WASHINGTON – During consideration of its Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 115th Congress, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today adopted an amendment offered by U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline to ensure the Committee is empowered to investigate foreign attempts to interfere in American elections.
“I’m pleased that Republicans and Democrats were able to find common ground on this important issue today,” said Cicilline. “Russia’s interference in the 2016 election cannot be allowed to repeat itself. All of us have an interest in protecting the integrity of our democracy. It’s critical that we remain vigilant, and prepared to confront and thoroughly investigate any foreign interference, no matter which party finds itself under attack.”
During debate on the Authorization and Oversight Plan, Cicilline amended a proposal offered by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) regarding oversight of the Executive Branch. The Rhode Island Congressman successfully inserted a clause to direct the Committee to continue investigating “allegations of improper interference with our democratic institutions or efforts to improperly or illegally interfere with our elections.” His amendment subsequently was agreed to by the Committee and adopted to the Committee’s Authorization and Oversight Plan.
In recent weeks, Cicilline has pushed for a vigorous investigation into Russia’s attempts to subvert the 2016 election, as well as the Trump administration’s continued ties to the Kremlin. Earlier today, he led a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) requesting that he bring former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn before the Committee to testify under oath regarding his own contacts with the Putin regime. Cicilline has also introduced the Presidential Tax Disclosure Act so that the American people can finally see what President Trump is hiding in his tax returns.
The Committee also adopted an amendment offered by Cicilline to ensure the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, on which Cicilline serves as Ranking Member, can exercise its oversight authority over President Trump’s executive orders. Earlier this year, the President signed a new executive order to eliminate critical environmental and public safety protections. Observers have noted that President Trump’s executive order may be unlawful, as agencies are required to follow public notice and comment procedures in order to rescind regulations.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to continue marking up the Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 115th Congress into the evening.