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Blue Dog Democrats urge action on election security

Blue Dog Democrats urge action on election security

The leaders of the House Blue Dog Coalition and the House Blue Dog Task Force on National Security on Thursday sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for action to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections and to secure election systems.

The House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 26 moderate Democrats, urged congressional leaders to “put politics aside and pursue bipartisan solutions” to bolster election security ahead of 2020. 

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“We are calling on Congress to take further action to secure our elections, punish Russia for its attempts to meddle in the 2016 and 2018 elections, and deter our adversaries from meddling in future U.S. elections,” the leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition and the Task Force wrote. “The threat to our national security could not be more clear.”

The letter was sent to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Md.), Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity MORE (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' Why pretend senators can 'do impartial justice'? MORE (D-N.Y.). 

The House has passed two major election security bills earlier this year, both along party lines. 

The SAFE Act, passed in June, would provide states with $600 million for election security efforts, and would also ban voting machines from being connected to the internet and from being manufactured outside the U.S. The House also approved the For the People Act, which includes sweeping language on election security and voting reform.

Both bills have been blocked from a vote in the Senate by Republicans, who cite concerns around federalizing elections. 

Senate Democrats launched a sustained campaign this summer to pressure Republicans to allow votes on these bills and others on election security, with Schumer sending a separate letter Thursday to Senate Democrats emphasizing election security going into the fall. 

The House Blue Dogs noted that all members of Congress have “sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic,” adding that “it is our sacred duty to uphold that oath to our country.” 

“A lack of action by Congress to secure our elections would embolden our adversaries and pose a danger to the national security of the United States,” the House Blue Dogs wrote. “Americans must have confidence in the security of our country’s electoral process in order to ensure full faith in every election’s result, no matter the outcome.”

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