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Representative Houlahan Passes Her Bill To Defend American Elections From Foreign Interference

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) voted to pass the Stopping Harmful Interface in Elections for A Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, which included her bill, the Stop Supporting Foreign Interference in Our Democracy Act, to hold accountable Americans who help foreigners interfere in our elections. This comprehensive legislation will strengthen the resilience of our democracy and protect against foreign interference in America’s elections, including by foreign governments. The SHEILD Act passed the House 227-181. 

“Throughout our history, people have fought for the right to vote, and our men and women in uniform have died to protect that right among others,” said Houlahan. “It is our duty in Congress to stand up and defend these rights. Today, I honored my oath of office by voting to pass the SHIELD Act and authoring an amendment to hold accountable Americans who aid and assist foreigners meddling in our democracy. No one is above the law, and no one should be attempting to solicit foreign influence in our democratic processes. We must keep sacred our elections and protect them at all costs.”

 “From her first day in office and throughout her career, Rep. Houlahan has been committed to protecting our democracy from foreign interference and ensuring her constituents will have their voices heard in our elections,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United Action Fund. “Rep. Houlahan’s amendment to the SHIELD Act protects our elections by clarifying definitions around what constitutes as illegal foreign assistance to campaigns.”

The SHIELD Act will:

  • Create a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents
  • Prevent foreign interference in future elections by improving transparency of online political advertisements
  • Close loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections
  • Restrict exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents
  • Prohibit deceptive practices about voting procedures

Rep. Houlahan’s legislation H.R.4114 was included in the SHIELD Act by amendment, which passed by voice vote.  This amendment will:

  • Codify the FEC definition of “substantial assistance” for an illegal foreign transaction and defines what it means to “knowingly” abet a foreign entity, consistent with FEC regulations.

Footage of Rep. Houlahan introducing her amendment can be viewed here.

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her first term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.