House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports the inclusion of language banning TikTok on government devices in the omnibus spending bill she hopes to pass by the end of next week.
Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill that she would support adding the ban to a $1.7 trillion spending bill that funds the government until the end of Sept. 30, 2023.
Earlier this week, legislation banning the video-sharing app on government devices passed the Senate unanimously. The ban is sponsored by Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida, as well as Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
The issue is moving in Congress after major security concerns were raised by both Democrat and Republican lawmakers and Biden administration officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned this month that Chinese officials have broad access to TikTok, which allows them “to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.”
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“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States,” said Wray. “That should concern us.”
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TikTok’s chief operating officer told Senate lawmakers in September that the social media giant does not share user data with its parent company, the Beijing-based ByteDance.
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TikTok and ByteDance are currently under investigation by the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which evaluates national security risks associated with foreign-owned companies operating in the U.S. or foreign investments in American companies.