Senator McConnell: Protect U.S. Elections

Jun 18, 2019
In The News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not shame easily. Ask anyone — including Jon Stewart, the former Comedy Network star who has found a second life as an impassioned advocate for the victims of the 9/11 attacks…. Mr. McConnell recently expressed support for fully funding the Victims Compensation Fund as Mr. Stewart has sought, but legislation to do so remains stalled in the Senate. Still, if the embarrassment Mr. Stewart heaped on the majority leader actually did the job, perhaps the former “Daily Show” host can be recruited to express similar outrage that Congress has so far done so little to protect the upcoming 2020 election from foreign interference. Maryland’s own Rep. John Sarbanes is looking to rectify that situation shortly. He’s at the vanguard of the effort by House Democrats to strengthen election security — and address many of the criticisms contained in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that have been echoed by U.S. intelligence agencies. There’s simply no question that Russian agents attempted to interfere in the 2016 election and are expected to be at it again next year. What would a better protected election look like? Well, for starters, Congress can simply clarify the obligation of a candidate and his or her campaign staff to report contacts with foreign nationals seeking to interfere with a presidential election…. But that’s just the beginning. Representative Sarbanes is also set to re-introduce the election security provisions contained in H.R. 1, the omnibus bill the House passed early in its term that covers ethics and campaign finance as well…. The Senate majority leader has been sitting on H.R. 1 since it passed the House in March…. But by breaking out the election security components, Mr. Sarbanes will be giving the senator a clear choice — either protect democracy or don’t.