WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released reactions from several influential groups who have expressed their concerns with the Democrats’ partisan election security bill, H.R. 4617, the SHIELD Act and the negative effects it will have on Americans’ right to free speech.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “We are glad to see Congress train its gaze on finding ways to prevent such interference from happening again. However, any legislative changes made to address that problem must be narrowly tailored to avoid infringing upon civil liberties. The SHIELD Act, as it currently stands, strikes the wrong balance, sweeping too broadly and encompassing more speech than necessary to achieve its legitimate goals.”
Americans for Prosperity: “H.R. 4617 would create unconstitutional and unnecessary restrictions on speech by expanding the definition of electioneering communications and applying new burdensome regulations on online speech. None of these new regulations would prevent foreign actors from attempting to influence American voters. Instead, they would deter everyday Americans from using the internet to engage in the political process and advocate for their beliefs.”
Eagle Forum: “…the legislation includes measures that threaten free speech including classifying ads that are not political in nature as political, which will hurt the efforts of many advocacy organizations…”
Freedom Works: “The SHIELD Act is aimed at foreign influence in elections, but it has problematic provisions… The SHIELD Act also includes a version of the Honest Ads Act, which was part of H.R. 1. The Honest Ads Act is framed as combating foreign influence, but it goes much further.”
Heritage Action: “The SHIELD Act is a free-speech crackdown disguised as a national security bill. The act would make political activity more difficult and chill the free speech of millions of ordinary Americans. The SHIELD Act is a major overreach into our lives, and no Representatives should support it.”
March for Life: “The March for Life is the largest annual grassroots gathering in the world with hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans gathering every year in Washington, D.C. and equal numbers gathering in all 50 states all to protest a grave injustice. H.R. 4617 seeks to silence those marchers and to cut off their participation in the public square, which is why the March for Life opposes the legislation. We will not be silenced.”
National Right to Life Committee: “While the legislation purports to stop foreigners from attempting to influence our elections, the legislation would effectively silence domestic groups who wish to communicate on issues of ‘national importance.'”
Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA): “We write in opposition to the SHIELD Act (H.R. 4617) because of the detrimental effects it will have on the rights of American citizens and organizations to speak on political issues and participate in the political process while doing little to combat the foreign interference it is designed to prevent.”
CLICK HERE to read more about the problematic provisions of the SHIELD Act.
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