House Republican Thomas Massie (Ky.) confirmed that Democratic Senator Mark Kelly (Az.) questioned whether social media channels could censor information in order to prevent additional bank runs after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Kelly floated the "chilling" proposal during a conference call about the banking crisis, Massie told Jesse Watters Primetime.
Massie said he was disturbed by Kelly's apparent proposal to censor true information that might cause a panic to spread.
"Yes, there was a senator — I believe it was Mark Kelly, who asked if we had a good program to censor this stuff at social media, to censor information, so there wouldn’t be a run on the banks,” Massie said. “The problem is that he didn’t say he wanted to censor false or foreign information."
Massie said he was disconcerted that calling for censorship has become a kind of reflex response for Democrats.
"He kind of left it open-ended. And I mean, that’s chilling to me. That’s their go-to now for the Democrats. Let’s censor our way to a solution," he said.
Kelly appeared to confirm he was calling for censorship, but he disputed the way his intent was characterized, saying a Substack article on his comments was "false."
A spokesperson for Kelly said he was inquiring about foreign governments potentially spreading "misinformation" to cause a banking panic.
“The unsupported claim made by this blog post you referenced is false,” the spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“On the briefing, Senator Kelly asked about *foreign adversaries* potentially trying to take advantage of this situation by spreading misinformation.”
While Democrats apparently are contemplating censorship to control public perception of the economy, the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve have taken controversial measures to shore up wealthy depositors at banks like Silicon Valley Bank.
Republicans have characterized the economic response as a bailout, but Biden has avoided that term, wary of the kind of popular backlash that erupted when the government bailed out the big banks during the last financial crisis in 2008.
Massie was skeptical of Biden's "mostly not true" claim that rescuing Silicon Valley Bank's mostly wealthy, uninsured depositors won't cost taxpayers.
"They're going to take all of that money they saved up to protect the $250,000 depositors and spend it on the $10 million depositors," he said.
Host Jesse Watters gave a fitting summary of the Democratic party's behavior: when in doubt, "censor and print."