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Langevin Cybersecurity Amendment Defeated

Congressman James Langevin's cybersecurity amendment, which passed the House last year, was defeated today. From the Congressman's office:

While recognizing the importance of moving forward with the bill, the Congressman expressed disappointment that the House did not pass an amendment he offered to address our country’s urgent need to strengthen its cybersecurity. The amendment was defeated on a largely party-line vote of 172-246.

Langevin’s proposal, which consists of the provisions of his bipartisan Executive Cyberspace Coordination Act, included a budget offset and would not add to the deficit. As in a similar amendment that passed the House without objection last year, the centerpiece of his legislation would establish a National Office of Cyberspace in the Executive Office of the President to lend greater coordination and focus to our cybersecurity policy. The idea stems from a report on ways to protect our information and critical infrastructure by the bipartisan CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, which Langevin co-chaired.

“A year after we recognized the dangers of cyber attacks by passing a similar amendment without objection from either party, I am disappointed that we did not take a stand on a time-sensitive issue by supporting recommendations from a bipartisan commission to protect our national security,” said Langevin. “The consequences of inaction could result in millions of people without power, banks without access to their records, and the exposure of our government’s sensitive information and our citizens’ private records.

“Three months ago, the Director of the CIA told Congress that the next Pearl Harbor could be a cyber attack and other nations like China, Russia and Iran are building their cyber capabilities rapidly. In a time of great fiscal constraints, putting in place a system that best prevents and reacts to these threats is a challenge, but the consequences of inaction are far costlier. I am going to keep working with everyone involved and remain optimistic that the momentum we built up to this point will allow us to get something done. The conflicts of the 21st century are increasingly going to be fought on the digital battlefield and we cannot afford to fall behind.”

 

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