Senate Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), blocked three election security bills on Wednesday, the second time in two days they blocked such legislation, The Hill reported.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked for unanimous consent to pass the bills, The Hill said.
“You know, it’s not a good sign if you’re doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” Blackburn said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke Wednesday against the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, The Washington Times said. The act would require candidates and campaigns to tell the FBI and Federal Election Commission about any illicit offers of assistance made from or on the behalf of foreign governments. The House approved the bill Wednesday by 227-181.
“It’s a textbook example of policy designed to reduce the amount of free speech in our country,” Mr. McConnell argued, calling it a “transparent attack on the First Amendment.”
An official from the Department of Homeland Security said in November 2018 the department had not detected any indications of successful election cyberattacks.
President Donald Trump threatened to veto the bill in a statement.
The Administration opposes passage of H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act. The Administration agrees that transparency and accountability in elections are vital to the democratic process. The SHIELD Act, however, is redundant, overly broad, ambiguous, and unenforceable. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and current regulations already address the policy objectives of H.R. 4617, and the bill’s expansive language would make impartial and predictable implementation of the law impossible.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.