Updated Mar 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House plans new bipartisan push to force TikTok divestment

Rep. Kathy McMorris Rodgers, sitting behind a committee dais in front of an American flag.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Photo: Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

A House committee is moving quickly to advance bipartisan legislation aimed at forcing Chinese divestment from the social media app TikTok.

Why it matters: For years, lawmakers have raised security concerns about American user data from the popular app being collected by a U.S. adversary.

State of play: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to vote Thursday on a pair of TikTok-related bills, Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) announced on Tuesday.

  • One of the bills would prohibit app stores and internet hosting services from allowing access to "foreign adversary controlled applications."
  • The other would make it illegal for data brokers to sell Americans' data to foreign adversaries.

Zoom in: In addition to the top Democrat and Republican on the China Select Committee, the former bill is co-sponsored by 9 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

  • The co-sponsors range from progressive Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) to hard-right Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), with many moderates in both parties also signed on.
  • Only a handful of progressive and libertarian lawmakers have expressed opposition to a legislative crackdown on TikTok.

The other side: "This bill is an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it," a TikTok spokesperson told Axios.

  • "This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs."

Between the lines: While TikTok and ByteDance are the only companies name-checked in the former bill, it's meant to give the president new regulatory authority over all foreign adversary-controlled apps, Axios' Maria Curi reported.

Go deeper (đź”’): TikTok parent company under fire in new bill

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include TikTok's response.

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