Senate delays cyber vote, seeking last-minute deal on amendments

The Senate is delaying a vote Wednesday on advancing a major cybersecurity bill until 2 p.m. as lawmakers scramble to reach an eleventh-hour deal, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellErnst polls supporters on Obamacare repeal plan Cornyn: Passing Senate healthcare bill by July 4 ‘optimistic’ Sasse has 'nothing to announce' on GOP ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Ky.) announced.

Senators are struggling to reach an agreement to restrict floor debate and swiftly move the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) — which is intended to boost the sharing of data on hackers between the public and private sectors — before the Senate’s month-long August recess.

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, McConnell said he needs more time to hammer out the details with his Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCharles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales Warren cautions Dems against infighting Dems see surge of new candidates MORE (D-Nev.).

“The Democratic leader and myself continue to discuss the way forward,” McConnell said. “I think we’ve made some progress.”

The procedural vote was initially scheduled for 10:30 a.m., giving the two sides a last chance to come to terms.

Several people with knowledge of the negotiations said the GOP would hold a conference-wide meeting to figure out their next move.

While Democrats had apparently settled on a list of roughly 10 amendments as of Tuesday afternoon, Republicans were still working Wednesday to determine which amendments they wanted on the floor.

But multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations also indicated that those on the far left might not be satisfied with the final Democratic slate of amendments, throwing another potential wrench into an ultimate deal.

"We need to get on with it," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinDem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Calif.), a CISA co-sponsor, said on the floor Wednesday.

Even absent a deal, Feinstein indicated she would vote to advance on the bill.

"The litany that I read in the last year and a half of almost half of the American people being affected by cyber crime just can’t go on," she said.

— Updated 10:45 a.m.