Ranking Members Lofgren, Foushee, and Stevens React to Republican Judiciary Committee Targeting and Intimidating Federal Scientists

Feb 07, 2024

(WASHINGTON, DC) – On February 6, 2024, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government issued an interim staff report accusing the National Science Foundation (NSF) of supporting online censorship. The report targets researchers funded by NSF and advances Chairman Jordan’s year-long intimidation of scientists shedding light on media literacy in our increasingly online society. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has exclusive jurisdiction over NSF.

Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Valerie Foushee (D-NC), and Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Haley Stevens (D-MI) made the following statement:

“Unfortunately, the actions of the Judiciary Committee Majority are just the latest of the decades-long strategy of targeting and intimidating scientists and Federal agencies whose research they perceive as a threat to the right-wing disinformation machine. In the past, Science Committee Democrats staunchly stood up for climate scientists who were attacked by Republicans for their findings about human-caused climate change. Now, we stand in support of the scientists conducting research into misinformation and disinformation – a grave problem that has had a demonstrated effect on public health and the very functioning of our democracy. The scientists targeted – including undergraduate and graduate students – have faced intimidation by the Judiciary Committee and death threats by online mobs. Wielding the Chairmanship in this manner is beyond irresponsible. “We know that our foreign adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, are targeting Americans with disinformation to weaken our democracy. The U.S. Congress shouldn’t be assisting our foreign adversaries in this effort. It is imperative that NSF continue to fund this important research in the face of this baseless partisan attack.”

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