Biden says he’ll signal ‘TikTok ban’ invoice if Congress passes it

President Biden on Friday confirmed his help for a invoice advancing by way of Congress that might end in a nationwide ban on the social media app TikTok.

“In the event that they cross it, I’ll signal it,” he informed reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

Biden’s phrases could present a push for a invoice that has gathered momentum shortly in Congress however nonetheless faces hurdles to passage. On Thursday, a Home committee superior the invoice on a unanimous bipartisan vote, 50-0, after TikTok customers flooded congressional workplaces with calls protesting the measure.

The invoice is the newest risk to the app, which has been downloaded 170 million occasions in the US regardless of critics’ considerations about knowledge safety and its Chinese language connections. The invoice wouldn’t immediately ban TikTok however would pressure its Chinese language father or mother firm, ByteDance, to promote the app or face restrictions that might bar it from U.S. app shops.

Whereas the invoice might be on monitor for a ground vote within the Home, the place it has gained the help of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), the Senate has but to introduce companion laws. It might must cross each chambers earlier than reaching Biden’s desk. Earlier White Home statements have been extra tentative about help for the hassle.

However whereas Biden voiced help for the invoice, Donald Trump, his Republican rival who’d pushed for a TikTok ban whereas in workplace, mentioned Thursday night time that he not thinks it’s a good suggestion.

“When you do away with TikTok, Fb and Zuckerschmuck will double their enterprise,” he mentioned in a submit on his platform, Fact Social, referring to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He referred to as Fb “a real enemy of the folks” however didn’t clarify his reasoning.

Opponents of the invoice, together with civil liberties teams, have mentioned it will impinge on the liberty of expression of TikTok’s tens of millions of American customers and would violate the Structure. Final 12 months, a federal decide blocked Montana’s try and ban the app statewide, saying it was unconstitutional for a wide range of causes.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked an identical invoice final 12 months, citing its impression on free expression. “We must always watch out for those that use concern to coax Individuals to relinquish our liberties,” Paul mentioned on the time.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) mentioned Friday that he nonetheless harbors considerations about “the constitutionality of an method that names particular firms” however shall be “taking an in depth look” on the invoice.

“I’ve mentioned all alongside that I’m keen to work with anybody — Republican or Democrat — who takes this risk significantly,” Warner mentioned in a press release.

Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

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