Senate passes bill to deny entry for individuals who meddle in US elections
© Keren Carrion
The Senate cleared legislation on Monday night to block individuals who meddle in U.S. elections from being able to enter the United States.
 
The legislation, known as the Defending Elections against Trolls from Enemy Regimes Act (DETER Act), easily passed the Senate by unanimous consent — a move that any one senator could have blocked.
 
 
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According to the legislation, that would include violating voting or campaign finance laws or trying to interfere in elections or a campaign while under the direction of a foreign government. 
 
"As we saw in the 2016 elections, Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBudowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? Sanctions encourage Sino-Russian cooperation Return of nuclear doomsday MORE’s Russia is attempting to strike at the very heart of the democratic values, freedoms, and liberty all Americans hold dear. By barring foreigners who improperly interfere in our elections from coming to the United States, the DETER Act sends a message to hostile nations across the world that the United States will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections," Graham said in a statement after the committee's vote.
 
The bill's Senate passage comes as election security is showing new, early signs of life in the chamber, even as top Republicans have expressed little public interest in moving broader election infrastructure legislation.
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor earlier Monday that Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year MORE (R-Ky.) had agreed to an all-members briefing on election security as lawmakers warn of the need to bolster election infrastructure ahead of the 2020 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.
 
Senators have mounted a bipartisan push in the wake of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's report to try to move election security through the Senate, arguing that it's needed in the wake of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. 
 
Durbin, after his bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, lamented the broader stalemate on election security legislation and pledged to get his legislation to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's desk.
 
"Unfortunately, Congress has done little to prevent future efforts by Russia or others to influence and disrupt the 2020 elections,” Durbin said.
 
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.