The House Intelligence Committee voted on party linesThursday to release a one-sided report on the panel’s hastily closed Russia investigation, deepening the partisan morass and enabling President Trump to undermine law enforcement and the intelligence community. The Senate Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, has taken Russia’s continuing attacks on the nation’s democracy more seriously than its House counterpart. The Senate probe continues in a bipartisan — and, as of now, constructive — manner. The panel on Tuesday released preliminary recommendations on election security, the first of several documents the committee will release on Russia’s meddling in the country’s elections. It will take some time to get the committee’s full analysis, which must undergo declassification review. But with primary elections already starting, acting on the recommendations is urgent.
… Lawmakers set aside $380 million in their massive new spending bill to help states harden their election infrastructure. This is helpful, but, according to the House Democrats’ report, it may not quite cover the cost of replacing voting machines that need to be retired, let alone hiring more IT staff and upgrading software. If more federal money is not forthcoming, states may have to chip in, too.
Moreover, the senators insisted that the Trump administration must do a better job assisting the states with cyberthreats. In response to their criticisms, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a Wednesday hearing that the government is in the process of getting state officials security clearances so they can view classified information. This should have been done last year.