OVERNIGHT TECH: Lieberman confident as Senate moves to cybersecurity

{mosads}Speaking from the Senate floor, Lieberman said a meeting on Wednesday morning with skeptics of the bills, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), was a “significant break through.” Other participants in the meeting included Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and other members who have been involved in discussions on a compromise framework for the critical infrastructure provisions in Lieberman’s bill.

The two sides plan to talk again Thursday morning, according to Lieberman.

“I’m very confident that we’re going to get 60 votes on the motion to proceed, and now we’ve got the key players in the Senate sitting at the table talking,” Lieberman told reporters. “Our staffs are doing some work under our direction overnight. We’re going to meet tomorrow morning [and] we’re going to keep meeting until we get it done.”

The aim is to try to find areas of consensus between Lieberman’s bill and a competing measure from McCain, called the Secure It Act. The warring sides are trying to find agreement on possible amendments to be brought up when the bill is considered.

“We’re trying to see the areas where there’s no disagreement and then we’re trying to see the areas where we do disagree, if we can come together,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), a co-sponsor of the Secure It Act.

Kyl and Chambliss said it was positive that members were meeting, but there will be challenges to reaching a resolution that everyone can agree on.

“There are a lot of areas to find common ground, that won’t be the problem. The problem is on the one or two or three difficult issues, can we come to cloture on those?” Kyl said. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but I think it could.”

Republicans still quiet on cyber support: Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have been viewed as GOP members who would could potentially back Lieberman’s measure. But so far, both senators are keeping mum on the matter.

“I haven’t co-sponsored anything yet,” Blunt said. “I’m eager to find a solution … I’m going to continue to work to find a solution, and I don’t know what that is yet.”

Rubio declined to say where he stood on the bill because wanted to speak with Lieberman before stating his position.

Graham not satisfied with cyber bill: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he didn’t support Lieberman’s bill at this point.

“The big goal for me is to define critical infrastructure and reward people with liability protections who will adhere to meaningful standards,” Graham said. “I think the private sector is best equipped to write those standards.”

Wyden working on amendments for cyber bill: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he was working on amendments for the cybersecurity bill that would touch on a “variety” of issues, including privacy. Wyden had previously expressed concern that the information sharing section of the bill would increase the flow of Americans’ personal information to the military and National Security Agency and included vague language about how the government would use the information it received from companies on cyber threats. 

Senate to consider antitrust pick: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday afternoon to consider the nomination of William Joseph Baer to head the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. The agency is currently reviewing a deal between Verizon and a group of cable companies, and has reportedly launched an investigation into whether cable companies are trying to stifle competition from online video.

In Case You Missed It:

Reid sets crucial cybersecurity vote 

Senators meet to move on cybersecurity 

FCC announces $115 million in funding for Internet expansion 

Weitzner departing White House for MIT 

Top congressional staffer to lead new Internet lobbying group 

Tags John McCain Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Ron Wyden Roy Blunt Saxby Chambliss Sheldon Whitehouse

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