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US House Approves Bill to Form Panel to Counter Alleged Russian Meddling

© Flickr / rj_schmidtUSA Freedom Act Passes US House Vote, Moves to Senate
USA Freedom Act Passes US House Vote, Moves to Senate - Sputnik International
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The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed intelligence-policy legislation that would form an interagency panel of senior officials tasked with countering what Washington claims is political interference by Russia in various countries.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The bill, supported by House-majority Republicans and minority Democrats, was approved Wednesday night on a voice vote, 390 to 30. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill by December 31.

People wait to vote at a polling station in Rennes, western France, on November 27, 2016 during the second round of the centre-right primaries ahead of the 2017 presidential election - Sputnik International
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Text of the bill, which also sets funding levels for other US intelligence priorities, calls for establishing a panel that would attempt to curtail Russian efforts to "exert covert influence over peoples and governments" while "countering active measures by Russia to exert covert influence, including exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies."

In a related matter Wednesday, the six Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a two-paragraph letter urging President Barack Obama to seek to declassify information about alleged Russian intrusion in the US presidential election.

"We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public," the senators wrote. "We are conveying specifics through classified channels."

Russia has denied frequent claims by US intelligence agencies that it has tried to meddle in the US political system, with President Vladimir Putin calling the allegations an attempt to distract American voters from domestic issues.

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