Mon. May 20th, 2024

Congress sends Biden a bill that could ban TikTok — after the 2024 election

By 37ci3 Apr24,2024

WASHINGTON — Inside the sprawling $95 billion national security package headed to President Joe Biden’s desk is a provision that could ban TikTok, with one important catch: It won’t happen before the 2024 election.

This means that TikTok, which boasts 170 million American users, will remain active throughout the campaign, providing a platform for candidates to reach mostly young voters. An earlier version of the bill would have banned the popular video-sharing app before the election, but the latest changes mean Congress and Biden won’t face such an immediate backlash from voters.

New legislation TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company has given ByteDance nine months to sell it or face a nationwide ban in the US. The president can grant a one-time extension of 90 days, extending the sale by up to a year if he certifies there is a path to divestment and “substantial progress” toward implementation.

Even without an extension, the earliest date the ban could begin is January 2025. By extension, it will be April. The issue could be reached with TikTok threatening legal action closed in the courts for a longer period of time. This is a change from an earlier House-passed bill that included a six-month window before the November election that could lead to a TikTok ban.

A senior Republican aide said Democrats were responsible for the change. “Senate Democrats have been pretty consistent in wanting to extend that timeline,” the aide said.

The election was “definitely” something that was “comfortably resolved” by the new term, a Democratic source close to the matter said.

Other Democrats are persuading voters that ByteDance would sooner sell TikTok than risk a US ban. experts disagree.

“TikTok is not going away. There is no more capitalist institution than an organization controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. They’re going to sell it,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Armed Services Committee who is up for re-election this fall. “Young people will go to their TikTok tomorrow and still have it. And the day after that they will have it again. The day after that, they’ll still have it,” Kaine said, adding that the only difference would be America’s. “If you like it, you’re going to keep it.”

In approving the revised TikTok bill, Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said extending ByteDance’s divestiture period — what she called a “recommendation” — would “ensure that there is sufficient time for a new buyer to reach a deal.” done.”

Other lawmakers who helped negotiate the change, including D-Ill. Raja Krishnamoorthi agreed that the reason for pushing back the deadline was to increase the chances of a sale.

“It gives more time to get drunk,” said Krishnamoorthi, the top Democrat on the special committee investigating the CCP. “It made a lot of sense. So, as you say, we didn’t lose any votes from the change. In fact, we gained some votes – we went from 352 to 360 in the House of Representatives.

Trump, testing his own ban, tells ‘young people’ to blame Biden

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tried to use the ban politically.

“Let everyone know, especially young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok,” Trump he said on social media. “He’s the one pushing to shut it down… Young people and many others should remember this when they vote on November 5th, ELECTION DAY!”

It’s a flip-flop for the former president who signed it executive order In August 2020, TikTok will be banned for 45 days if not sold. His statement cited a “threat” from China with its ability to compel the app to grant access to Americans’ data under Chinese law and its potential to manipulate the algorithm to advance Chinese propaganda — the same reasons Congress and Biden support the ban.

But the executive order was blocked in court and the implementation continued.

“I have every hope that TikTok will be alive and well no matter who is president,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Donald Trump is clearly trying to make this an election issue, but given that he’s in favor of a ban, I think his warning is more hollow than polite.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said views on TikTok and social media “will not compete with choice, democracy and immigration” in the 2024 election.

But Murphy said the political implications cut both ways.

“I am part of a group of frustrated parents who feel they are losing control of their children’s lives. There’s definitely another group of kids who are worried that they’re going to lose access to social media the way they have it now,” Murphy said. “But these are two very different voting groups, and if you ignore the dangers of social media, maybe you’re picking up some young voters but losing some parents. So it’s one of those things where you have to look at the whole picture.”

Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., who voted against the TikTok ban over the weekend, told NBC News that there is a need to address national security and data concerns about the platform, but added that TikTok will be banned. disastrous for creators, organizers and activists.

“I think it’s a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, where there are people, communities that can organize, that can meet, that can find a place for their businesses to grow,” he said on TikTok. .”

“The battle lines are not really clear”

A Republican working on Senate races said getting tough on TikTok would be an easier message to drive home on the campaign trail before Trump himself opposes the ban.

“It used to be simpler,” the person said, about how they could message Democrats who use TikTok to campaign — despite Biden’s intent to sign the ban. includes his campaign. “But now Trump is on the other side. It makes things a little darker. The battle lines are not really clear.”

Still, the Republican believes the impending ban could have a big impact on the campaign trail for Democrats who use TikTok, saying candidates are only using it as a tool to reach voters.

“They think it’s an important tool in their toolbox,” the person said.

In battleground Senate states, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are active on the platform. Similarly, Democratic Representatives Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Colin Allred of Texas are also vying for Senate seats in competitive races this fall. Gallego and Allred voted to ban TikTok in the House.

Brown’s campaign declined to comment. Casey’s campaign said it could not comment ahead of the Senate vote. The campaigns for Gallego and Allred did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden’s campaign said only that the campaign was on TikTok, but that the president did not have an official account on the platform.

Some of Biden’s allies disagree with him on the TikTok ban.

Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a Biden campaign surrogate, said he opposes the TikTok ban, citing free speech rights.

“Longer time does little to push the ban past the election, and the bill will likely be struck down by the courts anyway,” he said. “But the rush to pass it shows a complete disconnect between the Beltway establishment and many Americans.”

Khanna’s advice for election candidates dealing with voter backlash against the TikTok ban?

“I would tell them to follow their hearts, but take their brains with them,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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