Led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to unanimously pass three election security-related bills Tuesday, marking the latest attempt to clear legislation ahead of the November elections, claiming that securing the elections will somehow benefit Democrats.
Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission (FEC) about foreign offers of assistance, as well as legislation to provide more election funding and ban voting machines from being connected to the internet.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed each request and instructed Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to block their requests. Under the Senate’s rules, any senator can block such a request.
Blackburn accused Democrats of trying to move the bills knowing that GOP lawmakers would block them.
“They are attempting to bypass this body’s Rules Committee on behalf of various bills that will seize control over elections from the states and take it from the states and where do they want to put it? They want it to rest in the hands of Washington, D.C., bureaucrats,” she said.
Election security has become a point of contention during the Trump era. House Democrats have passed several election-related bills, including a sweeping ethics and election reform measure, but they’ve hit a wall in the GOP-controlled Senate.
A release from Democrats this week that blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for a “legislative graveyard” included a list of 10 election security-related bills that have stalled in the upper chamber.
Senate Democrats have tried repeatedly during the past year to try to bring up election security bills on the floor without success.