Mitch McConnell Supports Legislation Against TikTok

( – From the Senate floor on April 8, Senate Republican Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell implored the Senate to take up legislation requiring the Chinese-owned company ByteDance to sell the app TikTok. He argued the proposed legislation requires “Congress’ urgent attention.”

McConnell said the Chinese ownership of the app, with 170 million active American users, threatens “our security right here on U.S. soil.” He said that despite claims by TikTok officials that users’ sensitive personal information is protected, China’s communist government has access to American users’ data.

He noted alarming trends featured on TikTok, including one where users “discovered the wisdom of Osama bin Laden.”

McConnell added that requiring ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a ban on the app is not a violation of the First Amendment and does not restrict political speech.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who has previously introduced legislation to ban TikTok, welcomed McConnell’s support for a ban of TikTok. However, he said he thinks the chances the bill gets a vote in the Senate is “less than 50-50.”

On March 13, the proposed legislation that would ban TikTok if ByteDance does not sell the app within six months passed by a 352-65 vote in the House. However, the bill remains stalled in the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer is not saying whether the Senate will hold a vote on the TikTok bill.

The proposed legislation would also allow apps linked to Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran to be restricted if government agencies find there is a security threat and the agencies share that evidence with Congress.

Though the proposal received bipartisan support in the House, some lawmakers, such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul say that the bill would not help in “securing our nation but instead would threaten “the very core of American digital innovation and free expression.

If the bill arrives on President Joe Biden’s desk, he stated he would sign it.

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