October 09, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Chair Joins House Democratic Leaders in Introducing Legislation to Protect American Elections

New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06), along with leading House Democrats, introduced legislation to strengthen the integrity of American elections and curb foreign interference in the nation’s democratic process. The Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act will 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: Chair Derek Kilmer’s (WA-06) The Honest Ads Act, which would improve the transparency of online political advertisements, and Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (MI-08) The Paid Ad Act, which would prohibit foreign entities from purchasing political ads to influence American elections.   

“Foreign interests shouldn’t be able to influence American elections, period,” said Chair Kilmer. “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 in this bill. Congress should take action to further protect our democracy without delay.”

The SHIELD Act is sponsored by Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and cosponsored by Representatives John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.), Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Stephanie N. Murphy (D-Fla.), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Caucus, Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Susan A. Davis (D-Calif.), G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.).

Background: Our free and fair elections are a cornerstone of American democracy. The NDC has been 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.