On Monday, Republican members of Congress hailed Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, hoping that he would restore the platform’s “free speech,” while Democrats were significantly more cautious of the agreement.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted in response to the $44 billion deal, “Free speech is making a comeback.”
Jordan, one of the most vociferous GOP critics of Big Tech, wrote a letter to Twitter’s board of directors on Friday, requesting that all information relating to Musk’s attempt to buy the company be preserved.
Republicans have accused Twitter and other platforms of anti-conservative prejudice, citing the exclusion or suspension of former President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans for repeated violations of the platform’s user policy.
Many Republicans applauded Musk’s plan to acquire the social media behemoth when he first revealed it however, he has not indicated what new content moderation procedures will entail or who will be invited back to the platform.
Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-New Mexico) praised the billionaire, saying she was “looking forward to a free-speech oriented Twitter.”
“Is Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter a good thing?” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also asked his Twitter followers. Cruz had two responses: “yes” and “no, I hate free speech.”
When news of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s takeover of one of the world’s most influential social media networks broke, a lot of Democrats were eager to attack him.
Shortly after news of the buyout, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tweeted, “Just a reminder that from 2014-2018, Elon Musk paid an effective tax rate of 3.27%. The average working family pays an average tax rate of 13%. It’s time for a wealth tax in this country.”
Rep. Jess Garca (D-Illinois) stated: “There’s so many better uses for that money, other than buying a social media company. He could help solve world hunger, could help save local newspapers, or literally help to build bridges or schools.”
Elon Musk paid $0 in federal taxes in 2018.
If he can afford Twitter, he can damn well afford to pay his fair share in taxes. We need a Billionaire Tax NOW.
— Congresswoman Marie Newman (@RepMarieNewman) April 25, 2022
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) added to the conversation: “It’s hard to wrap your mind around the concept of a billion, but time is a bit easier to understand. 1 million seconds is roughly 11.5 days. 1 billion seconds is about 31.5 years. Elon Musk just bought Twitter for $45 Billion — or in seconds, roughly 1,427 years. #TaxTheRich.”
Musk’s deal to buy Twitter comes since he first offered to buy all of the company’s outstanding shares for $54.20 per share on April 14.