WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Brad Schneider (IL-10), John Katko (NY-24), and Brad Sherman (CA-30), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to hold Russia and other entities accountable for election interference. H.R. 8463, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act is a House companion to S. 1060 which was introduced by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
The DETER Act would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine within 30 days after an election whether a foreign government interfered on the electoral process. Should the DNI determine one or more states interfered in the election, the DETER Act would automatically trigger the imposition of comprehensive sanctions on these bad actors. This legislation would also require the President to provide Congress with regular briefings on past and current efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.
“Our nation must never, and will never tolerate Russia or any other foreign nation interfering in our elections. It is well documented that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, and they are actively doing so again in 2020,” said Fitzpatrick. “We must sanction bad actors that seek to undermine our democracy as soon as possible, and deter future instances of election interference.”
“Our intelligence community is unanimous that the Russian government engaged in a focused campaign at the direction of Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 elections. With fewer than five weeks to our next national election, the clock is ticking. Unless we act now, in a strong bipartisan fashion, we will be increasingly vulnerable to the Russians’ next attacks,” said Schneider. “This important legislation sends a clear message to Moscow that there will be severe consequences to any future interference, while also taking steps to improve our defenses against meddling by other foreign powers. Every American must be confident in the integrity of their vote. I’m proud to join with Rep. Fitzpatrick, Sherman, and Katko and Sen. Van Hollen to deter attacks on our electoral process.”
“To date, the United States has done little to hold the government of Russia accountable for its ongoing interference in U.S. elections,” said Sherman. “I am pleased to join Congressmen Schneider, Katko, and Fitzpatrick in introducing this legislation, an important step towards ending this interference. In the face of this threat to our democracy, it is important that we pursue every avenue to protect our elections.”