U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) thinks that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell\u2019s weakening opposition to gun legislation bodes well for the prospects of passing an election security bill. Several election security measures have stalled in Congress since the 2016 presidential election because McConnell has refused to take them up on the Senate side.\u201cI know that public sentiment has shifted on the gun issue so that Mitch McConnell is now willing to consider background checks on guns and red flag laws,\u201d Lieu tells CSO Online. \u201cThat wasn\u2019t something he had been saying a few weeks ago. So, you never know when something can happen that will shift public sentiment in such a way that will force him to take up a vote for election security.\u201dLieu also called for continued exposure by the hacking community on the weaknesses in the nation\u2019s election security infrastructure. One day after a bombshell report by cybersecurity researchers that nearly three dozen state election systems are exposed to hacking on the internet, Lieu says \u201cI think continual pressure from communities, especially the hacking community, that shows how these machines can be hacked will be helpful in getting an election security bill signed into law because it really drives home the issue that we really have weakness in our voting capability.\u201dLieu\u2019s comments came after a panel here at DEF CON on \u201chacking\u201d the Congress. Jane Harman, former member of Congress and current president of The Wilson Center, kicked off the panel noting how difficult it is for most politicians to grasp digital technology problems. \u201cPolitics is an analog world and the problems politicians confront are digital,\u201d she said. \u201cA whole bunch of folks in Congress are still using flip phones.\u201dHarman painted a hypothetical, catastrophic scenario of a destructive cyber event and asked the two sitting members of Congress on the panel how they would react as Members of Congress. Representative James Langevin (D-RI) said that \u201cwe would hope the right processes are in place to have a whole of government response to a cyber incident.\u201dLangevin cited the 2016 election as a model when the U.S. was totally caught off guard regarding the degree to which Russia interfered in the U.S. elections. \u201cWe were not caught up in 2018. We were much better protected in 2018 but not perfect. It\u2019s a work in progress.\u201dLieu said that Congress is not prepared for a cyber incident. \u201cWhen a crisis hits, it\u2019s generally too late for Congress to act. We are not the executive branch. We don\u2019t take immediate action. We pass laws, none of which are speedy,\u201d he said.\u201cWhat we can do is try to set up conditions and put in laws that can mitigate any future crisis,\u201d Lieu said. That\u2019s why Lieu and Langevin co-authored a bill to establish a White House cybersecurity czar. \u201cIf you look at how we do cybersecurity in the federal government, it\u2019s pretty messed up\u201d with multiple government agencies and offices involved in dealing with cybersecurity incidents. \u201cIf we centralize a single plan, it will make things easier.\u201dLieu noted that 20 years ago fellow panelist IBM X-Force Red Team Director Cris Thomas, also known as Space Rogue, testified before Congress on how weak cybersecurity was in 1998. \u201cTwenty years later we\u2019re still there.\u201dThomas said that cybersecurity in DC isn\u2019t really taken as a priority but \u201cthe current congresspeople I see want to be knowledgeable. It\u2019s up to us as a community to engage with those people\u2026to educate them,\u201d he said.Despite the knowledge gap between Congress and the cybersecurity community, Thomas, like fellow panelist Rapid7\u2019s Jen Ellis, is optimistic the divide can be bridged. \u201cI\u2019m also optimistic\u2026not only because we have the congressmen here but also because of the number of you who come out to hear them.\u201dThe important role of the hacking community in helping to achieve that goal was emphasized by all the panelists. \u201cIf you take away nothing, you can get involved and have an impact,\u201d Langevin said.\u201cI want you to understand your power to shape public sentiment. Just letting the public know, letting the press know puts pressure on your senator,\u201d Lieu said.