Blue Dogs Endorse SHIELD Act to Protect U.S. Elections from Foreign Interference
WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition, which focuses on issues related to fiscal responsibility and national security, endorsed the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, to protect our elections from foreign interference and disinformation campaigns. A number of the SHIELD Act’s policies, including the Honest Ads Act, were included in a package of legislative proposals the Blue Dogs endorsed over the summer in response to the conclusions presented in Volume I of the Mueller Report.
The SHIELD Act protects our elections from foreign interference by:
- Creating a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents.
- Improving transparency of online political advertisements.
- Closing loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
- Restricting the exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
- Prohibiting deceptive practices about voting procedures.
“Republicans and Democrats agree that a foreign adversary should never be able to sow discord in our political system and interfere in our electoral process,” said Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “There is no question that the Russians attempted to interfere in the 2016 and 2018 elections primarily through social media and disinformation tactics. Congress can and should act with a sense of urgency to address this national security threat posed by Russia, China, Iran, and other adversaries as they continue their attempts to meddle in the 2020 election. The SHIELD Act puts forward commonsense solutions that will help to give Americans peace of mind that our political system is free of foreign interference.”
“Our elections should remain ours, and in order to do that we need to eliminate foreign interference,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “This is not a theoretical problem, but a present danger that threatens to undermine confidence in our elections. The SHIELD Act combats this foreign interference with comprehensive accountability and transparency measures that will ensure our elections are protected. Our next elections are quickly approaching. We must act on this now.”
“Election security is not a partisan issue. It is essential to our democracy,” said Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “Congress must protect our electoral process from foreign interference and bad actors who seek to undermine our democracy. As co-chair of the National Security Task Force, I’m pleased that the Blue Dog Coalition endorsed H.R. 4617, the SHIELD Act, which will close loopholes that allow foreign spending in our elections, boost disclosure and transparency requirements, and create a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign nations or governments. These practical steps to secure our elections send a clear message to the world that we stand united on election security.”