TikTok on Chopping Block Again? House Gives App Ultimatum

March 13th, 2024 12:53 PM

A bill that could be the beginning of the end for TikTok overwhelmingly passed the House Wednesday.

The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act would force TikTok to divest itself from its Chinese-controlled parent company, ByteDance, or risk being banned from the U.S. It would also penalize app stores that carry the app, or other foreign adversary-controlled apps, to American users barring divestiture. The vote passed in a bipartisan landslide with 352 representatives voting in favor and 65 opposed. Supporters of the bill included 197 Republicans and 155 Democrats.

MRC President Brent Bozell threw his support behind the bill Tuesday. “It is absolutely correct and necessary for TikTok to divest itself of any control from the communist Chinese government in China if it wants to do business in the United States,” Bozell said. “I support this bill. I support reining in TikTok. I support stopping the communist Chinese from influencing the United States subversively.”

The bipartisan bill would give President Joe Biden the authority to effectively block TikTok from doing business in the U.S. if it does not sever ties with ByteDance. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it must pass before having a chance of becoming law. Surprisingly, Biden pledged to sign the bill if both houses of Congress pass it, despite his avid use of TikTok for his re-election campaign. Biden has posted 68 TikTok videos to date.

TikTok denounced the bill shortly after it became public.

This most recent step towards a national ban comes after Biden ordered that the app be removed from devices used by federal government agencies in 2022. No fewer than 37 states have also taken steps to ban the app in varying capacities, according to a Government Technology report

MRC Free Speech America and MRC Business Editor Luis Cornelio contributed to this report.

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