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house Bill H.R. 1474

Should the U.S. Intelligence Community Help States Combat Election Interference?

Argument in favor

Russian interference in the 2016 elections is a proven fact. There’s a real risk that Russia, and perhaps others, will attempt to influence the upcoming 2020 elections using similar tactics. This can’t be allowed, and helping states protect themselves from election interference is an essential defense against future election tampering.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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04/25/2019
Yes, I support this. I realize that Mitch won’t let it on the floor but he is just one failed Senator. It is important to keep pushing despite what the Senate does. HR 1 is important. HR 1474 is vital. When people see how many good bills have not seen the light of day in the Senate or have been voted down on partisan lines, it will become clear how obstructive this is and will certainly effect the vote in 2020.
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Robert's Opinion
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04/25/2019
Contrary to what the President’s spokesperson son in law says, the Russians seriously interfered in the election. The investigation and report gives a detailed description of it. Russians have been named and indicted. Americans are going to jail for working with foreign governments. The question of the hour is what is the federal government doing to prevent this in 2020?
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Glowurm's Opinion
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04/25/2019
With Russian interference looming on the horizon for the 2020 election, you bet your ass we need to do this!
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Argument opposed

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already signaled that he won’t bring H.R. 1 up for a Senate vote, so there’s not much point in considering this bill. This bill is also likely to be ineffective given reports that the Election Assistance Commission hasn’t been a good partner to states.

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04/25/2019
LOL, right. Give the corrupt federal “intelligence” community more power to interfere in our elections? This bill is a joke and an embarrassment to smart and freedom loving Americans. That’s the opposite of election integrity. It’s like reaching for gasoline to put out a fire.
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Robin's Opinion
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04/25/2019
All of these govt entities are part of the problem. NO stay out of states rights. We are NOT to be supremely governed by these overly powerful intelligence agencies.
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Constance 's Opinion
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04/25/2019
The question I have is CAN they actually do this fairly and accurately? I have doubts about our intelligence community.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1474?

This bill — the Strengthening Elections through Intelligence Act — would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to submit an assessment of elections threats to Congress, as well as the chief election official in each U.S. state. This report would need to be submitted to these officials no later than six months before a general election, and it would be crafted in consultation with DHS and the Election Assistance Commission to provide accurate and timely information to federal and state officials ahead of a November election.

Impact

Elections; chief election officials in each U.S. state; DHS; Election Assistance Commission; and the DNI.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1474

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced this bill to require a federal assessment of the scope of potential threats to the security of America’s election systems, including cyber, terror, and state actor threats and direct the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to update federal and state officials on possible vulnerabilities and provide recommendations on how best to stop these threats:

“Our elections are the foundation to our democracy, and if our voting infrastructure is compromised or attacked, the entire integrity of our electoral system could fall into question. During a time marked by an uptick in hostile attacks against election systems across the globe, it is critical that U.S. election officials have accurate and up-to-date information about the real threats to our election security. That was especially clear following Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. This bill would tackle foreign threats to our election infrastructure by using the invaluable expertise of public servants to strengthen the security of federal and state election systems. As a former CIA case officer, I greatly appreciate the objective and nonpartisan work of the national security and intelligence communities, and this legislation would take the necessary steps to use their vital resources to build resiliency in election systems across the country.”

This legislation has been included in H.R 1, the For the People Act, which the House passed along party-lines. Should H.R. 1 fail to pass the Senate, Rep. Spanberger has committed to pursuing this bill as standalone legislation. In a phone interview after H.R. 1 passed the House along party lines, Rep. Spanberger said:

“Based on my background with CIA, one of the things that’s incredibly important to me is that we ensure the security of our elections. Fundamentally, we have to do that. Frankly, the states, which run our elections, don’t necessarily always have the tools to know what threats are out there and how they might address them. My amendment is a pretty straightforward one: We want to give those tools to the states.”

Writing in The Hill, author and “Full Measure” host Sheryl Attkisson argues that Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — and the need to take drastic measures to ensure Russia doesn’t meddle again in 2020’s election — is irrefutable:

“There’s at least one conclusion on which there’s largely bipartisan agreement: Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. No vote tallies were changed, according to Obama administration intel analyses, but the interference was serious enough that many insist drastic steps must be taken to avoid a repeat in 2020.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has nicknamed the For the People Act the “Democrat Politician Protection Act,” has vowed not to allow it to come to a Senate vote. Calling the bill a “parade of horribles” and a “terrible proposal,” McConnell adds, “I believe that we (Republicans) can actually win elections against people who work vote for this turkey.”



