Donald Trump Would Sign Stimulus, Defense Bills If Section 230 Is Repealed Says Lindsey Graham

President Donald Trump would walk back his threats to veto the stimulus package and the annual defense spending budget if legislation protecting tech giants from legal liability was repealed, Senator Lindsey Graham has said.

Trump has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) partly because it did not include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Passed in 1996, it was brought in during the internet's infancy to give platforms legal immunity for content posted by third-party users.

Trump has also said he would not sign the COVID-19 relief bill haggled over for months by Congress. He called it a "disgrace" and said it should more than triple direct payments to Americans, from $600 to $2,000.

The South Carolina senator suggested that for both pieces of legislation to get the president's signature, Section 230 must go.

I hope Speaker Pelosi will agree with President Trump that Big Tech needs to be reined in by winding down Section 230 liability protections.

I have reason to believe this combination will lead to President Trump supporting the NDAA and COVID19 omnibus bills.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 23, 2020

"I hope Speaker Pelosi will agree with President Trump that Big Tech needs to be reined in by winding down Section 230 liability protections," Graham tweeted.

"I have reason to believe this combination will lead to President Trump supporting the NDAA and COVID19 omnibus bills," he added.

With some conservative lawmakers believing that tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google are intentionally stifling conservative voices, Section 230 is a pet peeve of both Graham, and President Donald Trump.

The law has also come under attack from both sides of the aisle but tech giant Reddit warned changing it "would change the very trajectory of the internet."

On December 15, Graham, who chairs the Senate judiciary committee, introduced legislation which would see Section 230 protections end on January 1 2023.

He said in a statement, "the time has come for these largely unregulated Big Tech giants to either be broken up, regulated, or subject to litigation for their actions."

Meanwhile, in a follow-up tweet on Tuesday, Graham backed Trump's call for bigger direct payments as part of the COVID package, a move which has the support of top Democrats such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Graham tweeted: "Appreciate the fact that Speaker Pelosi supports President @realDonaldTrump's idea to increase direct payments to $2,000 per person. The American people are hurting and deserve relief. I know there is much bipartisan support for this idea. Let's go further."

Both the stimulus package and NDAA bills passed with more than two-thirds majorities, meaning the House and the Senate can override a presidential veto, although it would be more for Congress' in-tray.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham presides on Capitol Hill November 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. He wants to see a repeal of Section 230 which protects tech giants from third-party liability. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images