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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) huddled with Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThis Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks Overnight Cybersecurity: Last-ditch effort to stop expanded hacking powers fails Intel Dems push for info on Russia and election be declassified MORE (D-Md.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump gets chance to remake the courts A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair MORE (D-Del.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOvernight Finance: Trump adviser softens tone on NAFTA | Funding bill to be released Tuesday | GOP leader won't back Trump tariff plan Trump gets chance to remake the courts Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration MORE (D-Conn.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), Roy BluntRoy BluntSanders: GOP blocked 'Trump proposal' to lower drug prices McConnell: We'll start Obamacare repeal on day one Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? MORE (R-Mo.), Dan CoatsDan CoatsTrump narrows secretary of State field to four finalists 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map 10 Senate seats that could flip in 2018 MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGOP wants to move fast on Sessions Dem senator backing Sessions for attorney general Dems pledge to fight Sessions nomination MORE (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainRepublicans tie Trump's Defense pick to funding fight Lawmakers haggle over funding bill as shutdown nears Markos Moulitsas: Kill the filibuster 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 PaulRand PaulGOP rep: Trump has 'extra-constitutional' view of presidency The ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? Rand Paul skeptical about Romney as secretary of State MORE to talk Internet freedom: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnOvernight Tech: Big win for Samsung over Apple | Trump to sit down with tech leaders | Trump claims credit for B investment deal House votes to double budget for Planned Parenthood investigation Will Trump back women’s museum? 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.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

FTC: Privacy rules should apply to apps aimed at children 

DeMint accuses Amazon of lobbying for online tax to cripple competitors 

Dempsey, Brennan urge Senate to pass cybersecurity legislation 

Markey drafts drone privacy bill 

Online poker sites to forfeit $731 million to DOJ in fraud, laundering settlement