The Department of Homeland Security revealed last month that it had launched a Disinformation Governance Board to crack down on misinformation online. The administration has tried to claim the board will monitor only foreign interference, but Republicans, including Cotton, argued it poses too much of a threat to free speech at home.
Cotton’s bill would “prohibit the use of federal funds for the Disinformation Governance Board of the Department of Homeland Security” and prevent taxpayer dollars from going to “establish or support the activities” of such a board. It would also prevent the funds from going toward “any other similar entity established” in DHS.
“The Biden administration wants a government agency dedicated to cracking down on what its subjects can say, an idea popular with Orwellian governments everywhere,” Cotton said in a statement. “This board is unconstitutional and un-American — my bill puts a stop to it.”
Republicans that signed on as co-sponsors include Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Braun, R-Ind.
“All Americans should distrust any government plan to monitor and control what they say or don’t say,” Hyde-Smith warned.
“Officials with the Biden administration swear this board won’t censor Americans, but their testimony and other statements make it clear that’s not true. This is an unconstitutional and terrible idea that needs to be stopped immediately.”
Scott agreed, slamming the new disinformation board as government-controlled “thought police.”
“Joe Biden is using DHS to create thought police and it should scare the living daylights out of every American,” he said.
“The president claims to care about fighting disinformation, but he and his administration have repeatedly lied to the American people and even called on social media companies to censor and silence American voices.”