Elections could alter cyber legislative landscape

Several tight races could shift control not only of the Senate, but of committees dealing with cybersecurity legislation and funding.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee could lose four of its nine Democratic members between three tight races and Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinThe Trumpification of the federal courts Global health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy Can the United States Senate rise to the occasion? Probably not MORE’s (D-Mich.) retirement come 2015.

That includes Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (La.), who is also chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which has sway over the cyber workforce training dollars.

ADVERTISEMENT

Landrieu, who has been vocal about securing cybersecurity education and jobs, is expected to win tonight’s election in Louisiana but not with the 50 percent necessary for an outright victory. That will send her to a runoff election in December, mostly likely against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who will be favored to win. 

Two other panel members, Alaska Democrat Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world MORE and Arkansas Democrat Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorTom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation MORE, are also in trouble.

Overall, the panel has worked on bills to bolster cybersecurity resources at the Department of Homeland Security and delineate clear cybersecurity guidelines for federal information security. 

Separately, civil libertarians are worried they’ll lose an ally in Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (D-Colo.), who is trailing Republican Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum MORE in polls. 

Udall was one of only three “no” votes against the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which is opposed by groups worried about privacy. 

The measure would create protections for the government and private sector to share cyber threat indicators, although the bill’s detractors are concerned about the lack of specificity about what information will be shared.