Langevin Offers Motion to Institute Trade Penalty for Russian Election Interference

Jan 12, 2017 Issues: Cybersecurity, Vote

The U.S. House failed to pass today an amendment offered by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a senior member of the House Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security, to increase scrutiny of Russian financial transactions in the wake of Putin’s election interference operation. Langevin’s amendment, offered as a motion to recommit H.R. 238, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, would have prohibited any country from being automatically deemed to have comparable regulations to the United States if that country engaged in cyber-attacks targeting U.S. elections.

“I will not pretend that my amendment to this bill is sufficient punishment for the brazen attack on our democracy, but I believe we must take additional action to further respond to Russia for their campaign to undermine faith in our elections,” Langevin said. “This change to trade protocol would have sent a powerful message to our allies that we will not stand idly by as Russia – or any foreign jurisdiction – attempts to affect our democratic institutions.”

Langevin’s motion follows a week of stunning confirmation from intelligence agencies that Russian leaders at the highest levels directed attempts to undermine Americans’ faith in the 2016 elections. Langevin has also written to Speaker Ryan requesting a Select Committee on Cybersecurity to investigate the attack and has joined all of his Democratic colleagues in calling for an independent commission to look into the unprecedented information warfare campaign.

“I am deeply disappointed in my Republican colleagues,” Langevin said. “We had an opportunity today to put the whole House on record that we will not allow our democracy to be threatened. I commend leaders like Senators McCain and Graham for speaking out regardless of partisan politics, and I hope they will prevail on their colleagues in the House to take serious action.”