Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, has privately hinted that President Trump will drop his objection to removing the names of Confederate leaders from military bases, which threatens to derail the annual military policy bill , if the Democrats agreed to repeal an important legal shield. for social media businesses.
Mr Trump has threatened to veto legislation, which allows pay increases for US troops, if it contains the base name change requirement, which has attracted bipartisan support in the House and Senate .
In several conversations, Representative Adam Smith from Washington, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, asked Mr. Meadows what might persuade Mr. Trump to sign the measure with the name change requirement intact, according to people. close to discussions.
Mr Meadows, according to people, said adding a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, considered the most consistent law governing Internet speech, would help.
Such a deal would amount to a radical last-minute overhaul of the communications law, and a Democratic congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose internal discussions, said many party lawmakers saw it as a non-starter.
But the offer reflected the White House’s desire to secure distant victories high on the agenda in the final days of Mr. Trump’s presidency. And that further complicated what could turn out to be an uphill battle on Capitol Hill over the issue of Confederate base names.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the conversations. A spokesperson for Mr Smith also declined to comment, citing an informal policy of not disclosing details of these negotiations.
Mr. Trump and his closest allies in Congress have campaigned for a revocation of Section 230, which shields social media companies from liability for content posted by users to their sites.
The Ministry of Justice has drafted a legislative proposal to reform the law. And Mr. Trump signed an executive order several months ago to limit some of the provisions of Section 230.