House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections

House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections
© Greg Nash

The House will vote on legislation later this month aimed at limiting foreign interference in U.S. elections after a bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee this week called on Congress to take action on the issue.

The move by House Democrats is likely to place additional pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.), whom Democrats have targeted on election security. 

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House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown MORE (D-Md.) announced the House will take up legislation that would require campaigns to report “illicit offers” of election assistance from foreign governments or individuals to both the FBI and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). 

The legislation, known as the SHIELD Act and just introduced this week, also includes language designed to ensure that political advertisements on social media are subject to the same sponsor disclosure rules as ads on television and radio broadcasts. 

The vote will come in the midst of a presidential impeachment inquiry that focuses on whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE asked Ukraine to interfere in aspects of the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election. 

Hoyer praised work done by House Democrats in regards to the impeachment investigation in a letter announcing the move, writing that “the President betrayed our nation’s trust, undermined our national security, and abused his power by encouraging foreign interference in our elections, and the American people deserve answers."

The House has already passed two major election security bills earlier this year. McConnell has blocked most election security measures from being brought up, citing concerns around federalizing elections.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report this week urged Congress to take action to ensure social media sites can't be used to interfere in the next election. The report concluded that Russian actors took advantage of weakness in the platforms to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The Intelligence Committee report specifically highlighted the imposition of new regulations on transparency of ads as one of its recommendations for action. 

The House Administration Committee is scheduled to mark up the SHIELD Act next week prior to the full House taking it up, with committee Chairwoman Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenLawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers GOP criticizes Pelosi for sidelining election security for impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) among the bill’s key sponsors. 

Other sponsors include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTurley: Democrats offering passion over proof in Trump impeachment GOP lawmaker: 'Amazing' Democrats would ask if Founding Fathers would back Trump impeachment Trump asks if Democrats 'love our country' amid ongoing impeachment hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesHouse to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference MORE (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force.