Disinformation Must Stop

Jun 1, 2020
Pelosi Update

Keeping Truth Alive
Yesterday President Trump signed an Executive Order rolling back liability protections for social media companies over user-generated content.


Allowing the proliferation of disinformation is extremely dangerous, particularly as our nation faces one of the deadliest pandemics in our history.  Clearly and sadly, the President’s Executive Order is a desperate distraction from his failure to provide a national testing strategy to defeat COVID-19.  As we pray for the families of the 100,000 who have tragically lost their lives, we must focus all our energy on protecting lives and livelihoods, starting with making The Heroes Act law.

The President’s Executive Order does nothing to address big Internet companies’ complete failure to fight the spread of disinformation.  Instead, the President is encouraging Facebook and other social media giants to continue to exploit and profit off falsehoods with total impunity – while at the same time, directing the federal government to dismantle efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction.

Again and again, social media platforms have sold out the public interest to pad their corporate profits.  Their business model is to make money at the expense of the truth.  Recently, rather than removing lucrative campaign ads, which contain debunked falsehoods, Facebook changed its rules to ensure that it can continue to allow and profit off these lies.

While Twitter’s decision to put up fact checks of the President is an important first step to protecting the integrity of our elections, much more must be done to ensure that fact checks are applied fairly and across all platforms.

 

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Supporting Small Business

Yesterday, the House took additional steps to help small businesses and workers, passing the bipartisan Payment Protection Program Flexibility Act.

This overwhelmingly bipartisan bill, which reflects the needs of vulnerable small businesses on Main Street, will increase flexibility and access to PPP loans by:

  • allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extending the rehiring deadline;
  • increasing the current limitation on nonpayroll expenses (such as rent, utility payments and mortgage interest) for loan forgiveness from 25 to 40 percent;
  • extending the program from June 30 to December 31;
  • extending loan terms from two to five years; and
  • ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.

Every day, we see the need for further action to combat the coronavirus crisis.  Months into the pandemic, the numbers are devastating.  Just this week, we passed the staggering and sad milestone of 100,000 American deaths from this virus.  Worse still, there are 1.7 million confirmed cases in the United States with nearly 41 million initial unemployment claims in just the past ten weeks, and the April jobs report showed the highest national unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

This dire situation shows the urgent need for a legislative package that is equal to the crisis gripping our nation.  Time is of the essence, and Republicans must come to the table to help save American lives and livelihoods now.

 

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Congresswoman Nancy speaks at the Capitol to discuss the need for the Senate to pass the House-passed Heroes Act and put Families First in the face of this ongoing crisis.

 

Standing With Hong Kong
Beijing approved moving ahead with a sweeping new “national security framework,” intended to greatly expand its power to suppress speech, including protests, and threatens the death of the “one country, two systems” principle for Hong Kong.  This excessive law brazenly accelerates Beijing’s years-long assault on Hong Kong’s political and economic freedoms, coming after the threat of the extradition bill and of police brutality last fall.  All freedom-loving people must come together to condemn this law.

In the U.S. Congress, there has always been bipartisan support for freedom, justice and real autonomy for the people of Hong Kong, and we were proud to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.  Per the law, the Secretary of State has certified that Hong Kong no longer continues to warrant the special relationship it has enjoyed.  The next step is now for the Administration to work with Congress on an appropriate response.  We must consider all tools available, including visa limitations and economic penalties.

This week, the House also passed the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, sending the bill to the President’s desk, to impose sanctions on those responsible for the human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in China: from the Chinese government to the companies building and operating the internment camps.  The United States Congress is taking a firm step to counter Beijing’s horrific human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, and we must continue to shine the light on these abuses from the House floor, to the State Department and to other multilateral institutions.

If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere.

 

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Staying Updated in San Francisco
With the ever present threat of COVID-19, it is important to stay updated with the ongoing changes in our community.  Below you can find some of those changes as well as tools and resources to help with these developments:

 

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  My constituent recently contacted me to get assist for her elderly father who was stranded overseas due to travel restrictions. The situation was urgent because the country imposed a curfew and he was running out of medication. After staff contacted the US Embassy, the office was able to assist the constituent’s father with getting on the next flight out of the country back to his family.
Caseworkers in my San Francisco office work to address any problems or concerns you may have with a federal government agency. To submit a Casework Authorization Form, please visit my website.

Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my website. I am also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NancyPelosi.

 


Sincerely,
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Member of Congress