Senate to Debate Cybersecurity Bill Next WeekBy Josh Smith | Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 3:07 p.m.
The Senate voted on Thursday to move ahead on a bill designed to boost cybersecurity, setting the stage for debate next week.
Senate leaders spent Thursday gathering support for the motion to proceed on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Some Republicans, like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had said the Senate should not consider the cybersecurity legislation until more disagreements were worked out.
In the end, however, compromise language introduced by the bill's sponsors last week appears to have won over enough support to for an 84-11 vote to move forward with debate.
On Thursday, Republican sponsors of a competing bill, the Secure IT Act, promised to offer an amendment next week with their bill as a substitute. They say the current Cybersecurity Act could lead to government regulation of some critical networks in the private sector.
Some Senate Democrats also promised to offer amendments when the bill comes up next week. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., praised the revised Cybersecurity Act but said they plan to offer amendments to boost privacy, including a proposal by Blumenthal to require companies to tell consumers when their information is stolen.
The White House on Thursday formally endorsed the Cybersecurity Act, saying it will strengthen efforts to secure American networks against cyberattacks.