OVERNIGHT TECH: Senators scramble to save cybersecurity bill

The Lede: The fate of cybersecurity legislation in the Senate is expected to be determined on Thursday, when cloture for Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) Cybersecurity Act ripens.

By all appearances, the cybersecurity bill doesn't have enough Republican support to get cloture and move to the finish line. Still, a group of senators met Wednesday afternoon to try to see if some sort of a compromise could be worked out.

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Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) huddled with Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiClinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere MORE (D-Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate ethics panel wants details on sexual harassment allegations American innovation depends on strengthening patents Tax reform and innovation – good news and a cloud MORE (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntDems push for more money for opioid fight Trump asked Senate Republicans to end Russia election interference investigation: report An overlooked solution to the opioid epidemic MORE (R-Mo.), Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsNational counterterrorism chief to retire at the end of year Former intel chief Hayden: Think twice on a Trump job offer Counterintelligence needs reboot for 21st century MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Regulation: Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle | Watchdog to investigate EPA chief's meeting with industry group | Ex-Volkswagen exec gets 7 years for emissions cheating Overnight Energy: Watchdog probes Pruitt speech to mining group | EPA chief promises to let climate scientists present their work | Volkswagen manager gets 7 years for emissions cheating EPA head pledges to protect climate scientists MORE (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), lead sponsors of a competing cybersecurity measure, joined at the end of the meeting.

When exiting Kyl's office, McCain said the group was "making progress," but was quick to add that members were "still a long way" from reaching a deal.

The Obama administration kept up its push for Lieberman's bill on Wednesday, ushering out statements from defense officials that urged the Senate to act before the recess.

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander said there has been "over a 20-fold increase" in cyberattacks targeting the country’s critical infrastructure, with the severity growing over time.

"What concerns me is what we’re seeing is the evolution of these cyber events from exploitation to disruption," the four-star general said.

John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said it would be "incomprehensible" for senators to oppose the bill.

"We find it hard to believe that there is any reason or basis to oppose this legislation," Brennan said, especially since Lieberman removed the voluntary mandates included in the original version.

Comcast sues FCC over Tennis Channel decision: Comcast asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent ruling that the company discriminated against the independently owned Tennis Channel.

Comcast had put the Tennis Channel in an expensive sports package, but the FCC ordered Comcast to include the channel in the same package as its own sports networks.

Comcast said the FCC's decision was "arbitrary and capricious" and violated its First and Fifth Amendment rights.

Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE to talk Internet freedom: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Google, Facebook and Drudge: What the new titans of media mean for America Learning from the states: Feds should adopt anti-pyramid scheme law MORE (R-Tenn.) will discuss their vision of Internet freedom at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

The lawmakers have criticized liberal activists for supporting regulations aimed at preventing corporate control of the Internet. Paul and Blackburn argue the government should not set rules for Internet access.


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