Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill on Tuesday that would ban federal funding from being used to launch President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security.
Cotton was joined in the legislation with support from a team of 18 co-sponsors among the Senate’s Republicans.
“The Biden administration wants a government agency dedicated to cracking down on what its subjects can say, an idea popular with Orwellian governments everywhere. This board is unconstitutional and un-American—my bill puts a stop to it,” Cotton said in a statement.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, also called for the defunding of the Disinformation Governance Board in an op-ed published on Tuesday in the National Review.
“I have lived my entire life around people who fled from countries ruled by Marxist dictators. They came to America because it is a free country, as their homelands once were. Theirs is a cautionary tale, and we are fooling ourselves if we think that can’t change,” Rubio wrote.
“A government disinformation board led by a person who ‘shudder[s]’ at the thought of ‘free speech . . . absolutists’ is a step toward tyranny. It must be stopped. It has to be defunded. And I will do everything I can to ensure that this assault on our freedom does not stand,” the senator added.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, another opponent of the board, called for the abolishment of the proposed board.
“Congress must act now to abolish this censorship board and prevent any future President who doesn’t believe in the Constitution from ever trying it again,” he tweeted.
Too late. Congress must act now to abolish this censorship board and prevent any future President who doesn’t believe in the Constitution from ever trying it again https://t.co/nLhZbKyzpe
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 2, 2022
In another Twitter post on Monday, Hawley argued that the board was unconstitutional.
“If Joe Biden won’t dissolve his unconstitutional Disinformation Board, Congress should. I will introduce legislation this week to eliminate the Board and forbid the government ever to create another one. It’s time to stand up for free speech,” the senator wrote.
Nina Jankowicz has been selected as the director for the Biden initiative within the DHS. Conservatives have noted her comments regarding America’s free speech rights are concerning.
“I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities,” Jankowicz shared in a recent NPR interview.
Last week I told @NPRMichel: I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities…which are already shouldering…disproportionate amounts of this abuse.” https://t.co/GLqMwC3iYH
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 25, 2022
In addition to Cotton, the full list of the bill’s co-sponsors includes John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Todd Young (R-Indiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), and Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota).