The Senate Rules Committee has yet to set timing for a hearing on election security legislation based on recommendations emanating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, but plans to do so, according to new Rules Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO). Blunt, who was elected as chairman last week, told Inside Cybersecurity Tuesday that “there will be a hearing at some point” on election security, although Blunt said “it is not scheduled yet.” Rule Committee ranking member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who is a co-sponsor on the Secure Elections Act, told Inside Cybersecurity that she “hopes” the election security hearing will take place “soon.” Klobuchar also said that she’s “really glad” that $380 million for the Election Assistance Commission to help states improve election systems was included in the recently passed $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill. “It does take that immediate pressure off, but now we want to kind of use this momentum to get this done,” Klobuchar said.
While the Rules Committee may move forward on election security issues, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-SD) told Inside Cybersecurity that he was not aware of any push to move election security legislation forward on the floor. “I haven’t heard anything in terms of that on the leader level on scheduling that…it’s not like we’re teeing it up anytime soon, but that could change,” Thune said.
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), the main sponsor of the Secure Elections Act, told Inside Cybersecurity that he is certain that election security issues will get “resolved.”
“There is bipartisan support for it and there is dialogue, and that has been the biggest issue, the ongoing dialogue, and there is some that think that this is somehow being created in a vacuum,” Lankford said. “I think we’ve gone through eight or nine iterations of the election security bill already. We’d bring it up, people would look at it, they would give us their review.”