US White House blames Republicans for recent cyber attacks


spokesman Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the in Washington, DC, on August 30, 2016. (AFP photo)

The White House has blamed congressional Republicans for recent breaches of two state voter databases.
In the two attacks, data from as many as 200,000 voter records in the state of Illinois was stolen, according to the officials.
The attacks caused the FBI to issue a “flash alert” to election officials nationwide earlier this month. The agency urged them to remain vigilant in the face of any similar cyber intrusion.
US intelligence officials say the hackers were based in Russia and their attempts fueled concerns that the Russian government might be seeking to interfere in the US presidential election.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest blamed the Republicans when asked if the US is “doing a good job on cyber security.”
There was “more that we would like to do if Republicans in Congress were willing to do their job,” Earnest said.
He criticized Republicans for refusing to contemplate President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint, which entails specific proposals aimed at improving the nation’s cyber security.
“I think there are significant concerns that have been raised about whether or not Republicans in Congress understand that this should be a priority,” Earnest said.
“We only wish that Republicans were willing to put the cyber security of ahead of their own . Thus far, they haven’t been able to do that.”
Cyber security significantly improved after Obama asked for over $19 billion in cyber spending which amounts to an increase of 35 percent over last year’s allocation of approximately $14 billion.
House Republicans put forward their own budget resolution in March, but it never made it to the floor for a vote.

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