Democrats: Cybersecurity legislation a priority in new Congress

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The resolution is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinCongress: The sleeping watchdog Congress must not give companies tax reasons to move jobs overseas A lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies MORE (Mich.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiClinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere MORE (Md.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.) and Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsA Department of Energy foundation: An idea whose time has come We must reconcile privacy and safety in the digital era Protecting intellectual property in America is harder than ever MORE (Del.).


“The new Congress has a real opportunity to reach needed consensus on bipartisan legislation that will strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

Feinstein warned that the "threat of a cyber attack is real, and it is growing."

"Given all that relies on a safe and secure Internet, it is vital that we do what’s necessary to protect ourselves from hackers, cyber thieves, and terrorists," Carper said.

Democrats and the Obama administration last year backed the Cybersecurity Act, which would have set cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure operators and would have encouraged companies and the government to share information about cyber threats.

Republicans, led by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.), claimed the bill's cybersecurity standards would have been cumbersome and ineffective. Supporters were unable to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. 

The White House is now working on an executive order that would encourage companies to meet government cybersecurity standards.