Two of Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s bills to prevent foreign interference in the nation’s political process have passed the U.S. House.
The bills were part of the SHIELD Act which passed on Wednesday. SHIELD stands for Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy. Portions of the Act were modeled after two bills Slotkin introduced; the PAID ADs Act, which would make it illegal for foreign entities to purchase campaign ads that effectively support or oppose a candidate; and the FIRE Act, which stipulates that any candidate who receives an offer of campaign contributions or information from a foreign national must report it to federal authorities within a week.
“No matter who you are, what political party you’re from, we can all agree that foreigners have no role in our political process,” Slotkin said in remarks on the floor of the U.S. House. “As a former CIA officer and Pentagon official, as the wife of a 30-year Army officer and the stepmom of a current Army officer, I know that when our country sees a threat, we have the responsibility to act and to consider ways to protect our country.”
The SHIELD ACT is now headed to the Senate, where it has uncertain future at best. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described it Wednesday as an attack on First Amendment. That’s despite a bipartisan report earlier this month from the Senate Intelligence Committee that details an ongoing campaign by Russia to influence the U.S. political process.
The White House has also threatened to veto the bill (see attachment below), suggesting it was overly broad, redundant and “would result in significant over reporting to the FBI …leading to fruitless inquiries and wasted time and resources.” (JK)