The leaders of several Senate committees want President Barack Obama to weigh in on details of proposed cybersecurity legislation as they push to reconcile various measures.
As senators try to reconcile several cybersecurity-related bills under consideration, the Senate’s leadership wants President Barack Obama’s advice.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the leaders of six Senate committees recently sent a letter to th president asking for his “views on the optimal organizational structure, necessary updates and reforms to legislation, and regulations governing communications networks and information systems, and additional authorities needed to facilitate effective government leadership and response to cyber threats and vulnerabilities.”
The senators are working to develop comprehensive legislation that would give the government the capabilities and authorities needed for cybersecurity.
“We recognize that we face a critically important challenge in balancing the need for a secure, efficient and resilient digital environment with the imperative of maintaining civil liberties, open commerce and individual privacy,” they wrote. “Our committees have already developed a number of well-considered proposals to achieve this balance, and our intent is to build upon this work in our comprehensive legislation.”
The senators said they look forward to working with Obama and White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt.
The senators will need to reconcile two comprehensive proposals: one by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snow (R-Maine) that’s cleared the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and another by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Thomas Carper (D-Del.) that’s cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Other bills could also be part of a consolidated bill.
The letter was signed by Reid, Rockefeller, and Lieberman, as well as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Select Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.).