Cybersecurity Act Stalled Again

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is “disappointed” that the Senate failed to advance the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, according to a Nov. 14 statement from Pentagon press secretary George Little. Despite bipartisan efforts to craft the legislation, the measure continues to face obstacles—it was the subject of a filibuster in July; it failed to advance during an August floor vote; and it failed again Wednesday in another floor vote (51-47) that was again short of the 60 votes necessary to finally end debate. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly said after the Wednesday vote, “Cybersecurity is dead for this Congress.” However, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.), said Thursday that he expects to see the measure resurface in December after floor debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, reports The Hill. Defense Secretary Panetta has warned of the potential for a “cyber Pearl Harbor” and believes this new cybersecurity legislation is needed to support greater investments in cybersecurity measures. (CRS summary and status for S.3414)