‘No Funds!’ 18 Senators Call to Defund Biden Disinformation Board

May 20th, 2022 5:14 PM

Republican lawmakers called for the Senate to defund the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) led 17 other Republican lawmakers who sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee calling to defund President Joe Biden’s Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB). 

“The federal government should never be in the business of regulating speech or being the arbiter of truth,” the lawmakers wrote. “[T]his latest attempt to engage in that slippery slope should be defunded.”

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Biden’s DHS “paused” operations of the DGB and its controversial executive director, Nina Jankowicz, resigned. But the lawmakers appeared skeptical that these measures mark the end of the infamous board, saying that “its future remains as unclear as its mission.”

The letter criticized the board’s lack of transparency. “The board currently lacks any guiding policy, mission statement, or charter,” wrote the lawmakers. They also said that the board existed for several months “without having one documented meeting.”  

The letter underscored that “[t]here is no gap in our nation’s ability to counter disinformation threats that this board fills.” The lawmakers noted that the State Department and the DHS already monitor foreign, election and critical infrastructure related disinformation. [Emphasis a

The lawmakers expressed great concern for how a revived disinformation board in its established form could infringe upon the First Amendment rights of Americans. “A fine line exists between tackling disinformation and government censorship,” the letter reads. “Exactly where the Disinformation Governance Board falls on this line remains unclear and the potential for abuse is so egregious that we urge any and all funding for the board be prohibited.” 

Other senators who signed the letter included Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Risch (R- ID), Todd Young (R-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Crapo (R-ID) John Barrasso (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rick Scott (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Kenndy (R-LA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI) Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Sen. Daines and Chris Murphy and Shelley Moore Capito, ranking members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, did not immediately respond to MRC Free Speech America’s request for comment at the time of publishing.

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