The challenge for the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 after a key procedural vote Thursday is whether a growing number of amendments can resolve enough differences to attract GOP support in the Senate—and, ultimately, the House, too—while not completely removing the teeth that Democrats and the Obama administration think is essential to protect the nation from cyber threats. [...]The House is the problem, because the bill they passed, CISPA, is long on stripping away privacy rights, and short on actually do anything to protect the nation's critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
The coming debate over those changes and others is going to be critical for the bill’s backers as they canvass the chamber for votes and seek passage before the August break. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid already has made clear he will permit a broad swath of amendments—so long as they're germane—as sponsors try to cobble together a compromise that can clear the Senate and yet still prove appealing to the House.
The House bill, and what the House will demand in conference with the Senate, should they manage to pass a bill, is a serious threat. For that reason, the Senate should not pass a cybersecurity bill until they have a more responsible counterpart in the House to work with.