U.S. Rep. Jason Crow and nine other House members have warned the Pentagon against shutting down Stars and Stripes, the 159-year-old independent military newspaper that the Trump Administration slated for closure earlier this year.
“So that there is no further misunderstanding, we want to make it clear that we stand with the dedicated journalists at Stars and Stripes that have devoted their lives to providing unbiased news, and with the millions of Armed Forces members who benefit from their work,” wrote the lawmakers to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper. “Any ill-fated attempts to undermine their mission or censor their work would meet staunch Congressional opposition and would assuredly be defeated.”
The Department of Defense’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 cut funding from the paper in February. Last week, the Pentagon ordered the outlet, which distributes content to U.S. soldiers all over the world, to cease publication on Sept. 30.
The House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill to restore $15 million to the paper, but the U.S. Senate has yet to reciprocate. The Stars and Stripes’ Publisher’s Advisory Board advised its supporters that the best way to ensure continuity of operations would be for Congress to allocate money and possibly deter the Pentagon “from pursuing the shutdown in defiance of Congress’ intent.”