Senate Dems introduce bill to create commission on Russian hacking

Senate Dems introduce bill to create commission on Russian hacking

Senate Democrats are doubling down on their push to create a commission to probe allegations that Russia meddled in the White House race.

Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinProposed bipartisan kidney legislation takes on kidney disease epidemic in America Lawmakers raise security concerns about China building NYC subway cars House votes to boost retirement savings MORE (Md.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinYoung activists press for change in 2020 election The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Democrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks MORE (Calif.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (Vt.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperThe '90-10 rule' in higher education is a target on veterans' backs Trump proposal nixes review of long-term climate impacts Democrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks MORE (Del.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJuan Williams: Warren on the rise Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (Minn.) introduced legislation on Wednesday to create the independent panel. 

"The American people deserve a nonpartisan, transparent, public investigation into this insidious attack on our democratic institutions,” Cardin said in a statement. 

The panel, according to the Democrats, would be able to probe Russian cyber attacks on the political system and investigate any attempt by Russia to meddle in U.S. elections. 

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It would have roughly 18 months to hand over its findings to Congress, including identifying those responsible for the email hacks and recommending a response.

Leahy painted the legislation as the next step following the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia late last month. 

"We need an accounting — a serious, independent and bipartisan investigation of attempted Russian interference in the American presidential election.  This is larger than any one candidate or any one election," he said.

Though members of the commission would be appointed by a both parties, it would likely face an uphill battle to get congressional approval. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility California governor predicts 'xenophobic' GOP will likely be third party in 15 years This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request MORE has signaled repeatedly that he does not believe an independent commission or a select congressional committee is needed. 

He told reporters late last year that the Senate Intelligence Committee could handle the investigation. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will also hold a closed-door briefing on the Obama administration's response to Russian hacking next week.