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Senate strikes down proposal to spend more on election security

States will not get additional funding to help secure the upcoming midterm elections.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have provided more money for states to ramp up security efforts, The Hill reports. The amendment to an appropriations measure was struck down 50-47.

The proposal, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), would have paid out $250 million, but many Republican senators argued that it wasn't necessary. Only Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) broke with his party to vote in support of the effort.

Intelligence officials have said that there are ongoing efforts to undermine U.S. election systems, and warned that cyber threats will almost certainly affect the midterms. Facebook on Tuesday announced that it had identified an ongoing, coordinated effort to influence upcoming elections. However, GOP lawmakers like Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) said that states haven't even spent the $380 million that Congress previously approved for election security spending. Lankford called it "far too early" to increase the spending.

Leahy, on the other hand, thought Congress should step up to further combat possible interference. "The president is not going to act. The duty has fallen to us. Let's not after an election find out that this country was defenseless against attacks from Russia and say, 'Oh, gosh, we should have done something,'" Leahy said. Read more at The Hill.