Senate Republicans Block Cybersecurity (Spying On Americans) Bill, President Expected To Once Again Go Around Congress.

Posted on August 5, 2012

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Any bet that the only reason they did this was because it’s an election year?

Washington D.C. (The Gaslamp Post) – Well America, it’s official; the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is dead and floating.  Senate Republicans bound together last week and prevented the legislation from passing.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), reportedly received only 52 votes, falling shot of the 60 needed to pass the Senate.

Senators Joe Lieberman(I-CT) left and Susan Collins(R-ME) right. Image ABC News

The White House has indicated that even though the Legislative branch has struck it down, the president may enact it anyway, through executive edict.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) lead the charge against the bill, citing that it was nothing more than unnecessary and ineffective regulations that were being imposed on businesses.

(A) require each owner—

(i) to certify, on an annual basis, in writing to the Secretary and the head of

the Federal agency with responsibilities for regulating the security of the

covered critical infrastructure whether the owner has developed and

effectively implemented security measures sufficient to satisfy the

risk-based security performance requirements established under section 104.

S.2105 Sec.105(c)(1)(A)(1)

And what good are laws if there aren’t any penalties for failing to comply?

(B) provide for civil penalties for any person who—

(i) violates this section; and

(ii) fails to remediate such violation in an appropriate timeframe; and

(C) do not confer upon any person, except the Federal agency with responsibilities

for regulating the security of the covered critical infrastructure and the Secretary,

a right of action against an owner or operator to enforce any provision of this section.

S.2105 Sec.105(c)(1)(B) and (C)

After accusing the Senate Republicans of intentionally stalling the legislation, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to inquiries  in an email by saying:

“In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed.

Moving forward, the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that.”

Coming as no surprise, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), one of the bill’s co-sponsors said that she was open to presidential intervention if congress “fails to act.”

“I suppose if we can’t, the answer would be yes,” she said when asked whether she would support an executive order.

Of course you do madame, of course you do…

(h/t:  The Hill)