Schumer says McConnell has agreed to Senate briefing on election security
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Public awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names 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 McConnellTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Eighty-eight years of debt pieties Ernst says Trump should sign defense policy bill with military base renaming provision MORE (R-Ky.) to agree to the demand. 
 
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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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. 
 
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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 BluntRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats 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 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. 
 
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. 
 
"I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American," Mueller told reporters.
 
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 PelosiRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide On The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation 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." 
 
McConnell hasn't publicly ruled out any election security legislation, but he's declared the House bill dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate.
 
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."