January 21, 2020

Cortez Masto: McConnell’s Obstruction Endangers the Security and Integrity of Our Elections

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today spoke out about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has blocked progress on crucial legislation to address election security and voter suppression. 

“A healthy American democracy depends on citizens feeling empowered to participate in the political process. That means Congress has a duty to proactively block nefarious attempts to influence our elections and undermine the right of citizens to vote. Foreign entities and dark money have no place in our democracy, and it’s unconscionable that the Senate Majority Leader refuses to take action to protect the integrity of our voting systems. So much is at stake in this upcoming election, and the only way we can strengthen faith in America’s institutions is by passing critical legislation to improve transparency, access and integrity at the ballot box.”

Throughout the month of January, Senator Cortez Masto will highlight critical legislation languishing in Leader McConnell’s legislative graveyard. Senator Cortez Masto is urging the Republican Leader to end his obstruction of legislation that would help working families and finally get the Senate back to work on behalf of the American people.


Senate Majority Leader McConnell has refused to let the Senate take action on hundreds of pieces of legislation to improve Americans’ lives, including vital legislation to safeguard against election interference and voter suppression. The following bills have passed in the House of Representatives, but have not been taken up by the full Senate:

  • The For the People Act: This legislation aims to restore the promise of American democracy by making it easier to vote, ending the dominance of big money in politics and ensuring that public officials work for the public interest.
  • The Securing American’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act: This bill addresses election security through grant programs and requirements for voting systems and paper ballots.
  • The Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy Act (SHIELD) Act: This bill establishes a duty to report election interference from foreign entities, applies existing campaign advertising requirements to online advertisements and generally limits political spending and election interference by foreign entities.
  • The Voting Rights Advancement Act: This legislation helps address the most egregious forms of recent voter suppression by developing a process to determine which states and localities with a recent history of voting rights violations must pre-clear election changes with the Department of Justice.

There are also bills that were introduced in the Senate with widespread support but have not been taken up by the Majority. These include:

  • The Election Security Act: This legislation strengthens the security of our voting systems and bolsters federal funding to protect against attacks on America’s elections. The bill provides grants to states to modernize their election infrastructure so every vote cast in federal elections is secure.
  • The Duty to Report Act: This legislation helps protect our elections from foreign interference by requiring federal campaign officials to notify law enforcement if offered assistance by agents of another government.
  • The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act: This bill requires organizations spending money in federal elections to disclose their donors and helps guard against hidden foreign interference in American democracy.