Senate to be briefed on election security Wednesday

Greg Nash
The Senate will get an election security briefing on Wednesday, as Democrats clamor for Congress to pass new legislation ahead of the 2020 election. 
Senators will have a closed-door meeting with Trump administration officials, including briefers from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to a senior Senate aide. 
{mosads}The House is also expected to be briefed on Wednesday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announcing late last month that the lower chamber would also have an “all members” briefing. 
The back-to-back briefings come as Democrats have been pushing for months for Congress to pass new legislation ahead of the 2020 elections. They also follow former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. 
House Democrats passed a massive election and ethics reform bill earlier this year and have followed it up with smaller bills as they’ve tried to put pressure on the GOP-controlled Senate to take action. 
Senate Democrats are hoping the election security briefing will move Republicans toward backing additional legislation and funding. In addition to requesting a briefing, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) backed putting election security in a mammoth defense bill, has called for stand-alone legislation and wants to put additional money for election security assistance in the upcoming appropriations bills. 
But those efforts have faced a buzzsaw as top Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (Mo.), the panel with primary jurisdiction, have brushed off calls for new legislation. 

Blunt told members of his committee that he would not hold votes on election security bills because McConnell “is of the view that this debate reaches no conclusion.”

McConnell also warned during a Fox News interview last month that he believes Democrats are trying to politicize the issue. 
“I’m open to considering legislation, but it has to be directed in a way that doesn’t undermine state and local control of elections. The Democrats … would like to nationalize everything. They want the federal government to take over broad swaths of the election process because they think that would somehow benefit them,” McConnell said.
Tags Charles Schumer Mitch McConnell Mueller investigation Nancy Pelosi Robert Mueller Roy Blunt
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