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House Democrats try to protect election systems against Russia, Republicans block them

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (3rd L) speaks as House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (2nd L) and other House Democrats listen during a news conference January 20, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The U.S. government is shut down after the Senate failed to pass a resolution to temporarily fund the government through February 16.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Russian asset Donald Trump is still denying Russia’s ongoing interference in our elections, and thus far Senate Republicans are doing little more than wringing their hands over it.

House Republicans, however, are going along with it, refusing to allow a vote on a Democratic amendment to fund election systems protection on a spending bill that would end funding for grants that help states to protect their elections systems from cyber attacks and hacking. Just to make this clear: the Republican spending bill takes ends that grant funding AND they refuse to consider reinstating it. Democrats lined up on the floor to demand the funding.

“News flash, Mr. Speaker,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., “I hope my Republican friends are listening: Russia was just caught meddling in our election. In fact, meddling is not strong enough. They attacked our country.” […]

“The refusal to appropriate a dime for state defense against Russian interference really represents nothing less than unilateral disarmament,” said Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett when he joined the parade of unanimous consent requests for a vote on the amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Republicans blocked that consent, which means they’re basically siding with Trump on his fight with the entire U.S. intelligence community on Russian election interference. It also means states will have to find other funding to fight it.

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