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What we're hearing: Senators on the TikTok bill

Illustration of Lady Justice holding a megaphone.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

We spoke to senators Tuesday to take their temperature on the TikTok bill that's speeding through the House.

The big picture: The momentum for the bipartisan bill to require Beijing-headquartered ByteDance to sell TikTok is about to run smack dab into the Senate, where opinions are all over the place.

  • Rand Paul: "I think it's a terrible idea. Hopefully saner minds will prevail, or if it passes it'll wind up in court and we'll see if the Constitution still protects ownership."
  • Ron Wyden: "Right now, I'm of the view that there needs to be limits on TikTok as it relates to national security questions, particularly TikTok and government installations and as part of phone systems and all of that kind of thing. I haven't had a chance to read the whole bill … and I want to think more and read more about the implications."
  • James Lankford: "I've not had time to be able to go through all the bill, but I would say the concept is accurate. They are a very real threat to not only just our basic functioning of our democracy, but the authority that they have.… The data they're harvesting on Americans is significant, and we should pay attention."
  • Lindsey Graham: "I would like to protect the data, keep the website up if we could. But you got to, you know, make sure our data is not used by China and they can't influence elections. So I'm a bit conflicted."
  • Elizabeth Warren: "We need curbs on social media, but we need those curbs to apply across the board."
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