Collins is first GOP senator to back bill requiring campaigns report foreign assistance offers to FBI

Collins is first GOP senator to back bill requiring campaigns report foreign assistance offers to FBI
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins challenger hit with ethics complaints over reimbursements Overnight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs MORE (R-Maine) is signing on to a bill to require campaigns to report foreign assistance offers to the FBI, giving the legislation its first GOP supporter.

"Russia’s efforts to interfere in our elections remain relentless. I’m proud to join Sen. @MarkWarner in cosponsoring the bipartisan FIRE Act to require presidential candidates to immediately call the FBI if they are contacted by a foreign power attempting to target our elections," Collins tweeted Tuesday.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (D-Va.), the bill's sponsor, announced earlier Tuesday that Collins had signed on, saying that Congress needed "to make it clear for presidential campaigns going forward: if a foreign power contacts you attempting to interfere in our elections, you call the FBI."

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But her support comes as election security legislation has emerged as an increasingly partisan fight in the Senate. Republicans have blocked attempts by Democrats to pass House bills, arguing that they are meant to politically benefit Democrats.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) blasted his critics Tuesday accusing them of “lying” and “modern-day McCarthyism.” Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) fired back that the GOP leader should bring a bill up for a vote if he didn’t like the criticism. 

Under Warner's bill, campaign officials would have to report contacts with foreign nationals who are trying to make campaign donations or coordinate with the campaign to the Federal Election Commission, which would, in turn, notify the FBI.

The proposal shot into the spotlight after President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE suggested he would be open to accepting information on a political opponent from a foreign government. 

“OK, let’s put yourself in a position: You’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI? You don’t,” Trump told ABC News last month.

Updated at 10:46 a.m.