Washington, DC – Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement expressing opposition to H.R. 1153, broad legislation that would require the Administration to sanction and effectively ban TikTok and other subsidiaries of TikTok’s parent company:
“I am deeply concerned by the GOP’s quick passage through committee of H.R. 1153. A bill with such wide-ranging consequence deserves significant consideration and requires Congress to conduct effective due diligence through debate and consultation with experts, none of which has been done in the few short days between H.R. 1153’s introduction and passage out of committee. The Republican’s rush to pass this hastily drafted measure, without the text even being made available to the public for review, is disappointing, and the American people deserve better.
“The Republican instinct to ban things it fears, from books to speech, appears uninhibited. Before we take the unprecedented step of banning an app used by over 100 million Americans, harming our national security and infringing on their freedom of expression and speech, Congress must first adequately consult with the Administration and other stakeholders. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has existing authorities at its disposal to address privacy concerns of Americans with the app while it is conducting a CFIUS review of TikTok. We should await the results of that review and gather all the facts in order to craft a strong bipartisan bill that addresses our concerns without hurting U.S. interests. Until these meaningful steps are taken, I will remain opposed to H.R. 1153.
“Unfortunately, during markup Republicans opposed my amendment narrowing the scope of the bill to address genuine privacy concerns relating to TikTok. I remain committed to working in a bipartisan way with my Republican colleagues to address threats posed by the PRC to the data privacy of Americans, however this unvetted bill risks creating more harmful unintended consequences than solutions, including damage to the U.S. economy and to the economies of our allies and partners, which this bill, as drafted, targets.”