Leahy, Klobuchar, Wyden, Coons

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6147)

Senator Leahy: (4:08 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "I know all of us do not want a democracy attacked by a foreign aggression. But more is needed, certainly needed before the November 2018 elections. I might say even afterward. States need post-election audit systems. They have to be able to verify the accuracy of the final vote tally. They have to be able to upgrade election-related computer systems if our Department of Homeland Security identifies vulnerabilities. I believe the state and local election officials should undergo cyber security training. They should start using established cybersecurity best practices. These efforts are all essential to the security of our elections. My amendment would enable them to go forward."


Senator Klobuchar: (4:18 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "I also see the senator from Delaware here and the senator from Oregon, and I also appreciate the work that we've seen on the other side of the aisle on so many of these issues regarding elections and Russia, including the presiding officer's support for moving forward on a number of these things. So our next elections are right around the corner. In fact, this coming Saturday marks 100 days from the 2018 elections. And as we prepare for the midterm elections, two things are clear - one, we must hold Russia accountable for the attacks against our democracy in 2016. This isn't meddling. This isn't just sending a few little tweets. No, no. This was an actual cyber attack on our democracy, and we have to call it what it was. Secondly, we must do more to deter Russia and safeguard our democracy against future attacks."


Senator Wyden: (4:26 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "And I want to begin, Mr. President, by saying the ink is barely dry on the indictment of the Russian hackers who tried to undermine our democracy, and the president of the United States is trying to deny that it actually happened. Just put your arms around that one for a moment, colleagues. The indictment of the Russian hackers is just days old. The president's own intelligence officials are telling him that an attack on you are a democracy -- on our democracy is a near certainty, and he has just not been willing to step up and prevent it. In fact, he continues to refuse to accept the basic facts of the attack - the Russians perpetrated in 2016."


Senator Coons: (4:39 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "And as you may have heard from some who oppose this in the appropriations committee when we took it up and debated it, they asked a few simple questions I will try to address quickly. Isn't elections - aren't elections a state and local responsibility? Why should the federal government be providing funding for states and localities to secure their elections? That's true. Elections are overwhelmingly run at the state and local level, and the costs of securing and modernizing our voting machines and our voting systems will be overwhelmingly borne at the state and local level. Second, this $380 million, it was just made available, and I don't think it's even gone out yet. Have they used it well? Have they used it properly? And, third, why is this something we need to do now?"