US congress will not address legislation on TikTok and national security concerns this year

Efforts to ban TikTok have stalled in Congress, and an election year in 2024 may make a ban unlikely due to its popularity with young voters.

TikTok mobile phone

The US Congress will not address legislation this year aimed at addressing the national security concerns raised by apps such as TikTok, according to Senator Maria Cantwell of the Senate Commerce Committee. Efforts to address these concerns have stalled in Congress, but Cantwell is still working on legislation and engaging with federal agencies to find a solution. Although concerns exist about TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese company, the app denies any improper use of US data.

Interestingly, it is unlikely that TikTok will face a ban in 2024, an election year, due to its popularity with young voters. This highlights the impact of TikTok’s user base on political considerations. The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bill aimed at banning TikTok, with support from Democrats, but the bill has not been taken up by the entire US House, revealing a lack of consensus on the matter.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners sell their shares or potentially face a ban. However, no action has been taken by the administration, raising questions about the effectiveness of the CFIUS in addressing national security concerns related to foreign-owned apps.

Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban TikTok in 2020 was blocked by US courts, highlighting the legal barriers to banning popular apps. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that pending legal action regarding TikTok prevents further CFIUS actions. This implies that ongoing legal proceedings could impact the implementation of any potential ban.

Why does it matter?

Recently, a US judge blocked a law in Montana that aimed to ban TikTok. Efforts to ban TikTok in Congress have faced obstacles, including legal barriers and lobbying from TikTok. The popularity of TikTok with young voters may also influence decisions regarding a potential ban. The lack of consensus and action on the issue raises questions about the effectiveness of current measures in addressing national security concerns related to foreign-owned apps.