Hearing on Election Security and Russian Interference Needed
Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to request a comprehensive oversight hearing on the ongoing efforts by Russia and other foreign actors seeking to interfere in our elections – and to request consideration of the Election Security Act (H.R. 5011). This bill, introduced by Ranking Member Thompson and Members of the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, would authorize $1 billion in grants to protect elections for public office and enhance the security of our election infrastructure.
In the letter, Ranking Member Thompson states:
Recognizing the alarming conclusions of our national security and intelligence agencies and ongoing reports of our foreign adversaries’ intentions, on May 23, 2017, I wrote to you to request a Committee on Homeland Security investigation into Russian interference in our elections. While this Committee failed to take action, government officials continued to sound the alarm.
Absent action on my request, on June 29, 2017, I joined with colleagues from the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on House Administration to form the Congressional Task Force on Election Security. Earlier this week, after months of engagement with state election officials, security experts, and other stakeholders, the Task Force released a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations and unveiled the Election Security Act, which is aimed at bolstering protections for upcoming U.S. elections.
Given the seriousness of this threat to our Nation, Congress must redouble its efforts to thwart foreign influences seeking to interfere in our elections. The Committee on Homeland Security should have acted long ago. With less than ten legislative days prior to the first primary election of the year, it is critical that we hold a hearing to examine this national security issue and consider the Election Security Act without delay. We owe it to the American public to act.
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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978