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Golden: Congress Should Have Passed Bills Aimed At Protecting US Elections From Foreign Influence

David Sharp
Associated Press
In this April 27, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, speaks during a ceremony for a Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer named for former President Lyndon Baines Johnson in Bath, Maine.

Maine U.S. House Rep. Jared Golden says Congress should have passed legislation aimed at curbing foreign influence in U.S. elections months ago, but probably won't take action on the issue this year.Both the House and Senate have bills that would require federal campaigns to report to the FBI any contacts with foreign nationals trying either to coordinate with them, or make donations.

But Golden, a Democrat who's running for re-election in Maine's 2nd District, says the issue is unlikely to be considered before this fall’s elections.

“It’s too late to legislate this right now," Golden says. "That’s something that has been worked on for multiple years now, as it should have been, as it should be.”   

Golden says he thinks a measure could pass if it was brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

“The disinformation campaigns on social media are not just targeted at trying to beat one candidate over another, or to advantage one party over another," he says. "It is meant to sow dissent and confusion over America.”

But Golden says the coronavirus pandemic and the federal budget deadline will leave little time to consider other bills.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.