Ensuring our election infrastructure is secure ahead of the 2018 election is one of my top priorities in Congress. That’s why I joined Congressman Jamie Raskin last week inintroducing the Election Vendor Security Act, legislation to require election vendors to be owned and controlled by an American citizen and also disclose the use of foreign-made parts in their products or software. The bill comes in response to the announcement by the FBI that a Russian oligarch invested in a vendor used by the state of Maryland to facilitate our elections without the state’s knowledge.
While there is no evidence of wrongdoing in our state, Congress must do everything in its power to safeguard our election systems.The Maryland Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also last week, requesting that the federal government assist in a review of Maryland’s electoral systems. We must ensure that no election system was compromised by the Russian government in light of the proven interference in the 2016 election.
Additionally, I joined a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in introducingthe Secure America from Russian Interference Act. This important and comprehensive bill, made up of 18 pieces of legislation, seeks to hold Russia accountable for its malign activities byadvancing four basic objectives:
- Exposing Russian misdeeds and holding President Vladimir Putin accountable;
- Strengthening U.S. government security and election infrastructure to defend against foreign interference;
- Bolstering U.S. alliances to combat the Russian threat, especially those of our NATO partners; and
- Seeking constructive dialogue with the Russian people.
While President Trump refuses to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible, Congress must act. The Secure America from Russian Interference Act is an important start. I urge Republican leaders to bring this legislation to the House Floor for consideration.