OVERNIGHT TECH: Senators scramble to save cybersecurity bill

The Lede: The fate of cybersecurity legislation in the Senate is expected to be determined on Thursday, when cloture for Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) Cybersecurity Act ripens.

By all appearances, the cybersecurity bill doesn't have enough Republican support to get cloture and move to the finish line. Still, a group of senators met Wednesday afternoon to try to see if some sort of a compromise could be worked out.

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Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) huddled with Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days Lawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators defend bipartisan bill on facial recognition as cities crack down MORE (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Overnight Defense: Trump cancels presser, cuts short NATO trip | Viral video catches leaders appearing to gossip about Trump | Dem witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses | Trump reportedly mulling more troops in Middle East Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-Mo.), Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFormer US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMan acquitted over tweet offering 0 to killing an ICE agent Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), lead sponsors of a competing cybersecurity measure, joined at the end of the meeting.

When exiting Kyl's office, McCain said the group was "making progress," but was quick to add that members were "still a long way" from reaching a deal.

The Obama administration kept up its push for Lieberman's bill on Wednesday, ushering out statements from defense officials that urged the Senate to act before the recess.

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander said there has been "over a 20-fold increase" in cyberattacks targeting the country’s critical infrastructure, with the severity growing over time.

"What concerns me is what we’re seeing is the evolution of these cyber events from exploitation to disruption," the four-star general said.

John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said it would be "incomprehensible" for senators to oppose the bill.

"We find it hard to believe that there is any reason or basis to oppose this legislation," Brennan said, especially since Lieberman removed the voluntary mandates included in the original version.

Comcast sues FCC over Tennis Channel decision: Comcast asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent ruling that the company discriminated against the independently owned Tennis Channel.

Comcast had put the Tennis Channel in an expensive sports package, but the FCC ordered Comcast to include the channel in the same package as its own sports networks.

Comcast said the FCC's decision was "arbitrary and capricious" and violated its First and Fifth Amendment rights.

Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE to talk Internet freedom: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week Overnight Defense: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East MORE (R-Tenn.) will discuss their vision of Internet freedom at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

The lawmakers have criticized liberal activists for supporting regulations aimed at preventing corporate control of the Internet. Paul and Blackburn argue the government should not set rules for Internet access.


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