Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee issued the following statement:
This morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walked back his staunch opposition to further securing our elections and said he is now willing to support additional grant money to the states.
This move follows pressure from a growing number of groups from across the political spectrum that have been pushing Congress to strengthen U.S. election security.
This is an encouraging sign, but is a far cry from what is needed to stop foreign actors from interfering in our elections.
Providing additional federal financial support to better protect our nation’s election processes against hacking and other cyber threats is both bipartisan and a no-brainer. Issue One is hopeful that the House and Senate negotiators will agree on adequate funding for these purposes as the $250 million McConnell is supporting that passed the Appropriations Committee by voice vote falls far short of the $600 million the House already passed and election administrators around the country continue to plead for further assistance.
But let’s be clear: The United States is facing a national security crisis as every facet of our political system is under siege from China, Iran, Russia, and other foreign adversaries. “Hardening” our voting machines and voting rolls against foreign interference addresses only one weakness of our political system.
Over the next several months, the Senate Majority Leader should bring to the floor a series of strong, bipartisan bills that would bolster our elections. These measures would stop foreign disinformation campaigns on the largest online platforms, plug foreign lobbying loopholes, provide more technical expertise to state election administrators, and keep foreign money out of our elections, among other things.
Issue One’s “Don’t Mess With US” project will continue to work with members of Congress from both parties to take action to address foreign interference in our nation’s political process. Learn more at www.dontmesswithus.org and see our recent report about five loopholes that allow foreign interference in our elections.