WASHINGTON – After several false starts this year, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on a major cybersecurity bill backed by the banking industry.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act would allow for greater sharing of cyber threat information between government and the private sector and provide businesses with certain liability protections for doing so. The bipartisan legislation passed out of the Intelligence Committee 14-1 in May, but has yet to prevail on the chamber floor.

“CISA would help to establish clear lines of communication between the private sector and various government agencies responsible for cybersecurity and would establish a more open dialogue about emerging, imminent, and high risk cyber threats,” the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association told Senate leaders in a letter Tuesday.

Lawmakers began debating the bill – including a series of proposed amendments – on Tuesday evening. A procedural vote on the measure could come as early as Thursday afternoon.

Supporters of the legislation made an unsuccessful bid in June to add CISA to the Defense Department spending package and lawmakers again failed to secure a vote before the August recess, despite a big push to bring the measure to the floor.

The House passed similar information-sharing legislation in April.

Victoria Finkle is American Banker's Capitol Hill reporter.

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