The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to pass bipartisan legislation on the Chinese-owed app TikTok.

Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., introduced the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act on March 5. Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.

The legislation passed in a 352-65 vote, with the help of 197 Republicans and 155 Democrats. Fifteen Republicans and 50 Democrats voted against the legislation. One lawmaker voted “present.”

“Communist China is America’s largest geopolitical foe and is using technology to actively undermine America’s economy and security,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in an X post. “Apps like TikTok allow the Chinese Communist Party to push harmful content to our youth and engage in malign activities, such as harvesting the location, purchasing habits, contacts, and sensitive data of Americans.”

“Today’s bipartisan vote to pass The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act demonstrates Congress’ opposition to Communist China’s attempts to spy on and manipulate Americans and signals our resolve to deter our enemies,” Johnson said. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the President so he can sign the bill into law.”

“The platform should not be in jeopardy. This should be an easy choice for TikTok, which is a subsidiary of ByteDance, which is closely linked and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, said on “The Daily Signal Podcast” ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

“And you can see right there that the dangers that lay with a company that is beholden to a government that is demonstrating on a daily basis their willingness to undermine American interest both at home and abroad, not just with the data, not just with this particular platform, but in many different areas,” Pfluger said, adding:

So, the choice is pretty clear for TikTok that they either divest from their parent company, ByteDance, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, or they won’t be allowed in the United States.

Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., issued a joint statement about the House passing the bill. Warner and Rubio are the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok – a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party,” the senators said in a statement shared on X. “We were encouraged by today’s strong bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives, and look forward to working together to get this bill passed through the Senate and signed into law.”

According to a news release from the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, “The bill prevents app store availability or web-hosting services in the U.S. for ByteDance-controlled applications, including TikTok, unless the application severs ties to entities like ByteDance that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary, as defined by Congress in Title 10.” 

“In addition, the bill creates a process for the president to designate certain, specifically defined social media applications that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary—per Title 10—and pose a national security risk,” the news release explained.

Ryan Walker, executive vice president of Heritage Action for America, the grassroots advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, weighed in about the House successfully passing the legislation. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

“The House sent a message today that adversarial foreign regimes do not have the right to surveil and steal from Americans while using the popularity of social media as a shield from scrutiny,” Walker said in a statement. “This bill does not ban TikTok or any app—it ends limitless influence and control given to foreign governments with proven contempt for the United States.”

“If social media companies can’t sever ties with communist dictators, they don’t get to access American consumers,” Walker said. “The Senate has a duty to quickly take up this important national security bill that the House is sending over with overwhelming support.”

The legislation “gives ByteDance and TikTok a clear choice: cut ties with the Chinese Communist Party and continue to operate in the United States or immediately cease all business in our country,” Kara Frederick, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center, said in a statement prior to the vote.

“It should be an easy and simple decision for the company, but its executives are panicking because this bill calls their bluff,” Frederick said.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the legislation in a 50-0 vote last Thursday. 

President Joe Biden expressed his support for the legislation, telling reporters on Friday, “If they pass it, I’ll sign it.” Biden’s presidential campaign, however, is on TikTok and shared its first video there on Feb. 11, ABC News reported.

Former President Donald Trump, who sought to ban the app in 2020, said in a March 7 post on Truth Social that “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business.”

“I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better,” Trump said. “They are a true Enemy of the People!”

During an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday, the former president was asked if he believes the app is a national security threat.

“I do believe that. I do believe it and we have to very much go into privacy and make sure that we are protecting the American people’s privacy and data rights,” Trump said. “And I agree, but you know, we also have that problem with other—you have that problem with Facebook and lots of other companies too.”

“I mean, they get the information. They get plenty of information and they deal with China, and they’ll do whatever China wants,” the former president said.

While the bill garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, its future is uncertain in the Senate, where Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has expressed opposition to banning the app.

“Reactionaries who want to ban TikTok claim the data can’t be secured because the ‘algorithm’ is in China. Not true,” Paul said in a two-part thread posted to X on Wednesday morning ahead of the House vote. “The truth is the Algorithm runs in the U.S. in oracle cloud with their review of the code. (NOT in China). Maybe we should examine the facts before committing violations of the 1st and 5th amendments.”

“They want to ban TikTok because it’s ‘owned by China,’” Paul said. “Not true.”

The Kentucky Republican added:

60% of the company is owned by US and international investors. 20% is owned by the company founders. 20% is owned by company employees, including over 7,000 Americans. The CEO of TikTok is from Singapore, not China. So ask yourself why they keep repeating this lie to scare you?

The Daily Signal reached out to TikTok for a comment about the House passing the legislation.

“This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it’s a ban,” TikTok Policy said in an X post following the vote. “We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service.”

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

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