Representatives Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have introduced a companion cybersecurity bill in the House of Representatives that is said to be identical to the McCain Senate proposal. While of some interest, the main locus of attention will still be in the Senate.
And on the Senate side, the main decision maker remains Senator Reid. How he structures the consideration of the competing proposals is likely to be critical. If the Lieberman-Collins bill is put forward as the base bill with the McCain bill as a substitute (needing 60 votes to become king of the hill, so to speak) that will give the Lieberman-Collins bill a significant advantage — so much so that the Republicans might chose to deny Senator Reid the 60 votes needed to even begin the debate. On the other hand if the debate is a “let the better bill win” format (where whichever gets more votes is this base bill) it is likely that Senate will begin a cybersecurity debate shortly after the Easter recess. Stay tuned ….