WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) on Friday released a statement regarding the introduction of her bill to block any federal funds from being used to establish or support a cybersecurity unit with Russia. Rep. Speier introduced H.R. 3259, the Preventing Usurpation Through International Networks (PUTIN) Act, in response to President Trump’s stated goal of creating a cybersecurity unit following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the very adversary directing cyberattacks against our democracy and others around the world.

“President Trump’s proposal that the United States cooperate with Russia on a bilateral ‘cybersecurity unit’ is shockingly naïve and dangerous. Cyber experts, Republicans, and Democrats have condemned the proposal for good reason: Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny any role in interfering in our elections, despite all evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, Russia is escalating its cyberattacks on our critical infrastructure – including, as recently reported, on our nuclear facilities. The President’s proposal would undermine national security while sending the wrong message to our allies, partners, and adversaries.

Although President Trump subsequently tweeted that the cyber unit ‘can’t happen,’ apparently he hasn’t told his Secretary of State, who said that talks on the unit ‘will be ongoing with various staff levels.’

Given this ambiguity and the catastrophic impact this proposal would have, today I introduced a bill, the Preventing Usurpation Through International Networks (PUTIN) Act, that would prevent any federal funding in support of a cybersecurity unit with Russia. President Trump should not be inviting Vladimir Putin through the front door of our cyber defenses – this bill will help keep that door locked.”