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Congress

Trump Pushes for Section 230 Revisions, While House Overrides Veto of Defense Bill, Sending It to GOP-led Senate

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Photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from February 2018 by Gage Skidmore used with permission

December 29, 2020 — On Sunday evening, President Donald Trump signed into law a major coronavirus stimulus package, barely avoiding a government shutdown before a Monday night deadline.

Trump has railed against the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and the $1.4 trillion government funding bill since Congress approved it, demanding that stimulus relief checks for Americans amount to $2,000 and that foreign aid be cut out of the bill.

“I will sign the omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in a statement released Sunday night.

In Sunday evening’s statement the President also said the Senate would soon begin work on ending legal protections for tech companies provided under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and further, begin efforts to investigate voter fraud.

“Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed,” said Trump.

The outgoing President has continued his ongoing feud with Section 230, the provision which allows social media platforms to moderate content on their web sites.

Although the current Congress is set to end in five days, the House and Senate are convening this week to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense spending bill that the President barred citing its failure to include Section 230 revisions.

On Monday, the House voted 322-87 to overturn the President’s veto, without the inclusion of Section 230 language, and further, passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000 after Trump championed the effort, sending the defense spending bill to the Republican-led Senate where its future is less certain.

Democrats have seized on Trump’s complaint over the amount of the direct stimulus payments in a bid to push congressional Republicans to accept a higher figure. The move forces GOP lawmakers to decide whether or not to defy the president, after many have argued that the overall cost for a stimulus package should not rise too high.

While each of these events unfolded over Trump’s call to repeal Section 230, Congress is unlikely to embrace the President’s call to eliminate protections for social media companies. The President has argued without evidence that Section 230 enables websites to censor conservative views, but data shows that conservative personalities and publishers often thrive online.

While the concerns about Section 230 are bipartisan, it is highly unlikely that lawmakers could reach an agreement on the issue within the next week. Trump and his allies have yet to find substantial common ground with Democrats who primarily want changes addressing discriminatory advertising or terrorist content online.

Trump’s veto threats have seemingly only served to put his Republican allies in the House and Senate on the hot seat.

Former Assistant Editor Jericho Casper graduated from the University of Virginia studying media policy. She grew up in Newport News in an area heavily impacted by the digital divide. She has a passion for universal access and a vendetta against anyone who stands in the way of her getting better broadband. She is now Associate Broadband Researcher at the Institute for Local Self Reliance's Community Broadband Network Initiative.

Digital Inclusion

Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Digital Equity Act

Sen. Murray re-introduces bi-partisan that would provide grants to states pushing for digital equity.

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Patty Murray, D-Washington

December 29, 2020 — On Sunday evening, President Donald Trump signed into law a major coronavirus stimulus package, barely avoiding a government shutdown before a Monday night deadline.

Trump has railed against the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and the $1.4 trillion government funding bill since Congress approved it, demanding that stimulus relief checks for Americans amount to $2,000 and that foreign aid be cut out of the bill.

“I will sign the omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in a statement released Sunday night.

In Sunday evening’s statement the President also said the Senate would soon begin work on ending legal protections for tech companies provided under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and further, begin efforts to investigate voter fraud.

“Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed,” said Trump.

The outgoing President has continued his ongoing feud with Section 230, the provision which allows social media platforms to moderate content on their web sites.

Although the current Congress is set to end in five days, the House and Senate are convening this week to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense spending bill that the President barred citing its failure to include Section 230 revisions.

On Monday, the House voted 322-87 to overturn the President’s veto, without the inclusion of Section 230 language, and further, passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000 after Trump championed the effort, sending the defense spending bill to the Republican-led Senate where its future is less certain.

Democrats have seized on Trump’s complaint over the amount of the direct stimulus payments in a bid to push congressional Republicans to accept a higher figure. The move forces GOP lawmakers to decide whether or not to defy the president, after many have argued that the overall cost for a stimulus package should not rise too high.

While each of these events unfolded over Trump’s call to repeal Section 230, Congress is unlikely to embrace the President’s call to eliminate protections for social media companies. The President has argued without evidence that Section 230 enables websites to censor conservative views, but data shows that conservative personalities and publishers often thrive online.

While the concerns about Section 230 are bipartisan, it is highly unlikely that lawmakers could reach an agreement on the issue within the next week. Trump and his allies have yet to find substantial common ground with Democrats who primarily want changes addressing discriminatory advertising or terrorist content online.

