In Wake of Mueller Indictments, Quigley & Lowey Urge House Republicans to Reverse Election Security Cuts
In the wake of an indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller detailing Russian intrusion into state election systems during the 2016 election, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Quigley (D-IL) today urged House Republicans to restore funding for election security grants.
In the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill, House Democrats secured $380 million for election security grants to help states fortify and protect election systems from cyber-hacking. However, House Republicans have zeroed out funding for election security grants in the FY 2019 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which is expected to be considered in the House next week.
“For almost two years, I’ve been saying that our election infrastructure is nowhere near where it needs to be to inspire confidence in the integrity of our democratic process,” said Rep. Quigley. “The Russians have shown us that our voting technology is outdated and susceptible to attack, and today’s indictment of a dozen Russian intelligence officers, including those who conspired to hack election systems, only further reinforces their ability and intentions. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress refuse to acknowledge these vulnerabilities as a legitimate threat and intentionally reversed course to zero out $380 million in election security grants, which I worked to secure in the FY18 omnibus bill. Members on the committee were given a second chance during the Financial Services & General Government markup, but again failed to recognize this growing national security threat by refusing to adopt my amendment on party lines. Next week, during consideration of the FSGG Appropriations bill, I will re-introduce my amendment to equip states with the financial resources they need to harden their defenses, and it is my hope that in light of today’s indictments, Republicans step up to safeguard our democracy from those who wish us harm.”
“The Russian government attacked our democracy in the 2016 election, as today’s indictments once again make clear. While I’m proud that Democrats have secured funding to help states protect their election systems, Congress must do more to defend our democracy. That means reversing House Republicans’ misguided plan to zero out election security grants,” said Rep. Lowey. “Instead of running interference for President Trump by trying to discredit the Mueller investigation, House Republicans should focus on the threat right under our noses and secure our elections.”
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: Last month, Rep. Quigley introduced the Prevent Election Hacking Act of 2018 to enlist the help of cyber experts, who are able to identify vulnerabilities in our election infrastructure.