Cyber bills gain new urgency after rash of attacks

Bipartisan bills aimed at strengthening U.S. cybersecurity after a string of major attacks are making headway in both the House and Senate.

The rare cooperation between Democrats and Republicans is a sharp contrast to the partisan divisions over other measures like voting rights legislation and major infrastructure components.

“Unlike some of the other things I’m working on, huge, huge progress,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said of a cybersecurity proposal he is spearheading.

“We are very close to having almost every member of the committee on it,” Warner told The Hill on Tuesday. “It has been purely waiting for the members to get back [to Washington]. I’ve got to have a couple of member-to-member discussions, but the notion that we need some level of mandatory incident reporting. The fact that many business groups have coalesced behind this, I think it’s all great news.”

The draft bill, backed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on the Intelligence Committee, would require federal agencies, federal contractors and owners and operators of critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents within 24 hours to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.