Congress approves surveillance legislation tucked into budget package
Congress on Friday adopted a $1.15 trillion spending package that included a controversial cybersecurity measure that only passed because it was slipped into the US government's budget legislation.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican of Wisconsin, inserted the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill—which includes some $620 billion in tax breaks for business and low-income wage earners. Ryan's move was a bid to prevent lawmakers from putting a procedural hold on the CISA bill and block it from a vote. Because CISA was tucked into the government's overall spending package on Wednesday, it had to pass or the government likely would have had to cease operating next week.
Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, said the CISA measure, which backers say is designed to help prevent cyber threats, got even worse after it was slipped into the 2,000-page budget deal (PDF, page 1728). He voted against the spending plan.