The Republicans in the Senate blocked the massive cybersecurity legislation, but that doesn't mean it's dead. It never does with liberals. This was the same legislation that Senate Democrats tried to sneak gun control in on.
As usual though, what Congress determines doesn't matter to Barack Obama. In fact, it appears that he relishes the opportunity to thumb his nose at them and the Constitution and declare law himself. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, in an email responding to whether Obama was considering using executive order to implement cybersecurity, he wrote,
“In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed. Moving forward, the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that."
The Hill reports,
But Senate Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), worried the bill would burden businesses with unnecessary and ineffective regulations.
The bill's sponsors watered down the regulatory provisions, replacing the security mandates with voluntary incentives, but that wasn't enough to win over Republicans. The bill mustered 52 votes in the Senate, well short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.
If Obama issues an order on cybersecurity, it wouldn't be the first time that his administration has resorted to executive action to bypass Congress.
Obama uses the slogan "we can't wait" to argue that some issues are too important to be allowed to stall in Congress.
When lawmakers refused to pass the Dream Act to give legal status to students brought to the country illegally, the administration announced that it would stop deporting young immigrants who would have been eligible to stay under the bill.
Senator Susan Collin (R-MN), who worked alongside Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CN) on the bill, said "I'm not for doing by executive order what should be done by legislation."
Obviously Democrats support Obama in going ahead with the EO despite the fact that it is not the Executive Branch that makes law under the Constitution. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) claims that while she "prefers" Condress deal with the issue, but she also says, "I suppose if we can't, the answer would be yes." That answer is that she would support the President overstepping his bounds and creating law, something the Constitution does not give him authority to do.
The failed bill could be revived, which would not be a surprise by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid when the Senate returns from recess in September.
Now I ask, where will Republicans be should he choose to do this? Will they simply scream rhetoric or deal with Barack Obama about overstepping his Constitutional boundaries and keep him in check? From past experience it doesn't appear there are many that are willing to do that.