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Biden says he’ll sign bill that could ban TikTok if Congress passes it

President Biden said Friday he would support a quickly moving bipartisan bill that could ban TikTok if Congress passes the legislation.

“If they pass it, I’ll sign it,” Biden told reporters Friday, referring to the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.

The bill from Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous support on Thursday, just two days after it was introduced. Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the a special House committee focused on China.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Thursday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, he will be bring the bill to a House floor vote next week.

Although House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) raised concerns about Republicans using a “rushed process” on the bill, he and other Democrats supported it over national security concerns they said are raised by TikTok based on its Chinese-based parent company ByteDance.

TikTok has pushed back on those allegations.

The bill would require ByteDance to divest TikTok or face a ban on U.S. app stores and web hosting services, banning users from accessing the platform.  It gives ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok once passed.

TikTok has pushed back strongly on the bill.

A TikTok spokesperson said the legislation has a “predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States.”

The company launched a campaign to try and block the bill from advancing on Thursday ahead of the vote by sending notifications to users urging them to call Congress to “stop a TikTok shutdown.”

In addition to specifically naming ByteDance and TikTok in the legislation, the bill also lays out a process for the president to name other apps that pose national security risks due to ties from foreign adversaries including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Outside groups, including the ACLU and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, have criticized the bill as posing risks to limiting free speech.

Former President Trump, who is running for another term, signaled opposition to the bill. Trump sought to ban TikTok while in office, but said in a post on Truth Social Thursday that doing so could benefit Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which booted him from the platform in 2021 before reinstating him last year.

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