President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto an annual defense spending bill unless Congress includes the repeal of an unrelated provision that gives social media companies immunity for content posted on their platforms, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“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,” Trump said on Twitter.
“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,” he said.
Trump risks veto override:
Trump may have bit off more than he can chew with his oft-cited complaints that social media companies restrict his falsehoods and allow people to say negative things about him.
The Senate version of the defense bill passed 86-14 while the House version passed 295-125, meaning there are more than enough votes to override a veto. Congress has voted to override Trump’s veto on certain defense measures in the past.
Congress has passed defense spending bills every year for the past six decades and presidents have always signed them, even after issuing veto threats.
Most don’t support repealing Section 230:
Most lawmakers do not support repealing Section 230, which would require social media giants to invest heavily in content moderation or simply lead to companies allowing users to post altogether.
Some lawmakers have called to narrow the liability shield or place new requirements on companies that would benefit from it.
“Senate Republicans are pushing legislation to rewrite the law, and the GOP-led Federal Communications Commission has begun a rule-making review that could lead to a scaling back of liability protections for internet platforms,” The Journal reported. “While Democrats have opposed the FCC’s involvement, House leaders have said they want to develop legislation to modify Section 230 in the next Congress.”