Interesting story. The rationale behind the bill is that current legislation prevents the use of propaganda overseas, as American audiences might see it via the internet. The critics say it's a way of legalizing lying to the the American public. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban here's the simplified description of the amendment from which the above quote snippet is taken: What Buzzfeed refers to as "propaganda material", the amendment refers to as "public diplomacy information" The text of the amendment (To H.R. 4310) was a little hard to find, so here it is, with the relevant change highlighted in red: This is the original law that this amends/replaces, relevant text in green. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/1461-1a Note the amendments still says: However it relaxes previous restrictions to allow publication of things that might have been prohibited: And it allows the material to be "disseminated" in the US So while it explicitly forbids spending money to influence public opinion, it could be seen to open a back door, by producing material for overseas consumption, but with a covert intent to also have that material be seen by a US audience.