Sen. Boozman says work being done to protect election integrity

by Roby Brock ( 307 views 

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, chairman of the Appropriations for Homeland Security subcommittee, agrees that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election and despite the Trump administration not implementing sanctions passed by Congress, he’s expecting them to be in place “sooner rather than later.”

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Sen. Boozman, R-Ark., said he still supports the sanctions that he voted for to penalize Russia for U.S. election interference.

“I’m very much in favor of getting that done, and it’s just a matter of pushing the president. I think that the Senate, Republicans and Democrats both, people in the House, Republicans and Democrats both, have actually been very forceful in the rhetoric that we need to get some action taken,” he said.

When noted that the sanctions, passed last October, have yet to be firmly installed, Boozman said he was against publicly denouncing the President in an effort to push them forward.

“I don’t think you publicly denounce people. So, we are working hard in a variety of different ways with the president, with the president’s advisors, the National Security Council, all of those things, to really encourage that we go forward and get this thing done. And I would say that there’s a fair chance, a good chance that we’ll actually get this done sooner rather than later,” Boozman said.

The sanctions imposed on Russia primarily limit business with Russian defense and intelligence sectors. They were retaliation for the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. With 2018 election upon the states, Boozman pushed back that nothing has been done to safeguard against a similar instance re-occurring this year.

Boozman said that as Subcommittee chairman of the Appropriations for Homeland Security Committee, he has helped coordinate election safety efforts between the federal government and states.

“They’re working hard, they’re communicating to the states, the states that want it,” he said. “You don’t have to take the help from the federal government if you don’t want it, but [we’re] trying to give them additional resources, give them additional advice as to how they secure the elections going forward.”

Post-interview, Boozman’s office provided a readout of a series of meetings that took place in mid-february between the Department of Homeland Security and state and national election stakeholders.

“Because of the vulnerability that we have in the age that we live now, we certainly have to take that threat very, very seriously, not only from the Russians, but from a variety of different actors,” he said.

Boozman also discussed a delay in moving forward with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation, and he discussed his bipartisan work on a water infrastructure measure. Watch his full interview below.