It’s been more than two years since we got the first signs that a foreign government was engaged in a sprawling hacking and disinformation attack against America. We now know, beyond any doubt, that those attacks were directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. We have proof that Kremlin agents were even here in America orchestrating efforts to influence our elections. Why would they do this? To dictators like Putin, America’s commitment to freedom and liberty and thus free and fair elections is a threat to his despotic power.
What’s more, we know that those attacks continue to this day, and are only becoming more sophisticated. The problem is, nothing is being done to really make Moscow feel the consequences of its actions. The president has routinely watered down, delayed, or even ignored the sanctions that Congress enacted. And even as the attacks raged on against our country, Trump stood up next to our assailant to praise and defend Vladimir Putin.
Praising the man who’s actively working to weaken and divide us…
That’s not leadership. That’s a national security crisis.
Fortunately, in America, our power doesn’t begin or end with the president. Congress has the power — and the duty — to act and force the president’s hand. Already, there’s a bipartisan bill in the Senate which would enact strong and unyielding sanctions against those who attack us. This bill, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, is our best chance to defend ourselves by enacting real consequences for our foes; consequences so strong, that Putin and any other possible adversary won’t be willing to risk such attacks in the future. Deterrence is our best hope for ending the continual assaults on our sovereignty. Congress has a duty to make sure we’re safe from all attacks, no matter how the president feels about the people attacking us. That’s why we’re asking to you join us in supporting S. 3336, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act.
Read more about the bill below:
S.3336, or the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018, is currently sponsored by Senator Graham and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators: Menendez, Cardin, Shaheen, Gardner, and the late Senator McCain.
This legislation strengthens both Congress’ role defending alliances like NATO as well as its firm stance against Russian interference in America’s elections. The bill, if passed, would require a two-thirds majority from the Senate to withdraw from NATO.
Specifically, some of the more potent actions against Moscow include, but are not limited to: punishing Russia for chemical weapons production and use, requiring the Secretary of State to determine if Russia meets criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, establishing an Office of Cyberspace and the Digital Economy within the State Department, establishing interference in American elections as grounds for inadmissibility under federal immigration law, establishing federal charges for hacking a voting system under the Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act, and a slew of sanctions on key Russian economic sectors and individuals engaged in corrupt or malicious activity.
Why this is necessary:
The current political environment has deferred too much Congressional authority to the Oval Office. This bill would reassert Congress’ constitutional powers and provide a much needed check on the executive branch’s inaction. By strengthening our commitment to NATO, an alliance which Putin seeks to destroy, and applying economic pressure to the Kremlin, this bill will fill the void of inaction left by a president who refuses to act. Safeguarding the international world order that has brought great peace and global prosperity is imperative — and it seems this responsibility now rests on Congress’ shoulders.
Furthermore, this legislation takes an unequivocal stance that Kremlin interference in one of the most essential aspects of America’s democratic republic — free and fair elections — will not be tolerated, but will be met with harsh repercussions. This bill implements sanctions and punishment immediately, rather than waiting for future election interference. As such it is the only bill that provides immediate repercussions for Moscow’s attacks, combatting any ongoing cyber-operations and deterring future attacks from Putin and other adversaries. It is the only way to protect our free and fair elections.
The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act not only imposes highly targeted and withering sanctions, it reinforces America’s commitment to organizations which Putin seeks to disband and states unequivocally that the Russian government is an adversary of the United States, and of liberty around the world.