Text: H.R.5910 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/22/2018)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5910 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
                                H. R. 5910

 To strengthen the United States response to Russian interference, and 
                          for other purposes.



                              May 22, 2018

    Mrs. Demings (for herself, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, and Ms. 
  Stefanik) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
  Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on 
    Armed Services, Intelligence (Permanent Select), Oversight and 
     Government Reform, and Financial Services, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 


                                 A BILL

 To strengthen the United States response to Russian interference, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Defend Against Russian 
Disinformation and Aggression Act''.


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) According an Intelligence Community Assessment dated 
        January 6, 2017, Russia engages in attacks of disinformation to 
        advance its longstanding desire to undermine the United States-
        led democratic order, the promotion of which Putin and other 
        senior Russian leaders view as a threat to Russia and to 
        Putin's administration.
            (2) According to the indictment issued by the Attorney 
        General on February 16, 2018, Russia interfered in the United 
        States presidential election in 2016 and continues to conduct 
        disinformation efforts designed to undermine the United States.
            (3) In addition to the allegations regarding Russian 
        disinformation efforts in that indictment, according to Robert 
        Blackwill and Phil Gordon of the Council on Foreign Relations, 
        in 2016, Russia used its domestic media outlets, such as RT and 
        Sputnik, extensively to publish and promote false and 
        provocative stories designed to denigrate Hillary Clinton and 
        stoke anger among potential Trump supporters as well as 
        Clinton's opponents on the left. Disinformation included in 
        such videos was often picked up by Trump-supporting media 
        outlets, such as Breitbart News, Infowars, and Fox News, vastly 
        expanding the reach of the videos.
            (4) Notwithstanding the enactment of the Countering 
        Adversaries of America through Sanctions Act of 2017 (Public 
        Law 115-44), Russia continues to support efforts to sow and 
        exacerbate divisions among Americans, including by funding 
        efforts to fuel racial, religious, and cultural resentments 
        throughout American society and pitting Americans against each 
        other and against many of their politicians.
            (5) Russia has also significantly stepped up its efforts to 
        confront the United States and its allies politically and 
        militarily, and to counter American influence worldwide, 
        including by the following:
                    (A) Invading and illegally occupying Crimea.
                    (B) Intervening in and occupying parts of eastern 
                    (C) Deploying substantial military forces and 
                undertaking a ruthless bombing campaign in Syria to 
                prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad and defeat the 
                American-supported opposition.
                    (D) Significantly expanding its armed forces and 
                deploying missiles in violation of treaty commitments.
                    (E) Undertaking large military exercises designed 
                to intimidate East European states.
                    (F) Interfering in the political systems of 
                European countries in much the same way as in the 
                United States.
                    (G) Using the threat of cutting off gas supplies as 
                leverage over the most energy-dependent European 


    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) while the United States should seek opportunities for 
        cooperation with Russia, particularly in the context of arms 
        control and the conflict in Syria and maintain open dialogue 
        with Russia, the United States should also confront Russia more 
        robustly, in order to deter further Russian efforts to 
        undermine United States society, the United States political 
        system, or the societies or political systems of United States 
        allies; and
            (2) such robust confrontation should include--
                    (A) responding strongly to ongoing Russian 
                interference in Ukraine;
                    (B) exposing the corruption of Vladimir Putin;
                    (C) strengthening military ties with other 
                countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; 
                    (D) ensuring a coordinated and effective Federal 
                response to Russian aggression.


    (a) Establishment.--Section 1 of the State Department Basic 
Authorities Act (22 U.S.C. 2651a) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsection:
    ``(h) Coordinator of Sanctions Policy.--
            ``(1) In general.--There shall be established within the 
        Department of State a Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, who 
        shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and 
        consent of the Senate and shall report directly to the 
        Secretary of State.
            ``(2) Duties.--The Coordinator for Sanctions Policy shall 
        be responsible for the following:
                    ``(A) Overseeing the diplomatic aspects of the 
                enforcement of United States and United Nations 
                sanctions, including sanctions with respect to Russia, 
                Iran, North Korea, and other countries.
                    ``(B) Coordinating with allies regarding the 
                enforcement of such sanctions.
                    ``(C) Coordinating determinations with respect to 
                such sanctions by the heads of other Federal 
                departments and agencies, including the Secretary of 
                the Treasury and the United States intelligence 
            ``(3) Rank and status of ambassador.--The Coordinator for 
        Sanctions Policy shall have the rank and status of Ambassador 
        at Large.''.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
Coordinator for Sanctions Policy established pursuant to subsection (a) 
should be provided sufficient office space and support staff to ensure 
its successful establishment.


    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
President should promptly and fully implement Executive Order No. 13800 
(82 Fed. Reg. 22391; relating to strengthening the cybersecurity of 
Federal networks and critical infrastructure) so that Federal 
departments and agencies can better detect, monitor, and mitigate cyber 
attacks as quickly as possible.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report describing 
each step taken to meet the objectives described in subsection (a) 
relating to cyber attack response.


    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the intelligence community should dedicate resources to 
        further expose key networks which the corrupt political class 
        in Russia uses to hide the money it steals; and
            (2) the President should pursue efforts to stifle Russian 
        use of hidden financial channels, including anonymous shell 
        companies and real estate investments, in a manner similar to 
        the efforts undertaken to tighten banking regulations after the 
        terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the 
Secretary of State, shall submit a report to Congress on assets owned 
by Vladimir Putin, Russian oligarchs, and senior officials of the 
Russian Government, including--
            (1) with respect to bank accounts, real estate holdings, 
        and other financial assets, including those outside of Russia, 
        that are owned by or accessible to Putin--
                    (A) the location of such accounts, holdings, or 
                assets; and
                    (B) the contents of such accounts or the amount 
                held through such holdings or assets;
            (2) the location, size, and contents of any assets of any 
        oligarch listed pursuant to section 241 of the Countering 
        America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Public Law 115-44; 
        131 Stat. 922); and
            (3) any ``front'' or shell companies, or other 
        intermediaries, used by senior officials of the Russian 
        Government to hide assets from public disclosure.
    (c) Form.--The report required under subsection (b) shall be 
submitted in classified form.
    (d) Reasonable Attempt To Issue Unclassified Report.--Not later 
than 60 days after the date of the submission of the report required 
under subsection (b), the Secretary of the Treasury shall--
            (1) publish an unclassified version of such report on a 
        publicly available website of the Department of the Treasury; 
            (2) submit a notification to Congress describing the 
        reasons for which the Secretary has determined that such 
        release is not possible.


    (a) NATO Exercises.--The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with 
other countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, shall seek 
opportunities to conduct more NATO naval exercises in the Baltic and 
Black Seas, as well as in the northern Atlantic Ocean, to defend the 
seas around Europe and deter Russian aggression in those regions.
    (b) Joint Research Projects.--The Secretary of Defense, in 
coordination with the Secretary of State, may conduct joint research 
projects with NATO allies pursuant to the authorities under chapter 138 
of title 10, United States Code, including projects through NATO 
Centers of Excellence, to--
            (1) improve NATO reconnaissance capabilities to track 
        Russian military exercises;
            (2) enhance NATO anti-submarine warfare capabilities 
        against Russia;
            (3) increase the numbers of modern sensors placed on NATO 
        aircraft, submarines, and surface ships; or
            (4) enhance NATO capabilities to detect and deter Russian 
        information operations.

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