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House Passes Bill That Could Lead To U.S. Ban On TikTok

On Wednesday, the GOP-led House passed a bill that could lead to a ban on TikTok unless its Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, divests in the popular social media app.

The legislation, known as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” was approved by a 352-65 vote. Fifty Democrats and 15 Republicans voted against the measure. The bill now heads to the Democrat-controlled Senate.

According to a press release from the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, the “bill prevents app store availability or web hosting services in the U.S. for ByteDance-controlled applications, including TikTok, unless the application severs ties to entities like ByteDance that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary, as defined by Congress in Title 10.”

The legislation demands ByteDance sell TikTok within 180 days of the bill being enacted, or risk having the app face a clampdown in the United States.

“In addition,” the release added, “the bill creates a process for the President to designate certain, specifically defined social media applications that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary — per Title 10 — and pose a national security risk. Designated applications will face a prohibition on app store availability and web hosting services in the U.S. unless they sever ties to entities subject to the control of a foreign adversary through divestment.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, introduced the legislation with Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the panel’s ranking member.

Supporters of the bill argued the legislation would stymie attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to collect data on Americans and manipulate young users through content on the app.

“Today’s bipartisan vote to pass The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act demonstrates Congress’ opposition to Communist China’s attempts to spy on and manipulate Americans and signals our resolve to deter our enemies,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said in a post to X. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the President so he can sign the bill into law.”

Opponents of the legislation such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) argued the bill, which was introduced just last week, was rushed and warned it could lead to more censorship.

“I suspect that there is a way to address the challenge posed by TikTok that is consistent with our commitment to freedom of expression,” Rep. Jim Himes, the top Democrat on the House intelligence Committee, wrote in a statement. “But a bill quickly passed by one committee less than a week ago is not that way.”

The legislation passed through committee by a 50-0 vote last week, paving the way to a floor vote on Wednesday. President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill into law if it advances through both chambers of Congress. His 2024 rival, former President Donald Trump, came out against the legislation.

TikTok warned the bill would “trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs.” A China official reportedly said a ban would “come back to bite the United States.”

-Daily Wire

 

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