The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution Thursday declaring “the press is not the enemy of the people.” The vote comes just as the president renewed attacks on what he’s dubbed the “fake news media.”
The resolution, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to the Constitution’s declaration of the freedom of the press.
“We rely on reporters and newscasters to keep our leaders honest, accountable, and always working in the best interest of the American people,” said Schumer in a statement.
According to the resolution text, the Senate “views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as an attack on the democratic institutions of the United States.”
Trump has targeted the press’s credibility aggressively since taking office, labeling journalists as “the enemy of the people,” and their news outlets as “the opposition party.” His latest Twitter storm was launched in response to roughly 350 news outlets publishing coordinated editorials denouncing his anti-press rhetoric as dangerous.
The Senate’s resolution outlines the importance of a free press in democracy, saying it serves “to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance the most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms of the United States.”
“The press’s dogged pursuit of the truth—uncovering and reporting facts, exposing wrongdoing, and holding public officials accountable—has never been more important,” said Blumenthal in a statement. “When we look back at these extraordinary times, I strongly believe that our free press will be recognized as heroes—and I’m proud to stand with them today.”