WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and four of their Republican colleagues in reintroducing the Disclose Government Censorship Act. The legislation seeks to end government-directed speech suppression and viewpoint censorship by requiring basic transparency regarding when Americans’ government is attempting to control what they can say or read. It also places restrictions on the revolving door between government and Big Tech, which fuels much of the close coordination on censorship.
“Time and time again, the Biden Administration and Big Tech have shown they cannot police themselves in protecting Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech,” Sen. Johnson stated. “This bill shines a light on the collusion between bureaucrats and Big Tech.”
“The collusion between the Biden Administration and Big Tech that has come to light over the last two years is not only disturbing but inconsistent with the government’s constitutional role in American life,” Sen. Hagerty said. “The purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent government from suppressing speech with which it disagrees. If the federal government is attempting to end-run the Constitution by secretly working with tech platforms to censor Americans’ speech, the American people deserve to know. Requiring transparency will ensure that the government cannot work secretly to censor Americans.”
“No government should pressure social media companies into censoring their users’ legal speech,” said Sen. Rubio. “That is particularly true for our own government. This legislation will require transparency from governments, including the Biden Administration, when they collude with Big Tech and silence Americans in the process.”
“Democrats have a rich history of censoring and silencing Republicans. This bill will protect our first amendment rights of free speech by ensuring that any government communication with tech platforms to restrict speech is made publicly available,” said Sen. Marshall. “The dangerous relationship between the Left and Big Tech must stop.I am pleased to join Sen. Hagerty in re-introducing this important legislation.”
“It is un-American for our government to pressure social media platforms to censor speech and viewpoints it does not find favorable,” said Sen. Lummis. “People in Wyoming expect the government to protect their First Amendment rights, not actively infringe on them. I appreciate Senator Hagerty’s efforts to expose this issue and fight back against government sponsored censorship.”
Sens. Johnson and Hagerty are joined on this legislation by Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).
Read the full text of the bill here.