Sep 19, 2019

Mitch McConnell backs $250 million election security deal

Mitch McConnell. Photo: Mark Wilson/Staff/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday announced his support to appropriate $250 million for election security.

The big picture: Despite bipartisan and Democrat-led bills crossing his desk, McConnell has regularly thwarted election security legislation. Per McConnell, the cash influx "will bring our total allocation for election security to more than $600 million since fiscal 2018."

Why it matters: While individual states are improving security on their own, there are still cost constraints some states can't surmount without federal funding.

Conservative activists Grover Norquist and Adam Brandon held a press conference on Wednesday to push McConnell toward action, while Democrats have needled him on the issue since 2016.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said $250 million in funding would not eliminate the need for a more comprehensive election security plan.

Homeland Security expressed optimism Thursday. "We're excited about the deal if it comes to pass," Christopher Krebs, director of DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which handles the department's efforts in election security, told reporters at a cybersecurity conference.

  • But, but, but: Krebs added that states would value consistent, dependable funding more than a one-time cash splurge.

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