By Corinne Murdock |
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) suggested that the government should coordinate censorship with social media companies during a conference call with federal agencies on Sunday.
Kelly asked the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and the Federal Deposit and Information Corporation (FDIC) about the feasibility of their agencies working with social media companies to censor information in order to prevent a run on the banks. The senator posed the question within the context of the Silicon Valley Bank bailout over the weekend.
The bank failed due to a massive run following a troubling announcement from its parent company, SVB Financial Group, last week. Depositors panicked en masse after learning that the company was attempting to sell $1.75 billion worth of shares to make up for the $1.8 billion hit on $21 billion of assets sold. The mass withdrawals caused the bank to become insolvent.
Kelly sits on the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Don Beyer (D-VA). Other members on the committee are Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), vice chairman; Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH); Peter Welch (D-VT); John Fetterman (D-PA); Mike Lee (R-UT), ranking member; Tom Cotton (R-AR); Eric Schmitt (R-MO); and J.D. Vance (R-OH).
Their next committee hearing is on Thursday.
Kelly also sits on the Armed Services Committee, chairing the Airland Subcommittee, while also serving on the subcommittees for Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Readiness and Management Support, and Subcommittee on Strategic Forces; Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging.
About 200 people were on the conference call, including a bipartisan mix of Congressmen and their staffers. Senate President Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the conference call, according to Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY-04).
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03) also referenced Kelly in a tweet. Boebert claimed that Kelly, whom she referred to only as “a member,” asked if the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and FDIC were reaching out to Facebook and Twitter to monitor misinformation and bad actors.
“And this administration AGAIN just committed the federal government to interfere with free speech. Unacceptable!” tweeted Boebert.
Prior to confirming that Kelly was the unnamed member of Congress who apparently encouraged the federal agencies to coordinate censorship efforts with social media companies, Massie identified him only as “a Democrat Senator.” Massie noted that Kelly had asked whether there was a censorship program in place that could prevent a run on the banks.
Neither Massie or Boebert included the three federal agencies’ answers.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC-08) confirmed Massie’s identification of Kelly with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20), as reported in Public.