Of NoteSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign “spelled out” a “sophisticated, Kremlin-led operation to sow division in the U.S. and upend the [2016] election by using cyberattacks and social media as weapons.” Mueller’s report confirmed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion, made in January 2017, that there’d been a “significant escalation by the Russians to interfere in U.S. domestic politics” ahead of the 2016 election.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia interfered with the election in numerous ways, including: hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), phishing Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email to obtain Clinton campaign emails, attacking the DNC’s computer network, publishing cell phone numbers and personal email addresses for Nancy Pelosi and other DNC members, publishing tens of thousands of Clinton campaign and DNC emails, and influencing voters via social media. When Rep. Spanberger introduced this bill, her office cited a DNI report noting that Russian agents “tapped into the networks of multiple state and local electoral boards” to steal voter records, scan networks, and breach voter-registration databases in “deliberate attempts to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.”

ProPublica reports that the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which is ostensibly the federal agency charged with helping local elections officials keep elections secure, was “missing in action” in preparations for the 2016 midterm elections. According to ProPublica’s interviews with over a dozen national, state, and local election officials, the EAC was either “missing in action or working to thwart their efforts.”

ProPublica reports that one of the EAC’s commissioners has dismissed the threat of foreign governments undermining American elections in private meetings with state election officials, often personally appealing to individuals officials not to waste their time on the idea that election systems might be vulnerable to outside meddling. Meanwhile, the EAC’s executive director, Brian Newby, has allegedly blocked key EAC staffers who specialize in cybersecurity’s travel, preventing them from attending training sessions.

AKA

Strengthening Elections Through Intelligence Act

Official Title

To require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a pre-election threat assessment prior to each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, and for other purposes.

    Yes, I support this. I realize that Mitch won’t let it on the floor but he is just one failed Senator. It is important to keep pushing despite what the Senate does. HR 1 is important. HR 1474 is vital. When people see how many good bills have not seen the light of day in the Senate or have been voted down on partisan lines, it will become clear how obstructive this is and will certainly effect the vote in 2020.
    Like (141)
    Follow
    Share
    LOL, right. Give the corrupt federal “intelligence” community more power to interfere in our elections? This bill is a joke and an embarrassment to smart and freedom loving Americans. That’s the opposite of election integrity. It’s like reaching for gasoline to put out a fire.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Contrary to what the President’s spokesperson son in law says, the Russians seriously interfered in the election. The investigation and report gives a detailed description of it. Russians have been named and indicted. Americans are going to jail for working with foreign governments. The question of the hour is what is the federal government doing to prevent this in 2020?
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    With Russian interference looming on the horizon for the 2020 election, you bet your ass we need to do this!
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    I don’t see how this could possibly be partisan. Please support securing our elections from outside foreign influence.
    Like (55)
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    I don’t understand why anyone would reject this.. foreign obstruction has been happening for years. Why wouldn’t we want someone looking into foreign interference in our elections. This is only common sense. Sen maj ldr McConnell rejects this bill on the bases of it a Democrat bill, when will this country of ours stop arguing amongst ourselves to get great things done.McConnell is playing fast and loose in the senate not allowing votes to be taken regardless of his views.
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    Yes. This should have been a top priority from day one of this administration. How can we trust election results without proper protection?
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    If Mitch is blocking it it’s got to be good.
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    We must do everything we can to keep Russia and other foreign actors from interfering in our elections: tighten electronic security in voting equipment to prevent hacking and disruption; regulate and monitor social media and other communications to prevent propaganda and misinformation; continually monitor intelligence channels for information about attempted interference; and ensuring as many people as possible are able to get out to vote.
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    We know we are under attack from foreign powers. Taking action is exactly what our government SHOULD be doing.
    Like (27)
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    What is the federal government for, but to serve our states and, “We the People.” The Federal government is not there to serve politicians seeking to hide their shortcomings or be used for personal gain.
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    Protection from foreign powers is the basic responsibility of the federal government.
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    We must protect Democracy and bolster our ability to defend American elections #1
    Like (18)
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    Absolutely, all agencies should be participating in protecting our Democracy ~ 👌
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    How is eliminating funding for this known threat not considered collusion with the Russians as they plan on interfering with our elections again!
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    It’s high time we do something!
    Like (17)
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    Who wouldn’t want secure elections? Any lawmaker who opposes this is suspect in my book!
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    All of these govt entities are part of the problem. NO stay out of states rights. We are NOT to be supremely governed by these overly powerful intelligence agencies.
    Like (16)
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    States and state guards are prohibited by statute and EO 12333 from accessing intel info They need access to properly respond to threats.
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    We can start off by encouraging all states to get rid of electronic voting machines and switch to paper ballots! You can’t hack a piece of paper!
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