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McConnell: Cyber bill will hit floor soon

McConnell: Cyber bill will hit floor soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) said the upper chamber’s major cybersecurity bill should hit the floor soon.

It’s been a month since the Senate Intelligence Committee approved its cybersecurity bill, which would give companies legal liability protection when sharing cyber threat data with government agencies.

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Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell laid out the Senate’s agenda for the upcoming weeks.

The Senate Intel panel’s bill, known as the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), was mentioned as one of several bipartisan bills that the “new Senate” is “working hard to advance.”

“We hope to bring all of these issues to the Senate floor for debate in the near future,” he said.

Government officials, many lawmakers, and most trade groups have made cyber info-sharing legislation a top priority this Congress. They argue everyone must share more data to better understand cyber threats and bolster the country’s digital defenses.

Repeated breaches at major retailers, banks and entertainment companies have exposed millions of Americans’ personal data and increased pressure on lawmakers to move a bill.

CISA, McConnell said, is “aimed at protecting the personal and financial information of middle-class Americans from cybercriminals."

The measure passed by a 14-1 vote out of the Intelligence Committee. In casting the lone opposition vote, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) expressed privacy concerns that could create a hurdle to floor passage.

Wyden, a vocal National Security Agency (NSA) critic, called CISA “a surveillance bill by another name.”

The House is also expected to vote on similar cyber legislation between April 21 and 23. Congressional leaders are hoping to have a final bill on President Obama's desk by Memorial Day.