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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates Beware the tea party of the left Bottom line MORE (D-N.Y.) said the Senate will get an election security briefing, after weeks of public clamoring for Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Hoyer: Democrats 'committed' to Oct. 31 timeline for Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ky.) to agree to the demand.The Senate Democratic leader indicated in a letter in April that he wanted the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Cyber Command to meet with senators and discuss what efforts are already underway to protect the 2020 election and what additional resources might be needed.
Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, indicated that the Senate GOP leader had agreed to his weeks-long call for all senators to receive a briefing in the wake of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"I have some positive news. I have spoken to the Republican leader about that request. He has assured me we will have a briefing," Schumer said.
He added that he and McConnell were still ironing out the timing of when the Senate briefing would take place but urged the GOP leader to hold it within weeks — before the Senate's current work period runs out at the end of June.
The closed-door briefing comes as senators have mounted a bipartisan push in the wake of Mueller's report to try to move election security through the Senate, but have run into high-profile opposition from McConnell and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntHartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand McConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Mo.).
Supporters argue that new legislation is needed to help bolster election infrastructure in the wake of Russia's actions, and as lawmakers debate how to safeguard the 2020 White House and congressional elections.
Schumer argued on Monday that the closed-door briefing needed to take place in June to give lawmakers enough time to clear legislation at least a year before the 2020 election.
"The Senate should be briefed by our intelligence and law enforcement chiefs about the threat of election interference in the 2020 election so we can all be aware of the danger that FBI Director [Christopher] Wray has already pointed out," Schumer said.
He added that he hoped the briefing would make lawmakers "see the danger and act."
"I hope it reignites a desire on both sides of the aisle to move legislation, increase funding and do what's necessary to protect our democracy," Schumer said.
The announcement of the Senate briefing comes after Mueller warned about election interference during a press conference last week, which marked his first public comments since he wrapped up his two-year investigation earlier this year.
But election interference legislation has hit a roadblock on Capitol Hill, where Mueller's findings have failed to break the months-long stalemate over election security legislation.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates MORE (D-Calif.) is urging the Senate to take up H.R. 1, a wide-ranging election and ethics reform bill, and pledged that Congress will "legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy."
But top GOP senators have downplayed the likelihood of a bill being taken up, citing the differences with House Democrats. Blunt said during a committee hearing earlier this month that “at this point I don’t see any likelihood that those bills would get to the floor if we mark them up."