Portman, Murphy Introduce Amendment to Strengthen Global Engagement Center Efforts to Counter Foreign Propaganda, Disinformation

June 26, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to strengthen the Global Engagement Center’s (GEC) efforts to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation. This amendment would first eliminate the 8 year sunset provision in the authorizing legislation in the FY 2017 NDAA. It would also allow the GEC to have more flexible hiring authority for the critical experts they need to conduct their vital missions. Portman and Murphy authored the legislation signed into law in December 2016 to establish the GEC.

The GEC plays in a vital role in countering the foreign disinformation being waged against us by our foreign adversaries,” said Portman. “This amendment will ensure the GEC will continue to operate and have the operational stability and experts necessary to conduct its important work. As foreign propaganda and disinformation threats grow by the day, I urge my Senate colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment.”

“Yielding an asymmetric information advantage to our adversaries is a choice, not an inevitability. Congress needs to wake up to the reality that we’re getting beat by the use of non-traditional tactics like propaganda and disinformation. That’s exactly why Congress should take steps to strengthen the Global Engagement Center by including our bipartisan amendment in the NDAA. This will help the U.S. counter Russia, China, and any other state and non-state actor seeking to harm U.S. national security and strengthen our posture abroad,” said Murphy.  

NOTE: Portman and Murphy’s legislation – the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act – was signed into law in December 2016 as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The law improves the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing an interagency center – the Global Engagement Center (GEC) – housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government.  The law authorized the State Department to request $60 million annually for two years from the Department of Defense for the GEC to help counter the foreign propaganda and disinformation being waged against the United States and our allies by state and non-state adversaries.