On the Goal Line: Senate Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved to proceed on cybersecurity legislation this afternoon, after many observers were debating whether he would move to do so on Thursday or Friday. Throughout the week, many of the leading Democratic Senators have been calling for the passage of a compromise bill constructed by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and others. How close is the Senate to actually passing the bill? 
Well, it is safe to say that it is facing fourth and goal, with eight points needed to tie the game and send it into overtime. The move to a compromise bill was a finesse move that might just give the bill’s proponents the six points needed to score a touchdown (a.k.a. get past the cloture vote to get the bill to the floor for debate). The two-point conversion, however, could be another story as Republicans opposed to critical infrastructure regulation, while more open than previously, still may oppose the bill’s compromise voluntary language to create a voluntary certification program using standards created by a council, with industry receiving incentives to participate.
Earlier today, senators on both side of the debate sat down to discuss how to move the bill forward in the Senate, with reports indicating the meeting was civil but did not resolve the issues. Indeed, even if the Senate managed to score a two-point conversation and pass the legislation to tie the cybersecurity game with the House, it is unclear who would win the coin toss and whether either side could score before a tie is declared at the end of 2012.
In any event, it is clear that cybersecurity will remain a priority for both the House and the Senate going into the lame duck session at the end of the year and, most  likely, into 2013.