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No new legislative momentum after election security briefings

Niels Lesniewski, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

Murphy, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that there is not clarity on funding for election security.

"I think there's still an ongoing dispute as to whether we need more money. There's a number of states that, you know, unquestionably need more money. The administration disagrees," he said. "I think we should err on the side of making sure that we have all the resources available. And if states are asking for money, I don't know why we wouldn't provide it to them when the stakes are this high."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was among the members asking questions behind closed doors. She said that not all questions were answered, but the briefers involved agreed to meet with interested lawmakers in smaller groups.

"I don't think it's talking out of school to say I was at least glad to hear an acknowledgment that they didn't do enough in 2016, and that they recognize that," the Florida Democrat said.

Wasserman Schultz, a former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, and other members of the Florida delegation have been particularly interested in the security of election systems after it became clear there was an incursion into the voter rolls of counties in the Sunshine State ahead of 2016.

Rep. Mike D. Rogers, the top Republican on the Homeland Security panel, said the briefing didn't illuminate any new threats to election security.

"I wouldn't say we've got a need for more election security legislation. When the question was asked, they basically said no. They thought they've got the authority they need right now," the Alabama congressman said on his way out of the briefing.

He said he did learn more about what federal agencies undertook in 2018.

 

"I was reassured by some of the things they're doing that I wasn't aware of, that have been exercised in the last election season to help protect those elections," he said.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham expressed similar sentiments after the Senate-side briefing.

"I was very impressed," the Republican from South Carolina told reporters. "They all said the president has given them every authority they've asked for. No interference by the White House and they're building on the success of 2018."

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