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U.S. House votes to ban TikTok with support from Alabama members – Barry Moore lone vote against 

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

HR7521 passed by a vote of 352-65 with only one member of the Alabama congressional delegation voting against the measure.

Lawmakers who supported the legislation believe TikTok is a national security threat because the ownership is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Former President Donald Trump recently came out against a TikTok ban after expressing support for similar measures during his administration.

U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was the only member of the Alabama delegation that voted against the ban.

“We need to protect Americans’ data from bulk exports by foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but targeting and functionally banning a singular company is not the right way to do it,” Moore said. “This approach infringes on the free speech rights of 170 million Americans and negatively affects more than five million small businesses by going after TikTok instead of the problem at hand. Congress needs to protect the privacy of our young people and restrict data transfers, not companies.”

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said this bill is not about silencing speech, but protecting Americans from foreign adversaries.

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“Protecting Americans should be our government’s top priority, and this is exactly what we are doing with the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” Palmer said in a statement. “This bill is not about monitoring content being consumed, but about neutralizing a national security threat. To be clear, this legislation does not ban TikTok, it requires that TikTok be divested from ByteDance, its Chinese parent company.”

“Once ByteDance divests its ownership of TikTok, it can continue to operate in the U.S. as long as it is no longer beholden to the Chinese Communist Party and cannot be used to subvert or threaten America’s national security,” Palmer added.

U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) also thinks the app poses a threat to national security.

“The United States has a long history of preventing hostile foreign interest from investing in or setting a national narrative in our country,” Strong said in a statement. “In China, the app shows educational and patriotic videos that promote social cohesion, yet in the United States, it promotes content to polarize and divide our nation.

“We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party to set an anti-American narrative in the United States. Every American should be concerned about a foreign media company who pushed propaganda videos from Osama bin Laden to tens of millions of young Americans, or who promotes an anti-Israel message following the brutal terrorist attack on October 7th.”

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Strong argued that the Chinese government is using the app to promote “anti-American propaganda.”

“Our constitution prevents the federal government from having the power to censor speech or surveil American citizens,” he said. “This bill is not about censorship. It allows TikTok to continue its operations but says that it must do so under a different owner.

“The Chinese Communist Party uses TikTok to place left-wing, anti-American propaganda on the phones of hundreds of millions of Americans. Simply put, this is about national security and the safety of the American people.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) believes the app gives the CCP the opportunity to spy on Americans.

“We were all upset with the Chinese spy balloon that flew over our nation last year. As long as ByteDance owns it, TikTok is 170 million spy balloons right in our phones,” Aderholt said. “Americans should be free to use the apps they choose, but they should also be free from those apps spying on them on behalf of a foreign adversary.”

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) joined her colleagues on the other side of the aisle in Alabama by voting yes, saying that “this bill does NOT ban TikTok outright. All TikTok has to do to remain operational in the U.S. is divest from its Chinese-owned parent company.”

The bill now proceeds to the U.S. Senate, where it is not yet clear if Chuck Schumer will take it up for a vote.

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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