Congress nearing TikTok ban

The House cleared the bill on a vote of 352-65, showing rare bipartisan support for the measure.


The legislation, if enacted, would force TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance to divest from the app within five months or face a ban on U.S. app stores and on the web.


TikTok has around 150 million American users, but it has come under increasing scrutiny as U.S. tensions with China grow.


“Communist China is America’s largest geopolitical foe and is using technology to actively undermine America’s economy and security,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.


But there were detractors among more conservative politicians and progressives.


Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told MSNBC that he did not support a ban over First Amendment concerns, though he pushed for an internet bill of rights to protect American’s privacy.


“How is it that Congress acts in a rush to ban TikTok and can’t protect Americans on social media?” he said. on. “We have not done anything in this Congress for years to protect Americans’ privacy.”


On the other side of Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would “review” the legislation but offered few further details.


“I’ll have to consult and intend to consult with my relevant committee chairmen to see what their views would be,” Schumer said.


Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) has pledged to work on passing the bill.


The concerns over TikTok are just one part of a sprawling U.S. pushback against Chinese technology and investment in the country as Washington raises the alarm about national security.


Amid the push, TikTok has lobbied against the bill on Capitol Hill. 


“This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it’s a ban,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts.”


Read the full report here.

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