Lieberman asks senators not to add amendments on healthcare, guns to cyber bill

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Tuesday called for members to hold back on filing irrelevant amendments to his cybersecurity bill, saying they would delay the Senate from addressing an escalating threat facing the United States.

Lieberman cited a proposal from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to repeal the Affordable Care Act via an amendment to the cybersecurity bill and an amendment sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would limit the purchase of high-capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

"We can get this bill done and protect our security," Lieberman said on the Senate floor. "Nobody believes we're going to repeal ObamaCare this week or we're going to adopt gun control legislation."

"I appeal to my colleagues on both sides to hold back on these irrelevant amendments," he continued. "There are already more than 70 amendments filed that are germane or relevant."

The Senate is set to take up Lieberman's Cybersecurity Act this week. Lieberman and the co-sponsors of his bill — Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) — have been meeting with the GOP backers of a competing cybersecurity measure by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to try find an agreement on amendments that will be considered.
 
However, Lieberman said his goal this week is to submit a manager's amendment to his bill with a bipartisan group of senators.

He noted that members have come closer to an agreement on amendments, but he quickly added "we're not there yet."

"I would say what was once a wide chasm separating us is now a narrow ridge, which we can bridge," Lieberman said. "And I firmly believe we will, with good faith on all sides and a willingness to compromise."