May 19, 2022

Young, Daines, Colleagues: Defund Biden’s Disinformation Board

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), along with a group of Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security expressing opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board and urging that any funding for such board be prohibited in the FY 2023 appropriations bill.


“…While DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified that the board will not be used for political purposes and did his best to explain away serious concerns raised, little remains known as to what the board will actually do, how it will determine what is disinformation, and the scope in which it will take to monitor disinformation from American citizens. It is known, however, that the board’s executive director, Nina Jankowicz, is a hyper-partisan actor whose opinions of free speech and of those she disagrees with are well documented. It is also known that the board currently lacks any guiding policy, mission statement, or charter. Absent of these necessary guardrails to prevent mission creep, there is substantial risk of government overreach and First Amendment infringements. Although recent reports indicate that the board’s operations have been ‘paused’, Ms. Jankowicz has resigned, and its dissolution is being considered by DHS, its future remains as unclear as its mission,” the Senators wrote.


“While DHS has promised the board will ‘protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties,’ we do not take solace in words alone. A fine line exists between tackling disinformation and government censorship. Exactly where the Disinformation Governance Board falls on this line remains unclear and the potential for abuse is so egregious that we urge any and all funding for the board be prohibited during the Homeland Security appropriations process,” the Senators continued.


Read the full letter Senators Young and Daines sent to Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairman Chris Murphy and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capitohere.


Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Lankford (R-Okla), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) joined in sending the letter.


Young previously helped introduce legislationthat would bar federal funds from being used to establish a Disinformation Governance Board at DHS.