U.S. House to Vote Next Week on TikTok Crackdown Bill

U.S. House to Vote Next Week on TikTok Crackdown Bill

On Thursday, a committee unitedly adopted legislation that would give Chinese company ByteDance six months to divest itself from the app TikTok, or it will face the consequences of a U.S. ban.

Let’s read the news and find out more.

U.S. House to Vote Next Week on TikTok Crackdown Bill

Representative Mike Gallagher and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi provided lawmakers with a classified briefing behind closed doors on national security issues related to TikTok’s Chinese ownership.

TikTok is famous in the U.S. and has approximately 170 million users. In 2020, President Donald Trump tried to ban TikTok, but he miserably failed because the U.S. courts blocked him.

Now, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s 50-0 decision provides major momentum for the U.S. to divest TikTok. The legislation will be put to vote in the U.S. House of Representatives the following week.

On X, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced that lawmakers will vote next week “to force TikTok to sever their ties with the Chinese Communist party.”

The top Democratic member of the committee, Representative Frank Pallone, expressed his hope on Thursday that the legislation “will force divestment of TikTok and Americans will be able to continue to use this and other similarly situated platforms without the risk that they are being operated and controlled by our adversaries.”

The Republican chairman of the House Select China committee, Mike Gallagher, stated, “TikTok could live on and people could do whatever they want on it provided there is that separation,”

He added, “It is not a ban – think of this as a surgery designed to remove the tumor and thereby save the patient in the process.”

U.S. House to Vote Next Week TikTok Crackdown Bill
U.S. House to Vote Next Week TikTok Crackdown Bill

TikTok claims the bill equates to a ban and that it is unclear if China would accept any sale or that it could be divested in six months. The company also claimed that it has not and will not disclose user data from the United States to the Chinese government.

Following the vote, the company declared, “This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States.”

It added, “The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience, and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country.”

After the app warned users about its ban, Capitol Hill was flooded with continuous phone calls from TikTok users, who pleaded with lawmakers not to support the bill.

In 2020, Trump also attempted to ban Tencent’s WeChat. When asked if the bill also applies to that company, Gallagher stated that he would not assume but that “going forward, we can debate what companies fall” under the bill.

ByteDance will have 165 days to divest TikTok as per the measure. If it doesn’t, TikTok and web hosting services for ByteDance-controlled applications will not be allowed to be offered in app stores run by Apple, Google, and others.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, commended the notion on Wednesday and stated that the administration wants “to see this bill get done so it can get to the president’s desk.”

Because of the app’s popularity, passing legislation in a year when elections are ongoing in both the House and the Senate could be challenging.

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About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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