U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the need for the Majority Leader to allow debate and an open amendment process on pending cybersecurity legislation:
"Last evening the Majority Leader had a second cloture vote on the S.3414, the Lieberman cybersecurity bill. This vote to end debate on a comprehensive, complex bill that was never reported out of committee or subject to a mark-up, came despite the fact that not a single amendment--except for those used to fill the amendment tree--was allowed to be made pending to the bill.
"The Majority Leader had made prior commitments to allowing a free and open debate on cybersecurity, a matter that Republicans acknowledge must be addressed especially in the areas of information sharing, and providing some degree of liability protection to those companies that do share cyber threat information with one another and the federal government. Yet despite this commitment, the Majority Leader triggered this second cloture vote on the bill and filled the amendment tree throughout floor consideration of cybersecurity legislation.
"The Senate will hopefully move to a full and open debate of the National Defense Authorization Act. During the time that the bill is considered on the floor, and I do expect that bill to be subject to an open amendment process, my hope is that the Majority Leader will work with me to reach an agreement on allowing a debate on cybersecurity legislation with Republican amendments in order, especially since the ranking members of the Armed Services, Intelligence, Commerce, and Judiciary committees are all co-sponsors of a cybersecurity bill that needs to be considered as part of this debate.
"My expectation is that sometime in December after we have completed floor debate on the Defense Authorization bill, and then dispose of the Intelligence Authorization bill, we will then attempt to get an agreement on amendments to the cybersecurity bill."