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GOP Lawmakers Press Biden to Open Border for Media Scrutiny: 'Insult to Free Press'

GOP Lawmakers Press Biden to Open Border for Media Scrutiny: 'Insult to Free Press'
A Honduran man seeking asylum in the United States wears a shirt that reads, "Biden Please Let Us In!" as he stands among tents that line an entrance to the border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. (Gregory Bull/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 25 March 2021 08:58 PM EDT

President Joe Biden, who vowed to run a "transparent" administration, on Thursday pointedly declined to commit to allow the media and camera crews full access to the situation at the southern border. Now, Republicans are assailing Biden for that stance, calling it being "an insult to the purposes of a free press."

"This crisis is out of control," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote in a Thursday letter to Biden, signed by 20 of his House GOP colleagues. "Indeed, it is far worse than most realize, largely because your administration is not only mischaracterizing the crisis but also prohibiting journalists from witnessing and documenting the crisis up close.

"This is an insult to the purposes of a free press — as defended in our Constitution —  which are to inform the public and hold those in power accountable."

The Biden administration is restricting access to reporters and cameras as the southern border is overwhelmed by a migrant influx even President Biden now acknowledges, though he ultimately faults the Trump administration.

"Seeing as your administration refuses to publicly acknowledge the crisis in contradiction to demonstrable facts, denying reporters access can only be seen as a craven effort to keep the public from fully realizing the extent to which this administration's policies have created chaos, lawlessness, and human suffering along our southern border," the letter continued.

Biden, in the first press conference of his administration, said Thursday he's inclined to open up press access at the border after his corrective plans there are implemented.

"I will commit when my plan very shortly is underway to let you have access, to not just them, but other facilities as well," Biden told reporters in the East Room on Thursday afternoon, at a news conference that came a record 65 days into his administration.

"I will commit to transparency and as soon as I'm in a position to implement what we're doing right now," Biden said.

The following Republicans co-signed the letter on media access: Reps. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.; Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.; Randy Weber, R-Texas; Ted Budd, R-N.C.; Ann Wagner, R-Mo.; Greg Steube, R-Fla.; Jody Hice, R-Ga.; Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Jake LaTurner, R-Kan.; Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa; Tracey Mann, R-Kan.; Lisa McClain, R-Mich.; Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; James Baird, R-Ind.; Dan Bishop, R-N.C.; Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C.; Brian Babin, R-Texas; and Buddy Carter, R-Ga.

"We request that your administration immediately stop blocking media access to current border operations, and to be straightforward with the American people about what is truly happening at our southern border," Roy wrote at the end of the lawmakers' letter to Biden.

(In a similar vein, the Society of Professional Journalists wrote in a statement Tuesday, "It is crucial that journalists be allowed unfettered access to report to the public what is occurring there.")

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

President Joe Biden, despite having vowed to be a "transparent" administration, would not yet commit to permitting transparency with cameras covering the migrant southern border crisis, and Republicans are firing back at it being "an insult to the purposes of a free...
border, crisis, freedom, press, house, gop
Thursday, 25 March 2021 08:58 PM
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