July 26 (UPI) — Despite warnings from former special counsel Robert Mueller about foreign powers intervening in U.S. elections, Republicans again blocked an election security bill from advancing.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., objected to the bill that would have required paper ballots and funding for the Election Assistance Commission. It passed the House 225-184 with one Republican voting for it.
“Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law,” McConnell said. “Clearly something so partisan that it only received one single solitary Republican vote in the House is not going to travel through the Senate by unanimous consent.”
McConnell added that any election security legislation must be bipartisan. He said it’s being pushed by the same Democrats who pushed the “conspiracy theory” that President Donald Trump colluded with Russian agents.
This comes one day after Republicans blocked a trio of bills.
One of the bills would require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempt by a foreign entity to interfere in U.S. elections. The third would protect emails and electronic devices of senators and staffers from hackers.
The GOP argues that Congress has already responded to election security concerns for the 2020 election.
Mueller testified before two House subcommittees Wednesday warning about the dangers of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy,” Mueller said in his opening remarks Wednesday. “The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American. They’re doing it as we sit here.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Mueller’s testimony is a prime example of why more legislation is needed.
“It was important for all of us to hear straight from Robert Mueller’s mouth that the threat from Russia and other foreign adversaries seeking to meddle in our elections is very real and still very much ongoing,” Schumer said. “Mueller’s testimony was a clarion call for election security. Mueller’s testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake … This is all about the future of this country.”