The Senate failed again to advance legislation to protect the U.S. electrical grid and other critical industries from cyberattack, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order to improve the country's digital defenses.
A motion to limit debate and force a vote on the bill fell well short on Wednesday of the 60 votes needed to pass, with only 51 senators backing the measure. Democrats and Republicans disagreed over the role the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies should play in protecting essential businesses from cyberattacks.
The Senate also failed in August to move the bill forward.
The Obama administration has said that if Congress does not pass cybersecurity legislation, the president will act to protect critical infrastructure companies from cyberthreats and electronic espionage.