Senate Republicans Kill Measure to Require Reporting of Foreign Election Assistance Offers & Back Trump’s Excuses on Russia Bounties

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause

Yesterday, Senate Republicans removed a measure from the intelligence bill that would have required presidential campaigns to report attempts or offers of foreign election interference to federal authorities and then defended President Trump’s excuses and refusal to act on U.S. intelligence reports that Russia has been paying bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. Troops. The so called “Duty to report” provision on foreign election interference, was passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee with bipartisan support in June but was removed from the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) currently before the full Senate.

Congressional Republicans’ knee-jerk defense of President Trump has reached new depths as they blindly defend his every action – even as it concerns foreign intervention in our elections and bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It is imperative that every Member of Congress take these threats seriously.

Congress must delay its scheduled recess and immediately convene hearings on the intelligence reports of Russia paying bounties to kill U.S. military personnel and the lack of any response from the Trump administration except for denials and finger pointing. U.S. lives are at stake in a combat zone and the President refuses to take steps to protect them. Congress can delay or even skip its recess altogether to address the threat to national security and to American lives. Members owe at least that much to our soldiers in the field.

And today as the Senate considers the NDAA, the Intelligence Committee’s “Duty to Report” provision should be voted on by the full body as an amendment. Americans deserve to know where their Senators stand on foreign interference in our elections.