Cyber Reform Clearing Hurdles, Still Under Scrutiny
CYBER REFORM CLEARS FIRST SENATE HURDLE – The Senate officially took the plunge Thursday into the heated cybersecurity debate, voting 84-11 on cloture to begin debate on the Lieberman-Collins-Feinstein-Carper-Rockefeller bill with days to go before the August break. (Here’s our story, if you missed it, for Pros: http://politico.pro/Mos5sE)
There’s no Senate action today. Instead, the chamber returns Monday at 2 p.m., and later in the day will adopt the motion to proceed on the cyber bill, per Dem leadership. For now, though, here are the story lines to watch Friday:
–SO, WHO VOTED NO? The 11 no-votes include nine Republicans and two Democrats. The R’s: Barrasso, Enzi, Heller, Johnson (Wis.), Johanns, Moran, Paul, Roberts, Rubio. The D’s: Baucus and Tester. And not voting at all were DeMint, Conrad, Inhofe and Lee. (Note that some of the SECURE IT Act leaders did, in fact, vote aye on the motion to proceed.)
–WHAT HAPPENS TODAY? Sen. Joe Lieberman told MT that a smaller group of players in the cybersecurity debate is going to huddle today, building off two similar meetings already this week.
But lawmakers were especially dodgy after the vote Thursday on what follows cloture on a motion to proceed. We received lots of variations of ‘nope!’ from Sens. Jay Rockefeller, Dianne Feinstein and Chris Coons on the behind-the-scenes work going forward toward compromise on key changes to the bill. Feinstein did say, though, that lawmakers are working ‘very hard’ on ‘coming together on this bill.’ And Coons just said there’s an ‘engaged, strong bipartisan group that is making real progress’ on compromise. Collins, meanwhile, told us it’s just simply too soon to game out the possibilities.
–SPEAKING OF AMENDMENTS: Tony Romm breaks down for you the growing assortment of tweaks to come. Expect to start hearing about amendments from Republicans restricting language on critical infrastructure and changing the current setup on information sharing. And expect other tweaks from Dem Sen. Patrick Leahy and others on data security and privacy, one from Sen. Chris Coons that would sunset part of the law, perhaps one from Sen. Jeff Bingaman on energy and much more. Everything we know, here: http://politi.co/OrAexa
–CDT SOUNDS OFF: The group’s Greg Nojeim urged members not to scale back the measure’s privacy protections. ‘Senators should reject any amendments that would permit unfettered information sharing with the NSA – a military agency with little to no public accountability – as well as any amendment that would broaden the non-cybersecurity uses for which the government can use shared information,’ he said in a statement last night. ‘This will keep cybersecurity from becoming a backdoor wiretapping program.’ CDT threw particular support behind an amendment by Sens. Al Franken and Rand Paul on company threat countermeasures, which Nojeim described as ‘perhaps the most important remaining civil liberty issue in the bill.’