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Biden administration in hot seat for sending Congress ‘incomplete’ records for censorship investigation


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Washington Examiner

The State Department is facing heightened scrutiny from the House GOP for providing congressional investigators with “incomplete” grant records, including on the agency bankrolling organizations that silence conservative voices online.

Republicans on the House Small Business Committee are re-upping a request to the State Department-housed Global Engagement Center for information on awards the office dished out, including to groups such as the Global Disinformation Index, a British think tank that, the Washington Examiner reported, aims to strip revenue from conservative media outlets. The request is part of the panel’s broader inquiry into “government censorship and revenue interference of American small businesses by proxy,” lawmakers informed GEC Special Envoy and Coordinator James Rubin in a letter Monday.

 

“The GEC has funded a myriad of companies that label beliefs running afoul of the radical left’s agenda as ‘disinformation,'” House Small Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams (R-TX) and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) wrote in the letter to Rubin. “Despite your recent claim that ‘[w]e are not in the business of deciding what is true or not true,’ the third parties receiving GEC funds focus overwhelmingly on ‘right-wing misinformation’ rather than misinformation across the political spectrum. It is clear the Biden Administration considers itself the arbiter of truth.”

The letter is the latest escalation of congressional efforts to investigate the federal government for its ties to the “disinformation” and “misinformation” tracking industry, which Republicans assert serves as a tool to censor conservatives on the internet. The state of Texas joined two conservative media outlets, the Daily Wire and the Federalist, in accusing the GEC in a December lawsuit of funding an unconstitutional “censorship scheme,” particularly due to the government’s grant of $100,000 to the GDI in 2021.

Meanwhile, the since-passed $886 billion 2023 Pentagon spending bill banned the Defense Department from placing “advertisements in news sources based on personal or institutional political preferences or biases, or determinations of misinformation.” The provision also prohibited the agency from entering into contracts “related to the placement of recruitment advertising” with the Global Disinformation Index, the New York-based company NewsGuard, or “any similar entity” that purports to track “misinformation.”:snip:

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