Congress Suddenly Fast-Tracks Modified TikTok Ban Bill — House Vote Scheduled for Saturday

tiktok ban bill
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tiktok ban bill
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The Capitol Building.

Following weeks of uncertainty as to its legislative path, the TikTok ban bill is being fast-tracked in the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act – with a House vote set for this weekend.

Multiple outlets have reported on the modified legislation’s inclusion in a broader spending package, after the House first passed the forced-sale measure in a bipartisan vote last month. Per the appropriate text, the retooled version of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act simply features a larger post-passage window (roughly nine months and a possible three-month extension instead of six months flat) for ByteDance to divest from or shut down TikTok in the U.S.

Now tied to multibillion-dollar bills earmarking aid for Israel, Ukraine, and more, the TikTok ban measure, owing in part to its current legislative grouping, could well be destined for congressional approval. Last month, the White House indicated that the president would sign the legislation into law if it reached his desk.

Consequently, the bill’s near-term journey is decidedly important. Running with the timetable identified by the Wall Street Journal and the official congressional schedule, the House vote is poised to take place tomorrow, April 20th, as mentioned, with a Senate vote expected “as soon as next week.”

And in summary, lawmaker comments published by the Journal as well as Axios indicate that certain politicians on both sides of the aisle intend to approve the package despite possible reservations about the TikTok ban bill. On the reservations front, it is, of course, an election year, and TikTok has launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in battleground states.

Building on that point, the controversial platform has rather directly rallied its generally young userbase to oppose the legislation, and TikTok-partnered businesses are presumably less than thrilled with the situation. Some senators have voiced free-speech concerns about the TikTok ban bill, which will be considered in a single vote in the chamber as part of the gargantuan aid package.

In the House, however, representatives will seemingly vote on each component (four bills in total) of the legislative proposal individually. Interestingly, Politico has reported that Democratic leadership is urging a yes vote on the components that would send sizable sums to the aforementioned nations – while not making a recommendation either way on the TikTok ban bill itself.

Provided the above-highlighted schedule proves accurate, the coming week should eliminate all doubt as to the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act’s fate.

Bigger picture, TikTok, having pushed back aggressively against a ban in Montana, is all but certain to challenge the federal law (assuming passage) in court. That raises additional questions yet about how the unprecedented episode, complete with massive implications for the music industry, will unfold.