Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that Senate Republicans forced the removal of the election reporting provision as a condition of including the intelligence bill in policy legislation. of defense to be approved.
However, that bill was unlikely to win Senate time alone, so it is included in the National Defense Authorization Act. The effort to remove the foreign election aid provision from the intelligence bill was not a surprise, as Acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, predicted earlier this month that it would be removed. before the bill was on the ground, due to an objection from the Senate Rules Committee.
Warner lamented what he called a "backroom deal" to remove the provision.
"If my Republican colleagues want to remove this NDAA legislation behind closed doors, I will present it as an amendment to force a vote up or down and leave all members of this body on the record," Warner said on the floor of the Senate.
Warner tried to present his bill in the Senate several times in the past year, but Republicans opposed it each time. When Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, blocked the bill in June 2019, calling it a "cheeky political trick." President Donald Trump applauded his efforts on Twitter.
It is unclear whether the Warner amendment will have a vote. The Senate is debating defense authorization legislation on the floor this week.