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The Senate is expected to pass a bipartisan bill to reinstate a long-stalled cybersecurity bill, with some House Democrats pushing for it to include provisions to require a company to hand over user data to the government and require the FBI to obtain a court order to access emails and other private data stored on the servers of internet companies.
But the bill could be delayed in the House, where Democrats have repeatedly blocked any measure that would address cybersecurity.
Republicans and some Democrats say the bill would do little to prevent the spread of the coronaviruses that killed nearly 1,400 people in the U.S. and abroad, including some at Disneyland, a major tourist destination.
Democrats, however, are concerned that a cybersecurity bill could give the federal government broad powers to hack into private companies’ servers.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, a California Democrat, said in a statement Friday that she opposes the cybersecurity bill because she believes it will allow the federal and state governments to spy on Americans without a warrant, even if the companies are cooperating.
A spokesman for the House Democratic leadership did not respond to requests for comment.
Democrats have pushed for legislation to require companies to give the government access to customer data, but Republican leaders have said they oppose the legislation.
In a letter to the House leadership last week, Pelosi asked why lawmakers were not proposing a measure that included provisions for companies to disclose their own cybersecurity policies and a mechanism to let customers dispute government claims of security breaches.
The legislation could be reintroduced as soon as next week if Democrats don’t reject it, said a Democratic aide who has been briefed on the issue.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that the bill is “a nonstarter” because it is a partisan exercise, and Democrats will have to come to the table and compromise.
The cybersecurity bill is also likely to be delayed until next year, as the House and Senate are both struggling to reconcile their bills.
Democrats in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have said the bills should be brought back to a conference committee to allow them to vote on them, and Republicans are hoping that this time, they can reach a compromise.
A House cybersecurity committee has been trying to work on the bill since early March.
Democrats and Republicans have tried to get the bills to pass the House on the same day.
But Republicans have failed to gain the necessary 51 votes to pass any legislation, and a compromise has been difficult to achieve.
On Friday, President Donald Trump said that his administration is working on a new cybersecurity bill that includes some cybersecurity provisions.
The president said the bill will give the private sector more control over its cybersecurity and “make it more difficult for cyberattacks to be launched.”
But the administration is still waiting on a cybersecurity policy from the Federal Communications Commission, which is due to be released this week.
The FCC has not yet said whether it will adopt new rules.
The White House said Friday it is working to have the new cybersecurity legislation before the end of the year.