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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor today:
Cutting the CCP Out of TikTok and Protecting American Data TikTok, which is controlled by ByteDance and tied to the Chinese Communist Party, poses a significant national security threat to the United States. ByteDance, a Chinese company with an internal Chinese Communist Party committee, must comply with China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law requiring Chinese companies to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work.” This means they must provide any information requested to the Chinese government – including highly sensitive data collected on American users.   ByteDance has demonstrated their willingness to use TikTok to spy on Americans, and allegedly provided its internal CCP committee members with a “god credential” to view all data collected on TikTok users, including Americans. In 2022, leaked audio from internal TikTok meetings exposed that “[e]verything is seen in China” and ByteDance has confirmed using TikTok to monitor American journalists’ physical location. Just last week, TikTok demonstrated its ability to weaponize its roughly 150 million American users against U.S. national security interests.   On March 7, TikTok launched a propaganda campaign in an attempt to disrupt an Energy and Commerce Committee markup of legislation that would force them to sever ties with the Chinese Communist Party. In order to access the platform, TikTok forced some users to enter their ZIP code into the app and call their Member of Congress to oppose this critical legislation. This led to a flood of calls pushing TikTok’s propaganda and, ultimately, forcing offices to shut down their phones, preventing them from assisting constituents in need. This propaganda effort further underscored national security concerns related to TikTok and its ties to the CCP.
House Republicans are bringing forward bipartisan legislation that places the choice in TikTok’s hands: Either they can sever their ties with the CCP or no longer be available in the United States. Refusing to divest would suggest China’s real purpose behind TikTok in America is to spy on Americans and use the platform for China’s own interest. We must ensure the Chinese government cannot weaponize TikTok against American users and our government through data collection and propaganda.  H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher, protects our national security from the threat posed by foreign adversary owned applications like TikTok by requiring such applications to cut ties with the foreign adversary or no longer be available on U.S. This legislation was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously by a 50-0 vote and is on strong legal footing. President Biden has stated he will sign the legislation if Congress sends it to his desk. House Republicans will continue working to remove the Chinese Communist Party and their propaganda from American social media apps and protect American user data and privacy from foreign adversaries.