By Mike Masnick
This always seemed like the the most likely outcome, but Trump had complicated things with his temper tantrum demands and his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if it didn’t include a clause wiping out Section 230. However, Congress has come to its senses and leaders of both parties have said they’ll ignore his impotent veto threat and move forward with the bill as is.
The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act that will soon be considered by the House and Senate won’t include Trump’s long-sought repeal of the legal immunity for online companies, known as Section 230, according to lawmakers and aides.
Key to this was Senate Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe pointing out the obvious:
“First of all 230 has nothing to do with the military.”
That’s both first of all and last of all. The whole attempt to use the NDAA to attack CDA 230 was just bizarre.
Inhofe did say he still thinks that 230 should go, but not as a part of the NDAA. A few other Republicans are finally speaking up as well.
Still, Republicans on Wednesday showed some signs of exasperation with the president’s latest effort. As one GOP lawmaker put it: “Republicans are sick of this shit.”
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, put it more delicately. While he said he understood the president’s frustrations with Section 230, it was not worth imperiling the broader defense bill.
“The NDAA is so important to the men and women that wear the uniform that this should not be an item to veto the act over,” he said. “So I would hope he would reconsider his position on it.”
And Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said his “preference” would be to pass the NDAA and then address Section 230 separately.
Democratic critics of Section 230 were equally as annoyed. Remember, Senator Richard Blumenthal has been one of the most vocal critics of Section 230 going back to the time before he was a Senator and when he was stymied in trying to sue Craigslist by Section 230 (he was upset that sex workers use Craigslist, and wanted to blame Craigslist for the fact that sex workers exist).
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a co-sponsor of the only bipartisan bill targeting Section 230 to advance out of committee this Congress, called the veto threat “deeply dangerous and just plain stupid.”
He added, “Reforming Section 230 deserves its own debate — one that I’ve helped lead in Congress, and which I look forward to continuing with a more serious, thoughtful administration in January.”
In another article, Rep. Frank Pallone stated the obvious:
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone said in a statement that Trump is “holding a critical defense bill hostage in a petulant attempt to punish Twitter for fact-checking him. Our military and national security should not suffer just because Trump’s ego was bruised.”
There is still plenty of appetite to attack Section 230. And there will be lots of dumb fights about it, but it’s not going down this way.