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  5. The TikTok ban is headed to a vote in the House. Here's what to know.

The TikTok ban is headed to a vote in the House. Here's what to know.

Madison Hall   

The TikTok ban is headed to a vote in the House. Here's what to know.
  • A bipartisan group of representatives introduced a bill on March 5 to effectively ban TikTok.
  • The House is set to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, where it's expected to pass.

The House of Representatives is set to vote Wednesday on a bipartisan-supported bill that could decide the future of TikTok.

The bill, the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was introduced on March 5 by Rep. Mike Gallagher and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi with support from 52 cosponsors.

The legislation would give any company run by a "foreign adversary" 180 days to divest, or sell to a US-based group. While the bill specifically targets TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, those are not the only companies likely to be affected.

As a means of enforcement, the bill would allow the attorney general to "bring an action in an appropriate district court of the United States for appropriate relief" and shut it down.

Though the legislation's received an inordinate amount of bipartisan support in Congress this session, not everyone's convinced. Since the bill was announced, many TikTokers have fervently spoken out in opposition, with some alleging its passage would cause their business to "shrivel and die."

Members of Congress, so far, have appeared unimpressed by the vast number of TikTok supporters inundating their offices with calls after the app urged its users to do just that.

"Here you have an example of an adversary-controlled application lying to the American people and interfering with the legislative process in Congress," Gallagher said on March 7. "In a weird way, it almost proves the point that we've been making here."

And while he's no longer in office, former President Donald Trump spoke out against the bill on March 8. "If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business," he wrote on Truth Social.

Trump's opposition to the legislation is a reversal of his previous position on the matter from when he was president and tried and failed to force ByteDance to sell TikTok via an executive order.

The former president's change of heart came earlier this month, shortly after he met with Susquehanna International Group cofounder, Republican donor, and prominent TikTok investor Jeff Yass. Trump has denied discussing the matter with Yass, but The New York Times reported Monday that a "person close to the campaign" said they expect Yass to make a donation to a pro-Trump group.

Even with opposition from Trump, the bill looks primed to pass in the Republican-led House. Its future success in the Senate, however, is no guarantee. Republican and Democratic senators alike in the upper chamber have voiced concerns about naming TikTok directly in the legislation.

"You don't want to establish a precedent on naming an individual company," GOP Sen. Todd Young said Tuesday.

Advocacy-based organizations like the Center for Democracy & Technology, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Fight for the Future said in a recent statement that the bill amounts to "censorship," violates the First Amendment rights of its American users, and would "set an alarming global precedent for excessive government control over social media platforms."

If this bill or a similar one passes through Congress, President Joe Biden has already said he'll sign it into law.


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