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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

More Than 170 Members of House of Representatives Join Effort to Create Independent Commission to Investigate Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections

Jan 6, 2017

More Than 170 Members of House of Representatives Join Effort to Create Independent Commission to Investigate Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections  

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, are reintroducing their Protecting Our Democracy Act to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election.

They originally introduced their legislation on December 7, 2016, at the end of the 114th Congress. Since then, they have obtained the support of more than 170 Members of the House of Representatives, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and all members of House Democratic leadership; the Ranking Members of all House Committees; and all Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Their bill would create a 12-member, bipartisan, independent commission empowered to interview witnesses, obtain documents, issue subpoenas, and receive public testimony to examine attempts by the Russian government or others to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or undermine trust in last year’s U.S. elections. The commission would examine any similar efforts by any other foreign governments or entities and would issue a final report with recommendations to Congress and the President within 18 months of enactment.

“There’s overwhelming agreement across America that our democracy was attacked this past presidential election. Now everyone’s asking what our nation’s leaders will do about it. Our legislation answers that question by identifying who was responsible and telling Americans what we will do to secure our next election,” said Ranking Member Swalwell. “We continue to seek Republican cosponsors because this must be about country, not party. If we do nothing, we are telling the world our elections are open for influence by the most aggressive meddler. With 17 intelligence agencies agreeing that Russia interfered in our election, we most move quickly to have an independent, bipartisan, de-politicized commission to fully examine the circumstances, inform the public of its findings, and develop a plan to prevent this from ever happening again.”

“The most senior leaders of our Intelligence Community testified yesterday that Russia interfered in our elections, which Republicans and Democrats alike have compared to an act of war,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “This grave threat calls for a truly bipartisan and independent commission that can put politics aside and conduct a complete review of this interference in our democratic process, and make concrete recommendations to protect our nation from being undermined by any foreign power. We cannot allow this to become the new normal for what we will accept as Americans.”

The 12 members of the independent commission would be appointed within 90 days of enactment of the Swalwell-Cummings bill by the Speaker of the House (3), Senate Majority Leader (3), House Minority Leader (3), and Senate Minority Leader (3). The commission would choose a chair and vice chair of different parties.  No federal officers or employees would be eligible to serve on the commission. Appointees would be prominent U.S. citizens with national recognition and significant depth of experience in governmental service, law enforcement, armed services, law, public administration, intelligence gathering, foreign affairs, cybersecurity, and federal elections.

This week, a bipartisan group of former senior intelligence and defense officials – including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morrell, and former Member of Congress and 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton – sent a letter urging Congress to create an “independent, bipartisan commission” to “understand fully and publicly what happened, how we were so vulnerable, and what we can do to protect our democracy in future elections.”

The bill’s original cosponsors include:

