Responding to a speech from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this weekend he would bring cybersecurity legislation for a vote when lawmakers return in November.
Reid dinged Republicans in a statement announcing his plans and also suggested that President Obama use an executive order to address the issue.
"Cybersecurity is an issue that should be handled by Congress, but with Republicans engaging in Tea Paty-motivated obstruction, I believe that President Obama is right to examine all means at his disposal for confronting this urgent national security threat," Reid said.
Republican critics of the bill argue that parts of the legislation could create regulations on private networks, burdening businesses.
In September, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing a White House threat to issue an executive order over the issue.
Reid cast the stakes of not passing the measure as a dire national security issue.
"A cyber attack could cripple our economy and infrastructure, sow chaos and cost lives. Secretary Panetta's warnings are consistent with the message that the national security community has been delivering to the Senate for months," he said.
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