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Bridget Johnson


October 2, 2012 - 1:51 pm

A group of Republican senators today urged President Obama to work with Congress on cybersecurity legislation instead of ramming the languishing bill through by executive order.

Democrats urged Obama last month to quickly issue an order to put into effect the legislation killed by a GOP filibuster in August.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, told Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) in a letter last month that “following congressional inaction, the President is determined to use existing executive branch authorities to protect our nation against cyber threats.”

“The gravity of this threat requires a genuine bipartisan effort to advance legislation, not a selective and unilateral Executive Order, which simply cannot provide the incentives to encourage private sector participation and the requisite information sharing to address evolving threats,” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wrote in a letter to Obama today.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

“An issue as far-reaching and complicated as cybersecurity requires all stakeholders to work together to develop an enduring legislative solution through formal consideration and approval by Congress. Yet, rather than build confidence and unity among key stakeholders, an Executive Order will solidify the present divide,” they wrote.

“Only the legislative process can create the durable and collaborative public-private partnership we need to enhance cybersecurity.  We remain committed to this legislative process and urge you to work with Congress rather than act unilaterally through an Executive Order.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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