WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Senate Republicans Thursday blocked a procedural vote on a Democratic cybersecurity bill that would address threats to the U.S. power grid and water supply.
Democrats blamed Republicans and big business lobbies including the Chamber of Commerce for the bill's failure before the summer recess, Politico reported. Sixty votes were required to move the bill to a floor vote, and Thursday's 52-46 procedural vote fell short.
"Rarely have I been so disappointed in the Senate's failure to come to grips with a threat to our country that is all these officials have warned us, over and over again, is urgent and must be addressed now," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said on the floor before the vote. "Not maybe in September, not possibly by the end of the year, not in the next Congress -- but now."
"Today, despite the strong leadership of Senators Reid, Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller and Feinstein, an overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the only comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation that would have begun to address vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructure systems," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "Senate Republican opposition to this vital national security bill, coupled with the deeply flawed House information sharing bill that threatens personal privacy while doing nothing to protect the nation's critical infrastructure, is a profound disappointment."