Legislation that could ban TikTok, a social media app, in the United States passed the House on Tuesday.

According to the Washington Post, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was the lone no vote from Alabama on the legislation. Supporters of the bill said TikTok’s ownership is linked to the Chinese Communist Party and that the legislation is necessary to safeguard the United States’ national security. Opponents of the measure warned the bill would infringe on Americans’s free speech rights. 

Moore said the bill would functionally ban TikTok unless they sell their U.S. operations to a competitor within 180 days. Moore noted that more than 170 million Americans use TikTok.

"We need to protect Americans' data from bulk exports by foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but targeting and functionally banning a singular company is not the right way to do it,” Moore said. "This approach infringes on the free speech rights of 170 million Americans and negatively affects more than five million small businesses by going after TikTok instead of the problem at hand. Congress needs to protect the privacy of our young people and restrict data transfers, not companies."

Members of the Alabama delegation voted in favor of the legislation focused on TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Monrovia) said, “The United States has a long history of preventing hostile foreign interest from investing in or setting a national narrative in our country.” 

“In China, the app shows educational and patriotic videos that promote social cohesion, yet in the United States, it promotes content to polarize and divide our nation. We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party to set an anti-American narrative in the United States. Every American should be concerned about a foreign media company who pushed propaganda videos from Osama bin Laden to tens of millions of young Americans, or who promotes an anti-Israel message following the brutal terrorist attack on October 7th. Our constitution prevents the federal government from having the power to censor speech or surveil American citizens. This bill is not about censorship. It allows TikTok to continue its operations but says that it must do so under a different owner,” Strong said. “The Chinese Communist Party uses TikTok to place left-wing, anti-American propaganda on the phones of hundreds of millions of Americans. Simply put, this is about national security and the safety of the American people.”

The vote was 352-65 with one House member voting present. The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said, “Protecting Americans should be our government’s top priority, and this is exactly what we are doing with the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.” 

“This bill is not about monitoring content being consumed, but about neutralizing a national security threat," Palmer continued. "To be clear, this legislation does not ban TikTok, it requires that TikTok be divested from ByteDance, its Chinese parent Company. Once ByteDance divests its ownership of TikTok, it can continue to operate in the U.S. as long as it is no longer beholden to the Chinese Communist Party and cannot be used to subvert or threaten America’s national security."

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) said, "I voted to force tech companies to cut ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because the CCP is the biggest threat to America and we cannot allow them to continue collecting the data of millions of Americans.”

 “The CCP is using tech platforms to target and manipulate what Americans see, think, and hear. This is a huge national security threat and why I voted in favor of this bill,” he added.

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said, "Americans should be free to use the apps they choose, but they should also be free from those apps spying on them on behalf of a foreign adversary.” 

“We were all upset with the Chinese spy balloon that flew over our nation last year.  As long as ByteDance owns it, TikTok is 170 million spy balloons right in our phones,” he added.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

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