Dems Attempt to Slow Down TikTok Ban Bill Despite China Fears

Some powerful Democratic lawmakers are having some of their former staff members lobby on behalf of the social media app TikTok.

Several liberal lawmakers have said they don’t want to proceed too quickly with advancing a new bill, called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. That bill would force TikTok, the popular video-sharing social media platform, to either divest from its parent company — which is linked to the Chinese Communist Party — or face a full ban in the U.S.

Some of these Democratic lawmakers include Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell from Washington as well as Ron Wyden from Oregon.

At the same time, some former staffers who were high in the ranks of these senators’ offices have lobbied on behalf of TikTok. These senators have also received contributions to their campaigns from lobbyists who work for TikTok, according to a new report in the Daily Caller.

The new bill finally came to fruition after much concern about ByteDance, the parent company of Tiktok that is based in China. Many politicians throughout the country — and from both sides of the political aisle — are worried that the company could give access to the CCP and end up spying on Americans, which would obviously be a major threat to national security.

There have been reports that ByteDance has used TikTok to monitor journalists from Americans as well as to track different communications that talked about COVID-19 origins.

The bill passed through the House in March with support from members on both sides of the aisle. However, Murray has expressed much skepticism. She told The Seattle Times recently:

“I want to be certain we are weighing the merits of alternative proposals that would deal with the larger issues at hand in a systematic way, while protecting civil liberties, rather than singling out one company.”

In a statement that Murray gave to a local news station in Washington, she said:

“I’d like to hear from more experts and discuss some different proposals further.”

The other senator from Washington, Cantwell, also is skeptical of the bill. She has said that she isn’t in support of it as it’s currently structured.

Politico reported that Cantwell said:

“We were trying something a little more robust and long term, but we’ll consider this and hopefully we’ll figure out how to get the American people something that minimizes data collection and protects them.”

Cantwell is the chair of the Commerce Committee in the Senate, which is responsible for reviewing the proposed TikTok bill before it can receive a full vote on the Senate floor.

Reuters has reported that, at this point, Cantwell hasn’t provided a definitive timeline for the proposal. She’s also said that she is considering whether a public hearing should be held regarding the legislation.

Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told Fox Business that this was just “a delay tactic” that Cantwell is initiating.