Trump Aims To Get Rid of Section 230 In Ongoing Stimulus Talks
December 29, 2020 By: The Big Magazine Staff
In his final weeks in office, Trump is using Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the 1996 law that shields tech companies from being held liable for what users post on their platforms as bargaining chip for ongoing stimulus talks for the coronavirus relief package.
Trump wants to get rid of Section 230. He has tied the issue to the passage of a crucial annual defense spending bill and, more recently, to the prospect of approving an increase in coronavirus relief checks to $2,000 from the already approved $600.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted “Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!”
“Also, get rid of Section 230 - Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!” he wrote.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) linked a handful of unrelated policy measures to the future of the increased stimulus checks; among them, Section 230 shields tech companies like Facebook and Google from legal liability over the content users post on their platforms.
On Sunday, Trump released a public statement urging congressional leaders to hold a standalone vote on increasing direct payments to $2,000 after signing $900 billion COVID-19 relief and government spending package that would provide $600 in stimulus payments to most Americans.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle — including President-elect Joe Biden — have voiced complaints about Section 230, and some have taken steps toward reforming the provision. By Tuesday morning, many Republicans who previously opposed the proposed increase of stimulus checks flipped to support of the increase alongside Democrats.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted on Tuesday that the Senate had enough votes to approve the increased payments however, McConnell blocked a House bill for the increase. Some lawmakers fear the majority leader is using Section 230 as reason to shut down the broader package.