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 CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity GOP group targets McConnell over election security bills in new ad Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown MORE (R-Mo.), Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray Coats11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Hillicon Valley: Deepfakes pose 2020 test for media | States beg Congress for more election security funds | Experts worry campaigns falling short on cybersecurity | Trump officials urge reauthorization of NSA surveillance program MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death Arizona poll shows Kelly overtaking McSally 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 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 PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE to talk Internet freedom: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTaylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help' The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Senate passes sweeping budget deal, sending it to Trump 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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