More Than 170 Members of House of Representatives Join Effort to Create Independent Commission to Investigate Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections

Jan 6, 2017
Press Release
Ranking Members from All House Committees Co-Sponsor Swalwell-Cummings Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, are reintroducing their Protecting Our Democracy Act to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election.

They originally introduced their legislation on December 7, 2016, at the end of the 114th Congress. Since then, they have obtained the support of more than 170 Members of the House of Representatives, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and all members of House Democratic leadership; the Ranking Members of all House Committees; and all Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Their bill would create a 12-member, bipartisan, independent commission empowered to interview witnesses, obtain documents, issue subpoenas, and receive public testimony to examine attempts by the Russian government or others to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or undermine trust in last year’s U.S. elections. The commission would examine any similar efforts by any other foreign governments or entities and would issue a final report with recommendations to Congress and the President within 18 months of enactment.

“There’s overwhelming agreement across America that our democracy was attacked this past presidential election. Now everyone’s asking what our nation’s leaders will do about it. Our legislation answers that question by identifying who was responsible and telling Americans what we will do to secure our next election,” said Ranking Member Swalwell. “We continue to seek Republican cosponsors because this must be about country, not party. If we do nothing, we are telling the world our elections are open for influence by the most aggressive meddler. With 17 intelligence agencies agreeing that Russia interfered in our election, we most move quickly to have an independent, bipartisan, de-politicized commission to fully examine the circumstances, inform the public of its findings, and develop a plan to prevent this from ever happening again.”

“The most senior leaders of our Intelligence Community testified yesterday that Russia interfered in our elections, which Republicans and Democrats alike have compared to an act of war,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “This grave threat calls for a truly bipartisan and independent commission that can put politics aside and conduct a complete review of this interference in our democratic process, and make concrete recommendations to protect our nation from being undermined by any foreign power. We cannot allow this to become the new normal for what we will accept as Americans.”

The 12 members of the independent commission would be appointed within 90 days of enactment of the Swalwell-Cummings bill by the Speaker of the House (3), Senate Majority Leader (3), House Minority Leader (3), and Senate Minority Leader (3). The commission would choose a chair and vice chair of different parties.  No federal officers or employees would be eligible to serve on the commission. Appointees would be prominent U.S. citizens with national recognition and significant depth of experience in governmental service, law enforcement, armed services, law, public administration, intelligence gathering, foreign affairs, cybersecurity, and federal elections.

This week, a bipartisan group of former senior intelligence and defense officials – including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morrell, and former Member of Congress and 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton – sent a letter urging Congress to create an “independent, bipartisan commission” to “understand fully and publicly what happened, how we were so vulnerable, and what we can do to protect our democracy in future elections.”


The bill’s original cosponsors include:

