Senate expected to pass bill that could ban TikTok

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 WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Senate is considering a ban on TikTok in the U.S. if the app’s China-based owner, ByteDance, doesn’t sell the app.

Lawmakers Tuesday debated foreign aid legislation that includes a measure to force the sale of the app or have it banned.

Senators on both sides of the aisle say they support the measure.

“This bill takes a first step to protect U.S. data,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said.

Supporters of the measure say ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party put millions of Americans’ personal data at risk and threaten national security.

“Currently the Chinese Communist Party is able to gain unlimited access to the account information of TikTok users if it so chooses,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said.

The measure is part of a foreign aid package the House passed Saturday that gives $95 billion to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

The House gave ByteDance more time to sell the app, extending the deadline from six months to one year, in a move expected to gain more support in the Senate.

TikTok posted a statement on X, calling it unfortunate that the House “is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill.”

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey raised concerns a ban could hurt free speech.

“It could and likely will result in widespread censorship,” Markey said.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine says he doesn’t think TikTok will go away. He says he thinks ByteDance will choose to sell the app.

“Then what will happen is TikTok will be owned not by an entity connected to the Chinese Communist Party that wants to scoop up data on Americans. It’ll probably be owned by an American company instead,” Kaine said.

President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill into law.

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