Republican Senator Blocks Bill Aimed At Preventing Russian Election Interference
On Tuesday, Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) blocked an attempt to pass legislation aimed at preventing Russia and other nations from interfering in U.S. elections, according to The Hill.
The bill, introduced by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl), would require “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.”
When Van Hollen asked for consent to pass the legislation — called the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines, or DETER Act — Crapo objected, saying the bill is an attack against President Donald Trump and Republicans.
"I think that President Trump has probably put more sanctions on the Russians than any president in our history," he said. "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.”
The Hill noted that Van Hollen and Rubio made changes to the original bill, which was first introduced last year, in an effort to garner more support. One of the changes gives Trump the ability to waive the new sanctions.
"This has nothing to do with President Trump. This has to do with protecting our elections," Van Hollen said. "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.”