Exactly one week to the day after Senate Republicans blocked a bid to direct an extra $250 million toward bolstering election security ahead of November's midterm elections, Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) revealed that Russian hackers had successfully penetrated some of Florida's election systems.
"They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times.
Senate Republicans may revel in the unintended help from Russian hackers, but Americans demand that the party in control of both chambers of Congress act to secure our election systems and protect our democracy from this ongoing cyberattack against the very foundation on which our country exists.
There is not yet any indication of what the Russians are doing specifically, although if their intent is to undermine faith in the U.S. election system, the argument can be made that their cyberattack is already a success.
The announcement comes only weeks after special counselor Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign during the election. When Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he seemed to side with the former KGB officer, only to then walk back his comments after facing intense criticism from both sides of the aisle back home.
While the effort to bolster election security seems like a no-brainer, 47 GOP Senators decided that the money was unnecessary.
"It is far too early to add another quarter billion dollars ... when we don't know how the first $380 million has even been spent," said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).
Senate Republicans' decision to balk on funding election security is especially hypocritical given that 51 Republican Senators conveniently dropped their "budget hawk" façade just long enough to hand corporations a $1.5 trillion tax cut, pushing the national deficit ever closer to a record-breaking $1 trillion dollars.
Republicans have already proven that their convictions are about as steadfast as Trump's morals. This issue, however, goes beyond the implementation of their backwards agenda; Americans' faith in our democratic elections is essential to the future of this country.
Trump may be willing to allow his Russian counterpart to meddle in our affairs without fear of reprisal, but we, the undersigned, demand that our elected officials represent Americans and not the traitorous puppet currently occupying the Oval Office.
We demand that they put country over party. And we demand that they do it now, before it's too late.