Civil liberties advocates have sharply criticized the Biden administration’s plans to create a “Disinformation Governance Board” within the Department of Homeland Security.
Fortunately, a bill sponsored by congressional Republicans could put the misadventure to a halt before it begins its role of policing so-called disinformation.
Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana introduced the legislation on Tuesday, with backing from 49 of his Republican colleagues.
The one-page bill blocks any and all federal funds provided to DHS from being used to fund the Disinformation Governance Board.
Johnson called on President Joe Biden to put an end to the bizarre project in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to stand up a ‘Ministry of Truth,’ is dystopian in design, almost certainly unconstitutional, and clearly doomed from the start,” the Louisiana Republican said.
“The government has no role whatsoever in determining what constitutes truth or acceptable speech,” he said.
“President Biden should dissolve this board immediately and entirely. If he won’t then Republicans will,” Johnson said.
Today I led 50 @HouseGOP Members in introducing a bill to defund Biden’s “Ministry of Truth.”
The government has no role in determining what constitutes truth or acceptable speech, and this dystopian, unconstitutional board must be dissolved.
If Biden won’t do it, then we will. pic.twitter.com/WmCtleXIBq
— Rep. Mike Johnson (@RepMikeJohnson) May 3, 2022
The law is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, but its text could be used to put a quick halt to censorship attempts in the event that Republicans take control of the House in the November midterm elections.
Should this entity exist?
The Biden administration and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have sought to deflect criticism of the entity, claiming it’s only focusing on Iranian- and Russian-sponsored disinformation, in addition to claims from human smugglers in Latin America that the southern border is open to migrants.
“Will American citizens be monitored?”
CNN’s @/DanaBashCNN presses Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the department creating a disinformation governance board that he says is meant to “address the threat of foreign state adversaries.” @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/JLDNnbtsc7
— CNN (@CNN) May 1, 2022
These claims are complicated by the appointment of a partisan leftist to lead the agency.
Nina Jankowicz admitted to receiving funding from Facebook, previously heading left-wing nongovernmental organizations working to censor content on the internet.
Jankowicz also implied that coverage of Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign business dealings was “Russian disinformation” in the runup to the 2020 election between his father and then-President Donald Trump, suggesting her definition of disinformation suddenly changes with differing partisan implications.