October 22, 2020

Van Hollen, Schumer Slam Senate Republican Leadership for Blocking the Bipartisan DETER Act, Legislation to Prevent Foreign Interference in Our Elections

Van Hollen Unanimous Consent Blocked by Senate Republicans Following Deeply Disturbing Intelligence Reports that Russia is Actively Interfering in US Elections

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed Senate Republicans for blocking Senator Van Hollen’s request for Senate passage of his bipartisan DETER Act, legislation to prevent foreign interference in our elections. The Republicans’ decision to block the bill follows yesterday’s deeply disturbing reports from the intelligence community, showing that Russia is actively interfering in our elections.
“This is a disgrace. Every American should be able to agree that we must stop foreign interference in our elections. And yet this Administration – and Senate Republican leadership – have refused to take action. Senate Republicans’ efforts to block passage of the DETER Act today are all the more shameful in light of the intelligence reports we received on Russian interference just yesterday. This interference – and the Republican leaderships’ refusal to act – are a blatant affront to our democracy,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“We know our foreign adversaries are seeking to sow discord in our democracy and undermine confidence in our elections, and yesterday’s disclosures show they continue just days away from the 2020 election. There should be nothing controversial or partisan about deterring this type of brazen interference, and yet Senate Republicans, again, blocked passage of the DETER Act.  This legislation that would go a long way in protecting the wellspring of our democracy. We know we can’t trust this president to stand up for the integrity of our elections, so Congress must. Democrats are not going to stop fighting to put up additional safeguards,” said Leader Schumer.
Senator Van Hollen introduced the DETER Act with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Acting Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the legislation is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 10 of their colleagues. The Senators’ legislation sends a clear and powerful message to Russia and any other foreign actors seeking to disrupt our elections: If you attack American candidates, campaigns, or voting infrastructure, you will face swift and severe consequences. Provisions of this bipartisan legislation were included in the Fiscal Year 2020 House-passed NDAA, and the Senate later unanimously passed a resolution urging NDAA conferees to include the DETER Act in the conference report.