Hawley Request to Unanimously Pass Bill to Ban TikTok Blocked on Senate Floor

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) delivered remarks on the Senate floor and called for unanimous consent on his legislation to ban TikTok in the United States, due to its serious threat to national security, rampant data collection on American users, and the application’s close connection to the Chinese Communist Party. 

“We should act decisively to ban TikTok directly. We shouldn’t give new open-ended authority to federal bureaucrats, we should target this threat specifically. That’s what this bill does that we have before us today and it goes right at the problem. It bans TikTok in this country, it protects the American people, and it sends the message to Communist China that you cannot buy us,” said Senator Hawley.

Senator Hawley’s call to unanimously pass the bill, and his call to schedule a vote on the bill, were both objected to by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

In January, Senator Hawley introduced the No TikTok on United States Devices Act to prohibit TikTok from operating in the United States and ban commercial activity with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

The No TikTok on United States Devices Act would:

  • Direct the President to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) within 30 days to block and prohibit transactions with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, with stiff penalties for entities that attempt to evade these sanctions.
  • Within 120 days of enactment, require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report and brief Congress on the threats to national security posed by TikTok, including:

    • The ability of Chinese government to access U.S. user data.
    • The ability of the Chinese government to use U.S. user data for intelligence or military purposes, including surveillance, microtargeting, deepfakes, or blackmail.
    • Ongoing efforts by the Chinese government to monitor or manipulate Americans using data accessed via TikTok.

Last year, Senator Hawley’s No TikTok on Government Devices Act prohibiting TikTok on federal government devices was signed into law. It went into effect at the beginning of March.