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Mace: Democrats Ignore Biden Administration’s Suppression of Free Speech

WASHINGTON— Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Ranking Member Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) opened today’s hearing by questioning why Democrats are focusing on threats to environmental activists’ freedom of speech but have zero interest in examining the Biden Administration’s numerous and well-documented efforts to suppress freedom of speech. She expressed concern over the Biden Administration’s tactic of silencing, censoring, or de-platforming of individuals they disagree with, labeling it as disinformation. Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace concluded her remarks by calling on Congress to address issues facing our country in a bipartisan manner, ensuring the demands of the American people are met.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

Thank you, Chairman Raskin. 

South Carolina’s First Congressional District is on the front lines of American scientific and technological innovation.

In fact, tens of thousands of people who work in the Scientific and Technical Services sector call South Carolina’s First home.

These jobs require a high degree of expertise and training—with an eye for ensuring that tomorrow’s America is more advanced, prosperous, and safe.

The beautiful coastal district that I am honored to represent faces unique environmental challenges that I have tackled since the first day I took office.

As an example, signing on as an original co-sponsor with my fellow Republicans from Florida to H.R. 4696, the American Shores Protection Act, which would codify former President Trump’s Executive Order to extend a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the shores of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

I’m also proud to have a 100% rating with the conservation voters of South Carolina.

I maintain this rating not by trumpeting alarmist environmental propaganda, but by advancing sensible and practical solutions to the Lowcountry’s challenges.

I want to make myself clear: the Lowcountry depends on the preservation of our region’s environment for both our economic prosperity and region’s wellbeing.

Left-wing environmental activists, however, far too often try to shut down American industry without offering any reasonable replacements.

With the state of energy prices in the United States today, it is not the time for policies that will make energy more expensive and less reliable.

Our reliance on oil and gas to fuel our lives is not going away tomorrow.

We must maintain robust domestic energy policies to allow ourselves and our allies to be energy independent.

While we tap into the billions of barrels of oil and natural gas here at home, we need to develop alternatives like nuclear, wind, solar, and geothermal.

The hearing today focuses on threats to environmental activists’ freedom of speech. But when are we going to examine the Biden Administration’s efforts to suppress freedom of speech?

Multiple Biden Administration officials have called for the silencing, censoring, or de-platforming of individuals who say things they disagree with. They call any disagreement “disinformation.” 

Gina McCarthy, the White House Climate Advisor, said during an interview that big tech companies should censor information she disagrees with about the environment and climate change, saying: “The tech companies have to stop allowing specific individuals over and over again to spread disinformation… we need the tech companies to really jump in.”

Jen Psaki, then-White House Press Secretary, called on big tech to do more to censor the Joe Rogan podcast for having interviewed people with dissenting views on the Administration’s COVID response. 

After Spotify put a disclaimer on the podcast for listeners who chose to stream it, she said their actions didn’t go far enough, stating: “So this disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out misinformation and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information.” 

Of course, the implication is that the Biden Administration dictates truth, while any dissenting view is labeled disinformation.

Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged during an interview on the Joe Rogan podcast that Facebook reduced distribution on its platform of the New York Post article breaking the news in October 2020 about Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.  They did this after a general request from the FBI.

Zuckerberg stated: “We just kind of thought, hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, is very professional law enforcement, if they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something then I’m going to take that seriously.”

And emails obtained from the Federal Government through litigation earlier this month show extensive coordination between 45 Biden Administration officials and social media company employees to censor content related to COVID-19.

Why aren’t we looking into these government-sanctioned threats to free speech? Calls to censor or de-platform people the Administration disagrees with politically, or even entire news stories that could be harmful to a political candidate, are inappropriate and foster a culture that is hostile to our fundamental freedom of speech. Direct collusion by the government to silence opposition is even more troubling.

We should also be talking about the Biden Administration’s decision to resume the undemocratic practice of “sue and settle” at the EPA which allows special interest groups to make rules through lawsuits instead of the rulemaking process.

This prevents the voices of Americans from being heard by removing them from the rulemaking process while allowing environmental groups to have more say in policy than the American public.

While the Biden Administration has been attacking free speech, I have been working on bipartisan solutions to the issues facing our country.

That is why I work across the aisle to promote sensible energy policy.

Earlier this year, Rep. Ro Khanna and I introduced HR 6953, the SPIGOT Act of 2022, a commonsense bill that would ban Russian oil and gas imports while calling for a comprehensive strategy for a cleaner energy future.

We can only solve the hardest problems with bipartisan solutions.

And only then will we accomplish the demands of the American people. I thank the Chairman and the witnesses for their participation today, and I yield back.

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Author: Chris Okey

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