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Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and a host of other House conservatives introduced legislation on Wednesday that would block big tech giants from censoring lawful political speech on the Internet.

Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Ron Wright (R-TX), and Gosar introduced the Stop the Censorship Act of 2020, which would revoke big tech companies’ Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act legal immunity if the tech platform were to remove lawful speech on their platform.

The House Republicans’ legislation aligns with recommendations proposed by the Department of Justice.

Gosar said in a statement on Wednesday that Congress can no longer allow big tech companies to deem what is and what is not allowable free speech on the Internet. Gosar said:

Online platforms should not have special immunity to censor competition and lawful political speech. The broad and undue immunity for content and user removal granted by Section 230 must be reined in by Congress. We cannot continue to subsidize, deputize, or blackmail Silicon Valley to decide what is or isn’t an allowable conversation. Stop the Censorship Act empowers users and limits Big Tech to the same rights and liabilities as everyone else.

Gosar introduced the legislation as Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari reported on Tuesday that Internet search giant Google, which controls 88 percent of the Internet search market, had purged Breitbart News from its search results.

The House Judiciary Committee also plans to hold an antitrust hearing on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google’s dominance on the Internet on Wednesday.

“Freedom of speech and market competition are two of the strongest pillars of American freedom. But ‘Big Tech,’ has shown little regard for either. Congress must protect the values that make America great.” Banks said.

Gosar’s Stop the Censorship Act of 2020 would promote free speech, big tech transparency, and competition on the Internet.

The legislation would revoke big tech’s immunity for removing “otherwise objectionable” material in Section 230 and create a new standard that would set a new legal protection for the removal of “unlawful, or that promotes violence or terrorism.” Gosar’s office contended that the new legal immunity would incentivize platforms to be more transparent and abide by their own terms of service.

The Arizona conservative’s office also noted that Silicon Valley companies have argued in cases such as Enigma Software v. Malwarebytes that the “otherwise objectionable” term creates a legal immunity from antitrust claims.

The Stop the Censorship Act would ensure that Section 230 does not extend to antitrust claims and aims to promote competition.

The legislation also empowers users with the ability to choose their own online content filters.

Collins, a former ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said:

Our country was founded on the free exchange of ideas and the ability of all Americans to speak freely, a principle that has allowed the Internet to thrive. But in recent years, companies like Twitter and Google have used Section 230 as a shield while unlawfully abusing the First Amendment rights of their users. It’s time we put an end to Big Tech’s unlawful censorship by rolling back their broad protections and promoting market competition, which is exactly what the Stop the Censorship Act of 2020 will do.

“Freedom of speech is paramount to the fabric of America. No one should have the power to censor political speech, including ‘Big Tech,’” Gooden said.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Paul Gosar, Conservatives Introduce Legislation to Protect ‘Political Speech’ on the Internet

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement on Thursday that she will propose an amendment to the next coronavirus aid legislation that would withhold aid to states that do not have a mask mandate.

Feinstein said:

In the last two weeks, 41 states saw an increase in coronavirus cases, with a total of 3.5 million infected nationwide. California, Florida and New York each topped 300,000 cases, and Texas will soon follow. We’ve seen 60,000 new cases in five of the last six days. We’re failing to control this virus and it’s time for serious action.

Research shows that masks reduce transmission of the coronavirus. CDC Director Redfield said this surge in COVID-19 cases could end within two months if we adopt ‘universal masking.’ Businesses like Walmart, Kohl’s and Kroger now require masks. And countries that are successfully controlling this virus require masks. So why doesn’t the United States have a national mask mandate?

Wearing masks in public should be mandatory. Period. Leader McConnell said the Senate will take up the next coronavirus economic relief bill later this month. At that time, I intend to offer an amendment to prohibit sending funds to states that haven’t adopted a statewide mask requirement.

The situation is getting worse daily. Several states including California, Alabama and Montana already require masks in public. This should be universal. My hope has been that other governors would show the leadership to institute their own mask mandates, but so far that hasn’t happened. It’s time for Congress to step in.

Feinstein’s announcement follows as Republican governors such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp have resisted calls to issue statewide mask mandates.

“This is a matter of life or death, and partisan politics shouldn’t play a role,” she added.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Dianne Feinstein Proposes Withholding Coronavirus Relief for States Without Mask Mandates

The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday that would end President Donald Trump’s national emergency on the border with less than a veto-proof majority; however, the president has already threatened to veto the legislation.

The Senate passed on a resolution Thursday, 59-41, that would end President Donald Trump’s national emergency. The vote featured strong Democrat support for the bill and a surprising amount of Republicans voting for it. The House passed its version of the resolution in February with the help of 13 Republicans.

Several Senate Republicans voted against President Trump’s national emergency.

Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rob Portman (R-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) voted in favor of eliminating Trump’s national emergency, which would make it harder to secure America’s southern border.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who previously signaled he would vote to end the emergency, said he will back Trump’s emergency after Trump said he will work with Republicans on a president’s national emergency authority. Tillis is up for re-election in 2020.

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) voted in favor of the national emergency.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted against the national emergency.

Many Senate Republicans have stood by the president and have said Trump is right to take action to secure the southern border.

Sen. Graham said in a statement on Thursday, “I voted with President Trump and rejected Nancy Pelosi’s motion of disapproval regarding the emergency declaration to build a barrier on the southern border.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said ahead of the vote that she will vote to keep Trump’s national emergency, stating:

Since Congress gave emergency powers to the executive branch in 1976 under the National Emergencies Act, presidents from both political parties have declared national emergencies in the United States over situations far less dire than the security and humanitarian crisis that is currently plaguing the southern border. The president and Congress must take swift action to secure our border, protect our citizens, and defend our sovereignty. I support President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, and I reject the resolution of disapproval.

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) told Breitbart News recently that, despite some media reports, there remains a “five-alarm crisis” at the southern border.

“There’s a five-alarm crisis going on down there. It’s not just the human traffic; it’s the drug traffic,” Perdue said in a statement to Breitbart News. “This is not just about building the wall; it’s about closing the loopholes and getting border patrol agents the resources they need.”

The Georgia conservative traveled in February to the southern border with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and witnessed first-hand the border crisis. Perdue told Breitbart News that the border crisis was “staggering.” The two Republicans saw illegal crossing hotspots and received real-time briefings from border patrol agents.

Daines told Breitbart News that he backs Trump’s national emergency, contending that without a secure border, every state is a border state.

“Montana is a northern border state with a southern border problem. Our communities all over Montana are being torn apart by the flood of Mexican meth coming through the southern border,” Daines said. “We must protect our citizens and secure the border.”

Many Republican senators have said they oppose any form of executive overreach, which includes former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty.

However, one federal district judge ruled in August 2018 that DACA was illegal, whereas many lawyers have argued that Trump has the authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to reappropriate money to build the wall.

The Senate vote announcement comes as a Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump’s national emergency on the border.

In an interview with Breitbart News this week, President Trump said he found it “hard to believe” that any Republican would vote against his efforts to secure the border.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Senate Passes Bill to End Trump’s National Emergency with Less than Veto-Proof Majority

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