African Growth and Opportunity Amendment Act

Floor Speech

By:  Saxby Chambliss
Date: Aug. 2, 2012
Location: Washington DC


Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, let me add to what Senator McCain has said. We have been working very hard with the sponsors of the bill, Senators Lieberman and Collins, who have been receptive and open to our dialog over the last several days and weeks. It is an indication, No. 1, that everybody in this body recognizes the seriousness of this issue, but it is also a recognition of the complexity of this issue. There are about four or five committees of jurisdiction that have a piece of the issue of cyber security and, unfortunately, we didn't go through the regular order of giving all those committees the opportunity to go through the regular markup process. That may or may not have solved some of the issues we are now dealing with. But we are down to the final minutes before a cloture vote.

Unfortunately, I will vote against cloture and I recommend that my colleagues do likewise and that we continue over this break to negotiate on the remaining issues we have. They have been narrowed in number and scope. Both sides are negotiating in good faith because we all understand this is an issue of such critical importance.

The basic philosophical difference we have is that we all seek to protect the private sector from cyber attacks that may have a huge impact on life or on our economy. The issue is, primarily, does the government know better how to do that or does the private sector know better how to protect itself, as we think it does. While we understand the government has a role to play, we have capabilities and capacities within the Federal Government that the private sector doesn't have, and we recognize that. That is why we have been negotiating in good faith to try to find that common ground between the government and the private sector to ensure the protection of the basic critical infrastructure in this country.

I thank the Chair and yield the floor.


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