Legislative Activity

Senate Fails to Include Cybersecurity Legislation as Part of the National Defense Authorization Act

Last week, the Senate attempted to add the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) but ultimately failed to garner enough votes to move to consideration of the amendment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced earlier in the week that he intended to allow an amendment to the NDAA that included the exact language from the CISA bill that the Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to in March. Although the bill passed out of Committee by a bipartisan 14-1 vote, Senate Democrats, including Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), expressed strong opposition to including CISA as an amendment to the NDAA legislation as opposed to allowing the legislation to be considered on the floor as a standalone bill. Their concerns stemmed from the fact that considering the bill as an amendment would limit the floor debate time and the number of amendments that could be offered, especially given that several Senators, including Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), hope to amend the bill on the floor to strengthen its privacy protections.

On Thursday, the Senate moved to a cloture vote on the CISA amendment which required 60 votes in order to limit the debate on the amendment and prevent any attempts by the minority to filibuster the bill. The final vote was 56-40. Although the Senate failed to move forward in its consideration of CISA on the floor this past week, it is likely that they will attempt to consider the bill again in the coming weeks once the Majority Leader can identify floor time for the bill to be debated.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, June 15: The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing to address cyber espionage and digital trade in China.
  •  Tuesday, June 16: The House Oversight and Government reform Committee will hold a hearing titled “OPM: Data Breach.”
  • Tuesday, June 16: The Seante Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security will mark up its FY 2016 Homeland Security appropriations bill.
  • Tuesday, June 16: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “A Global Perspective on Cyber Threats.”

Executive Branch Activity

Defense Secretary Carter Meets with Chinese General on Cyber Issues

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with General Fan Changlong, a deputy head of the Chinese Central Military Commission, last week in advance of the visit from China’s President Xi Jinping to Washington later this year. While the meeting focused on the land disputes in the South China Sea, the two leaders also discussed cybersecurity issues, which have created growing problems in the U.S.-China relationship given the recent cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management that exposed the personal information of millions of federal employees. General Fan also met with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice during his visit.