  1.       Eric Swalwell
  2.       Elijah Cummings
  3.       Sheila Jackson Lee
  4.       Alma Adams
  5.       Pete Aguilar
  6.       Nanette Barragan
  7.       Karen Bass
  8.       Joyce Beatty
  9.       Sanford Bishop
  10.   Earl Blumenauer
  11.   Lisa Blunt-Rochester
  12.   Suzanne Bonamici
  13.   Madeleine Bordallo
  14.   Brendan Boyle
  15.   Robert Brady
  16.   Anthony Brown
  17.   Julia Brownley
  18.   Cheri Bustos
  19.   G.K. Butterfield
  20.   Michael Capuano
  21.   Salud Carbajal
  22.   Tony Cardenas
  23.   Matt Cartwright
  24.   Andre Carson
  25.   Kathy Castor
  26.   Joaquin Castro
  27.   Judy Chu
  28.   David Cicilline
  29.   Katherine Clark
  30.   Yvette Clarke
  31.   William Lacy Clay
  32.   Emanuel Cleaver
  33.   James Clyburn
  34.   Steve Cohen
  35.   Gerald E Connolly
  36.   John Conyers, Jr.
  37.   Jim Cooper
  38.   J. Luis Correa
  39.   Jim Costa
  40.   Joe Courtney
  41.   Joseph Crowley
  42.   Henry Cuellar
  43.   Danny K. Davis
  44.   Susan Davis
  45.   Peter DeFazio
  46.   Diana DeGette
  47.   John Delaney
  48.   Rosa DeLauro
  49.   Mark DeSaulnier
  50.   Theodore Deutch
  51.   Debbie Dingell
  52.   Lloyd Doggett
  53.   Michael Doyle
  54.   Keith Ellison
  55.   Eliot Engel
  56.   Anna Eshoo
  57.   Adriano Espaillat
  58.   Elizabeth Esty
  59.   Dwight Evans
  60.   Bill Foster
  61.   Lois Frankel
  62.   Marcia Fudge
  63.   Ruben Gallego
  64.   John Garamendi
  65.   Vicente Gonzalez
  66.   Tulsi Gabbard
  67.   Al Green
  68.   Gene Green
  69.   Raul Grijalva
  70.   Luis Gutiérrez
  71.   Alcee Hastings
  72.   Denny Heck
  73.   Jim Himes
  74.   Steny Hoyer
  75.   Jared Huffman
  76.   Pramila Jayapal
  77.   Hakeem Jeffries
  78.   Eddie Bernice Johnson
  79.   Hank Johnson
  80.   Marcy Kaptur
  81.   William Keating
  82.   Robin Kelly
  83.   Joseph P. Kennedy III
  84.   Ro Khanna
  85.   Ruben Kihuen
  86.   Daniel Kildee
  87.   Derek Kilmer
  88.   Ron Kind
  89.   Raja Krishnamoorthi
  90.   Ann McLane Kuster
  91.   James Langevin
  92.   Rick Larsen
  93.   John Larson
  94.   Brenda Lawrence
  95.   Barbara Lee
  96.   Sander Levin
  97.   John Lewis
  98.   Ted Lieu
  99.   David Loebsack
  100.   Zoe Lofgren
  101.                       Alan Lowenthal
  102.                       Nita Lowey
  103.                       Ben Ray Lujan
  104.                       Michelle Lujan Grisham
  105.                       Stephen Lynch
  106.                       Carolyn Maloney
  107.                       Doris Matsui
  108.                       Betty McCollum
  109.                       A. Donald McEachin
  110.                       James P. McGovern
  111.                       Jerry McNerney
  112.                       Gregory Meeks
  113.                       Grace Meng
  114.                       Seth Moulton
  115.                       Gwen Moore
  116.                       Stephanie Murphy
  117.                       Jerrold Nadler
  118.                       Grace Napolitano
  119.                       Richard Neal
  120.                       Donald Norcross
  121.                       Eleanor Holmes Norton
  122.                       Beto O’Rourke
  123.                       Frank Pallone
  124.                       Jimmy Panetta
  125.                       Bill Pascrell
  126.                       Nancy Pelosi
  127.                       Ed Perlmutter
  128.                       Scott Peters
  129.                       Collin Peterson
  130.                       Stacey Plaskett
  131.                       Mark Pocan
  132.                       Jared Polis
  133.                       David Price
  134.                       Mike Quigley
  135.                       Jamie Raskin
  136.                       Kathleen Rice
  137.                       Cedric Richmond
  138.                       Jacky Rosen
  139.                       Lucille Roybal-Allard
  140.                       Raul Ruiz
  141.                       C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
  142.                       Bobby Rush
  143.                       Tim Ryan
  144.                       Gregorio Sablan
  145.                       Linda Sanchez
  146.                       John Sarbanes
  147.                       Janice Schakowsky
  148.                       Adam Schiff
  149.                       Bradley Schneider
  150.                       Bobby Scott
  151.                       Jose Serrano
  152.                       Terri Sewell
  153.                       Carol Shea-Porter
  154.                       Brad Sherman
  155.                       Kyrsten Sinema
  156.                       Albio Sires
  157.                       Louise Slaughter
  158.                       Adam Smith
  159.                       Darren Soto
  160.                       Jackie Speier
  161.                       Thomas Suozzi
  162.                       Mark Takano
  163.                       Bennie Thompson
  164.                       Mike Thompson
  165.                       Dina Titus
  166.                       Paul Tonko
  167.                       Norma Torres
  168.                       Niki Tsongas
  169.                       Juan Vargas
  170.                       Marc Veasey
  171.                       Filemon Vela
  172.                       Nydia Velazquez
  173.                       Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  174.                       Maxine Waters
  175.                       Bonnie Watson Coleman
  176.                       Peter Welch
  177.                       John Yarmuth


115th Congress