OVERNIGHT TECH: Cybersecurity bill headed straight to Senate floor

The bill would give the Homeland Security Department regulatory authority over companies with computer systems crucial to the nation's economic and physical security. It would require that the companies take adequate precautions to safeguard their systems and would increase information-sharing about cyber threats between the private sector and the government. 

The Democratic aides said they expect lawmakers to vote on an amendment on the floor that would require companies to notify consumers if their data is breached.

Spectrum included in tentative deal: According to a GOP aide, a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut includes auctions of airwaves licenses, known as spectrum.

The auction proceeds would help to pay for extending unemployment benefits.

The spectrum legislation would authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction airwaves that currently belong to television broadcasters, splitting some of the revenue with the stations that choose to participate. The spectrum is potentially worth billions of dollars to wireless carriers, which are struggling to meet the growing data demands of smartphones and tablet computers.

Sen. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (D-W.Va.) said lawmakers "made great progress and are very close to a historic milestone" of including a nationwide broadband network for first-responders.

The FCC acted Wednesday to protect consumers from unwanted, automatic "robocalls" from telemarketers.


Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.) and G.K. ButterfieldG.K. Butterfield'Amnesty' fight threatens pursuit of immigration deal Black lawmakers say Confederate statues should come out of Capitol Federal judges order new North Carolina district lines MORE (N.C.) wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday, asking him for details after reports that the Path social networking app was downloading users' address books without their consent.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Iowa) still plans to block President Obama's two FCC nominees despite the agency nixing LightSquared's high-speed wireless network on Tuesday night.

Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (D-Ill.) and Tom CoburnTom Coburn-trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Al Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit MORE (R-Okla.) demanded answers from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo on Wednesday about his company's new policy to allow governments to censor some tweets.

A White House spokeswoman said the administration is pleased with the "comprehensive approach" of the Senate's cybersecurity bill, which was introduced Tuesday.