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EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has authored legislation to shut down a new Department of Homeland Security board designed to police misinformation.
Boebert’s legislation would defund the “Disinformation Governance Board” and ensure the federal government doesn’t have role in defining what truth is for the American people.
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“This kind of stuff is terrifying. We in Congress have the power of the purse. It is our duty to shut down this department immediately,” Boebert told Fox News Digital Friday in an interview. “I’m calling on leadership in the Republican Party — Leader [Kevin] McCarthy, Whip [Steve] Scalise and others — to join me in calling for this department to be shut down and defunded.”
Representatives for McCarthy did not immediately respond to whether he backs this bill or efforts to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which Boebert also wants. Scalise supports Boebert’s bill.
Both Scalise and McCarthy recently signed onto a letter questioning Mayorkas’ suitability for office but didn’t specifically raise impeachment.
The issue is a newly announced Disinformation Governance Board that DHS says will counter disinformation from Russia and misinformation circulated by human smugglers to get migrants to cross the US-Mexico border, according to the Associated Press. Nina Jankowicz, who previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, will head the board as executive director.
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Republicans – already leery of censorship following Big Tech’s efforts to shut down the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop after Democrats labeled it Russian disinformation – were aghast at the new department.
“No tax dollars should go to where Biden can use the power of the federal government to silence truthful stories like Big Tech did with the Hunter Biden story,” Boebert said.
Boebert compared the effort to government surveillance from George Orwell’s “1984” novel.
“Democrats took that [book] not as a warning, but as a guide,” she said.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Disinformation Governance Board and Jankowicz, telling Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich that the effort is a continuation of work from former President Trump’s administration.
“We know there has been a range of [disinformation] out there about a range of topics, I mean, including COVID for example, and also elections and eligibility,” Psaki said.
Describing Jankowicz, Psaki claimed she is “an expert on online disinformation” and insisted she is “a person with extensive qualifications.”
Jankowicz suggested during the 2020 presidential election that Hunter Biden’s laptop, which has been verified by multiple media outlets, was a “Russian influence op.”
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Jankowicz retweeted her comment on Wednesday, claiming that she was simply live-tweeting the presidential debate between Biden and Trump.
Boebert is collecting cosponsors for her legislation and plans to formally introduce it next week.
“This really is a department of propaganda,” Boebert said of the disinformation board. “To say that the federal department has a say in what’s right and what’s wrong. What’s truth and what is not. This is a very dangerous place that we’ve come to.”
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller and Kyle Morris contributed to this article.