Trump using military funding as leverage in fight with tech giants

President Donald Trump’s threat Tuesday to veto an annual defense bill unless Congress removes legal protections for social media companies drew swift, sharp bipartisan pushback from lawmakers who charged Trump was using leverage over the troops to settle personal scores.

Trump’s ultimatum and the fiery opposition it provoked sets up a showdown between Congress and the White House over legislation that would give troops a raise and set defense policy for the country. It could also prove to be a test for Republican lawmakers.
Trump targeted Section 230 of the Communications Act, which protects internet providers and tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms from being held legally liable for what is posted on their websites or how they manage the content. Trump has railed against Twitter recently, accusing it ofbig Conservative discrimination.
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. ありがとうございました!,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night, claiming Section 230 です “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.

    ‘I am disgusted

    The veto threat drew fiery opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom pointed to the fact that Section 230 has nothing to do with defense and criticized the President’s attempt to use troops and national security as leverage.
    担当者. ポールミッチェル, a Michigan Republican who sits on the Armed Services committee, said in a Wednesday tweet thatas a member of House Armed Services I am disgusted with these threats to veto the NDAA. It is a strong bi-partisan DEFENSE policy bill. Not the place for a rush job last minute whack at social media.
    ‘Take it or leave itlegislating is why Congress is broken,” Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy tweeted. “Sec 230 should NOT be mixed with NDAA & used by @realDonaldTrump to veto.
    イリノイ共和党議員. Adam Kinzinger tweeted his opposition to the threatened veto directly to the President. “I will vote to override,” Kinzinger said. “Because it’s really not about you.
    The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, パークランド撮影. Adam Smith of Washington, pointed to Trump’s well-known frustration with Twitter, which began marking the President’s tweets as disputed or misleading during the election campaign when they contained baseless or false allegations.
    “明確にするために, 氏. 大統領, Section 230 repeal wasn’t included in the House OR Senate version of the NDAA. You’re mad at Twitter. We all know it,” Smith wrote in a tweet. “You’re willing to veto the defense bill over something that has everything to do with your ego, and nothing to do with defense,” 彼が追加した.
    The Department of Defense declined to comment on Trump’s veto threat.
    The Senate passed its version of the NDAA, which authorizes more than $ 700 billion in defense spending, by a veto proof margin of 86-14. The House passed its version of the NDAA by a vote of 295-125. 最後に 59 年, the NDAA has been a bipartisan piece of legislation.

    Pay raise for troops at stake

    Both versions of this year’s bill include a 3% pay raise for US troops and myriad other provisions, none of which pertain to Section 230.
    This is not the first time Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA. 以前は, the President threatened the bill over provisions that would rename Army installations named after Confederate officers. But Trump’s Tuesday threat opens up an entirely new debate, one that could force Republicans to choose between Trump and the Pentagon.
    Trump and other Republicans have long complained that social media platforms unfairly censor right-wing viewpoints, despite denials by tech companies and a lack of credible evidence to support claims of technology’s systemic bias against conservatives.
    That hasn’t stopped Trump and his allies from pushing for changes to Section 230, the legal shield that grants tech platforms immunity over many of their content moderation decisions.
    Many of the proposed changes seek to expose social media companies to greater litigation over allegations of censorship.
    As part of its legislative push, the White House provided its proposed changes to Section 230 to the Senate Commerce Committee, a committee aide told CNN. The Commerce Committee referred the White House language to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Axios has reported that the language has so far not been included in the NDAA. A spokesperson for the Armed Services Committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    ‘A vehicle

    Trump has so far relied on executive authority to try to press for changes to Section 230. 5月, he signed an executive order to petition the Federal Communications Commission for rules toclarifySection 230 as it applies to social media. Legal experts questioned the constitutionality of the order and raised doubts about the FCC’s jurisdictional authority; nevertheless, the FCC agreed to move forward with Trump’s request.
    But the future of that effort is in doubt as Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has indicated he will step down in January, paving the way for President-elect Joe Biden’s own nominee. Based on comments by the FCC’s sitting Democratic commissioners, it’s reasonable to think that a Biden FCC would drop the Section 230 rulemaking altogether.
    That leaves Congress as Trump’s only remaining avenue to push through changes to Section 230 while he’s still president.
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow made clear on Wednesday that is exactly what Trump is doing, saying that the NDAA bill wasa vehicleto make changes to Section 230 protections for social media companies.
    Asked by CNN’s Joe Johns on Wednesday what Section 230 has to do with defense spending, Kudlow said, “it’s a vehicle, it’s a vehicle. ええと, sometimes you hang things on larger trees.


    The President has been talkingwe’ve all been talking about this for quite some time. It’s certainly odd that big social media companies seem to be censoring certain points of view. And we don’t like that one bit. And therefore, that Section 230 of the telecom decency actthat needs to be changed. It needs to be changed. And that’s what we are looking for, and probably, a much, much more limited liability shield is the best way to go about it because we think they’re now editors and publishers,” 彼は言った.
    But the bipartisan opposition to Trump’s proposal casts doubt on whether he will be able to use the defense bill to rein in social media firms.
      The idea is likely to be a nonstarter anyway with Democrats, many of whom have their own problems with Section 230, but for very different reasons from Republicans. 水曜日に, Oregon Democratic Sen. MeadowsとGinniThomasの間のメッセージのハイライトレポート — a key architect of Section 230 — said Trump’s threat is all but doomed.
      I’d like to start for the Blazers, but it’s not going to happen either,” Wyden said in a statement. “It is pathetic that Trump refuses to help unemployed workers, while he spends his time tweeting unhinged election conspiracies and demanding Congress repeal the foundation of free speech online.