Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith blocked rush passage of two election security bills following Robert Mueller’s testimony regarding election meddling attempts on Capitol Hill yesterday.
The two bills, penned by Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance. Another bill by Senator Richard Blumenthal would let the Senate Sergeant at Arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff.
Senator Hyde-Smith objected to bills pushed by top Senate Democrats, who tried to pass the bills using unanimous consent. A spokesperson for Smith declined to comment, according to NewsMax.
Under Senate rules, any one Senator can seek consent to pass a bill, and any Senator can object to it. As a result of Hyde-Smith’s objection, the bills aren’t dead, but they would have to go through the normal committee process in the GOP controlled Senate, where they face an uphill battle.
Sen. Warner condemned Sen. Hyde-Smith for the block.
“Mr. Mueller’s testimony should serve as a warning to every member of this body about what could happen in 2020, literally in our next elections,” said Sen. Warner according to The Hill.
“Unfortunately, in the nearly three years since we uncovered Russia’s attack on our democracy, this body has not held a single vote on stand-alone legislation to protect our elections.”
Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday warned of foreign “meddling” in the upcoming election cycle in 2020. That testimony brought about Warner’s proposed legislation as he stated that candidates should not be accepting foreign aid.
“If a foreign adversary tries to offer assistance to your campaign, your response should not be ‘thank you.’ Your response should be a moral obligation to tell the FBI,” he said.