October 23, 2019

House Passes New Democrat Coalition-Supported Legislation to Protect American Elections

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4617, The Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, which would prohibit foreign spending in our elections by closing loopholes, improving transparency and accountability requirements, and mandating disclosures of illicit offers from other nations and governments. The SHIELD Act contains provisions from two bills previously endorsed by the NDC. 

Included in this package are New Dem-endorsed bills to strengthen the integrity of American elections and curb foreign interference in our nation’s democratic process:

  • NDC Chair Derek Kilmer’s (WA-06) H.R. 2592, The Honest Ads Act, which would improve the transparency of online political advertisements.
  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (MI-08) H.R. 3873, The Paid AD Act, which would prohibit foreign entities from purchasing political ads to influence American elections.    

Today’s package also includes important pieces of New Dem-led legislation to strengthen our election security ahead of 2020:

  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s H.R. 3873, FIRE (Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections) Act, which would help prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections by requiring political campaigns to report attempts by foreigners to influence U.S. elections to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Rep. Dean Phillips’ H.R. 4612, Firewall Act, aimed at preventing foreign meddling in U.S. elections. The bill would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign nationals from paying for online advertisements created to attack or support federal candidates.
  • Rep. Tom Malinowski’s H.R. 3236, Component of Anti-Collusion Act, which would define offering non-public campaign materials, such as internal polling data, to a foreign power, or agent of a foreign power, as an illegal solicitation of support.

New Democrat Coalition Chair Derek Kilmer stated:

“Foreign interests shouldn’t be able to influence American elections, period. With countless intelligence assessments confirming vulnerabilities in the American election system, and another election just over a year away, it’s vital that both sides of the aisle come together to take real action to fix the loopholes and protect our elections from foreign interference. I’m glad to see the inclusion of the NDC-endorsed Honest Ads Act and the PAID AD Act, as well as other New Dem-led bills, included in this legislation. Congress should take action to further protect our democracy without delay.”

The NDC is committed to strengthening our election security ahead of 2020. Last month, the NDC endorsed a bipartisan election security package comprised of four New Dem-led bills: H.R. 2592, The Honest Ads Act, H.R. 2135, The Preventing Adversaries Intentionally from Disbursing Advertising Dollars (PAID AD) Act, H.R. 1272, The Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act, and H.R. 3529, The Achieving Lasting Electoral Reforms on Transparency and Security (ALERTS) Act.