The Senate shot down another attempt to shore up the nation’s cyber defenses legislatively this week.
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and others insisted that the bill included important information sharing provisions that went beyond what the Obama administration could do through executive order that is likely to move in the bill’s absence.
A co-sponsor of the legislation, Collins was disappointed by the bill’s defeat. “In all my years on the Homeland Security Committee, I cannot think of another issue where the vulnerability is greater and we’ve done less,” she said.
Republicans had voted against the measure in August and held firm on the Nov. 14 vote. The Chamber of Commerce was a leading opponent of the bill, arguing its regulations would tie the hands of businesses.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce , Science and Transportation Committee and another bill co-sponsor, said he had individually polled 500 CEOs, suggesting that those business leaders supported his legislation even though the U.S. Chamber continued to oppose it.
And although Rockefeller says there might be hope for revisiting the measure in the next Congress, he was pessimistic about its future prospects. “Every time something fails there is less hope for the next time,” Rockefeller says.