  1.       Eric Swalwell
  2.       Elijah Cummings
  3.       Sheila Jackson Lee
  4.       Alma Adams
  5.       Pete Aguilar
  6.       Nanette Barragan
  7.       Karen Bass
  8.       Joyce Beatty
  9.       Sanford Bishop
  10.   Earl Blumenauer
  11.   Lisa Blunt-Rochester
  12.   Suzanne Bonamici
  13.   Madeleine Bordallo
  14.   Brendan Boyle
  15.   Robert Brady
  16.   Anthony Brown
  17.   Julia Brownley
  18.   Cheri Bustos
  19.   G.K. Butterfield
  20.   Michael Capuano
  21.   Salud Carbajal
  22.   Tony Cardenas
  23.   Matt Cartwright
  24.   Andre Carson
  25.   Kathy Castor
  26.   Joaquin Castro
  27.   Judy Chu
  28.   David Cicilline
  29.   Katherine Clark
  30.   Yvette Clarke
  31.   William Lacy Clay
  32.   Emanuel Cleaver
  33.   James Clyburn
  34.   Steve Cohen
  35.   Gerald E Connolly
  36.   John Conyers, Jr.
  37.   Jim Cooper
  38.   J. Luis Correa
  39.   Jim Costa
  40.   Joe Courtney
  41.   Joseph Crowley
  42.   Henry Cuellar
  43.   Danny K. Davis
  44.   Susan Davis
  45.   Peter DeFazio
  46.   Diana DeGette
  47.   John Delaney
  48.   Rosa DeLauro
  49.   Mark DeSaulnier
  50.   Theodore Deutch
  51.   Debbie Dingell
  52.   Lloyd Doggett
  53.   Michael Doyle
  54.   Keith Ellison
  55.   Eliot Engel
  56.   Anna Eshoo
  57.   Adriano Espaillat
  58.   Elizabeth Esty
  59.   Dwight Evans
  60.   Bill Foster
  61.   Lois Frankel
  62.   Marcia Fudge
  63.   Ruben Gallego
  64.   John Garamendi
  65.   Vicente Gonzalez
  66.   Al Green
  67.   Gene Green
  68.   Raul Grijalva
  69.   Luis Gutiérrez
  70.   Alcee Hastings
  71.   Denny Heck
  72.   Jim Himes
  73.   Steny Hoyer
  74.   Jared Huffman
  75.   Pramila Jayapal
  76.   Hakeem Jeffries
  77.   Eddie Bernice Johnson
  78.   Hank Johnson
  79.   Marcy Kaptur
  80.   William Keating
  81.   Robin Kelly
  82.   Joseph P. Kennedy III
  83.   Ro Khanna
  84.   Ruben Kihuen
  85.   Daniel Kildee
  86.   Derek Kilmer
  87.   Ron Kind
  88.   Raja Krishnamoorthi
  89.   Ann McLane Kuster
  90.   James Langevin
  91.   Rick Larsen
  92.   John Larson
  93.   Brenda Lawrence
  94.   Barbara Lee
  95.   Sander Levin
  96.   John Lewis
  97.   Ted Lieu
  98.   David Loebsack
  99.   Zoe Lofgren
  100.                       Alan Lowenthal
  101.                       Nita Lowey
  102.                       Ben Ray Lujan
  103.                       Michelle Lujan Grisham
  104.                       Stephen Lynch
  105.                       Carolyn Maloney
  106.                       Doris Matsui
  107.                       Betty McCollum
  108.                       A. Donald McEachin
  109.                       James P. McGovern
  110.                       Jerry McNerney
  111.                       Gregory Meeks
  112.                       Grace Meng
  113.                       Seth Moulton
  114.                       Gwen Moore
  115.                       Stephanie Murphy
  116.                       Jerrold Nadler
  117.                       Grace Napolitano
  118.                       Richard Neal
  119.                       Donald Norcross
  120.                       Eleanor Holmes Norton
  121.                       Beto O’Rourke
  122.                       Frank Pallone
  123.                       Jimmy Panetta
  124.                       Bill Pascrell
  125.                       Nancy Pelosi
  126.                       Ed Perlmutter
  127.                       Scott Peters
  128.                       Collin Peterson
  129.                       Stacey Plaskett
  130.                       Mark Pocan
  131.                       Jared Polis
  132.                       David Price
  133.                       Mike Quigley
  134.                       Jamie Raskin
  135.                       Kathleen Rice
  136.                       Cedric Richmond
  137.                       Jacky Rosen
  138.                       Lucille Roybal-Allard
  139.                       Raul Ruiz
  140.                       C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
  141.                       Bobby Rush
  142.                       Tim Ryan
  143.                       Gregorio Sablan
  144.                       Linda Sanchez
  145.                       John Sarbanes
  146.                       Janice Schakowsky
  147.                       Adam Schiff
  148.                       Bradley Schneider
  149.                       Bobby Scott
  150.                       Jose Serrano
  151.                       Terri Sewell
  152.                       Carol Shea-Porter
  153.                       Brad Sherman
  154.                       Kyrsten Sinema
  155.                       Albio Sires
  156.                       Louise Slaughter
  157.                       Adam Smith
  158.                       Darren Soto
  159.                       Jackie Speier
  160.                       Thomas Suozzi
  161.                       Mark Takano
  162.                       Bennie Thompson
  163.                       Mike Thompson
  164.                       Dina Titus
  165.                       Paul Tonko
  166.                       Norma Torres
  167.                       Niki Tsongas
  168.                       Juan Vargas
  169.                       Marc Veasey
  170.                       Filemon Vela
  171.                       Nydia Velazquez
  172.                       Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  173.                       Maxine Waters
  174.                       Bonnie Watson Coleman
  175.                       Peter Welch
  176.                       John Yarmuth