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Sen. Mitch McConnell to Tie Cyber Bill With Defense Authorization Bill

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cyberSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to insert a proposal for greater public-private cyber information sharing as an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, the National Journal reported Tuesday.

Dustin Volz writes that the decision comes after recent hacks on the Office of Personnel Management and U.S. Army websites.

McConnell will submit the proposed Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Volz reports.

The report said the committee passed CISA in March and the House approved two similar cyber bills in May even as concerns on government surveillance continue among other lawmakers.

Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim also report on Politico that McConnell’s move to package the cyber bill with the defense authorization bill could be intended to counter lawmakers planning to stop the latter proposal due to concerns about the use of a “budget gimmick” to fund defense programs.

President Barack Obama has also called on Congress to speed up the passage of cybersecurity legislation, while he also indicated that he might veto NDAA, the report said.

“There were some things we were hoping to still be able to tweak with [CISA],” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

“One of the downsides to just making it an amendment to a really large piece of legislation is that that would preclude us, at least in practice, from being able to get at some of those issues.”

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