WASHINGTON – A major cybersecurity bill passed a key Senate test on Thursday after a series of setbacks earlier this year.

The Senate voted 83-14 to end debate on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which would make it easier for businesses and government to share cyber threat information. The legislation previously failed to be included as part of the Defense Department’s spending bill earlier this year, and lawmakers ran out of time to take up the plan before the August recess.

“This information sharing bill, while not a silver bullet, is an important step to shore up our cybersecurity,” Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, one of the bill’s lead authors, said in a statement Tuesday as debate kicked off.

Credit unions and banks have largely supported the measure, repeatedly pushing for it to be advanced in recent months. The legislation would provide certain liability protections for companies sharing sensitive information with the government.

Lawmakers will likely continue to debate the bill and a host of amendments in coming days before a final vote is scheduled. The bipartisan bill passed the Intelligence Committee in May by a vote of 14-1. The House passed similar information-sharing legislation in April.

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