Reid says amendments will be accepted on cybersecurity bill

Reid said he hopes he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) can agree to proceed to the bill Thursday; if not, a vote to proceed to the bill will take place Friday morning.

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Reid said he has ideas on how to better the bill, too.

“In my view, it’s not strong enough,” Reid said. “But it’s a tremendous move forward.”

Reid said he wants committees to start working on a list of amendments because the issue is critical to national security.

“Unless we do something, it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” Reid said of the chances of a cyberattack.

Republicans have recently criticized Reid for not being more open during the amendment process.

The Cybersecurity Act aims to protect American from cyberattacks against the Web, electrical grid, banking systems, military operations, transportation networks and others.

S. 3414 was introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and is co-sponsored by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: Words matter Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early GOP sen at convention: I'm not ruling out voting for Clinton MORE (R-Maine), Tom CarperTom CarperCentrist Dems wary of public option push Retailers are shirking consumer data security responsibilities GMO labeling bill advances in the Senate over Dem objections MORE (D-Del.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHotel lobby cheers scrutiny on Airbnb GOP platform attempts middle ground on encryption debate Week ahead: Encryption fight poised to heat up MORE (D-Calif.), Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerLobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner Overnight Tech: Senate panel to vote on Dem FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWhy Kaine is the right choice for Clinton Report: More, stronger cyber attacks to flood networks Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency MORE (D-R.I.).

“We must act and we must act now,” Collins said Wednesday. “We can’t afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before taking action on this legislation.”

Lawmakers have been meeting this week to find common ground. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainSyria activists cheer Kaine pick Clinton brings in the heavy hitters Guess which Cuban-American 2016 candidate best set themselves up for 2020? MORE (R-Ariz.) has introduced a competing bill, the Secure It Act.

When originally proposed, S. 3414 received pushback from industry groups and some lawmakers concerned about Internet privacy. But Collins said many changes have been made to the bill.

“We have revised our bill in a very substantial way,” Collins said, citing that many of the standards related to the private sector are now optional. “This shows a willingness to adopt changes and we’re still open to changes.”

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