Valley lawmakers split on TikTok bill as it passes in the House

Rep. Tom McClintock spoke on the House floor Wednesday, urging his colleagues to oppose the bill.

Central Valley lawmakers are split on a bill to force TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. to divest from the company. 

The House of Representatives passed HR 7521 on Wednesday with bipartisan support. 


The big picture: With lawmakers fearing that TikTok is a national security threat given ByteDance’s associations with the Chinese government, the House voted 352-65 to pass the bill. 

  • If ByteDance does not divest from TikTok, the U.S. government would ban the social media app. 
  • President Joe Biden supports the bill and has said that he will sign it, while former President Trump opposes the potential ban. 
  • Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) and Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) supported the bill, while Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove) and Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) opposed it on Wednesday. Rep. Josh Harder (D–Tracy) did not vote. 

What we’re watching: The bill now heads to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not committed yet to either side. 

What they’re saying: McClintock argued against the bill on the House floor before the vote, saying the bill would give the president the power to declare “foreign adversaries” and then require a communications platform to be banned or sold to a government approved owner. 

  • “If there are data privacy concerns, we should warn consumers and trust them to make their own decisions,” McClintock said. “If there are propaganda concerns, we should defend the free and open debate that our First Amendment protects, confident that the best way to judge truth from lies is to put the two side by side and trust the people to know the difference.” 
  • McClintock added that the last thing Congress should do is to take away power from the people and give it to the government. 
  • “The answer to authoritarianism is not more authoritarianism,” McClintock said. “The answer to CCP-style propaganda is not CCP-style oppression. Let us slow down before we blunder down this very steep and slippery slope.” 
  • Duarte’s office did not return a request to comment. 
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