Republicans Warn President Against Cybersecurity Mandate

Say Executive Order Would be Dangerous Precedent

Republicans legislators have written the President to ask him not to issue an executive order on cybersecurity.

The letter, signed by 46 members of Congress said that would be tantamount to ignoring Congress and imposing top-down standards in a nontransparent way that sets a dangerous precedent.

"The White House's attempt to do an end-route around Congress is not the right way to proceed on such an important issue as cybersecurity," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), incoming vice chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. "Beyond the bad policy of putting government in charge of setting standards, issuing an Executive Order is also bad process. We're asking the White House to work with us instead of forcing their top-down regulations in such a non-transparent fashion," Blackburn said.

House failed to pass a cybersecurity bill in this Congress although both sides recognized the growing threat of cyber attacks from state actors, organized crime and individuals.

The President has said he may mandate protections along the lines of a Democratic-backed  bill that would have created voluntary cybersecurity standards that the Republicans maintain could too easily morph into government mandates that reduce the flexibility of private industry to respond to cyber threats in real time.