Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement following a speech by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explaining the threat posed by cyber attacks, and urging Congress to take action:
“Secretary Panetta explained in stark terms the urgent and deadly threat that a cyber attack poses to the United States. A cyber attack could cripple our economy and infrastructure, sow chaos and cost lives. Secretary Panetta’s warnings are consistent with the message that the national security community has been delivering to the Senate for months. We know what tools our national security community needs – but in sadly predictable fashion, Senate Republicans are blocking a comprehensive cybersecurity bill that would make those tools available.
“Some of my colleagues have suggested that the President should delay further action to protect America from this threat until Congress can pass legislation. Secretary Panetta has made clear that inaction is not an option. I will bring cybersecurity legislation back to the Senate floor when Congress returns in November. My colleagues who profess to understand the urgency of the threat will have one more chance to back their words with action, and work with us to pass this bill.
“Cybersecurity is an issue that should be handled by Congress, but with Republicans engaging in Tea Paty-motivated obstruction, I believe that President Obama is right to examine all means at his disposal for confronting this urgent national security threat.”