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Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In the 24 hours since former special counsel Robert Mueller warned of future election interference in his congressional testimony, Senate Republicans have blocked a collection of election security bills and a cybersecurity measure.

The latest: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blocked Democrats from pushing forward a House-passed bill to authorize $775 million in state funding over the next 2 years to bolster voting system security, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Mueller testified on the Hill Wednesday that "many more countries are developing capabilities to replicate" what the Russians did in 2016. "They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign," he said. Per New York Magazine, there's concern that if the law's not updated, it could leave the U.S. open to further interference.

Details: Democrats also sought consent to pass 2 bills that would require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about foreign offers of assistance and that would let the Senate sergeant-at-arms offer voluntary cyber assistance for personal devices and accounts of senators and staff, The Hill notes.

  • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) blocked these bills, without stating whether she made the motion by herself or on behalf of her party, per New York Magazine.

What they're saying: The magazine reports that Senate Intelligence Committee vice-chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said as he condemned Sen. Hyde-Smith’s motion, "Mueller’s testimony should serve as a warning to every member of this body about what could happen in 2020, literally in our next elections."

The other side: According to CNN, the GOP says that Congress has already improved security for the upcoming election. Already, U.S. law forbids campaigns from accepting or soliciting foreign assistance. However, the U.S. government does not enforce reporting mandates on campaigns nor candidates, according to Newsweek. Republicans have also warned of attempts to "federalize" elections, The Hill notes.

Go deeper: Read Mueller's opening statement to Congress

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 min ago - World

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”

5 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Exclusive: Law enforcement organizations back Biden pick for assistant AG

Vanita Gupta Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Local and federal law enforcement officials are backing Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, according to letters sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The Major County Sheriffs of America noted Gupta “emphasized that she does not support efforts to ‘defund the police'” and highlighted her desire to improve criminal justice through methods that include increased training for law enforcement officials.