Blue Dog Coalition Endorses Bill to Hold Putin, Others Accountable for Election Meddling

Feb 14, 2018
Press Release

The Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed H.R. 4884, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act, a House companion to S. 2313 which was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) in January. The House bill was co-authored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Blue Dog Task Force on National Defense co-chair, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL).

The DETER Act requires a Director of National Intelligence report on foreign interference in U.S. elections and the imposition of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and Russian financial, energy, defense, intelligence, mining, and aerospace entities should Russia interfere again. The bill also requests a report on the President’s strategy to deter future interference in U.S. elections by China, Iran, North Korea, or any other foreign government.

Yesterday, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, explicitly warned that Russia views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.
“Russia’s meddling in our most recent election was an egregious attack on our democratic system,” said Rep. Schneider (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Defense. “Congress must swiftly act to hold Moscow responsible and deter future attacks. With only nine months until Americans head back to the polls, the DETER Act makes clear to Vladimir Putin and other foreign leaders that there will be immediate sanctions and other severe repercussions for any future interference. The Blue Dog Coalition recognizes that protecting the integrity of the electoral process is integral to our national security, and I appreciate their support for this important bipartisan and bicameral effort.”

“Every single American, no matter their political belief, should be deeply concerned by the Russians meddling in the 2016 election,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “The DETER Act rises above partisan politics to firmly hold Russia accountable for its actions with heavy-handed sanctions, and deter other countries from attacking the United States in the future.”

“Americans must be strongly united against Vladimir Putin’s provocative and unacceptable actions in the 2016 election,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “In addition to the tools the DETER Act makes available to prevent future attacks, this bipartisan bill sends a strong, united message to the world: if you mess with the United States, there will be consequences.”

“Protecting our elections from foreign interference is not a Republican or Democratic issue: It’s an American issue, and it is absolutely vital for the health of our nation,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “We are proud to have Blue Dog members like Rep. Brad Schneider leading the way to protect the integrity of our nation’s electoral process. Congressman Schneider’s work on the DETER Act embodies the Blue Dog principle of rising above political rhetoric, rolling up your sleeves, and getting things done for the American people.”