 85, or SF 85P for a new investigation or periodic reinvestigation), it is highly likely that the individual is impacted by this cyber breach. If an individual underwent a background investigation prior to 2000, that individual still may be impacted, but it is less likely.

Assistance for impacted individuals.  OPM is also announcing the steps it is taking to protect those impacted:

  1. Providing a comprehensive suite of monitoring and protection services for background investigation applicants and non-applicants whose Social Security Numbers, and in many cases other sensitive information, were stolen – For the 21.5 million background investigation applicants, spouses or co-habitants with Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information that was stolen from OPM databases, OPM and the Department of Defense (DOD) will work with a private-sector firm specializing in credit and identity theft monitoring to provide services such as:
    • Full service identity restoration support and victim recovery assistance
    • Identity theft insurance
    • Identity monitoring for minor children
    • Continuous credit monitoring
    • Fraud monitoring services beyond credit files

The protections in this suite of services are tailored to address potential risks created by this particular incident, and will be provided for a period of at least 3 years, at no charge. 

In the coming weeks, OPM will begin to send notification packages to these individuals, which will provide details on the incident and information on how to access these services.  OPM will also provide educational materials and guidance to help them prevent identity theft, better secure their personal and work-related data, and become more generally informed about cyber threats and other risks presented by malicious actors.     

  1. Helping other individuals who had other information included on background investigation forms – Beyond background investigation applicants and their spouses or co-habitants described above, there are other individuals whose name, address, date of birth, or other similar information may have been listed on a background investigation form, but whose Social Security Numbers are not included.  These individuals could include immediate family members or other close contacts of the applicant.  In many cases, the information about these individuals is the same as information generally available in public forums, such as online directories or social media, and therefore the compromise of this information generally does not present the same level of risk of identity theft or other issues.

The notification package that will be sent to background investigation applicants will include detailed information that the applicant can provide to individuals he or she may have listed on a background investigation form.  This information will explain the types of data that may have been included on the form, best practices they can exercise to protect themselves, and the resources publicly available to address questions or concerns.

  1. Establishing an online cybersecurity incident resource center – Today, OPM launched a new, online incident resource center - located at https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity - to offer information regarding the OPM incidents as well as direct individuals to materials, training, and useful information on best practices to secure data, protect against identity theft, and stay safe online.  This resource site will be regularly updated with the most recent information about both the personnel records and background investigation incidents, responses to frequently asked questions, and tools that can help guard against emerging cyber threats.
  2. Establishing a call center to respond to questions – In the coming weeks, a call center will be opened to respond to questions and provide more information.  In the interim, individuals are encouraged to visit https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity.  Individuals will not be able to receive personalized information until notifications begin and the call center is opened.  OPM recognizes that it is important to be able to provide individual assistance to those that reach out with questions, and will work with its partners to establish this call center as quickly as possible.
  3. Protecting all Federal employees – In the coming months, the Administration will work with Federal employee representatives and other stakeholders to develop a proposal for the types of credit and identity theft monitoring services that should be provided to all Federal employees in the future – regardless of whether they have been affected by this incident – to ensure their personal information is always protected.

Continuing to strengthen OPM cybersecurity.  OPM continues to take aggressive action to strengthen its broader cyber defenses and information technology (IT) systems, in partnership with experts from DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and its other interagency partners.  As outlined in its recent Cybersecurity Action Report, in June, OPM identified 15 new steps to improve security, leverage outside expertise, modernize its systems, and ensure internal accountability in its cyber practices.  This includes completing deployment of two-factor Strong Authentication for all users, expanding continuous monitoring of its systems, and hiring a new cybersecurity advisor. 

Director Archuleta has initiated a comprehensive review of the architectural design of OPM’s IT systems, to identify and immediately mitigate any other vulnerabilities that may exist, and assess OPM’s data sharing and use policies.  That review is ongoing.  In addition, OPM will also continue to participate in a Federal Government-wide 30-day cybersecurity sprint, whereby immediate steps are being taken to further protect information and assets and improve the resilience of Federal networks, and will participate in a 90-day interagency review of key questions related to information security, governance, policy, and other aspects of this the security and suitability determination process, to ensure that it is conducted in the most efficient, effective and secure manner possible.

Director Archuleta and the entire Office of Personnel Management are committed to protecting the safety and security of the information of Federal employees and contractors.  OPM is also committed to helping those that have been impacted by this incident, safeguarding its systems and data, and fulfilling its mission to serve Federal workers.


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Amendment to HR 1806
Posted by on May 21, 2015
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier​ and I introduced an amendment to HR 1806, which tried to keep "the reduction of greenhouse gasses" as one of the many goals of ARPA-E research. Somehow House Republicans interpereted this as limiting the range of possible research. Nonsense. But, we lost, 232 to 190. 

Thanks to Eddie Bernice Johnson​ for supporting this amendment. 

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Happy Bike to Work Day!
Posted by on May 15, 2015
Beautiful day for a ride to work - and I'm not even tire-ed!
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Fairfax County Search and Rescue Team Safe After Another Earthquake Hits Nepal
Posted by on May 13, 2015
Proud to know that our local first responders are doing such incredible work for those suffering in Nepal. 


 Thank you for this story, NBC4
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Protect the Gray Wolf!
Posted by Tia Shuyler on April 10, 2015
I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about something that over 2,000 of my constituents have written to me about: the possible de-listing of the Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species Act.

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May 12th Small Business Procurement Conference
Posted by Krysta Jones on April 1, 2015

please join us for a
Small Business Procurement Conference 
Hosted by Congressman Don Beyer

In Collaboration with George Mason University’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program

from May 12, 2013 8:00 am
to May 14, 2013 12:30 pm

at George Mason University's Arlington Campus
Founder’s Hall
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA

This year’s conference will provide guidance to small businesses looking to team with the federal government. The conference focuses on building the skills needed to procure contracts, opportunities to meet prime contractors and agency reps, networking, and government and economic updates. Specifically, our agenda includes remarks from the Congressman, Capitol Hill/agency staff, regional economists and the Small Business Administration on the future of small business procurement in Northern Virginia.  We will also have a “pitch competition” where potential subprimes will present their proposals to primes.

To register for this event, please click here to sign up.

For more information please contact Krysta Jones, Director of Outreach,
Krysta.Jones@mail.house.gov or 703-658-5403.

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Did You Know?
Posted by on March 16, 2015
Learn more about Virginia's 8th District!
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