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Aderholt on TikTok bill: ‘This is about the Chinese Communist government’

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) is defending his support for legislation that bans the TikTok social media app in the U.S. if it’s not sold from its current ownership.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would ban the app nationwide if the Chinese technology firm ByteDance Ltd. refuses to divest its stake in the company.

The measure got bipartisan support and passed by a vote of 352-65.

Aderholt explained why he voted for the bill during a recent appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal.”

“I mean, if you had thousands of spy balloons all over the United States, we would be very upset about what would be taking place and that’s the concern with TikTok,” Aderholt said. “I don’t think any of us have a problem with TikTok per se. I know that it’s very popular and while I don’t particularly. I’m not on TikTok, I know that a lot of people are and I think that we need to some way preserve it, but for this company to be tied in with the Chinese Communist government, and them having access to everybody’s information.”

The congressman emphasized he doesn’t want the social media app to be banned and hopes it can be sold to a company in the U.S.

“And so I think that’s why we need to say, ‘TikTok if you’re going to continue as you’re doing now, then you need to make sure that you will divest from this from the Chinese Communist government and be totally owned here by a US company.’ And if they are not willing to do that, then I think that something sends a real message that there’s more to it than what meets the eye,” Aderholt said. “So again, not banning Tiktok; but just saying the communist government can’t have access to all the information that is received when you agree to participate in TikTok.”

Aderholt also made clear this isn’t about infringing on the First Amendment.

“TikTok wants to say that they’re trying to we’re trying to outlaw or trying to do away with TikTOk and again, TikTok’s not the problem,” he said. “The problem is the Chinese Communist government and their access to all terabytes of information and spying on us citizens. And I think that’s something that should alarm every American. And again, I know a lot of people like TikTok. I don’t use it particularly but I know a lot of people who do and I want them to be able to continue to use it. I just don’t want the Chinese government communist government to be the ones that’s getting all this information.”

Aderholt also believes it has a decent change of passing in the Senate because it got real bipartisan support in the House.

“Thankfully, we’ve got an issue that’s bipartisan, that Democrats and Republicans are rallying behind,” he said. “So I’m hopeful that the Senate will take it up. I think the President will sign it because this is deals with national security.”

It is not clear as of yet if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will bring it up for a vote in the upper chamber.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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