The Republican Party’s tech-friendly policy is coming to an end.
This story is part of Axios’ special election coverage.
The plan is set to be unveiled Monday.
Republicans plan to make some changes to the way they handle election technology.
They’re calling it a “cybersecurity overhaul” that would require all states to upgrade their voting systems, including those run by the federal government.
The rules, however, are not set in stone.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Monday he’d introduce a separate bill that would take more time to complete.
“We’re going to go ahead and do it this week, and then we’ll see how it goes,” Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The GOP plans to introduce the plan in the coming days, with the goal of completing it by the end of March.
But the timing has been a problem.
Senate Republicans will hold a markup on Monday, and the GOP is still deciding whether or not to introduce a bill.
Cornyn says they’re “considering all options” and “are taking into consideration all the options that are available to us.”
Cornyn was asked about the plan on the Senate floor last week, but did not respond directly to Axios.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, is leading the charge against it.
“I believe that we ought to put a deadline on this,” Grassley said in a statement.
“This is a long-term solution.
It’s something that is going to take some time.”
The GOP has been working on the plan for months.
They’ve been lobbying the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees federal election infrastructure, to approve it.
But Homeland Security has said it will not approve the bill.
Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson, who are leading the effort, said last week that they’d work to make the bill bipartisan, but they haven’t received a response from the department.
“It’s not just a cybersecurity bill, it’s a cyber security plan that’s going to put in place a comprehensive set of security measures to protect against cyber attacks on voting systems,” Cornys aide said.
GOP tech leaders say the plan is essential.
“The cyber security bill is critical to the election process because we know that an attack on our elections could affect the outcome of a close election,” said Brian Krebs, chief executive of cybersecurity firm FireEye.
“There are a number of ways we can improve our cybersecurity infrastructure, but the most important one is to ensure that our election officials and election officials are able to protect the integrity of the election and election systems.”
A bipartisan group of senators has also signed onto the bill, including Sens.
Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., as well as Sens.
Kelly Ayotte, R, and Rob Portman, R. In a statement, Warner said, “This legislation is critical because it will help ensure that elections are conducted in a way that is secure, secure against cyber attack and secure against tampering and fraud.”
He added, “We need to make sure that we are securing our voting systems so that our democracy is not stolen.”