Portman, Murphy Applaud Inclusion of Provision to Fight Global Propaganda and Disinformation in Senate Passage of U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

June 8, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), both members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday applauded passage of their provision to authorize $150 million in FY 2022 funding for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) in order to counter propaganda and disinformation from countries like China and Russia, as well as foreign non-state actors, as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1260). This authorization more than doubles the amount Congress appropriated for the GEC in FY 2021.

“State sponsored disinformation is a threat to democratic societies throughout the world. As we see today with Russian aggression in Ukraine or with vaccines, these tactics are inexpensive, easily deniable and can be devastatingly effective if left unchecked,” said Portman. “The Global Engagement Center is the United States Government's agency that coordinates our interagency efforts to combat disinformation abroad. Time and time again, it has demonstrated its effectiveness in assisting our allies as they push back against Chinese and Russian disinformation efforts. This increase in funding is much needed and will provide the GEC with the resources it needs to continue to effectively combat disinformation and propaganda.”

“If we’re serious about fighting propaganda and disinformation abroad, we must equip the Global Engagement Center with sufficient resources. With the passage of our bipartisan provision, Congress is making this possible, and I look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law,” said Murphy.

Portman and Murphy introduced the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act, which was signed into law in December 2016. The law improved the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing the GEC, which is charged with leading the U.S. government’s efforts to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation. The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act authorized the State Department to request $60 million annually for two years from the Department of Defense for the GEC to help counter foreign propaganda and disinformation being waged against the United States and our allies by state and non-state adversaries.