OK, thus much for the spirit of bipartisanship and negotiation — according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) the Senate of the United States of America has been working on a cyber-security bill, the rationale for which ought to be reasonably clear to anyone who’s ever Googled anything. Or, put in nicer, fancier terms:
“National security experts say there is no issue facing this nation more pressing than the threat of a cyber attack on our critical infrastructure. Terrorists bent on harming the United States could all too easily devastate our power grid, our banking system or our nuclear plants. A bipartisan group of Senators has worked for three years to craft this legislation. Yet Republicans filibustered this worthy measure in July.” (Reid 11/14/12)
Surely this should have been something about which at least a modicum of agreement might have been secured? The Senate Majority thought so:
“It’s imperative that Democrats and Republicans work together to address what national security experts have called “the most serious challenge to our national security since the onset of the nuclear age sixty years ago.”I found it encouraging when a number of my Republican colleagues – Senators McCain of Arizona, Chambliss of Georgia, Hutchison of Texas, Kyl of Arizona, Coats of Indiana and Blunt of Missouri – recently wrote President Obama advocating legislative action on cyber security. They wrote: “An issue as far-reaching and complicated as cyber security requires… formal consideration and approval by Congress… Only the legislative process can create the durable and collaborative public-private partnership we need to enhance cyber security.” (Reid 11/14/12)
What did the Senate Republicans do with the Cyber-security bill? They filibustered it. And, what did they do when the Majority Leader submitted a cloture motion to stop the filibuster? They rejected the cloture motion on a 51-47 vote. “They” would include newly elected Nevada Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Who, evidently, doesn’t see the need for a “durable and collaborative public-private partnership” to “enhance cyber security.”
The running total for filibusters is now 110 filibusters, 68 cloture motions filed, and 37 successful votes to invoke cloture and stop a filibuster.
Three years of work on a piece of legislation, and work on a matter which should engage the attention of Senators (some of whom surely do online banking), and the effort comes to a screeching halt before the GOP obstructionism in the Senate. Memo to Senator McConnell (R-KY): The President isn’t going to be a one term office holder.