McConnell Finally Caves On Election Security Measure After Months Of Stonewalling

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11:  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens during a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican Policy Luncheon July 11, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Sen. McConnell announced that Senate will delay its recess to the third week of August.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens during a news briefing in July 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After months of constantly blocking bipartisan efforts to address foreign election hacking, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finally gave in on Thursday and announced his support for an election security funding measure of $250 million.

During a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell said he was “proud” that the Senate’s appropriations bill includes an bipartisan amendment that would grant states $250 million in funding to help them beef up security for their voting systems.

“I’m proud to have helped develop this amendment and to co-sponsor it in committee,” he continued.

The Republican leader also jabbed at his Democratic critics, saying that the amendment is “exactly the kind of positive outcome” that is possible “when we stop posturing for the press.”

McConnell’s turnabout came after House and Senate Democrats kept publicly blasting the senate leader for his stonewalling, even referring to the Kentucky Republican as “Moscow Mitch” (which McConnell had complained was “over the top” and “modern-day McCarthyism”).

In an official statement on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) applauded McConnell’s decision but warned that the measure alone isn’t sufficient to combat election meddling from foreign governments.

“While this funding is important, it’s not the only thing we must do to secure our elections from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or any other foreign country interfering,” Schumer said. “There are multiple, bipartisan pieces of legislation awaiting action on the floor that would counter foreign influence operations against our democracy, safeguard our elections, and deter foreign adversaries from even attempting to interfere.”

Watch McConnell below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: