President Obama and Congress have checked out of Washington until after Election Day. But caveat, citizen. Their absence isn’t preventing harmful policy from spawning along the Potomac.
A case in point is a back door move to regulate the Internet. Any day now, the White House will issue an executive order on cybersecurity, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who said last week that the measure “is close to completion.”
The executive moved on its own after Congressional efforts stalled this summer amid Administration opposition. Ms. Napolitano shed crocodile tears over the Senate’s failure to adopt comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, even as the White House goes ahead with its order in the face of vociferous opposition on Capitol Hill.
What Ms. Napolitano didn’t say might help readers understand the cynical politics involved. The Administration worked to scuttle a compromise on the Hill. The Senate split over mandating IT security standards for private companies, and the Administration’s order resuscitates this contentious idea. It will also undercut efforts to fashion a bipartisan bill in a lame duck Congress.