Schneider Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Hold Putin Accountable for Election Interference

September 30, 2020
Press Release
DETER Act would enact sanctions on entities found to have conducted election interference

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and John Katko (R-NY) to hold Russia and other entities accountable for election interference. The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act is a House companion to S. 1060 which was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).


“Our intelligence community is unanimous that the Russian government engaged in a focused campaign at the direction of Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 elections. With fewer than five weeks to our next national election, the clock is ticking. Unless we act now, in a strong bipartisan fashion, we will be increasingly vulnerable to the Russians’ next attacks. This important legislation sends a clear message to Moscow that there will be severe consequences to any future interference, while also taking steps to improve our defenses against meddling by other foreign powers. Every American must be confident in the integrity of their vote. I’m proud to join with Rep. Fitzpatrick, Sherman, and Katko and Sen. Van Hollen to deter attacks on our electoral process,” said Congressman Brad Schneider.


“Our nation must never, and will never tolerate Russia or any other foreign nation interfering in our elections. It is well documented that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, and they are actively doing so again in 2020,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. “We must sanction bad actors that seek to undermine our democracy as soon as possible, and deter future instances of election interference.”


“To date, the United States has done little to hold the government of Russia accountable for its ongoing interference in U.S. elections,” said Congressman Sherman. “I am pleased to join Congressmen Schneider, Katko, and Fitzpatrick in introducing this legislation, an important step towards ending this interference. In the face of this threat to our democracy, it is important that we purse every avenue to protect our elections.”


“As November fast approaches, we know that Russia is again trying to interfere in our presidential elections. But the Trump Administration has refused to take meaningful steps to deter these actions. The United States must not stand idly by as Russia attempts to undermine our democracy. The DETER Act makes clear that there will be consequences. I’m proud to have led this bipartisan bill in the Senate, and I’m glad to see Congressman Schneider take up this charge in the House,” said Senator Van Hollen.


The DETER Act would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine within 30 days after an election whether a foreign government interfered on the electoral process. Should the DNI determine one or more states interfered in the election, the DETER Act would automatically trigger the imposition of comprehensive sanctions on these bad actors. This legislation would also require the President to provide Congress with regular briefings on past and current efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.


Schneider has been a leader on protecting U.S. elections from foreign interference. Schneider secured as part of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act—which was signed into law—his legislation (H.R. 5681) to combat foreign misinformation through the Global Engagement Center. He also led a full Illinois delegation effort to provide local election officials more information from the Department of Homeland Security on foreign election interference.