Senator Murray co-sponsors amendment to require federal campaigns to report offers of assistance from foreign governments  

(Washington, D.C.) – In a new effort to assert that foreign meddling has no place in our elections, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined thirteen Senate colleagues to file an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help protect our elections from foreign interference by requiring candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify law enforcement if offered assistance by agents of another government.

“Securing our elections to guarantee that they are both free and fair must be a top priority,” Senator Murray said. “This amendment will make the electoral system more transparent and ensure that our elections are decided by the American people and only the American people – without the influence of foreign actors.”

The amendment is based on the Duty to Report Act, also co-sponsored by Senator Murray, and would impose a legal duty on campaigns, candidates, candidates’ family members, and PACs to report offers of assistance from foreign nationals, including material, non-public information, to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The legislation also would require disclosure of any meetings between candidates or campaign officials and agents of foreign governments, other than those held in a candidate’s official capacity as an elected official. Under current law, it is illegal for any foreign national, country, or entity to provide anything of value to a campaign or make an expenditure to influence a U.S. election. It is also illegal for a U.S. citizen to solicit or accept such assistance. However, there is no legal requirement for Americans to report offers of such illegal assistance. This amendment will safeguard our democracy from foreign interference and ensure that U.S. persons are held accountable for welcoming malign assistance from foreign governments attempting to influence our democratic processes.

A vocal advocate for protecting the nation’s elections system from foreign interference, Senator Murray has repeatedly condemned Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and championed legislation to strengthen our national elections infrastructure and hold people accountable who participate in efforts to allow foreign governments to interfere in our elections, including the Senate version of H.R.1, the For the People Act, that would take important steps to prevent foreign election interference.