On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) got here out in opposition to a bipartisan effort to ban TikTok, condemning Republicans and Democrats for a transfer he stated may chill First Modification-protected speech.
“I hope saner minds will mirror on which is extra harmful: movies of youngsters dancing, or the precedent of the US authorities banning speech,” Paul stated on the Senate flooring Wednesday.
Paul’s remarks adopted an try by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to ban TikTok nationwide on the Senate flooring Wednesday. Earlier this yr, Hawley, a long-time China hawk, launched the No TikTok on United States Units Act, a invoice that might direct the president to ban use of the app on US units, together with these belonging to shoppers.
“I hope saner minds will mirror on which is extra harmful: movies of youngsters dancing, or the precedent of the US authorities banning speech”
Hawley tried to cross it by way of unanimous request Wednesday. Paul objected and the movement failed. However Hawley’s invoice is simply one of many measures Congress has already launched to ban TikTok. In March, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced his RESTRICT Act, a invoice that would supply the Secretary of Commerce with the power to ban international apps and applied sciences that threaten US nationwide safety.
“I will be darn certain that there isn’t a particular First Modification carve-out for communists,” Hawley stated, responding to Paul’s objections Wednesday. “Now the First Modification could defend dance movies. Certain, add these all you need. However the First Modification doesn’t defend the best to spy on Americans.”
Paul authored an op-ed for USA Today on Wednesday additional explaining his place on TikTok. Alongside his First Modification issues, Paul argued that banning the app threatened the way forward for the Republican celebration.
“Congressional Republicans have give you a nationwide technique to completely lose elections for a era: Ban a social media app referred to as TikTok that 94 million, primarily younger Individuals, use,” Paul wrote. “Now admittedly, many Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for this ban however like most such points, the blame will keep on with Republicans extra.”
Paul is the newest lawmaker popping out in assist of TikTok. Final week, a small group of Home Democrats, led by Rep.Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) held a press convention with round 30 TikTok creators opposing the looming ban.
“You possibly can ban TikTok, however there are nonetheless knowledge brokers who promote our knowledge to different nations and companies in different nations. They promote to the best bidder,” Bowman stated final week.
Bowman’s press convention was held a day earlier than TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee. All through the listening to, lawmakers on each side of the aisle voiced deep concerns over the app and its potential to hurt nationwide safety.