The Senate Appropriations Committee’s vote to approve $250 million for election security is being praised as a needed first step toward ensuring the nation’s elections don’t fall prey to bad actors domestically or abroad.
“I think is a great step forward, but what’s next? I think that is what we need to have some clear signals from the federal government on,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs said at a DHS cybersecurity summit last week.
The move forward on election security funding came after months after the House passed the Financial Services and General Government bill, which earmarked $600 million for safeguarding elections and after a steadfast refusal by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to tackle election security legislation in the Senate that earned him the moniker “Moscow Mitch,” referencing Russia’s interference in U.S. elections.
Applauding the Senate committee’s thumbs up to funding, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called for more robust security measures and additional dollars. “After months of resistance, @SenateMajLdr McConnell finally agreed to support our request for additional election security funding. It’s a step, but nowhere near what’s needed,” Schumer tweeted. “We can't continue to sit on our hands while our adversaries try to replicate what Putin did in 2016.”