House Passes Biden-Supported Bill That Could Ban TikTok

Critics argue the legislation, which passed the lower chamber overwhelmingly, would give the President unprecedented power to censor online speech

The House passed a bill that will allow the President to ban TikTok without an ownership change. Opponents of the legislation warned that it will give the executive a massive amount of power to control online discourse. The bill now heads to the Senate. President Joe Biden says he will sign the deal if it reaches his desk.

The “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” introduced by GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher and Democratic Rep.Raja Krishnamoorthi, would order TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to divest its shares from the company within six months or face an effective ban in the US.

The bill passed the House 352 – 65 opposed. The bill had bipartisan support, with 197 Republicans and 155 Democrats voting for it. Proponents of the bill, such as Rep. Elise Stefanik, argue Beijing uses TikTok to influence young Americans. The New York Congresswoman said she co-sponsored the act because of “TikTok’s attempt to mobilize young Americans on behalf of the [Chinese Communist Party].”

Critics of the bill argue that it was rushed and will grant the President too much power. The bill was reportedly drafted with “technical support” from administration staffers and passed through the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously last Thursday with bipartisan backing.

Florida Republican Matt Gaetz posted on X, “Banning TikTok is the right idea. But this legislation was overly broad, rushed and unavailable for amendment or revision. This is no way to run a railroad (or the internet).”

Congresswoman Ilhan Oman (D-MN) explained there were constitutional concerns. “Not only are there 1st amendment concerns, this is bad policy,” she said to explain her vote against the bill.

Thomas Massie (R-KY) slammed the bill as a “trojan horse” for censorship. He points to sections of the legislation that allow the President to ban websites. “The President will be given the power to ban WEB SITES, not just Apps,” the Congressman posted on X. “The person breaking the new law is deemed to be the U.S. (or offshore) INTERNET HOSTING SERVICE or App Store, not the “foreign adversary.”

According to a press release put out by Rep. Gallagher’s House subcommittee on China, The law “establishes a process for the President to designate other foreign adversary controlled social media applications – as defined by statute – that shall face a prohibition on app store availability and access to web hosting services in the United States unless they sever ties to the foreign adversary-controlled company.”

“The President may exercise this authority if an application presents a national security threat, has over one million annual active users, and is under the control of a foreign adversary entity, as defined by statute,” it added.

The bill now heads to the Senate. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not commit to bringing the legislation to a floor vote. If it does pass the Senate, Biden pledged to sign the bill into law.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.