McConnell Reverses Position and Backs $250 Million for Election Security

Senate Lawmakers Hold Media Availability After Weekly Policy Luncheons

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) surprised Washington this week after reversing position and co-sponsoring an amendment to an appropriations bill that would provide $250 million for security measures for the 2020 election.

"I'm proud the Financial Services & General Government bill will include a bipartisan amendment providing another $250 million for the administration and security of their elections, to help states improve their defenses and shore up their voting systems," McConnell said. "I am proud to have helped develop this amendment and to co-sponsor it in committee."

The funding provides an additional $250 million to improve the quality of states' voting systems as well as strengthen protections against foreign interference. Total funding for election security would increase to $600 million total since fiscal year 2018.

"This morning, after months and months and months of Republican resistance, and months of insistent Democratic pressure, Senate Republicans have finally agreed to support our Democratic request for additional election security funding in advance of the 2020 elections," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), said.

Last year, Democrats brought a similar measure to the floor that would have provided the $250 million to the states, but at the time, McConnell and most Senate Republicans opposed the measure. Democrats attempted to bring it up again in July, but McConnell again refused to bring the measure to the floor for a vote. That led to critics to give the Republican senator from Kentucky the nickname, "Moscow Mitch."

Still, critics of the bill say the additional funds still aren't enough. The House previously passed a bill that would have increased funding three times more - $600 million.

Photo: Getty Images

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