Senate Dems Slam GOP Effort to Embed Cybersecurity Bill in Military Budget

Controversial Anti-Hacking Bill Tied to Already Controversial Defense Funding

Fresh off the intense battle over the Patriot Act extension, the Senate is gearing up for another major fight, this time mostly along party lines, with the news that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) has attached the entire controversial cybersecurity bill into the already controversial military spending bill.

The combination appears an attempt to try to make an “all-or-nothing” proposition with the idea that most Senators wouldn’t dare to oppose both, but between Democrat leaders complaining about the “obvious political ploy” and a number of people with serious problems with either bill, it may risk another filibuster.

Most of the opposition to the cybersecurity bill centers on the lack of privacy provisions, as it aims to shore up data-sharing with the government with the typical legal waivers for private companies to flat out violate their own privacy rules for the sake of “anti-hacking” support.

The military bill, by contrast, was already facing opposition over the large amount of funding being pumped into the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget that has nothing to do with overseas operations or contingencies, which has fueled concerns that the money is going to get shuffled around by the Pentagon, since they’re allowed to move OCO money around more or less as they desire.

Whether this combination of two bills that each have distinct sets of opponents will mean they’re all going to just acquiesce by watered down their own objections, or will simply bring the opponents of each together to oppose the combination remains to be seen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.