Senate Republicans have derailed the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 bill, according to Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and co-chair of the bipartisan CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency.
Langevin says the Senate has failed to address one of the greatest security risks facing Americans.
Senior security officials have been warning that America could experience major economic and physical damage if the known vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure networks are not addressed.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 could have addressed the issues, Langevin said, before releasing the statement below, reacting to the Senate’s inability to advance the bill.
Langevin’s press release says republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are to blame for the failure of the bill:
“Despite a bipartisan attempt to reach an accommodation, the Senate’s efforts to improve our cybersecurity were derailed today by the obstruction of a group of Republican members, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Congress has now again failed to address one of the greatest security risks facing the American people.
Langevin points out that the number of cyberattacks is increasing, as reported by the NSA. He notes that critical infrastructure is under threat.
“Just a week after the head of the National Security Agency reported a 17-fold increase in cyber attacks against our most vital and valuable industries, it is inexplicable that some of my colleagues still have not gotten the message about the threats to critical infrastructure.
Langevin says the companies that run the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as power companies, have known about the vulnerabilities of their systems for years, yet they have done nothing to secure them.
“We have been warned repeatedly by our most senior and respected security officials that the country could experience major economic and physical damage if we do not address the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure networks. Opponents of legislation would have us believe that industry will act voluntarily to secure infrastructure, but the facts say otherwise. For years, the owners of our key infrastructure have had the opportunity to act, but far too many have proven unwilling to bear the costs, preferring to take the chance that they won’t be the ones that get hit.
Finally, Langevin called on Senators to come together, to pass the bill. He named Senators who tried to help get the bill passed,Finally, Langevin called on Senators to come together, to pass the bill. He named Senators Whitehouse, Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, Feinstein. Whitehouse, Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, Feinstein.
“I want to commend the Senators who made a tremendous effort to bring the parties together and find a compromise, particularly my fellow Rhode Islander, Senator Whitehouse, who understands the challenges we face in cyberspace and the pressing need for action, as well as Senators Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, Feinstein and others. They showed remarkable leadership and did everything they could to reach a compromise. Unfortunately, it appears their opponents would rather wait for disaster to strike before they act. While this is an incredibly disappointing development, I will continue to advocate for the enactment of the strongest possible cyber protections for the American people.”