WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) today announced the introduction of the Keeping Russia Out of European Elections Resolution (H.Res. 172). The bipartisan proposal sends a strong message that Democrats and Republicans stand united against Russia's efforts to meddle in other countries' democratic elections.
“Russia’s unprecedented interference in the 2016 presidential election struck at the foundations of our democracy. We cannot stand by as this continues. The Kremlin needs to know that we will not tolerate their ongoing efforts to undermine our closest allies,” said Cicilline, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “It's important that the U.S. House of Representatives speak with one voice to condemn these activities.”
Russia’s campaign against democracies across Europe seeks to divide the NATO alliance, weaken democratic institutions, and empower extremist candidates with pro-Moscow leanings. Nearly 20 elections will take across Europe in 2017, including in Germany, France and the U.K.
Russian meddling poses serious threats to U.S. national security. This bipartisan resolution opposes Russian political interference by:
· Declaring that Russia has engaged in a widespread hacking and misinformation campaign in order to influence politics and elections in democracies throughout Europe.
· Calling upon Russia to cease its efforts to influence politics and undermine elections in democracies throughout Europe
· Declaring that it is U.S. policy to sanction entities and individuals within Russia or associated with the Russian Government engaged in hacking, cyber-attacks, and propaganda campaigns with the intention of interfering in democratic elections
The unanimous conclusion of 17 federal agencies comprising the intelligence community of the United States was that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress on January 5, 2017 on the topic of Russian hacking and said, “Russia also has used cyber tactics and techniques to influence public opinion across Europe and Eurasia.”
“Russia is attempting to undermine democracy and democratic institutions across the Western world. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have launched inquiries into Russian interference in our own elections,” added Roskam. “While we await the results of that investigation, it's important we present a bipartisan front and make it very clear the U.S. Congress strongly condemns Russian malfeasance in Europe and around the world.”
The governments of Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, France and Italy have all reported cyber-attacks originating from Russian computers.