Maryland’s Democratic senators are bringing their fight over the recent government hacks to a cybersecurity bill set for a critical vote Wednesday.

Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin both filed amendments to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) that would extend benefits to the victims of the recent government hacks while boosting cybersecurity funding for the breached agency, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

{mosads}CISA is meant to promote the exchange of data on hackers between companies and the government. Industry groups argue the measure is needed to better understand and counter the growing cyber threat. But privacy advocates fear the bill merely creates another venue for intelligence agencies to collect sensitive data on Americans.

Dozens of potential CISA amendments flooded in throughout Tuesday.

Mikulski and Cardin, who represent a considerable chunk of federal employees, used the opportunity to revive language they have previously introduced to no avail.

Cardin rehashed text from a bill he put forward in July. His amendment would set the overall limit on insurance the 22 million people affected by the hack could claim in the case of identity theft at $5 million, $4 million above what the OPM offered.

Other senators representing federal employees, including Mikulski and Virginia’s Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, are also supporting the amendment.

Mikulski and Cardin also proposed a separate CISA edit that would give the OPM an extra $37 million in cybersecurity funding between now and September 2017.

As the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mikulski in July tried to get the measure attached to a bill that funds the OPM, but was rejected.

The committee did increase the OPM’s budget by $24 million for the next fiscal year. While the raise was $8 million short of what the office had requested, appropriators said they approved all requests for IT security improvements at the agency. 

Tags Barbara Mikulski Ben Cardin Mark Warner Tim Kaine

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