"The Department of Homeland Security should not be in the business of censoring free speech on Twitter and Facebook. Following in the steps of Mao and Stalin, Biden's unconstitutional, dystopian 'Department of Propaganda' is trampling on the First Amendment and trying to control what people can and can't say. Instead of treating Orwell's book 1984 as a warning, the Left appears to be using it as an outline for their agenda. These efforts are un-American and a direct attack on our freedoms. We the People will not be silent." (Cong. Lauren Boebert, R-CO)
"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 government has no role whatsoever in determining what constitutes truth or acceptable speech. President Biden should dissolve this board immediately and entirely. If he won't then Republicans will." (Cong. Mike Johnson, R-LA)
"DHS has no business policing speech and acting as an arbiter of truth – especially when the secretary is actively spreading the outright, demonstrable lie that he has operational control of the southern border. Not one dime of taxpayer money should go to this unconstitutional farce." (Cong. Chip Roy, R-TX)
DHS is setting up what it calls a Disinformation Governance Board with the stated goal of advising the agency about information board members rule is false and deserves to be challenged by DHS, which is the third-largest agency in the federal government. Critics have mockingly labeled the Board as the administration's "Ministry of Truth" (a throwback to George Orwell's classic novel "1984") – and the DHS itself has released few details on how the board will function and what powers it will have.
Representatives Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) have introduced bills to dissolve the Board – the existence of which many Americans were unaware of until DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made it known last week during a House Subcommittee hearing.
"Our Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has an entire effort focused on election security as part of its mission set," said Mayorkas. "Our Office of Planning, Policy, and Strategy is also a leading effort, and our Undersecretary for Policy, Rob Silvers, is co-chair with our Principal Deputy General Counsel, Jennifer Gaskill, in leading a just recently constituted misinformation/disinformation governance board."
Mayorkas' statement was in response to Representative Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois), who had asked – after reading a full minute of prepared notes and ending with an accusation that Hispanic-speaking voters are being influenced by "misinformation" – what DHS was doing to combat what she called "misinformation and disinformation" in the 2022 midterm election.
After people and politicians started to voice their concerns about the secretary's comments at the hearing, he went on television programs – including Fox News Sunday – to assure Americans they are not being spied on by DHS.
"Our work does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil rights, civil liberties," he told Fox News. "It's not about speech. It's about the connectivity to violence."
Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots Action doesn't buy it. Martin says Americans need these bills from Congress passed.
"What we're seeing right now from this Disinformation Governance Board is a complete overreach of the Biden administration's authority and it's infringing on our free speech rights, our First Amendment rights," says Martin.
"We have endorsed both Congressman Johnson's and Congresswoman Boebert's bills that would seek to defund and dismantle the Board. We need this to end before it ever really gets started," she urges.