Trump’s veto threats have seemingly only served to put his Republican allies in the House and Senate on the hot seat.

Continue Reading

Infrastructure

Senate Committee Hears High Symmetrical Internet Speeds, Up-To-Date Technologies For Future Of Rural America

NTCA’s Shirley Bloomfield on driving improvements for rural broadband.

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Shirley Bloomfield

December 29, 2020 — On Sunday evening, President Donald Trump signed into law a major coronavirus stimulus package, barely avoiding a government shutdown before a Monday night deadline.

Trump has railed against the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and the $1.4 trillion government funding bill since Congress approved it, demanding that stimulus relief checks for Americans amount to $2,000 and that foreign aid be cut out of the bill.

“I will sign the omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in a statement released Sunday night.

In Sunday evening’s statement the President also said the Senate would soon begin work on ending legal protections for tech companies provided under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and further, begin efforts to investigate voter fraud.

“Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed,” said Trump.

The outgoing President has continued his ongoing feud with Section 230, the provision which allows social media platforms to moderate content on their web sites.

Although the current Congress is set to end in five days, the House and Senate are convening this week to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense spending bill that the President barred citing its failure to include Section 230 revisions.

On Monday, the House voted 322-87 to overturn the President’s veto, without the inclusion of Section 230 language, and further, passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000 after Trump championed the effort, sending the defense spending bill to the Republican-led Senate where its future is less certain.

Democrats have seized on Trump’s complaint over the amount of the direct stimulus payments in a bid to push congressional Republicans to accept a higher figure. The move forces GOP lawmakers to decide whether or not to defy the president, after many have argued that the overall cost for a stimulus package should not rise too high.

While each of these events unfolded over Trump’s call to repeal Section 230, Congress is unlikely to embrace the President’s call to eliminate protections for social media companies. The President has argued without evidence that Section 230 enables websites to censor conservative views, but data shows that conservative personalities and publishers often thrive online.

While the concerns about Section 230 are bipartisan, it is highly unlikely that lawmakers could reach an agreement on the issue within the next week. Trump and his allies have yet to find substantial common ground with Democrats who primarily want changes addressing discriminatory advertising or terrorist content online.

Trump’s veto threats have seemingly only served to put his Republican allies in the House and Senate on the hot seat.

Continue Reading

Broadband's Impact

House Commerce Committee Aligned on Telecom, Mapping and Supply Chain Security, Says Ranking Member

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on

Photo from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' website

December 29, 2020 — On Sunday evening, President Donald Trump signed into law a major coronavirus stimulus package, barely avoiding a government shutdown before a Monday night deadline.

Trump has railed against the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and the $1.4 trillion government funding bill since Congress approved it, demanding that stimulus relief checks for Americans amount to $2,000 and that foreign aid be cut out of the bill.

“I will sign the omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in a statement released Sunday night.

In Sunday evening’s statement the President also said the Senate would soon begin work on ending legal protections for tech companies provided under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and further, begin efforts to investigate voter fraud.

“Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed,” said Trump.

The outgoing President has continued his ongoing feud with Section 230, the provision which allows social media platforms to moderate content on their web sites.

Although the current Congress is set to end in five days, the House and Senate are convening this week to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense spending bill that the President barred citing its failure to include Section 230 revisions.

On Monday, the House voted 322-87 to overturn the President’s veto, without the inclusion of Section 230 language, and further, passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000 after Trump championed the effort, sending the defense spending bill to the Republican-led Senate where its future is less certain.

Democrats have seized on Trump’s complaint over the amount of the direct stimulus payments in a bid to push congressional Republicans to accept a higher figure. The move forces GOP lawmakers to decide whether or not to defy the president, after many have argued that the overall cost for a stimulus package should not rise too high.

While each of these events unfolded over Trump’s call to repeal Section 230, Congress is unlikely to embrace the President’s call to eliminate protections for social media companies. The President has argued without evidence that Section 230 enables websites to censor conservative views, but data shows that conservative personalities and publishers often thrive online.

While the concerns about Section 230 are bipartisan, it is highly unlikely that lawmakers could reach an agreement on the issue within the next week. Trump and his allies have yet to find substantial common ground with Democrats who primarily want changes addressing discriminatory advertising or terrorist content online.

Trump’s veto threats have seemingly only served to put his Republican allies in the House and Senate on the hot seat.

Continue Reading

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