In the News: E&C Members Lead on Protecting Americans’ Data and National Security

Mar 15, 2024
In the News

After a unanimous vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee, H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 352 – 65. Following the strong, bipartisan vote, Energy and Commerce Republicans touted the bill’s widespread support.

Highlights and excerpt from the interviews:

Rep. Latta on NewsNation:

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“This is something that the House has been working on for over a year. When Mr. Chew [CEO of TikTok] appeared before us in Committee, I asked him if anyone in Communist China could see this data from Americans users of the app. ‘Yes it could be,’ was his response. We’ve also had security briefings. That’s one of the other big concerns here is the national security of the United States and making sure we protect our citizens from the Communist Chinese accessing their information.”


“TikTok is owned by ByteDance, and under Communist Chinese law, anything that the government wants, if you’re a Chinese company, you have to give it to the government. What we’re saying in the legislation is if ByteDance, which is the parent [company], divests themselves of TikTok, TikTok can still be used here in the United States.”

Rep. Walberg on Scripps News:

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“We’re not attempting to ban TikTok. […] That’s what TikTok wants its users and subscribers to think we’re doing, but it's not true. We have said that TikTok can remain as long as it's not connected to an adversarial country—China, Russia, North Korea, Iran.”


“For the purposes of national security, we don’t want something like TikTok, with 170 million users, to have access opportunity from the CCP. That’s a dangerous setting. So, we have said we’re not banning. It can continue on, but it cannot be owned by any company that is controlled by the CCP and that’s ByteDance. It is wholly responsible to the CCP and that’s a dangerous thing.

Rep. Cammack on America’s Newsroom:

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“The thing that’s really concerning is that the CCP has come out and said they would rather see us ‘ban’ TikTok than divest.

[ByteDance] stands to make billions of dollars through divestment, but instead the Chinese government is more concerned with having unfettered access [to U.S. data].”


“Just this time last year, the CEO of TikTok told my Committee that they didn’t have access to geolocation data. But, it turns out, they tapped into the geolocation data of their users, and if you were in an Energy and Commerce Committee Member’s district, you couldn’t use the app until you actually called through the app.

They say that they don’t [surveil Americans], but we know that they do.”

Rep. Pfluger on Yahoo Finance:

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“The goal here is we want to make sure Americans are safe. We want to make sure that data is safe. We want to make sure that a foreign adversary is not taking advantage of an application and using Americans and our privacy to their advantage.”


“This is not about content. It’s about conduct. In fact, we hope that the application can actually continue, but it needs to happen with a trusted purchase, and so far the Chinese Communist Party has a direct tie to ByteDance.

It’s about the link to a foreign adversary that has control over it. […] It’s about divesting and putting that company and the application in the hands of trusted agents which are either American businesses or friendly countries.”

Rep. Carter on The Claman Countdown:

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“The House of Representatives has spoken. They have said we’re not going to shun our responsibility of protecting our homeland and our citizens. Instead, we’re not going to let a Chinese Communist Party-owned app operate here in America. Now, if they want to divest themselves and sell their company, […] that’s fine.”


“This is a decision TikTok’s got to make. If they will divest themselves, then TikTok continues on and people will continue to enjoy it and continue to watch it.”


“[The vote] was overwhelming in the House— 352 votes. I think that sends a strong message to the Senate. […] The Senate needs to take up this bill and they need to pass this bill. The White House has already said that they would sign it.”

Rep. Crenshaw on the Brian Kilmeade Show:

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"If you're a company in China, you have to do whatever [the CCP] tells you, and you have to spy on whoever [the CCP] tells you to spy on."


"[They] can weaponize that kind of tool, and the Chinese have already been shown to have weaponized it. I don't want a situation where we're in an adversarial relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, and they have the ability to manipulate the minds and opinions of tens of millions of Americans."