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Politics GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling

04:05  11 december  2019
04:05  11 december  2019 Source:   thehill.com

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Senators first introduced the legislation in early 2018, but that the bill has stalled amid pushback from GOP senators and members of leadership. Crapo—who chairs the Banking Committee, which is one of two Senate panels with jurisdiction over sanctions—noted that the upper chamber had already passed

Republicans in the Senate have twice in 24 hours blocked the advancement of bills aimed at strengthening election security just hours after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned of the continued threat that foreign powers interfering in US elections .

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass legislation meant to prevent Russia and other countries from interfering in elections.

Mike Crapo wearing a suit and tie: GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling© Greg Nash GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling

Crapo's move came after Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked for consent to pass the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines, or DETER Act. Van Hollen argued the bill would underscore that there would be a "very tough price to pay" if Moscow meddles in U.S. elections.

"It's designed to send a very clear and simple message to Russia or any other country that is thinking about interfering in our elections and undermining our democracy that if we catch you, you will suffer a severe penalty," Van Hollen said.

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Republicans in the Senate have twice in 24 hours blocked the advancement of bills aimed at strengthening election security just hours after former special

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass legislation aimed at bolstering the country's election infrastructure Trump MORE's report on Russia 's election meddling in 2016. But Sen . Roy Blunt Roy Dean Blunt The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root

Van Hollen and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) re-introduced the bill earlier this year. It requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine whether there was any foreign interference in federal elections and impose sanctions on any nations found to interfere.

Specifically, if the DNI determines that Moscow meddled in U.S. elections, sanctions on Russia would have to be implemented within 30 days of the determination.

Senators first introduced the legislation in early 2018, but that the bill has stalled amid pushback from GOP senators and members of leadership.

Crapo - who is chairman of the Banking Committee, which is one of two Senate panels with jurisdiction over sanctions - noted that the upper chamber had already passed sanctions legislation targeting Moscow in 2017.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said he had called on two key Senate panels to recommend additional action aimed at preventing future election meddling by Russia as well as hold hearings on Russia sanctions law.

Sen . Marsha Blackburn called the measure aimed at foreign interference in federal elections "overbroad." Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” It’s already illegal for electoral campaigns to knowingly accept help from a foreign entity or power. Warner’s bill would also mandate that campaigns report

"I think that President Trump has probably put more sanctions on the Russians than any president in our history," Crapo said.

He added that he was open to considering further legislation but warned that sanctions are a "two-edge sword."

"The mechanisms in this bill have been designed more to attack the Trump administration and Republicans than to attack the Russians and those who would attack our country and our elections," Crapo added.

"When we can stop trying to make it anti-Trump or anti-Republican or make politics out of the problems that Russia truly is creating for us, maybe we can come together and pass yet another strong piece of legislation to move forward," he said.

Van Hollen noted he and Rubio had made changes to their original bill to try to bring on more support, including adding the ability for Trump to waive the new sanctions.

"This has nothing to do with President Trump. This has to do with protecting our elections," Van Hollen said.

Lindsey Graham says he's '1,000% confident' Russia meddled in 2016 US election -- not Ukraine

  Lindsey Graham says he's '1,000% confident' Russia meddled in 2016 US election -- not Ukraine Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday said he is "1,000% confident" that Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, breaking from President Donald Trump and others in his party who have pushed the discredited conspiracy theory. © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "It was the Russians. I'm 1,000% confident that the hack of the DNC was by Russian operatives, no one else," the South Carolina senator told reporters on Capitol Hill. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

allegations that Russia meddled in the U.S. election with the aim of helping President- elect Donald Trump or are probing the Obama administration's anti-corruption provisions aimed at bolstering governments in Eastern Europe and requires that the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes and

.) blocked two election security measures on Thursday, arguing Democrats are trying to give themselves a "political benefit." “It was important for all us to hear straight from Robert Mueller's mouth that the threat from Russia and other foreign adversaries seeking to meddle in our elections

The back-and-forth marks the latest instance of Democrats trying to pass election-related legislation on the Senate floor only to be blocked by GOP senators.

Democrats have also tried to pass legislation that would bolster the United States's election infrastructure and require campaigns to report any offers of foreign assistance to the FBI.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted on Tuesday that if the Van Hollen-Rubio bill was allowed it come up for a vote "it would pass almost unanimously."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said that he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that interference in U.S. domestic affairs is "unacceptable."

"On the question of interference in our domestic affairs, I was clear, it's unacceptable and I made our expectation of Russia clear," Pompeo said during a joint press conference with Lavrov.

Lavrov also met with Trump at the White House on Tuesday. Trump said in a tweet that they discussed election meddling. Lavrov, however, disputed the White House account telling reporters "we haven't even actually discussed elections."

Senate confirms Trump's Russia ambassador .
The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Trump's pick to be the next ambassador to Russia. Senators voted 70-22 to confirm John Sullivan, who currently serves as the deputy secretary of State.Sullivan will replace former Ambassador Jon Huntsman, who left the post to run for governor in Utah. Despite Trump's warmer tone toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States and Russia have had a rocky relationship during the Trump era. The Senate's vote comes after Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov contradicted each other this week about whether they discussed election meddling during their White House meeting.

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