Republican Senators Clash Over TikTok Ban Bill

Congress is grappling with the issue of whether or not to ban TikTok, a social media app with more than 150 million American users.

Republican Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley. (Greg Nash / AFP via Getty Images)

The app is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, leading to concerns that it could be used to spy on Americans. While the Biden administration continues to negotiate with TikTok about security measures, there is growing bipartisan support for a ban.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley attempted to fast-track a bill to ban TikTok, but was blocked by Senator Rand Paul, who argued that banning the app would limit the free speech of Americans and would run afoul of legal rules. He also argued that American social media companies are collecting similar data to TikTok.

Hawley argued that TikTok poses a national security threat as it could be used by the Chinese Communist Party to gather information on Americans. However, Paul countered that banning TikTok could disenfranchise its 150 million users and lead to the loss of a generation of voters.

Despite Hawley’s efforts, there is still growing momentum in Congress to address the issue of TikTok. While some members have focused on data privacy legislation, others believe that a TikTok ban is necessary to protect national security. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has testified in front of Congress to combat calls for a ban, but concerns about the app’s data collection practices remain.

As the debate over TikTok continues, it remains to be seen what action Congress will ultimately take. With both Republicans and Democrats expressing concerns about the app, it is clear that this issue will continue to receive attention in the coming months.

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