- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Senate Democrats took to the chamber floor Tuesday with legislation to keep campaigns from obtaining help from foreign governments, but the Republican majority halted the efforts, suggesting it was a fundraising stunt.

The legislation, pushed by Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, would require all campaigns going forward to call the FBI if they are approached by a foreign power offering assistance.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Republicans did not hold President Trump accountable for trying to interfere in the 2020 election by requesting a probe into a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, from Ukrainian officials — the subject of the impeachment proceedings earlier this year.

“The threat to our next election is real and growing nearer each day,” the New York Democrat said. “Protecting our elections should not be partisan.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, took to the floor to object to the Democrats’ push, saying there should instead be a probe into the debacle in the Iowa Caucuses held by the Democratic Party, where there is still no finalized results more than a week later.



Ms. Blackburn said it would be “disastrous” for the Democrats’ vision to be implemented because it would centralize control of the democratic process, taking oversight away from the states.

“You would think after spending weeks in this chamber litigating the finer points of their disagreements with the president’s foreign policy, our friends in the minority would be wary of picking another partisan fight but here we go again,” she said.

Ms. Blackburn suggested the move would be used to try to fundraise by Democrats.

“We are all against election interference. We are all against foreign interference in elections. We are all for free and fair elections and we are all for protecting the ballot box,” she added.

Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, also pushed legislation on the floor addressing foreign interference, but Ms. Blackburn shut down those moves too.

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