The House on Wednesday approved an election security bill that has been a top demand from Democrats’ most vulnerable members.
But the legislation — touted during this summer's Mueller mania as a way to respond to Russian intrusions in the 2016 election — has been eclipsed by the impeachment inquiry involving an entirely new election scandal in Donald Trump’s White House.
The bill, passed on a 227-181 vote, would require campaigns to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and restrict campaign-related communication between candidates and foreign governments.
Election security legislation was once seen as a lifeline for centrist Democrats, particularly battleground freshmen who wanted to avoid the impeachment furor in their caucus that was fueled by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Less than six months later, the push to combat foreign interference in elections is now a small part of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump’s efforts to solicit political help from Ukraine in his 2020 reelection bid.
“We have a president who welcomed assistance from the Russians in 2016, and then, remarkably, said again in June, that he would do that again,” House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) said ahead of the vote Wednesday.
The caucus that was once divided over how to handle Mueller’s findings is now on the path to impeaching Trump over new revelations related to Ukraine, underscoring how rapidly the ground has shifted in Washington.
Original story here.