I reported at the beginning of the month that Barack Obama is considering using executive order to push through cybersecurity after the Senate tanked the bill. Well now here comes Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) urging Obama to do just that. He said that a section of the bill should be implemented that would have encouraged operators of critical systems to adopt tighter security standards.
Rockefeller wrote a letter on Monday to Obama that read:
"Because it is very unclear whether the Senate will come to agreement on cybersecurity legislation in the near future, I urge you to explore and employ every lever of executive power that you possess to protect this country from the cyber threat. We must act to address our cyber vulnerabilities as soon as possible and many components of the Cybersecurity Act are amenable to implementation via executive order, normal regulatory processes, or other executive action under the authorities of the Homeland Security Act."
The Hill reports,
The voluntary program outlined in the stalled cybersecurity bill would have offered incentives, such as government assistance when dealing with a cyber threat, to operators of critical infrastructure for meeting security standards developed by the government.
Rockefeller acknowledged in the letter to Obama that a program created through executive action "cannot include such incentives," but said "it is critical that we move forward."
In the letter, Rockefeller proposed Obama create a program that would call on the government and the private sector to work together to develop cybersecurity best practices for critical infrastructure. These best practices would be implemented in the private sector through "collaboration with" the Homeland Security Department.
"I believe companies that own critical infrastructure will choose to participate in this program because it will be their best option to protect themselves against the cyber threat facing our nation," Rockefeller went on to write. "This cyber threat is unprecedented and we need an innovative and cooperative approach between the private sector and the federal government to protect the country from it."
While Senate Republicans claim they will stand their ground on the bill, Senate Democrats say they will press harder on the issue.
The Obama administration's counter-terrorism adviser and assassination czar, John Brennan, confirms that the administration is considering moving forward with the executive order, but have not made a decision as of yet.
In all of this Congress should be the lawmakers according to the U.S. Constitution, not the President. Each and every time Executive Order is used to bypass Congress it is a violation of the Constitution and thus a violation of the oath of office of the President and every representative who does not seek to hold the President accountable is violating their oath of office as well.