House Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok, 352 to 65

It’s unclear what will happen to the legislation in the Senate

tiktok logo

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that could lead to TikTok being banned in the United States. The bill was passed Wednesday 352 to 65, with 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats voting in opposition.

It is currently unclear what will happen to the bill once it moves to the Senate.

The passage of the bill through the House is politically notable in its own right. Though the House is currently controlled by the GOP and 197 Republicans voted to pass the bill as opposed to 155 Democrats, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has spoken in opposition of the potential ban.

The bill is more complicated that an outright ban. The legislation, if passed, would prohibit TikTok from being offered in U.S. app stores as long as the platform is still owned by its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. If the social media app is removed from its current Chinese owners or purchased by another company, it could theoretically remain. Currently, around 170 million Americans use the app.

“What we’re after is, it’s not a ban, it’s a forced separation,” Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) told NPR. “The TikTok user experience can continue and improve so long as ByteDance doesn’t own the company.”

“The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country,” TikTok said in a statement.

Now that the bill has been passed by the House, its future becomes a bit thornier as there is no companion bill in the Senate. Before a bill can be signed into law by the President, there needs to be both a bill in the House and the Senate. Neither  Senate Commerce Committee Sen. Maria Cantwell nor Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have given firm commitments about holding up this proposal or holding up the House vote.

There have been efforts to ban TikTok in America dating back to the Trump administration. In 2023, Senate lawmakers proposed legislation concerning the app that was shot down for fears of possibly giving the executive branch too much power. TikTok is currently in the midst of negotiations with the U.S. government concerning American’s personal data.

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