Extra time could help. The cybersecurity bill has numerous political hurdles to clear that may not be easily negotiated during the first week of August, when senators' minds turn to recess. Many senators also hope to have time to propose further amendments to the bill, which may not be possible during a rushed August schedule.
Here's a rundown of the problems facing the cyber bill:
Outstanding privacy concerns
The information-sharing bill has long been opposed by privacy advocates, who say it would effectively broaden the government's powers to spy on Americans.
A letter sent Monday from a coalition of security experts, civil-society organizations, and privacy groups urges President Obama to issue a veto threat, arguing that CISA would result in Americans' private information being shared with the government, and criticizing it for allowing the information gathered from private companies to be used for purposes other than cybersecurity.
"While cybersecurity threats continue to be a significant problem warranting congressional action, CISA goes well beyond authorizing necessary conduct, to authorizing dangerous conduct, and unnecessarily harming privacy," said the Center for Democracy and Technology on its blog Tuesday. "Its broad use permissions suggest that the legislation is as much about surveillance as it is about cybersecurity."
Conflict with House bills
There are currently two bills in the House that complement the Senate's cybersecurity legislation, but reconciling the House bills — and then squaring the result with the Senate version — may prove to be very difficult.
The two House bills originated from different committees: One came from the House Homeland Security Committee, and the other from the House Intelligence Committee. Although they are similar in many ways, they differ on some key points, including on liability protection and privacy provisions.
What's more, neither currently lines up with the legislation under consideration in the Senate, which trades fewer privacy protections for more security provisions.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said last month that the Senate's version of the bill would be dead on arrival in the House, because it could trigger fears of expanded surveillance.
"My concern is that they have an NSA information-sharing component in there that I think would be problematic in many ways in the House," McCaul said at a National Journal event. "I've warned them that if that kind of bill comes back, it's not going to pass, and that's the political reality."
A congressional aide said Tuesday that McCaul has not changed his mind about the current Senate bill, but that he is "supportive of Senate action and is optimistic the House and Senate can come together in conference, if the Senate were to pass their bill, to work out remaining concerns."