The DETER Act would punish any nation that tries to influence a US election, adding extra sanctions against Russia if it once again tries to interfere.
- Call: Your House rep and your two Senators (look up)
- Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask if you’ll vote to pass the non-partisan DETER Act. We must hold Moscow responsible and deter future attacks on our democracy. It is imperative that the United States sends a strong united message to the world.”
The bill, introduced by the bipartisan team of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, and Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, would require the Director of National Intelligence to make a determination about foreign interference within one month after every federal election.
“We cannot be a country where foreign intelligence agencies attempt to influence our political process without consequences. This bill will help to ensure the integrity of our electoral process by using key national security tools to dissuade foreign powers from meddling in our elections,” Rubio said in a statement.
Unlike other legislation that focuses on protecting state and local election infrastructure, Van Hollen and Rubio’s bill is the first that would focus on punishing foreign actors by laying out severe consequences, staffers say.
The DETER Act would bar foreign governments or agents working on their behalf from purchasing adverts to influence an election or using social media to spread false information to Americans.
It would also explicitly bar foreign governments from hacking, releasing or modifying voter registration databases and campaign emails, or from blocking access to websites that provide information about polling locations.
And should intelligence officials determine that Russia has once again tried to shape an election, the bill calls for severe sanctions on Russia’s financial, energy, defense and mining sectors to be implemented within 10 days.
Senior Russian officials named in the DNI report would be blacklisted from entering the US and have any assets in the country blocked.
Read more on CNN.