Nothing brings both sides of the political aisle together like protecting their establishment overlords.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have jointly decided to move ahead with a defense spending bill without including the repeal of Section 230 (which provides a legal shield to the billion-dollar social media companies) requested by President Trump.
The president late on Tuesday tweeted that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless Congress repeals Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, but lawmakers, even members of his own party, aren’t going along with his effort to neuter the tyrannical power of Big Tech.
Senate Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said that while he agrees with Trump on Section 230, the provision “has nothing to do with the military.”
“You can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill,” Inhofe said, adding that he has conveyed that belief to the president.
“At this last minute, this sudden threat on an item that’s not even part of a defense bill…. I don’t think we could do it in a thoughtful, logical way at all,” Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Politico.
According to two Democrat House aides, the House is set to go forward with a compromise defense bill that doesn’t alter Section 230.
Congressional Republicans are showing their true stripes as nothing more than servants of the Washington elite and military industrial complex, with one GOP House member saying of President Trump: “Republicans are sick of this s**t.”
Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that while he understood the president’s frustrations with Section 230, it was not worth imperiling the broader defense bill.
“The NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] is so important to the men and women that wear the uniform that this should not be an item to veto the act over,” Rounds stated. “So I would hope he would reconsider his position on it.”
Retiring Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas urged lawmakers to close ranks and pass the bill.
“The purpose of the bill has always been to support our troops and to protect American national security,” Thornberry said in a statement. “Disagreements on all other issues have been put aside. This year should be no different.”
Not all Republicans opposed the president, however.
Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, said he submitted possible legislative language to the White House on Section 230.
“This was not an idea I had advocated. I’m simply trying to be of assistance to the committee … and to the administration,” Wicker said, saying that he doesn’t believe the president will ultimately veto the NDAA.
And Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, “I hope we can do it. If I were [the president], I’d use all the leverage I could.”
Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s economic adviser, explained why his boss is adamant about including language about Section 230 in the defense bill.
“Right now they’re getting a free ride to be editors and publishers to censor certain conservative messages,” Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business. “We don’t like that one bit, and the president believes the NDAA is one way to amend that and make it better.”
Kudlow added, “He’s not dictating the language yet, but he wants an amendment that would essentially curb in one way shape or form the unbridled liability protection shield that these firms have,”
But Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) summed up the attitude of most Republicans on Capitol Hill when he said his “preference” would be to pass the NDAA and then address Section 230 separately.
But what are the chances of that happening? Congress has had years to address it separately, to no avail. Sure, Congress has held hearing after hearing in which lawmakers will make angry faces at Mark Zuckerberg and shake their fingers at him and other Silicon Valley CEOs, but what has ever come of it?
We’re at a point at which the social media giants are suppressing vital information about electoral fraud and the corruption of presidential candidates (remember the Big Tech collusion to bury the Hunter Biden laptop story?). And they’ve gotten this far precisely because congressional Republicans keep kicking the can down the road.