Washington D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on H.R.4617, the SHIELD Act:
“House Republicans are committed to reducing foreign interference in U.S. elections and protecting the integrity of our nation’s election process. Last week, Republicans proposed H.R. 4736, the Honest Elections Act, to do just that. It’s a bill aimed at exposing and preventing foreign actors’ involvement in our elections, modernizing online political ad disclosures, and banning ballot harvesting, among other protections.
“The same cannot be said for Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat majority, who just passed a bill that not only fails to adequately safeguard against foreign meddling, but also dangerously expands the federal government’s control over Americans’ free speech. The vague wording of the legislation would potentially give Washington the unprecedented responsibility of determining what qualifies as ‘legitimate’ news or who can be deemed a ‘legitimate’ journalist. That is a terrifying encroachment on our nation’s First Amendment, but it’s unfortunately an unsurprising one.
“House Democrats have spent their majority waging war on individual liberties. They are now picking up a fight to centralize political speech in America through regulations and overly broad definitions regarding political communications. This is all in their continued effort to take the voice away from anyone whose views don’t match theirs. This partisan bill, which received zero Republican votes, will likely not see the light of day in the Senate, but it’s a reminder of the lengths Democrats will go to suppress competing speech.”