House Republicans Secure Provision Barring Pentagon From Funding ‘Disinformation’ Industry

Congressman Mike Rogers says NDAA includes provision to fight 'far-left’s attacks on conservative outlets'
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - MARCH 15: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley listens during a press conference at the Pentagon on March 15, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. Gen. Milley and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed various topics including the downing of an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea by Russian fighter jets. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Republicans have secured a provision in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act that prohibits the Department of Defense from contracting with disinformation companies such as NewsGuard, arguing that the Pentagon should not be engaged in censorship of domestic news outlets.

The House Armed Services Committee agreed to strip many provisions of its version in negotiations with its Democrat-controlled counterpart in the Senate, but the provision targeting government funding of censorship technology remained in the final legislation, which will likely receive a vote as soon as next week.

“I am proud that House Republicans successfully fought for a provision in the FY24 NDAA that ends the far-Left’s attacks on conservative outlets,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “We will continue to defend freedom of speech against the Biden administration’s far-left overreach.”

The NDAA must pass every year to fund the military, and has become a vessel for legislation that would otherwise stand no chance to pass as a stand-alone bill. Other provisions that failed to make it into the final version include bans on the Pentagon funding drag shows and so-called “gender-affirming health care” for transgender-identifying service members.

The provision comes as government funding of the censorship industry comes under the microscope. A senior committee aide says it was born out of concerns about the Pentagon award of $750,000 to NewsGuard for it to demonstrate whether its technology could be used for a defense application.

The aide said that companies such as NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index “pose as fact checkers of online content and claim to root out ‘misinformation,’ but their process often censures conservative news outlets.”

Disinformation companies have stated aims to drive advertising dollars away from conservative media sites such as The Daily Wire by labeling them as sources of bad information. The Global Disinformation Index, for example, includes The Daily Wire, along with other popular conservative outlets such as The Federalist and New York Post, on its list of the top ten “riskiest” outlets.


The committee said its provision would bar the Pentagon from using any of these tools when deciding how to spend its own advertising budget.

“The provision requires that any entity involved in military recruitment advertising must certify that it does not use personal political preferences or biases, or determinations of misinformation when choosing where it will place DoD advertisements,” the aide explained. “In the event NewsGuard or GDI makes such certification and the DoD defies Congressional intent and issues another contract to either company, the DoD must immediately explain to Congress why they issued the contract.”

The Pentagon, however, is not the only federal government entity providing funding to the censorship industry. The Daily Wire sued the Biden administration’s State Department on Tuesday for its own funding of censorship technologies.

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