Politico: Senators Want Cyber Command Language in Final Defense Policy Bill

Sens. Steve Daines and Mark Warner are asking the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services panels to include a provision in the final defense authorization bill that would elevate U.S. Cyber Command to a full, unified command.

“At a time when ISIS is rapidly recruiting online and the cyber battlefield is evolving at a rapid rate, the United States needs to ensure cyber warfare is at the top of our priorities,” the duo said in a letter today addressed to Sens. John McCain and Jack Reed and Reps. Mac Thornberry and Adam Smith .

The pair originally planned to offer the proposal as an amendment to the chamber’s fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, but the issue got lost in the shuffle as lawmakers clashed over topics such as boosting the Pentagon’s war account.

The missive came out shortly before the Senate passed its version of the defense policy road map by an 85-13 vote this morning.

The House draft of the bill, already approved by the full chamber, contains language to move Cyber Command out from underneath the umbrella of Strategic Command, a move embraced by the unit’s chief, Adm. Michael Rogers, but rejected by the White House, which argues such a decision should be left to the executive branch.