White House blames US Cyber Woes on GOP

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The White House on Tuesday blamed the state of U.S. cybersecurity on congressional Republicans.

Article by Katie Bo Williams

Asked if the U.S. is “doing a good job on cybersecurity” in light of recent reports of attacks on two state voter databases — believed to be the work of Russian intelligence — White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said there was “more that we would like to do if Republicans in Congress were willing to do their job.”

Earnest blasted Republicans for refusing to consider the president’s budget blueprint, which includes specific proposals aimed at bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity.

“I think there are significant concerns that have been raised about whether or not Republicans in Congress understand that this should be a priority,” Earnest said.

“We only wish that Republicans were willing to put the cybersecurity of the United States ahead of their own politics. Thus far, they haven’t been able to do that.”

Cybersecurity got a significant boost under the president’s proposal, which asked for over $19 billion in cyber spending, a 35 percent increase over last year’s allotment of roughly $14 billion.

House Republicans introduced their budget resolution in March, but it never made it to the floor for a vote. It makes no mention of cybersecurity.

On Monday, it came to light that the FBI had previously raised alarms about the suspected hacks of voter databases in Arizona and Illinois earlier this month.

News of the Aug. 18 alert heightened fears about the ability of foreign governments to interfere in American elections.