Senate panel moves bill to deter foreign meddling in US

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward with legislation to combat cyberattacks and deter foreign interference amid an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The bill approved by the Senate intelligence committee 14-1 Thursday will now move to the Senate floor. According to the panel, the legislation would ensure the intelligence community is well-positioned to detect cyberattacks, strengthen information-sharing with states to protect voting systems and "send a message to Moscow that we will not accept their aggressive actions."

Much of the legislation is classified and the panel has not yet released the bill language. The committee passes the legislation annually to set priorities for intelligence policy and spending.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said the bill contains "important reforms" to security clearance procedures and pushes the intelligence community to be more innovative with overhead satellite systems.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the "overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill shows that we all understand the gravity of the threats and how vital our intelligence community is to combatting them."

The House is considering similar legislation. But Democrats blocked floor passage earlier this week, saying Republicans were rushing to pass it without extensive debate.

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