Top Democrats: Trump Executive Order on Election Interference Won’t Help States Protect Elections Against Future Attacks
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.), Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) issued the following statement after President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled, “Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election.”
“The steps outlined in today’s Executive Order are far too little, too late, and they provide no resources to help states protect their elections against future attacks. While the President appears to acknowledge that foreign actors will continue to attempt to interfere in our elections, he makes no mention of previous Russian attacks. Rather than issuing a weak Executive Order two years after these attacks, President Trump should have responded swiftly and strongly. We need concrete actions that show the Trump Administration is sincere in wanting to protect American democracy from foreign interference. That means providing states with the funds they need, and pressing Republicans in Congress to pass legislation – like the Election Security Act – that makes meaningful improvements to our election infrastructure.”
On July 23, 2018, a bipartisan group of 21 State Attorneys General wrote to Congress about the urgent need for funding to replace aging election equipment, train election officials, and upgrade their IT infrastructure. A recent report by Committee on House Administration Democrats found that states require an additional $1.4 billion to meet these needs.
However, in the two years since Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have failed to enact any meaningful measure to shore up our election security. Despite 119 cosponsors, House Republican leadership has refused to schedule a vote on the Election Security Act, a bill to provide states with badly needed funds to secure their elections, regulate election vendors, and improve information sharing.
Recently, Republicans have actively worked to block Democratic efforts to provide $380 million in funding for election security, voting unanimously against this funding in the FY19 appropriations process.