When will Congress debate the cybersecurity bills?

A bipartisan effort to move cybersecurity legislation in the Senate could bring pending bills to the floor for debate in July, but partisan differences in approaches to securing the nation’s critical infrastructure remain to be worked out, reports Government Computer News.

Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) wrote Senate leaders June 18 urging them to reach an agreement to give cybersecurity legislation “a full and open debate.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters the next day that the debate could come in July.

“I think the only way we're going to iron out the differences on cybersecurity is [to] bring it to the floor,” he said. “I'm going to bring it up in July sometime.”

The bipartisan Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105), introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), would give the Homeland Security Department authority to establish security standards for designated critical infrastructure. The competing Secure IT Act (S. 2151), introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), focuses on enhanced information sharing between government and the private sector.

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