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House Republicans Block Increase In Election Security Funding

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Following the recent indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers for crimes intended to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, Democratic lawmakers have been looking to provide an increase in funding for election security.

House Republicans on Thursday blocked the efforts to increase election security funding, however, with GOP lawmakers arguing states already have more than enough resources.

The omnibus spending bill passed in March included $380 million in election security funds, although a recent U.S. Election Assistance Commission report said $334 million has already been transferred into state accounts.

An amendment from Congressman Mike Quigley, D-Ill., would have provided another $380 million in election security funds but was rejected by Republicans on a party-line vote.

"The Russians attacked our Democratic process. They will be back, and we are not ready," Quigley said on the House floor ahead of the vote. "The President is unwilling to meet this challenge. But we must be willing to meet this challenge."

He added, "With Russia attempting to cast doubt, uncertainty, and suspicion over the integrity of our electoral process, now is the time to double down on our efforts to prevent election hacking."

Democrats had been hoping to attach the amendment to the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which is one of several spending bills lawmakers must pass by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown.

The bill eventually passed 217 to 199, with the vote largely coming down along party lines. Fifteen Republicans and 184 Democrats voted against the bill.

The election security funds could be an issue when the Senate debates its versions of the House spending bills as early as next week.

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