Senate Democrats Are Ready To Take Action Against TikTok

Republican and Democrat senators warned about the dangers social media platform TikTok posed to the American people following a classified briefing in the Capitol last Wednesday, ABC News reported.

The US Senate is considering taking up a House bill that would require the Chinese-based ByteDance to sell TikTok if the social media platform is to remain available in the United States.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the House on March 13 in a 352-65 vote.

Officials from the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last Wednesday briefed senators from the Senate Commerce and Intelligence Committees in a closed-door meeting on the national security threat posed by the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform.

Connecticut Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters after the briefing that Beijing has weaponized information and was “surreptitiously collecting” data from the 170 million Americans that use the social media platform. Describing TikTok as “a gun aimed at Americans’ heads,” Blumenthal said the CCP was “aiming that information” at “the core of American democracy.”

Senator Blumenthal also called for the intelligence to be declassified, arguing that the American people “deserve to hear what we’ve just been told.” Blumenthal said if the public knew the truth about how the Chinese use TikTok, “they would be deeply frightened.”

Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) refused to say when her committee would begin work on the House bill, only telling reporters that it was an issue that needed to be resolved “one way or the other.”

Republican Senator Tom Cotton described TikTok as “a grave national security threat” and said TikTok, along with ByteDance and the Chinese government have gone to “great lengths” to conceal how they use the platform to “influence American politics” and threaten the privacy and security of American users.

Colorado Democrat Senator John Hickenlooper said the House legislation was “something we should move faster on, not slower,” according to Axios.

However, Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) told reporters last Thursday that given how the Senate worked, it would take more than eight days to bring the House bill to a vote.