His latest threat of a power grab comes after the Senate’s blocked a cybersecurity bill, a preliminary version of which Obama himself proposed in 2011. Congress did due diligence in its evaluation of the proposal, requiring testimony by officials at 17 separate congressional hearings and presenting the president with more than 100 briefings on the issue. The bill on its face has merit, as does Obama’s warning that a cyber attack on a bank, water system, electrical grid, or hospital could have devastating consequences. Nevertheless, opponents of the bill argued that it gives the federal government too much control over actions taken by the business community to protect its computers and networks. Accordingly, last Thursday, the Senate voted 52 to 46 to end debate and move toward a final vote.
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