Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers questioned the creation of the Biden administration’s “Disinformation Governance Board” within the Department of Homeland Security, saying the mission of the board was unclear, and of questionable constitutionality.
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed the creation of the disinformation board while testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee about his department’s 2023 budget.
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Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers spoke out against the disinformation board itself, and DHS’ rollout.
“I still have yet to be explained what this thing is,” Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., told Fox News Digital at the Milken Institute 2022 Global Conference. “The one thing that’s unquestionable is this is terrible communication.”
Meijer added that he believes the board has a “questionable mission” and should be disbanded.
“I have implored the Biden administration to just cancel this whole thing,” he said. “Before we even get to what this questionable mission is — is so ham fisted and just off base that they should just cut their losses on this thing.”
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Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said he is looking at the board “from a position of deep skepticism whenever any government gets involved in managing information, identifying disinformation.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the government has no business saying that this is disinformation and this is information,” he added.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during an April 2022 House hearing.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said the board was “certainly not something they ought to be doing,” adding it was “one more mistake the Biden administration has made.”
Illinois Democrat Rep. Cheri Bustos took a different approach, saying there was much more to learn about the board, but that she was “going to take the secretary of Homeland Security’s word that it’s not going to involve American citizens.”
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“The fundamentals of it have to be that it is dealing with Russia, it is dealing with foreign enemies and making sure that their really terrible disinformation campaigns don’t have an impact on America,” she added.
Former California Democratic Rep. Jane Harman also said she is not clear on the details of the board, but would “like to learn more.”
Former Rep. Jane Harman
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“I think disinformation is a major threat, and I think we ought to know what it is and what their intentions are before we make a judgment,” she added.
Rep. Meijer added the mission of the board is already being completed by the Department of State, and focusing on disinformation has taken the Department of Homeland Security away from its other core missions, namely, securing the southern border.
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“I don’t know fully the problem they’re trying to solve and they haven’t explained it,” Meijer said. “Meanwhile, on the southern border, we have a very clear and dramatic problem that needs to be solved.”
“They definitely shouldn’t be taking on new extracurriculars when they’re failing at their fundamental objectives,” he added.
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The disinformation board has come under harsh criticism from lawmakers and pundits alike, with many likening it to a “Ministry of Truth.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced legislation Wednesday to dissolve the board, which would include removing the executive director position currently held by the new controversial director, Nina Jankowicz.
Fox News’ Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.
Kelsey Koberg is an Editor with Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com and on Twitter: @KelseyKoberg.