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 CollinsDemocrats spend big to put Senate in play Senate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Republicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial 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 WarnerTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Watchdog report finds FBI not motivated by political bias in Trump probe Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor to seek old Virginia seat 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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 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.) blasted his critics Tuesday accusing them of “lying” and “modern-day McCarthyism.” 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.) 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 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 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.