Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Friday that it is “impossible” to add a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which protects communication companies from being sued over content their users post — to the National Defense Authorization Act this year despite repeated threats from President Trump that he would veto the bill if it does not include such language.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly threatened to reject the crucial defense policy legislation, which also sets military spending levels, because lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have refused to add the repeal of Section 230 to the NDAA.
Republican lawmakers have expressed hesitation to adding such language because it does not relate to defense or national security, although a handful have admitted they agree with the president’s resentment of the policy.
“The president knows that I agree with him 100 percent on the need for a full repeal of Section 230,” Mr. Inhofe said in a statement Friday.
“It is impossible to add a repeal of Section 230 to the defense authorization bill,” he continued, citing Democratic resistance to overturning Section 230.
“The only other option would mean that for the first time in 60 years, we would not have an NDAA,” Mr. Inhofe said.
Late Thursday, Mr. Trump singled out Mr. Inhofe in a tweet that said, “Very sadly for our Nation, it looks like Senator @JimInhofe will not be putting the Section 230 termination clause into the Defense Bill. So bad for our National Security and Election Integrity. Last chance to ever get it done. I will VETO!”
Earlier Thursday, Mr. Inhofe told reporters that the repeal “just doesn’t fit on [account that] the NDAA has nothing to do with [the] military and nothing to do with the issue.”
The addition of the repeal to the defense policy bill has seen limited support on Capitol Hill, including from Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who said Friday that he supports Mr. Trump’s “insistence Section 230 repeal be part of the defense authorization bill.”
“Big Tech is the only industry in America that cannot be sued for their business practices and are not meaningfully regulated,” he argued. “This must come to an end.”
• Lauren Toms can be reached at email@example.com.
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