Reid: GOP is running from cybersecurity bill like a pack of scared cats

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that “Republicans are running like a pack of scared cats” from the cybersecurity bill.

The Democratic leader said Republicans are voting against the motion to end debate and proceed to the Cybersecurity Act because the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t like the bill.

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“Don’t come and lecture us about how my senators should vote,” Reid said in response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling for a "no" vote. “We know how important this legislation is; we know it’s more important than getting a pat of the back from the Chamber of Commerce.”

S. 3414 would increase cyber protections for the nation's electrical grid, financial networks, transportation system and other critical infrastructure.

Republicans object to the bill because they thought it would require too much from businesses. The Chamber of Commerce lobbied heavily against the legislation, despite a compromise that would have made all of the cybersecurity standards voluntary for businesses. 

McConnell accused Reid of not having an open process with the bill.

“No one doubts the needs to strengthen our cyber defenses,” McConnell said Thursday morning. “We all recognize the problem; that’s really not the issue here; it’s the matter that the majority leader has tried to steamroll a bill.”

McConnell and Republicans called for more time to work on the cyber legislation.

“Why don’t we have some more meetings? This is a bill that has meetings, meetings, meetings,” Reid said. “I’ve been hearing that for three years.”

The motion to end debate on the cybersecurity bill is expected to fail in its vote, which is scheduled to take place around 11 a.m.

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