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

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

That means TikTok, which has 170 million U.S. users, will remain a force throughout the campaign, providing a platform for candidates to reach predominantly younger voters. An earlier version of the bill could have banned the popular video-sharing app before the election, but recent changes mean Congress and Biden may not face such an immediate backlash from voters.

The new legislation gives TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance nine months to sell it or face a nationwide ban in the United States. The president can grant a one-time 90-day extension, bringing the sale deadline to one year, if he certifies that there is a path to divestiture and “significant progress” toward its implementation.

Even without the extension, the earliest the ban could begin is January 2025. With the extension, it would be April. And with TikTok threatening legal action, the case could remain stuck in court even longer. This is a change from a previous bill passed by the House that provided a six-month window that could have triggered a ban on TikTok before the November election.

A senior Republican aide said Democrats were responsible for the change. “Senate Democrats have been pretty consistent about wanting to extend this deadline,” the aide said.

The election was “definitely” something that would be “properly addressed” in the new deadline, a Democratic source familiar with the matter said.

Other Democrats are assuring voters that ByteDance would rather sell TikTok than risk a U.S. ban, a view some experts disagree with.

“TikTok is not going away. There is no more capitalist entity 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 faces re-election this fall. “Young people will go on their TikTok tomorrow and they will still have it. And then the next day, they’ll still have it. And the next day they will still have it,” Kaine said, adding that the only difference is that it will belong to the Americans. “If you like it, you’ll keep it.”

In endorsing the revised TikTok bill, Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said extending ByteDance’s divestment period — what she called her “recommendation” — would help ensuring there is “sufficient time for a new buyer to reach an agreement”. do.”

Other lawmakers who helped negotiate the change, including Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democrat of Illinois, agreed that the reason they pushed back the deadline was to improve the chances of a sale.

“This gives more time to make divestment feasible,” said Krishnamoorthi, the top Democrat on the special committee investigating the CCP. “It made a lot of sense. That’s why, as you can see, we didn’t lose any votes because of this change. We actually gained a few votes – we went from 352 to 360 votes in the House.

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

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has sought to politically exploit the ban.

“Just so everyone knows, especially young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok,” Trump said on social media. “It is he who is pushing for closure… Young people, and many others, must remember this on November 5, ELECTION DAY, when they vote!

It’s an about-face for the former president, who signed an executive order in August 2020 banning TikTok in 45 days if it wasn’t sold. His statement cited “the threat posed” by China with its ability, under Chinese law, to force the app to grant access to Americans’ data and its ability to manipulate the algorithm to advance Chinese propaganda — the same reasons Congress and Biden favor a ban.

But the decree was blocked in court and enforcement persisted.

“I expect TikTok to be alive and well, regardless of who is president,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Donald Trump is obviously trying to make this an election issue, but given that he was in favor of banning it, I think his warning is more ridiculous to use a polite word.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, said opinions on TikTok and social media won’t “compete with choice, democracy and immigration as a voting issue” in the 2024 election.

But Murphy said the political implications cut both ways.

“I am part of a group of angry parents who feel like they have lost control of their children’s lives. There is definitely another group of kids who are worried about losing access to social media like they have now,” Murphy said. “But these are two very distinct voting groups and if you ignore the dangers of social media, you may attract younger voters, but you will lose parents. So this is one of those issues where you have to look at the big picture.

Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., who voted against banning TikTok over the weekend, told NBC News in an interview that it’s necessary to address national security and data concerns associated with the platform, but added that banning TikTok would be disastrous for creators, organizers and activists.

“I think it’s about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, where we have people, communities able to organize, able to meet, able to find space for their businesses to grow ” she said on TikTok. “We really need to think about the consequences of this, not just the political consequences, but the consequences globally.”

“The battle lines are not really clear”

A Republican working on Senate races said being tough on TikTok would have been an easier message to send during the campaign before Trump himself came out against the ban.

“It used to be a lot simpler,” this person said of how they could send messages against Democrats who use TikTok to campaign — which, despite Biden’s intention to sign the law. ban, includes his campaign. “But Trump is now on the other side. This makes everything a little murkier. The battle lines aren’t really clear.

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

“It’s very clear that they think this is an important tool in their toolbox,” this person said.

In front-line senatorial states, Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are active on the platform. So are Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Colin Allred of Texas, both running 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 until after 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.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked Tuesday night about a possible backlash to the TikTok crackdown, said, “President Johnson put it in the bill — the big one additional bill. We had to have the complementary bill adopted as quickly as possible.”

Some Biden allies disagree with him on banning TikTok.

Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, a Biden campaign surrogate, said he opposed banning TikTok, citing the right to free speech.

“The longer delay contributes slightly to pushing the ban until after the election and the bill, in any case, will likely be struck down by the courts,” he said. “But rushing to pass it shows the complete disconnect between the Beltway establishment and many Americans.”

Khanna’s advice to election candidates facing voter backlash over the TikTok ban?

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

News Source :
Gn world

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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