(RoyalPatriot.com )- In what seems to be a relatively unprecedented move, a bipartisan group of senators have aligned themselves with the White House to push a bill that could lead to the popular social media app TikTok being banned.
The bill, introduced on Tuesday, is called the RESTRICT Act. It’s now just aimed at TikTok, the video sharing app that’s owned by a Chinese company, but it certainly would have a profound effect on it first and foremost.
The app has been under a lot of scrutiny recently, with many federal legislators calling for it to be banned completely in the country. Some states have already banned it on devices owned by government officials.
The bill is being sponsored by Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota and Democratic Senator Mark Warner from Virginia. It would provide the federal government with the ability to restrict and eventually ban any technology that came from China as well as five other countries that are categorized as adversaries to the U.S.
At a press conference on Tuesday attended by eight of the senators who are part of the bipartisan group, Thune said:
“It’s safe to assume that if the [Chinese Communist Party] is willing to lie about its spy balloon and cover up the origins of the worst pandemic in 100 years, they’ll lie about using TikTok to spy on American citizens.”
This bill isn’t the first one that’s targeting the app that’s owned by ByteDance, a company based in China. There have been many national security concerns surrounding the app that have been raised by many in the intelligence industry, including FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The RESTRICT Act, though, is showing to be the one bill that has the most momentum compared to other similar bills. It’s the first bipartisan bill from the Senate regarding TikTok during this cycle, and it’s being led by two very powerful Capitol Hill lawmakers.
Thune serves as the minority whip in the Senate, while Warner chairs its Intelligence Committee.
The White House released a statement of its own on Tuesday, showing that the Biden administration is fully on board with the proposal. In that statement, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said:
“This bill presents a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Ameircans.”
He added that the bill would strengthen the federal government’s ability to address both “discrete risks posed by individual transactions” and “systemic risks” from multiple transactions “involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors.”
Sullivan further urged all lawmakers in Washington “to act quickly to send it to the president’s desk.”
A similar bill advanced from the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, though it didn’t have any Democratic support.
The RESTRICT Act would alter a section of the Berman amendments, a section of U.S. law that allows for free flow of “informational material” from all hostile countries. It’s what TikTok invoked during 2020 when the Trump administration attempted to ban the app from America.