‘January 6th Riders’ in House Spending Bills Must Be Removed
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Republicans have loaded up their draft annual spending bills with at least 18 poison pill policy riders that foster right-wing extremism, violence, disinformation, and conspiracy theories, while undermining fair elections, democracy, and the rule of law.
The Clean Budget Coalition, which is tracking the poison pills added to federal spending bills, has repeatedly called on Congress to remove all of these harmful measures.
“The attack on our democracy we saw on January 6th was a horrifically violent moment and an outgrowth of extremism, white nationalism, and anti-democratic rhetoric,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen and co-chair of the Clean Budget Coalition. “We are seeing all of those trends continue in the culture war policies included in the GOP-drafted annual spending bills. These poison pills are an attempt to stymie our democracy by other means.”
The January 6th riders include:
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- The “Politically Sensitive Investigations” Rider would block funding for any politically sensitive investigation until the U.S. Department of Justice establishes a policy requiring non-partisan career staff to oversee such investigations. The potential targets of such investigations would include elected officials or their family members, political candidates or their family members, political organizations, religious organizations, and members of the media.
- The Misinformation Rider would bar funds from being used to classify or facilitate classification of any communications by a U.S. person as misinformation, disinformation, or malinformation, or to partner with any entity to censor lawful and constitutionally protected speech.
- The Gerrymandering Lawsuits Rider would prohibit funds to sue a state or local government over its redistricting plans.
- The School Threats Rider would prohibit funds for the U.S. Attorney General’s school boards memo, blocking Justice Department efforts to address the rise in violent threats against school administrators, school board members, teachers, and staff.
- The Red Flag Rider would block implementation of red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders that keep guns out of the hands of those prone to violence.
- The Ghost Guns Rider would forbid implementation, enforcement, and legal defense of a rule to regulate ghost guns, a weapon of choice for criminals.
- The Gun Violence EO Rider would block administration and enforcement of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14092 on reducing gun violence.
- The Recent Gun Rules Rider would block implementation of any measure, regulation, or guidance issued or finalized by ATF after January 21, 2021, effectively blocking many of the Biden administration’s current and future efforts to reduce gun violence.
- The New Gun Rules Rider would prohibit the study of, preparation for, or proposal of any future administrative or executive actions that would be interpreted as a restriction on the production, purchase, sale, or transfer of any firearm unless expressly authorized by Congress.
- The Armed Forces Anti-Extremism Rider would block funding for the appointment of a deputy inspector general in the U.S. Department of Defense whose job is to prevent and respond to supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activities by members of the Armed Forces.
- The Disinformation Rider would ban funding that may be used to classify or facilitate classification of any communications by a U.S. person as “mis, dis, or mal-information” – permitting the spread of falsehoods without the ability to present the facts.
- The Hunter Biden Rider would ban security clearances for any signatory to the “Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Emails” dated October 19, 2020 – limiting the free speech of those expressing ideas the majority opposes.
Financial Services and General Government
- The Anti-Voting Rider would block implementation of the Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting with certain exceptions, making it harder for people to vote.
- The Misinformation Rider would restrict funds for labeling information as misinformation or working with companies to label misinformation, allowing lies to spread unchecked.
- The Out-of-State Gun Permits Rider would allow an individual with a valid weapons carry permit from any state or territory to possess and carry a concealed handgun in areas governed by the District of Columbia and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
- The IRS Guns Rider would prevent the IRS from purchasing firearms or ammunition above the levels in the agency’s possession as of July 13, 2023. This rider stems from the right-wing conspiracy theory that the IRS is stockpiling firearms to initiate an assault against Americans and to prevent Americans from accessing ammunition during an ammo shortage.
- The Cocaine Discovery Rider would require the White House to submit a report on the investigative materials associated with the cocaine discovery on July 2, 2023.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- The Misinformation Rider would ban funding to classify or facilitate classification of any communications by a U.S. person as misinformation, disinformation, or mal-information – allowing the spread of falsehoods without the ability to present the facts.
Please reach out to the contacts listed above to speak with an expert.