WASHINGTON D.C. — (12-02-20) — GOP lawmakers are calling President Donald Trump’s bluff to veto the National Defense Authorization Act over not including a repeal of Section 230, a provision that shields tech companies from liability for third-party content posted on their platforms.
But several top GOP senators are warning president Trump that the defense bill isn’t the right arena for the president to dig in on the tech battle, which has become a money maker for Trump and his conservative allies.
“230 has nothing to do with the military,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “I agree with his sentiments … but you can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill.” said Inhofe.
Inhofe confirmed that language repealing Section 230 will not be in the final National Defense Authorization Act bill. Inhofe further stated that he conveyed that to the president and hopes that Trump will sign it.
“Well, we just had an honest disagreement, very friendly,” said Inhofe.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, added that he thought Trump was trying to express his frustration related to Section 230 because of all the censorship targeting conservative opinions.
“I would hope that he would not actually follow through with that because the NDAA is critical,” said Rounds.
Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said that there was broad interest in reforming Section 230, but pointed to the Commerce Committee as the best area to take that up. He said he hoped the defense bill would be passed and signed into law without “a lot of drama.” said Thune.
Thune added…”I don’t think the defense bill is the place to litigate that. There will be enormous support for getting the defense authorization bill passed and hopefully signed into law.” said Thune.
When Thune was asked by reporters if he was saying he did not think Section 230 should be a part of the NDAA, Thune responded by saying…”There’s a normal legislative path for dealing with Section 230 … that would be my preference.”
Acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), added that he was supportive of “doing something about” Section 230 but questioned if the NDAA was the place to push the issue.
“I don’t know if vetoing would be the right approach because of the damage it would inflict,” said Rubio. “I’m just not convinced that NDAA would be the right place to make that stand.” said Rubio.
Trump threatened to veto the NDAA on Tuesday night if a repeal of Section 230 wasn’t included.
“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand,” tweeted Trump.
“Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!” concluded Trump.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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