McConnell says cyber bill could reach Senate floor next week

McConnell says cyber bill could reach Senate floor next week
© Francis Rivera

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday that the Senate could take up cyber legislation next week, if Democrats block a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

“If we are unable to get on the defund Planned Parenthood bill on Monday, hopefully we will get on it, then we're going to turn to cyber security next week and see if we can achieve something for the American people ... before the August recess,” the Republican leader told reporters.

McConnell's comments come after a swirl of rumors that the Senate would take up the long-stalled Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) next week. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas) tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that the bill could pass “the Senate next week if Ds don't filibuster again.”

The remarks came after the No. 2 Senate Republican said earlier this week that the cyber bill likely wouldn't come up until after the Senate returns from a weeks-long recess in September. 

Republicans tried to pass the bill earlier this year as an attachment to an annual defense policy bill. Democrats, however, blocked that effort, arguing that they wanted more time to fully debate and consider amendments to the cyber bill. 

McConnell's office told The Hill on Wednesday that while the Republican leader wanted to take up CISA, previous reports that he would file cloture on the legislation on Thursday were “not accurate.”

The Senate is expected to take a procedural vote on Monday on defunding Planned Parenthood. To move to the bill, however, McConnell will need to win 60 votes. That’s an uphill battle, given opposition from Democrats and a couple possible GOP defections.