But in a sign of the hurdles ahead for the proponents of the new panel, two key swing votes — Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine — are pushing back on the bipartisan efforts to create the committee.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee (along with the Intelligence Committee in the House) is best positioned to continue our investigations into the increasingly brazen and aggressive cyberwarfare emanating from Russia and China,” Collins told CNN in an email Monday…
The effort could play out on the Senate floor in the opening days of the new Congress. Under one proposal being actively discussed, senior senators may try to insert language to create the panel into the organizing resolution for the new Senate, several sources said. If not, the proponents of the committee may insist on a vote in the full Senate on a stand-alone proposal, something that would require 60 votes to overcome any filibuster attempt.
Proponents of the measure are confident that support will grow for the panel as the public learns more about Russia’s apparent involvement to meddle in the elections, something many view as a direct attack on the United States. A number of Republicans seem open to the idea of creating a panel, sources told CNN, even as McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, are resistant to the idea.