House GOP moves to defund feds’ new disinformation board as threat to free speech

Lawmakers unveil legislation, compare board to Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.”

Updated: May 12, 2022 - 12:18am

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House Republicans are moving to defund the Homeland Security Department’s new Disinformation Governance Board, calling it an “un-American abuse of power” that will violate the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech.

The GOP’s two two House leaders, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, unveiled legislation Wednesday to ban federal expenditures on the board or other entities like it, saying they were equivalents to author George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” in the novel 1984.

“First they labeled parents speaking out at school board meetings domestic terrorists. Now they've created a Ministry of Truth to control what you get to know and say,” Scalise tweeted. “Liberals can't handle it when their narrative is challenged. They want total government control of your life.

McCarthy added the board is “just an un-American abuse of power, which is a scheme conjured up by Washington Democrats to grant themselves the authority to control free speech.”

Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said the board will not be used to target Americans but rather will focus on foreigners seeking to deceive the United States, like drug cartels and terrorists.

But Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., one of the bill sponsors, dismissed such claims noting the partisan woman named to run the board.

“This board needs to be defended and needs to be dismantled because this is not a tool to go after the cartels,” Boebert said. “We have plenty of tools that we can use to go after the cartels. It seems like it was created to terrorize the American people rather than to prevent terrorists from engaging in our country.”