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 McConnellOn The Money: Trump administration releases PPP loan data | Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits | McConnell opens door to direct payments in next coronavirus bill Trump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge The Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages MORE (R-Ky.), whom Democrats have targeted on election security. 

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House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Democrats seek to use spending bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol House eyes votes to remove symbols of Confederates from Capitol House to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling 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 TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding 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. 

Other sponsors include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler wins Democratic primary Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Clyburn threatens to end in-person coronavirus committee hearings if Republicans won't wear masks MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesPelosi, Democrats press case for mail-in voting amid Trump attacks Cornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel An inclusive democracy Demands DC statehood MORE (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force.