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Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he will not support a bipartisan bill regulating artificial intelligence in political advertising. 

McConnell expressed his concerns over the potential for new legislation to disrupt existing legal frameworks and extend regulation to unpaid political speech. He argued that the proposal might infringe on free speech by introducing broad definitions that could apply overly restrictively.

While speaking with reporters, McConnell acknowledged that members of the Senate Rules Committee, which is pushing forward the legislation, have different perceptions of what constitutes misleading political advertisements. He said, “The core question we’re facing is whether or not politicians should have another tool to take down speech they don’t like. But if the amendment before us extends this authority to unpaid political speech, then we’re also talking about an extension of speech regulation that has not happened in the 50 years of our modern campaign finance regime.”

The legislation McConnel opposes is the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, which aims to “prevent the use of AI to create misleading information about federal candidates.” The legislation is supported by prominent lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle, including Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Chris Coons (D-DE). 

McConnell has also criticized another related bill requiring disclaimers on AI-generated political ads. He argued that this would mark a significant shift from the historical purpose of disclaimers, which is to inform voters about who is behind a message, not to regulate the content of the messages themselves.  


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