“Good afternoon. I am pleased to be joined by a number of my colleagues, some of whom will be speaking and others whom may answer questions.
“We had a vote today where we had an opportunity to act in a decisive way to protect the integrity of our voting system. The Republicans to a person, I believe – I think it was unanimous on their side – rejected that opportunity.
“We are introducing a bill today to exercise responsibility for holding Russia accountable for its hostile actions against the United States of America.
“The Putin regime has consistently worked against the interests of the United States and our allies by attacking our democracy, which we had an opportunity to respond to today and we failed; stealing Crimea and illegally occupying Georgia, we do not know whether our President confronted Mr. Putin on those two issues in the meeting that they had; supporting the murderous Assad regime in Syria, which we know that Russia has done; blatantly, openly, and complicity murdering its opponents; and attacking western democracies and our critical NATO alliance.
“Today, my colleagues and I have introduced H.R. 6437, the Secure America from Russia Interference Act. This bipartisan, comprehensive legislation will do what President Trump has repeatedly failed to do: hold Russia accountable, strengthen our election security, and bolster our alliances.
“This legislation brings together a number of bills, I think a list of which you have in your possession — many bipartisan — that are aimed at safeguarding our national security and protecting American’s rights to cast their ballots and have their vote counted accurately.
“Congress must, it should, the American people expect us to adopt a bipartisan and unambiguous strategy to counter Russia’s destabilizing activity. After President Trump’s surprising and, yes, even shameful display in Helsinki, some Republicans have expressed concern, but press reports indicate that they are throwing up their hands and saying ‘there is nothing we can do.’
“But, there is something we can do: bring this legislation to the Floor and pass it with strong bipartisan support. Congress surely should do everything in its power to protect the American people and this legislation is a step in the right direction.
“I want to thank all of the Members who worked hard on its provisions: Representative Engel, Representative Waters, Representative Suozzi, Representative Carbajal, Representative Castro, Representative Cohen, Representative Connolly, Representative Correa, Representative Demings, Representative Heck, Representative Kennedy, Representative Kilmer, Representative Krishnamoorthi, Representative Moulton, and Representative Thompson.
“And I also want to thank my colleagues across the aisle – Representatives Stefanik and Jones – for their support of this important legislation.
“I’m now pleased to yield to the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Eliot Engel of New York.”