Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes NC Republican primary key test of Trump's sway The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-N.C.) said Wednesday it is unlikely that lawmakers will be able to complete work on a major cybersecurity bill before the August recess.
“I think it’s probably doubtful we’re going to finish this week,” he said off the Senate floor.
Lawmakers are scrambling Wednesday to reach an eleventh-hour deal to restrict floor debate and swiftly move the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) — which is intended to boost the sharing of data on hackers between the public and private sectors — before the Senate’s month-long August recess.
Burr is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinRepublicans caught in California's recall trap F-35 fighter jets may fall behind adversaries, House committee warns Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Calif.), the top-ranking Democrat on the Intelligence panel. The two have been leading the negotiations to cap the amendments that can be offered on CISA.
While Democrats had apparently settled on a list of roughly 10 amendments as of Tuesday afternoon, Republicans were still working Wednesday to determine which amendments they wanted on the floor.
According to people with knowledge of the negotiations, leaders are struggling to incorporate the demands of the libertarian wing. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.), for instance, is attempting to tie a number of divisive issues to the cyber bill, including a measure to limit federal funding for immigration “sanctuary cities” and an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) pushed back a vote to proceed on the bill until Wednesday afternoon in the hopes of reaching an accord.
The two parties caucused over lunch to see if they could hash out any remaining disagreements.
But prospects of a successful resolution seem grim.
Burr made his remarks as he walked to his party meeting. He didn’t totally rule out a deal on amendments, though.
“Oh I’m never willing to give up until it’s time to vote,” Burr said.
There’s a shot, he added, that lawmakers could reach a deal Wednesday to line up the amendments for consideration when the Senate returns in September.
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Welcome to ground zero of climate chaos MORE (R-Maine), also on her way to the chairman’s meeting, said “my fear is that they’ll just put off the whole thing until after the recess.”
“I personally think that we really need to stay here and do this bill,” said Collins, who added that her amendment to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber authority would likely be included in any deal.
McConnell on Tuesday offered Democrats a deal to limit each side to 10 amendments, which Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (D-Nev.) rejected.
“I’m puzzled by the objection,” Collins said. “That’s so reasonable.”