Common Cause Urges U.S. House Members to Pass SHIELD Act to Curb Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections

With a floor vote expected later today, Common Cause and it’s 1.2 million members continue to strongly urge every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “yes” on the SHIELD (Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy) Act (HR 4617). In a Monday letter to Representatives, Common Cause emphasized that the critical legislation will help safeguard our elections from the very real and ongoing dangers of foreign interference in our elections.

“Americans expect and deserve free and fair elections and the SHIELD Act will help ensure those elections are between candidates, without hostile foreign governments working to tip the scales for their favored candidates,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “Foreign interference is a dire threat to our democracy – rising to unprecedented levels in 2016 and continuing unabated today because the Trump Administration has done little to hold our enemies accountable. If the White House refuses to take appropriate steps to safeguard our elections, and worse overtly solicits the aid of foreign governments for political purposes, then it falls to Congress to act for the good of our nation.”

As Common Cause continues to emphasize, the SHIELD Act includes the following critical measures:

  • Creates a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents.
  • Helps prevent foreign interference in future elections by improving transparency of online political advertisements.
  • Closes loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
  • Restricts exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
  • Prohibits deceptive practices about voting procedures.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) deserve credit for championing the SHIELD Act, marshaling support, and seeing it through to a vote. The letter notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote final passage of the SHIELD Act, in our Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.2 million members.

To read the letter, click here.