Tags: fcc | jessica rosenworcel | gop | letter | free press

13 House Republicans Urge FCC Chair to Back Free Speech Against Censorship

jessica rosenworcel speaks at hearing
Jessica Rosenworcel answers a question during an oversight hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission on June 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (JONATHAN NEWTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 February 2021 10:04 AM

A group of Republican members of Congress are calling on Federal Communication Commission Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to “denounce any attempts by government officials to use their power to threaten a free press.”

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Bob Latta of Ohio, the ranking member of the Communications and Technology subcommitee, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, and Brett Guthrie of Kentucky joined with several other members of Congress in signing a letter to Rosenworcel sent on Wednesday.

“As Acting Chairwoman of the Commission, it is incumbent upon you to use your position to preserve and protect our fundamental freedoms that are protected by the First Amendment,” they wrote. “You can, and must, denounce any attempts by government officials to use their power to threaten a free press at such an important time in our Nation’s history.”

They note that in her 2011 confirmation hearing, Rosenworcel said, “I do not support returning the Fairness Doctrine,” and said at a more recent hearing in 2017, “I believe that however well intended, a new, government-based requirement on such platforms could result in an updated version of the Fairness Doctrine. Because I believe that policy had a chilling effect on speech, I would not support such an approach.”

The members of Congress go on to “demand” that Rosenworcel “stand on the side of free-speech and an independent press and publicly express your opposition to reinstating the Fairness Doctrine immediately. We also request that you denounce the recent attacks on the First Amendment by House Democrats and provide us a written response outlining in detail the steps you will take to uphold your prior commitments to free speech and a free press and how you intend to protect these principles.”

They conclude, “At one point, House Democrats used to care about upholding the First Amendment. As the Acting Chairwoman of the FCC, we expect you to lead and make clear to all Americans that you stand for a free press.”

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A group of Republican members of Congress are calling on Federal Communication Commission Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to "denounce any attempts by government officials to use their power to threaten a free press...
fcc, jessica rosenworcel, gop, letter, free press
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2021-04-24
Wednesday, 24 February 2021 10:04 AM
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