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.

Go deeper: McConnell lashes out at media, Democrats over "Moscow Mitch" label

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$250M for election security is a fraction of what's needed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his support for a $250 million election security fund. By experts' estimates, that's only around 10% of what states will need between now and 2024 in order to protect elections from security threats.

The big picture: The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania says it will cost $125 million to replace unsecure voting machines in its state alone, meaning half the new funds could be spent on one small aspect of election security in just one state.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019

McConnell says Senate will put Trump on trial if House votes to impeach

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CNBC Monday that the Senate would have "no choice" but to put President Trump on trial if the House votes to pass articles of impeachment.

Go deeperArrowSep 30, 2019

McConnell challenger Amy McGrath raised nearly $11 million in Q3

Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images

Amy McGrath, the Democrat challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky Senate seat in 2020, raked in $10.7 million in the third quarter of fundraising, her campaign said Thursday.

Context: McGrath's campaign raised more last quarter than several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Cory Booker, who raised $6 million, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who raised $4.8 million. McGrath would be the 6th highest earner in the presidential field.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019