House approves bill that could ban TikTok in US despite Trump’s opposition: Live updates

Majorie Taylor Greene opposes House attempt to ban TikTok

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill that could remove TikTok from US app stores.

The vote succeeded 352-65, with the majority of nos coming from Democrats.

If the bill becomes law it will require the Chinese firm Bytedance to divest from TikTok and other applications that it owns within 180 days. If ByteDance does not divest, TikTok would be removed from US app stores.

Legislators have argued that Bytedance could give the Chinese government access to TikTok user’s data, pointing to national security laws that require companies to help with intelligence gathering.

The bill will now require a successful US Senate vote and subsequent Presidential signature to become law.

Despite its overwhelming success, the bill also received bipartisan opposition.

Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was not in favour of the potential ban that could result from the bill. Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar told The Independent she was not convinced to vote yes even after a national security briefing.

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also voted no, telling The Independent it could have unintended consequences for social media use.


Several Democrats opposed bill

Some 50 Democrats voted against the bill that could result in TikTok being removed from US app stores.

Representative Ilhan Omar told The Independent she was not convinced after a national security briefing.

“They were not able to provide any concrete evidence that this was necessary for us to protect our national security outside of the misinformation that we’ve seen on Facebook, on Instagram on YouTube shorts on Twitter, so just singling out this particular company seemed like it was not in line with protecting our national security,” she said.

Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, also voted against the bill.

“I have more insight than most into the online threats posed by our adversaries,” Mr Himes said in a statement. “But one of the key differences between us and those adversaries is the fact they shut down newspapers, broadcast stations, and social media platforms. We do not.”

Katie Hawkinson13 March 2024 15:16


Co-author says bill won’t ban TikTok and force users onto Meta platforms as Donald Trump claimed

Mike Gallagher, Chair of the House Select Committee on Competition with the Chinese Communist Party, spoke to The Independent about Donald Trump’s opposition to the bill.

Mr Trump claimed that a potential removal of TikTok from US app stores will allow Meta platforms — like Facebook and Instagram — to become more successful.

“I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better,” the former president said, referring to his baseless conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

Mr Gallagher told The Independent that Mr Trump’s portrayal of the bill does not accurately describe its purpose.

“The goal of the bill is not to shut down TikTok and force its users onto Facebook, that would be a bad outcome, so in that sense, I agree with what Trump said,” Mr Gallagher told The Independent. “But our bill allows for a divestiture. Again, a lot of this process started with the former president in 2020, trying to tackle the national security threat posed by finances and ownership of TikTok.”

Katie Hawkinson13 March 2024 15:05


Speaker of the House Mike Johnson comments on TikTok legislation

“Communist China is America’s largest geopolitical foe and is using technology to actively undermine America’s economy and security,” Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement Wednesday morning. “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 demonstrates Congress’ opposition to Communist China’s attempts to spy on and manipulate Americans, and signals our resolve to deter our enemies,” he continued. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the President so he can sign it into law.”

Katie Hawkinson13 March 2024 14:55


TikTok ban: House votes for bill that requires app to be sold or blocked

Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:42


Marjorie Taylor Greene votes against bill

Controversial Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene – the only member of congress to be banned from social media – has voted against the bill.

“I think that it opens up many possibilities could be unintended consequences, or maybe some unintended consequences,” she told The Independent. “This bill is saying that it’s designed to protect people’s data. But if we care about protecting people’s data, then we should protect American citizens universally from every company that is using their data or selling their data.”

“Another issue that I see is this is the same government that worked with big tech and social media companies and censored and banned Americans. So I don’t think this is going to protect Americans at all. And I’m the only member of Congress that actually got banned on Twitter by an American on Twitter. And China didn’t do that to me. So I voted that for those reasons.”

Katie Hawkinson13 March 2024 14:33


House votes for TikTok ban

By a huge majority, the House has voted for the bill – which will require that TikTok parent Bytedance divests or the app is banned in the US.


Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:25


‘Protect all of our data’, says Mark Pocan

Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, says that he voted against the bill because it “didn’t make a case”. He said that the classified briefing did not give him a “compelling reason to go after a single social media platform”.

Instead, he said that lawmakers should “go after protecting all of our data with all social media companies”. Without that, the bill is about feeling good rather than doing good, he said.

Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:14


‘It’s not a ban,’ says Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross, a Democrat from North Carolina, tells The Independent that she voted to support the bill because it’s “not a ban” but rather a “divestment bill”. (If Bytedance divests, then TikTok will stay available.)

Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:12


Voting begins

Lawmakers now have 15 minutes to vote on the bill.

Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:07


Representative Thomas Massey, opposing the bill, says that the bill’s primary consequence will be in helping Facebook. It’s hard to disagree with this: if you go on Instagram Reels (or YouTube Shorts, or similar) they’re mostly the same content from TikTok.

Andrew Griffin13 March 2024 14:03

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