Blue Dogs Call for Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Secure US Elections

September 6, 2019 by Dan McCue
"I voted" stickers in San Diego. (John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

WASHINGTON – The co-chairs of the Blue Dog Coalition of security-focused House Democrats and the caucus’s National Security Task Force on Wednesday called on the leadership of both parties and both chambers to bring bipartisan election security legislation up for a vote.

In a letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the coalition leaders contend that with less than five months to go before the Iowa caucus and the start of primary voting across the U.S., “there is no time for partisan games.”

“In a divided government, the only way we can accomplish this vital task is to put politics aside and pursue bipartisan solutions that can pass a Democratic-led House and a Republican-led Senate, and go to a Republican President’s desk for a signature,” the letter says. 

“Thankfully, members of both parties in both chambers of Congress have put forward viable, bipartisan solutions that, together, can address this threat to our national security in a holistic way,” it continues.

The lawmakers who signed the letter include Reps. Stephanie Murphy, of Florida, Blue Dog co-chair for administration; Tom O’Halleran, of Arizona, Blue Dog co-chair for policy; Lou Correa, of California, Blue Dog co-chair for communications; Anthony Brindisi, of New York, Blue Dog co-chair for whip;  Kurt Schrader, of Oregon, Blue Dog co-chair; and Kendra Horn, of Oklahoma, and Jeff Van Drew, of New Jersey, co-chairs of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security.

The bipartisan legislation to which they refer includes:

  • H.R. 2592, Honest Ads Act;
  • H.R. 2135, Preventing Adversaries Internationally from Disbursing Advertising Dollars (PAID AD) Act;
  • S. 1692, Invest in Our Democracy Act of 2019;
  • S. 482, Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA) Act of 2019;
  • S. 1060, Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act of 2019;
  • S. 825, Protect Our Elections Act;
  • H.R. 1272, Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act;
  • H.R. 3529, Achieving Lasting Electoral Reforms on Transparency and Security (ALERTS) Act;
  • S. 1328, Defending Elections against Trolls from Enemy Regimes (DETER) Act; and
  • H.R. 1474, Strengthening Elections Through Intelligence Act.

In June, the Blue Dog Coalition released a package of legislative proposals in response to the conclusions presented in Volume I of the Mueller Report regarding Russia’s attack against the U.S. political system and attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The solutions are based primarily on a set of 11 bills endorsed by the Coalition and have earned bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. The Blue Dog proposal was widely praised by leaders, policy experts and policy organizations.

In their letter, the lawmakers note that this past summer, the House has passed the SAFE Act; the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a bipartisan report outlining Russia’s efforts against U.S. election infrastructure and proposing solutions that have earned bipartisan support; and leaders in the intelligence community have continued to sound the alarm that Russia and other adversaries will meddle in the 2020 election.

“Every single Member of Congress has sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic,” the letter says. “It is our sacred duty to uphold that oath to our country. As leaders of both chambers of Congress, we call on you to immediately launch a bipartisan, bicameral effort to bring these solutions and other viable ideas that have passed either chamber to the floor for a vote upon returning from the district work period.

“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. 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,” the letter concludes.

Elections

Hart Mounts Challenge to Outcome in Iowa's Second District
State News
Hart Mounts Challenge to Outcome in Iowa's Second District
December 2, 2020
by Dan McCue

WHEATLAND, Iowa - Democrat Rita Hart is challenging the vote totals in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, two days after a state board certified Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks the winner in a contest that came down to just six votes. The race is the closest federal election in... Read More

Pelosi, Democrats Renew Push to Overhaul Election, Campaign Finance Laws
Congress
Pelosi, Democrats Renew Push to Overhaul Election, Campaign Finance Laws

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday she would press ahead early next year with a campaign finance and elections overhaul, even as the measure may face the same Senate fate it did this Congress: doom. House Democrats passed their signature overhaul measure in March 2019 and dubbed it HR 1, indicating its priority. Senate... Read More

Turmoil Hits Cybersecurity Agency Engaged in Election as Staffers Leave
Cybersecurity
Turmoil Hits Cybersecurity Agency Engaged in Election as Staffers Leave

WASHINGTON — Key officials at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are stepping down or expecting to get fired from their roles as President Donald Trump continues to question the results of the Nov. 3 election, saying he was the victim of a fraudulent voting process. Christopher Krebs, the head of CISA... Read More

Gen Z Voters Maintain Faith in Democracy, Despite Election Concerns
Research
Gen Z Voters Maintain Faith in Democracy, Despite Election Concerns
November 12, 2020
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - In a Georgetown University focus group webinar of voters from Generation Z, the first-time voters expressed their excitement over participating in the democratic process, while at the same time voiced concerns about various influences on the election. The focus group explored how the youngest... Read More

States Expanded Voting Access for the Pandemic. The Changes Might Stick
Elections
States Expanded Voting Access for the Pandemic. The Changes Might Stick

ANCASTER, Pa. — With one envelope slicer, three ballot scanners and around 175 people, it took election officials roughly 37 consecutive hours to process 91,000 mail-in ballots in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. "It's taking a little longer to scan than we had hoped," said Randall Wenger, chief clerk of the... Read More

Lawyers' Group Reports 'No Systemic Problems'
Elections
Lawyers' Group Reports 'No Systemic Problems'

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Tuesday that the election so far appears to be successful in terms of in-person voting despite some isolated incidents. Voters at on Missouri polling location were asked about their COVID testing status, Clarke said, and at... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top