Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) wrote to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services to continue to push for their bipartisan DETER Act to be included in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The letter follows last month’s unanimous Senate vote instructing NDAA conferees to include key elements of the DETER Act.
 
Rubio is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
 
“It is imperative that the United States establish meaningful consequences for elections interference by Russia or any other foreign state. The NDAA is legislation designed to protect our country from foreign adversaries. We cannot think of a better vehicle for a provision like the DETER Act, which will defend the integrity of our democratic process from outside attacks. With less than a year until the 2020 elections, we urge you to seize this opportunity and include the DETER Act in the final conference report,” the senators wrote.  
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Chairman Inhofe, Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Reed, and Ranking Member Thornberry:
 
As the conference committee continues its negotiations for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA), we again strongly urge you to incorporate S.1060, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act into the NDAA conference report.
 
Foreign interference in our elections remains as critical a threat as ever. On November 5, seven U.S. federal agencies jointly stated, “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions. Adversaries may try to accomplish their goals through a variety of means, including social media campaigns, directing disinformation operations, or conducting disruptive or destructive cyberattacks on state and local infrastructure.”
 
That is why the Senate voted unanimously this September for a resolution calling for the inclusion of key elements of the DETER Act in the NDAA conference report. Specifically, the Senate voted to require the administration to promptly submit a report on Russian interference following every federal election, including a detailed assessment of the individuals responsible for interference. The Senate also voted to promptly impose sanctions on any foreign government determined to have interfered in a federal election, including individuals and entities within that government’s territory. In addition, the House NDAA includes several provisions to deter Russian interference in our elections – demonstrating the will of both chambers to act. 
 
It is imperative that the United States establish meaningful consequences for elections interference by Russia or any other foreign state. The NDAA is legislation designed to protect our country from foreign adversaries. We cannot think of a better vehicle for a provision like the DETER Act, which will defend the integrity of our democratic process from outside attacks. With less than a year until the 2020 elections, we urge you to seize this opportunity and include the DETER Act in the final conference report.  
 
Sincerely,