US Democrats Call for Funding Increase to Counter Alleged Russian Meddling

US Democrats Call for Funding Increase to Counter Alleged Russian Meddling
AP Photo/ J. Scott ApplewhiteUS22:18 21.02.2018Get short URL



WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Congress should significantly bolster spending for the Department of Homeland Security and other entities tasked with countering Russia’s potential interference in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections in the US, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter to Republican congressional leaders.

“We must provide urgently needed resources in the FY [fiscal year] 2018 Omnibus due on March 23rd for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence activities; the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to assist state and local governments enhance their election infrastructure security; and Election Assistance Commission state election security grants,” Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter to Republican congressional leaders Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday. 

Pelosi and Schumer explained the burden placed particularly on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe and counter such operations increases as Russia’s alleged efforts to interfere continue.

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“In order to ensure our nation’s premier law enforcement agency can adequately respond to this threat, we urge you to support a $300 million increase in the Bureau’s 2018 budget request,” the letter said.

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The Democratic leaders also said that additional funding should be targeted to ensure the resources and manpower to counter the influence of hostile foreign actors operating in the United States, especially Russian operatives utilizing social media platforms.

House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy co-signed the letter.

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Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the US and other elections, saying that such actions would go against the principles and conduct of Russian foreign policy.