A bill meant to protect America's essential computer networks from cyberattacks failed in the Senate Thursday.
The Cybersecurity Act was designed to protect America's electrical grid, water supplies, and other critical industries from cyber threats.
The sticking point with Republicans has been about the role government should play in protecting U.S. businesses from attacks.
They argued that government intrusion would lead to mandatory rules imposed by Washington and thus lead to higher private sector costs.
White House officials and Democrats accused the GOP of practicing "obstructionism."
"The politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability, prevented Congress from passing legislation to better protect our nation from potentially catastrophic cyber-attacks," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
The Senate is unlikely to vote again this week since they head out of town for their month-long break and won't return until Labor Day.