Does the Senate have a chance of passing a bill that would ban TikTok?

WASHINGTON (NEXTSTAR) – It will be at least two weeks, but likely longer, before the Senate passes a bill that could ban TikTok in the United States.

Congress is currently in recess for two weeks, and there does not appear to be a clear timeline for when the Senate will take up the bill that overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this month.

“There was deep concern on both sides of the aisle about the threat from TikTok,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) said after a classified briefing last week.

At this point, it’s unclear if the bill has a chance of passing the Senate because it’s written by the House.

“There is no reason that the Senate cannot consider the House bill. This is a good bill, with possible changes to make it more practical and achievable,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Sen. Cruz said the bill had been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee but did not say whether the bill would include a markup, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not promise to put the bill on the floor anytime soon.

Some lawmakers, like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), want to move as quickly as possible.

“I think the Senate needs to immediately take up and pass the House bill, which would force TikTok’s Chinese Communist-dominated parent company to divest from TikTok,” Sen. Cotton said.

However, there appears to be some uncertainty about how quickly the Senate will be able to vote on the bill.

“They obviously moved very aggressively and quickly in the House, I’m not sure the Senate has the same kind of schedule,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The bottom line is that there appears to be little agreement in the Senate on the best way to ensure that 170 million American users do not have their personal data accessed by China.

There are other factors that could hold up the Senate. For example, the technology industry is broad and falls under the jurisdiction of several different committees, and lawmakers from both parties seem to be at odds over how to write the law.

What exactly will the House bill do?

Earlier this month, the House passed the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversaries Controlled Applications Act” by a vote of 352-65. The law would ban TikTok in the US if its China-based owner ByteDance does not sell its stake in the platform within six months of the bill taking effect.

If ByteDance divests its stake, the social media platform will continue to operate in the United States until it is determined that it is no longer controlled by a foreign counterparty. The bill requires ByteDance to relinquish control of TikTok’s well-known algorithm, which feeds users content based on their preferences.

Experts had previously said that it would be difficult for ByteDance to sell TikTok within a few months.

President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill if it is sent to his desk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *