Goad News

Latest version of House TikTok bill gets crucial support in Senate

Washington — Sen. Maria Cantwell, a key senator who has delayed legislation regulating TikTok, has approved the House’s latest version of a measure that could lead to a ban on the social media app in the United States.

Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, announced her support Wednesday evening for an updated measure that would force TikTok’s Chinese parent company to divest from the wildly popular short-video platform within a year.

The legislation is included in House Speaker Mike Johnson’s speech. four-part foreign aid plan, which also involves wartime aid to Ukraine and Israel. The updated version extends to nine months the six-month deadline ByteDance would need to sell its stake in the company or lose access to app stores and web hosting services in the United States, with the possibility of a three-month extension.

Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, opposed the original version of the Protecting Americans from Apps Controlled by Foreign Adversaries Act, which sailed through the house in March with bipartisan support but faces headwinds in a slower Senate on a number of concerns. Changing the divestment deadline alleviated at least one of these problems.

“I am very pleased that President Johnson and House Leaders have incorporated my recommendation to extend the ByteDance divestment period from six months to one year,” Cantwell said in a statement. “As I have said, there is a need to extend the conveyancing period to ensure that a new buyer has sufficient time to complete a transaction. I support the updated legislation.”

A spokesperson for Cantwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the senator’s other concerns had been addressed in the updated bill, including whether it could survive a legal review.

Cantwell told reporters Thursday afternoon that she doesn’t believe any other changes have been made to the legislation, but that there could be more in the future.

“We might consider things later, but for now we support what they are doing,” she said.

Cantwell’s support removes a hurdle that other TikTok-related measures have failed to overcome. But some lawmakers have questioned the constitutionality of the bill, suggesting other problems could arise.

The updated bill included in the plan unveiled by Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, earlier this week pairs forced divestment from TikTok with new sanctions on Iran, China and Russia. The three remaining bills would provide $26 billion to support Israel, $61 billion to support Ukraine and $8 billion to counter China in the Indo-Pacific.

Alan He contributed reporting.

Exit mobile version