House GOP Puts Pentagon-NewsGuard Collusion on Notice

June 27th, 2024 5:29 PM

The House is set to send a strong message to the Pentagon regarding its collusion with leftist media ratings firms like NewsGuard: Enough is enough.

House Republicans introduced H.R. 8774 on Thursday, a Defense appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2025, which contains language that bars the Pentagon from using taxpayer funds for contracts with so-called media ratings firms like Ad Fontes and NewsGuard.

Led by House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), this bill, which is aimed at stopping censorship, is a response to the baffling $750,000 contract between the Department of Defense and NewsGuard.

Section 8159 specifies: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be made available to NewsGuard Technologies Inc.”

Moreover, Section 8147 prevents the Pentagon from labeling communications by American citizens as “mis-, dis- or mal-information.” 

The same section also bans the military agency from partnering with or funding “nonprofit or other organizations that pressure or recommend private companies to censor lawful and constitutionally protected speech of United States persons, including recommending the censoring or removal of content on social media platforms.”

In remarks before the House floor, Chairman Calvert said, “The bill includes multiple general provisions from the House’s fiscal year 2024 bill that pivot the Pentagon away from divisive partisan policies, and towards military readiness.”

MRC Free Speech America Vice President Schneider hailed the pro-free speech wording of the bill, saying: “Our defense dollars should be used to target our enemies not those who have different political views. The Biden administration has been using our taxpayer dollars really for campaign purposes. He doesn’t like conservative media outlets that have a different point of view.”

Speaking of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-AL), Schneider added, “Fortunately, the House is trying to stop this abuse.”

Shortly after the bill’s announcement, the White House came out in opposition to the bill, lamenting some of the appropriation text’s anti-woke measures. “If the President were presented with H.R. 8774, he would veto it,” wrote the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in a statement published on Monday.

Chairman Calvert’s announcement of H.R. 8774 followed the House’s passage of the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, a spending authorization bill that includes a provision that blocks the Pentagon from contracting with anti-free speech firms like NewsGuard.

NewsGuard is a leftist media ratings firm exposed by MRC Free Speech America as a tool for the left to censor outlets critical of the Biden administration. As revealed in three annual MRC exposés, NewsGuard has anointed leftist media outlets with highly favorable ratings, while conveniently providing damning ratings to right-leaning media.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.