Press Releases

Reps. Kinzinger and Lieu Introduce Legislation to Counter Foreign Government Propaganda

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Washington, May 11, 2016 | Maura Gillespie ((202) 225-3635) | comments
Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), joined by Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), introduced legislation that creates a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter disinformation and propaganda around the world.
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Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), joined by Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), introduced legislation that creates a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter disinformation and propaganda around the world.  The bill, H.R. 5181, the ‘Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016’ would incorporate a whole-of-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions, as well as innovative partnerships to combat foreign disinformation and manipulation that have a negative impact on stability and security around the world.

“As Russia continues to spew its disinformation and false narratives, they undermine the United States and its interests in places like Ukraine, while also breeding further instability in these countries,” Kinzinger said.  “The United States has a role to play in countering these destabilizing actions of propaganda, which is why I’m proud to introduce the ‘Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016.’  This important legislation develops a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter disinformation campaigns through interagency cooperation and on-the-ground partnerships with outside organizations that have experience in countering foreign propaganda.  At a time when countries like Russia and China are engaging in hybrid warfare campaigns, the United States has a unique opportunity to respond to foreign manipulation by encouraging the free flow of truthful information.  This can further prevent conflict and ensure future stability.”

The United States needs the proper tools to defend its interests against this type of foreign manipulation and effectively defeat these new and emerging threats, while also utilizing on-the-ground communities who are targeted by these disinformation campaigns.  This bipartisan House bill is a companion bill to S.2692 introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) back in March.

“From Ukraine to the South China Sea, foreign disinformation campaigns do more than spread anti-Western sentiments—they manipulate public perception to change the facts on the ground, subvert democracy and undermine U.S. interests.  In short, they make the world less safe,” Lieu said.  “That’s why the 'Countering Foreign Disinformation and Propaganda Act' is so important.  The Act ensures that the U.S. uses all the tools at our disposal to disrupt these vitriolic propaganda campaigns and empower those being manipulated with truthful information.  The truth can be a powerful remedy to destabilization and conflict—and we must do all we can to make sure it is heard the world over.”

In addition to Congressman Lieu, other original cosponsors include Reps. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Mark Takai (D-HI), Todd Young (R-IN), David Cicilline (D-RI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA).
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