Cybersecurity bill to make return appearance in Senate
WASHINGTON — A cybersecurity bill backed by President Obama is headed back to the Senate floor after being blocked in August by Senate Republicans who said it would lead to more government regulation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said on Monday he wants the Senate to vote on the legislation by Thanksgiving. The move was issued as Obama's administration considers going around Congress with an executive order to implement elements of the bill.
“The president of the United States believes the cybersecurity bill is one of the most important things facing this country now — not the next Congress, now,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “We're not going to stall around on this.”
The legislation, introduced in February by Senator Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would create a system of voluntary cybersecurity standards for companies that operate infrastructure such as power grids and chemical plants considered essential to national security. The bill would encourage companies and the government to share information on cyber threats.
Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce opposed the voluntary standards, saying they would be a back door to government regulation and fail to keep pace with evolving threats in cyberspace.
Reid, calling the chamber “an arm of the Republican Party,” said Republicans have been following the lead of the nation's largest business lobby in opposing the proposal designed to fight the threat of computer attacks.
Lieberman, who leads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in an interview gave his bill less than a 50-50 chance of succeeding in the post-election lame-duck session of Congress. Lieberman, who is retiring this year, has urged the president to act if Congress doesn't.
Since the Lieberman-Collins bill stalled in August, administration officials have continued to talk about cyber threats capable of causing widespread harm. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a speech in New York last month said computer assaults by other countries or extremist groups could be as destructive as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Senate Republicans including John McCain of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas have criticized the White House plans for an executive order and urged more limited legislation to encourage cyber threat information-sharing, along the lines of a bill they introduced in March.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in April passed a similar information-sharing measure, sponsored by Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who leads the House Intelligence Committee, and the panel's top Democrat, C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies after jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut by Pirates
- Fox Chapel softball team off to hot start
- Reversing the field: Pirates continue to raid Yankees for hidden skill
- Foreign clergy mitigate shortage of priests in Diocese of Greensburg
- Five is enough for Penguins’ defensemen
- Jeannette hockey player earns academic award
- Beaver County school bus driver charged with the sexual assault of student
- Sewickley Herald woman of year impacted many through leadership roles
- Former Pa. Gov. Corbett: From pension critic to collector