WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman James Comer (R-Ky.) applauded House passage of the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act (H.R. 140). Introduced by Congressman Comer, the bill prohibits federal employees from pressuring social media companies to silence, censor, or remove Americans expressing views online.
“Today the House of Representatives took action to protect our constitutional right to free speech from government censorship. The Biden Administration has eroded Americans’ First Amendment rights by bullying social media companies to censor certain views and news on their platforms. Biden Administration officials are quick to label inconvenient facts as disinformation and then pressure social media companies to suppress content on their platforms. To protect the First Amendment, the Protect Speech from Government Interference Act stops federal employees from pressuring social media companies to silence Americans expressing views online. The Senate must take up this legislation to get this bill to the finish line,” said Congressman Comer.
The Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act expands the Hatch Act—the law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in political activities in their official capacity—to expressly prohibit those same federal employees from censoring lawful speech. The bill prohibits agency employees from using their official authority or resources to influence or coerce a private sector platform to censor—including to remove, suppress, restrict, or add disclaimers or alerts to—any lawful speech posted on its platform by a person or entity. It provides an exception for legitimate law enforcement activities reported to Congress for review.