A bipartisan group of senators is set to introduce a bill this week that would increase assistance to states for cybersecurity during U.S. elections, in response to attempted interference by foreign state actors during the 2016 election. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Lankford (R-OK) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) will offer a companion bill in the House, though this will not see action before the end of the year. “You can’t get more bipartisan than that,” Klobuchar said, noting the broad ideological diversity of the sponsors. “When you look at the fact that 21 states were hacked into, attempts were made to steal information, voters’ information, we can’t wait, and so that’s why we are working very hard to get it done at the end of the year,” Klobuchar told Inside Cybersecurity.
The bill would increase funding for election cybersecurity and encourage communication between the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and state election offices.
While Klobuchar said that the bill would be formally introduced “this week,” Harris told Inside Cybersecurity that they “are still working on it in terms of the details.”
Klobuchar expressed optimism over the bill’s ultimate chances, saying she felt “pretty good” after talking to leadership on both sides of the aisle. Meadows also expressed support for the House companion measure.