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ICYMI: Ranking Member Davis Talks Election Security with C-SPAN Newsmakers

Davis on Bipartisan Election Security Policy:
“We actually had the bipartisan bill when you look at the numbers from yesterday. As a matter of fact, I think we had three Democrats vote for our Motion to Recommit which is basically my bill, the Honest Elections bill. One Democrat voted against the SHIELD Act. The SHIELD Act could have been a bipartisan bill. With H.R.1 and the SAFE Act, they didn’t include us or didn’t want to work with us. This bill would have addressed some of the things we could agree on. We ought to be able to have a disclosure requirement when it comes to online political ads. There should be a “click-through” so we know who paid for ads. The Democrats didn’t have a single hearing, so we could ask any social media platforms what are they going to do to make this work for us, how are they already working to ensure that there aren’t going to be Russian ads paid for in the next election like the $100,000 that Facebook accepted in the 2016 election. Again, my colleagues in Washington have failed to really look at the progress that we’ve made in securing our elections.”

When asked if the SHIELD Act was bipartisan: 
“No, the SHIELD Act, really what the Democrats tried to do is take a bipartisan bill called the Honest Ads Act that we would have supported. They then said there are unanimous provisions that they put in. What they put in was the Act that passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent. That didn’t get put in until the Rules Committee the day before we actually debated the bill on the floor yesterday, so to put that in at the last hour and to claim unanimous bipartisanship is a little disingenuous on the Democrats part.”

“The biggest change we have, we want to empower the agencies that need to protect us and also have the experience and the ability to investigate foreign interference. That’s the Department of Justice. I want anybody who interferes with our elections, especially any nefarious foreign actors, I want them to be held accountable by D.O.J. The Democrats bill would not have allowed that to happen. One of the most egregious portions of the Democrats bill, that I think every Member of our caucus was appalled by, was they were going to allow the D.O.J. and the Attorney General to be able to go into any congressional district and set the record straight if they determined that what is being aired in a political ad is not completely true. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want Bill Barr coming into my district spending $1 million taxpayer dollars setting the record straight for or against me. That’s not what we should be doing out here in Washington, D.C. and clearly that’s what the Democrats were trying to put in place. That provision alone, I think, helped us have unanimity on our side against the SHIELD Act.”

When asked if impeachment is keeping the House from passing bipartisan legislation: 
“It’s really interesting. I heard a statistic right before I got here that the Democrat majority in the House has issued more subpoenas than House bills have been signed into law. That’s really not what the Democratic majority promised the American people when they gave them control. They said they were going to fix our broken healthcare system. They have yet to put a bill on the floor that is leaving 60 million Americans uninsured or underinsured or having coverage they can’t afford to use. We have a bipartisan trade agreement that if Speaker Pelosi put on the floor today, it would pass overwhelmingly in a bipartisan fashion. It’s not that the bills aren’t out there. Sometimes it’s just that Speaker Pelosi didn’t put the bills that are bipartisan on the floor. Yesterday was a prime example of that. Why in the world when you have a bill that’s co-sponsored by many of my Republican colleagues, and why wouldn’t you just mark that bill up in the House Administration Committee and put it on the floor and get a bipartisan win. No, instead they wanted to add other provisions that they knew would result in just a partisan roll call.”

When asked about the impeachment process from the Democrats and what is coming out of the proceedings: 
“That’s the problem, I don’t know what is coming out of these hearings. There are selective leaks coming out of the hearings. I want to hear the perspective of every one of the witnesses. Each witness has their own perspective on what they feel did or did not happen with the issue that they’re in there giving the deposition about. I want to hear from anybody. Let’s open it up. I mean as the Washington Post says, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” There is no way we should have an impeachment inquiry in the leadership appointed secure facility that we have in Washington, D.C. with the Intelligence Committee, Let’s bring it out to the open. If I was Chairman Jerry Nadler, I would be pretty upset this is going through the Intelligence Committee instead of going through the rightful Committee of Judiciary.”

When asked how Illinois is protecting their elections from potential future attacks: 
“We have a Cyber Navigator Program. They are working with local officials, local election officials in every county are working hand in hand with our Illinois State Board of Elections, who is working hand in hand with the Department of Homeland Security. As a matter of fact, during the last year when Secretary Neilson was still at D.H.S., we had a secure briefing. I went up to her immediately after that briefing to talk to her about Illinois’s efforts. This was before the 2018 elections, and she and her assistant who was in charge of these measures could not talk better about Illinois officials working with them. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish in Illinois. That’s what bipartisan agreements can do. That’s why we have been successful in Washington by investing dollars, stopping intrusions, having more people work together to identify possible intrusions. That doesn’t get enough attention out here, the successes we have had in this arena already.”

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