Republicans Reject Russia Hack Investigation Resolution
Another Opportunity to Get Answers Missed In Party Line Vote
April 5, 2017 (WASHINGTON) – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security rejected a Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res 235) sponsored by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and cosponsored by all Committee Democrats that would direct the Department of Homeland Security to provide the Committee with all information it possesses pertaining to Russia interfering with the 2016 Presidential election – including all information pertaining to Russia hacking of U.S. citizens and institutions last year. This information is necessary for the Committee to commence an investigation into this matter.
All Committee Republicans voted against the measure in a party line vote.
Ranking Member Thompson released the following statement on the vote:
“The Putin-directed attack on our democracy demands that Members of Congress put patriotism ahead of party. I am disappointed that Republicans refused to step up to the plate and work with Democrats to get the American people the answers they are looking for on Russia’s hacking and election interference campaign. While I was heartened by the comments from the Committee Chairman about the significance of the attack on our democracy, when it came time to vote on compelling DHS to provide us with critical documents, not a single Republican would stand with us. With the House Intelligence Committee investigation clearly struggling, it falls to our Committee to undertake a robust investigation into what DHS knew before, during, and after this unprecedented attack.”
“I strongly disagree with the Chairman’s view that compelling DHS to simply provide us all the information they have on Russia’s actions is unnecessary. Since the Administration changed in January, responsiveness to standard congressional inquiries by this Administration has been lacking and unacceptable. It is simply naïve to suggest that the Administration is eager to help us get to the bottom of this matter. I sincerely hope that Chairman McCaul keeps he word to work with us to get answers so that, in the future, those with nefarious intentions are not able to interfere with our elections. Working in the public’s trust, we all must be able to put the country first.”
BACKGROUND: A Resolution of Inquiry is a legislative tool that has privileged parliamentary status, meaning it can be brought to the floor if the relevant Committee has not reported it within 14 legislative days, even if the House Majority has not scheduled it for a vote. Once introduced, the Committee must schedule a markup to consider and debate the measure and vote on whether to report it to the house favorably or unfavorably. If the Committee does not act, it can be called up on the House floor and voted upon by the full House of Representatives.