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These 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans voted against a bill that could lead to a TikTok ban

Rep. Robert Garcia, along with fellow Democratic Reps. Maxwell Frost and Delia Ramirez, spoke out against the TikTok bill at a Tuesday press conference.
Rep. Robert Garcia, along with fellow Democratic Reps. Maxwell Frost and Delia Ramirez, spoke out against the TikTok bill at a Tuesday press conference.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • The House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday that could lead to TikTok being banned.

  • 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans voted against it. Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett voted "present."

  • They cited a variety of factors, including the rushed nature of the bill and free speech concerns.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday that could lead to TikTok being banned in the United States.

The "Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act" easily cleared the chamber by a lopsided 352-65 vote, with 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans voting against the bill.

Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas voted "present."

The legislation would require ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell off the app within 180 days — or 6 months — or face a ban. It would also apply to any other company that could be subject to the influence of a US foreign adversary.

Lawmakers have long raised alarms about TikTok, pointing to the fact that under Chinese law, ByteDance is required to share data with the Chinese government. Some have argued that the popular social media platform could even be a vector for foreign influence campaigns, while others are concerned about the potentially addictive nature of the platform.

The bill cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a unanimous 50-0 vote last week, and the fact that the bill is not an outright ban — but rather forces the sale of TikTok — was enough to convince dozens of Democrats who otherwise may have taken a more skeptical approach.

"It isn't a ban," said Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, adding that the forced divestiture is "not without precedent."

Several lawmakers pointed to the past example of Grindr, a gay dating app that used to be owned by the Chinese company Beijing Kunlun until the US government forced its sale in 2019.

"[Grindr] sold quickly and there was no disruption to users in the platform," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the lead Democratic sponsor of the bill. "I suspect that's the same thing that's going to happen with regard to ByteDance."

But some lawmakers weren't convinced by those arguments, including several progressive Democrats who argued that the bill was rushed and ill-considered.

Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, a leading progressive, told Business Insider that he became more firmly against a ban after lawmakers received an intelligence briefing on the matter on Tuesday afternoon.

"I was swayed to vote no," said Pocan. "It showed me that there isn't a lot there."

Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida, the sole Gen Z member of Congress, said he considered the bill to be essentially a ban, arguing that the legislation doesn't give ByteDance enough time to be sold.

"I think we're setting them up to be banned in the United States," said Frost, arguing that there are "not a lot of players who have enough capital to buy something as big and valuable as TikTok" — and that those who can are likely to be other large social media companies, raising antitrust concerns.

But Krishnamoorthi was dismissive of that idea, citing reports that there have "already been a number of bidders who've come forward who are interested in acquiring perhaps the world's most valuable social media company."

On the right, concerns about the bill stemmed from both free speech issues and perhaps the influence of former President Donald Trump, who backhandedly came out against banning TikTok, citing the potential benefits a ban would have for Facebook.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia went on a lengthy diatribe against Facebook and Twitter in a floor speech outlining her opposition to the TikTok bill, arguing that it could lead to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg buying TikTok.

Despite the bill's easy path through the House — and President Joe Biden's pledge to sign the legislation — it remains unclear whether the bill will become law.

It still has to pass the Senate, where the chamber's already glacial pace is compounded by disagreements among senators about how to address TikTok.

Here are the 15 Republicans who voted against the bill:

  • Andy Biggs of Arizona

  • Dan Bishop of North Carolina

  • Warren Davidson of Ohio

  • John Duarte of California

  • Matt Gaetz of Florida

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia

  • Clay Higgins of Louisiana

  • Nancy Mace of South Carolina

  • Thomas Massie of Kentucky

  • Tom McClintock of California

  • Alex Mooney of West Virginia

  • Barry Moore of Alabama

  • Scott Perry of Pennsylvania

  • David Schweikert of Arizona

  • Greg Steube of Florida

Here are the 50 Democrats who voted against the bill:

The 50 Democrats who voted against the TikTok bill.
Office of the House Clerk

Read the original article on Business Insider