The US Senate has blocked a measure to strengthen protections against cyberattacks, Reuters reported.
Democrats banded together to oppose the measure’s inclusion in a defense policy bill President Barack Obama has threatened to veto.
By a 56-40 vote Thursday, lawmakers decided largely along party lines not to move ahead with the measure as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
Obama has threatened to veto the defense bill for reasons including the use of a special war fund to exempt the Department of Defense from mandatory spending caps.
Republicans, the majority party in both the Senate and House of Representatives, had said they sought to include the cybersecurity measure in the defense bill to move it quickly.
But Democrats accused them of seeking to make it more difficult for Obama to carry out his veto threat, saying the cybersecurity measure would have passed easily if the Republicans had brought it up as a stand-alone bill.
The vote came after the government announced late last week that hackers, possibly linked to China, had stolen millions of federal employees’ records from its computers.
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