Politics

Dems Look To Block US-Russia Cybersecurity Unit

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Democratic lawmakers in the House are pushing back against the idea of the United States working with Russia to create a cybersecurity unit in an attempt to prevent future instances of election hacking.

Virginia Democrat, Rep. Don Beyer, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would prevent federal dollars from being used toward the potential efforts, The Hill first reported.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of  the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2018 for the Department of Defense may be obligated or expended to share intelligence, information, equipment, personnel, or facilities related to any cyber agreement entered into with Russia after December 31, 2016,” the amendment reads.

The move comes after President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the possibility during their two-hour meeting Friday. Trump later backed off the idea, tweeting: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!” Sunday evening.

Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego also introduced an amendment, albeit late, aimed at preventing the administration from moving forward with the creation of the unit.

The congressman is pushing to block any money from being appropriated in the must-pass bill for the purposes of sharing  “information related to cybersecurity with the government of Russia or to enter into any agreement with Russia pertaining to cybersecurity except as authorized by Congress.”

Democrats aren’t the only ones skeptical of the potential cybersecurity collusion — GOP Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio were highly critical of the proposal.

Graham went as far as saying pairing with Russian on the issue “is not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard but it’s pretty close,” during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

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