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Engel-Connolly Election Interference Sanctions Bill Clears Foreign Affairs Committee

ENGEL-CONNOLLY ELECTION INTERFERENCE SANCTIONS BILL CLEARS FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

 

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Gerald E. Connolly, a senior member of the Committee, today welcomed Committee passage of their legislation to punish and prevent illegal foreign election interference. Their SECURE Our Democracy Act would impose sanctions on anyone found to interfere illegally in an American election from overseas.

 

“The message from this bill is clear: if you meddle with an American election from overseas, there are going to be consequences,” said Chairman Engel. “Committee passage of the SECURE Our Democracy Act is a victory for all who are interested in protecting American democracy and showing Putin and his cronies that our elections are sacrosanct.”

 

“While some in the White House would prefer to turn a blind eye, the Mueller Report made absolutely clear that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. That should trouble every patriotic American. The SECURE our Democracy Act sends a strong message that Congress will not stand idly by and that there will be severe consequences, past or future, for interfering in our democratic elections,” said Rep. Connolly.

 

Background:

 

The SECURE Our Democracy Act is designed to punish Russian interference in the 2016 election and also deter future election interference. The bill was introduced in June 2019, prior to the G20 and President Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

 

The bill responds to remarks by the President that he would “welcome” future election interference by the Russians.

 

The SECURE Our Democracy Act imposes sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and a visa ban on any foreign individual or entity who interferes in a US federal election since January 1, 2015.

 

The version of the legislation introduced this Congress incorporates the definition of election interference from the Trump Administration’s Executive Order 13848. The Administration has never used the authority drafted by its own Treasury Department. This bill would write this language into law and help ensure that those who interfere in our elections aren’t let off the hook.

 

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