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US to Decide on TikTok Crackdown; Threatens Ban

US to Decide on TikTok Crackdown; Senate Fate Uncertain Image @GettyImages

US to Decide on TikTok Crackdown; Threatens Ban

The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill on Wednesday that would give TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance about six months to divest the short-video app used by about 170 million Americans or face a ban.

The vote is expected around 10 a.m. under fast-track rules that require support by two-thirds of House members for the measure to pass.

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The vote comes just over a week since the bill was proposed and after one public hearing with little debate. The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week voted 50-0 in favor of the bill, setting it up for a vote before the full House.

The FBI, Justice Department and Office of the director of national intelligence held a classified briefing, opens new tab

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for House members on Tuesday.

“We’ve answered a lot of questions from members. We had a classified briefing today. So that members can see even more details about what’s at risk and how the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) can jeopardize the risk to American families,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.

Tiktok CEO Shou Zi Chew will visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday on a previously scheduled trip to talk to senators, a source briefed on the matter said.

“This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States,” the company said. “The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression,” it added.

Item 1 of 5 Congressman Robert Garcia (D-CA) speaks as he is joined by fellow House members Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL), Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL) and TikTok creators during a press conference to voice their opposition to the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” pending crackdown legislation on TikTok in the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 12, 2024.

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Some opponents of the legislation, including Democratic Representative Maxwell Frost, think the bill will pass in the House. Frost said many lawmakers who will vote for the bill are motivated by a desire to protect users, which he supports. Frost was among four lawmakers out of the 432-member House that held a press conference opposing the bill.

“The problem is the process here, the fact that it’s been steamrolled and people really can’t digest the consequences,” Frost said. “I would like to see TikTok ownership changed, but not at the expense of our First Amendment rights, business owners and content creators.”

The fate of the legislation is uncertain in the U.S. Senate, where some senators want to take a different approach.

 

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