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 McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators MORE (R-Ky.), whom Democrats have targeted on election security. 

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House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate 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 TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 LofgrenGOP warns of 'drawn out' executive privilege battle over Bolton testimony  Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one Schumer urges declassification of letter from Pence aide MORE (D-Calif.) among the bill’s key sponsors. 

Other sponsors include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor Poll: Majority think Senate should call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesCitizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy Bottom Line House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections MORE (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force.