Congressman: Stop the Environmental Protection Agency 'Propaganda Machine'!

The End EPA Advertising Act Would Stop the Agency From Using Taxpayer Money for Outside PR

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Rep. Jason Smith (R.-MO).
Rep. Jason Smith (R.-MO). Credit: jasonsmith.house.gov

Ad Age has partnered with Voxgov, a one-stop source of unedited communications from all branches of the U.S. federal government, to serve up regulatory and political information of interest to the marketing and media communities.

In today's edition, Rep. Jason Smith (R.-MO) wants to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from spending money on outside PR contractors.

Here's the full text of a statement released by the congressman's office:

Congressman Smith Introduces Bill to Protect Taxpayers, Stop EPA Propaganda Machine

Today [Dec. 17], Congressman Jason Smith introduced the End EPA Advertising Act, a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using taxpayer money to hire public relations contractors.

Between 2000 and 2014, the EPA spent $26 million on outside public relations contracts. These are contractors hired with taxpayer dollars used to create media campaigns aimed at selling the latest EPA rule or regulation to the American public. These are rules and regulations which often have an adverse impact on economic growth and job creation in this country. According to a 2012 study, regulations from the EPA cost the economy roughly $350 billion a year or half of the total economic cost of complying with all federal regulations.

"It's unbelievable the EPA would think it is appropriate to use taxpayer dollars to hire public relations teams to sell their economically disastrous proposals," said Congressman Smith. "Millions of dollars spent on the best public affairs firms can't fool the American people into believing that the EPA should be regulating their farm, small business, wood stoves, ponds, or backyard barbeques."

The federal government has spent $4.34 billion on public relations firms since 2007. Outside public relations consulting expenses has increased by 47 percent under the Obama administration, including more than $2 billion in outside contracts with firms performing polling, public relations, and marketing consulting.

"Public relations contractors do not provide any essential function for the EPA. They are used to advertise poorly crafted rules and regulations to the American people."

On Monday, it came to light that the EPA broke federal law promoting its Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS) on social media. The news came in the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report spurred by Congressman Smith's letter to the Inspector General of the EPA demanding an investigation into these violations earlier this year.

"We've seen the lengths the EPA will go to in order to push their agenda. Maybe they should rely on the substance of their regulations and not push insincere soundbites" said Congressman Smith.

Congressman Smith has been leading the charge to keep expensive and unnecessary rules from bankrupting families and businesses. Earlier this year he introduced the SCRUB Act to end intrusive and ineffective regulations and keep bureaucrats from leveling damaging new regulations in rural America.

Voxgov scours thousands of sources of U.S. government communications, including regulatory agency statements, federal databases and the social media accounts of elected officials. Learn more about Voxgov's services here.

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