Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., criticized TikTok on Thursday morning. The Senate voted unanimously just a day earlier banning the highly controversial social media superpower from government devices for its alleged role as a data miner for the Chinese Communist Party.
“I believe it is [the first step to a nationwide ban]Gimenez said on Fox & Friends First.
“It’s going to be a bipartisan effort by Republicans and Democrats. It was a good sign yesterday when it passed unanimously.”
Gimenez said he plans to support a bill by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to expand the ban to all devices nationwide because of national security concerns.
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Gallagher appeared on “Fox & Friends” and called the Senate decision “absurd.”
“I urge Speaker Pelosi to cosponsor the legislation in the House. It would be a better use of our time than trying to push through a huge omnibus spending bill at the last second that no one has read.” , he said.
“We now have a bipartisan precedent in the Senate. It will be difficult for Democratic senators who now recognize TikTok as a national security threat not to support a broader national ban on TikTok,” he added.
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The video-sharing app has caused a lot of controversy in the past, with celebrities like Joe Rogan and former President Donald Trump warning about the app’s privacy and national security risks.
Other federal officials, including Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who introduced the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., have expressed similar concerns.
Gallagher criticized the platform as “digital fentanyl” in a recent statement outlining legislation he and Sen. Rubio have introduced to ban the platform nationwide.
“TikTok is digital fentanyl, addicting Americans, collecting their data and censoring their news. It’s also the increasingly powerful media company owned by ByteDance, which is ultimately America’s primary reports to the rival Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
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“Allowing the app to continue operating in the US would be like allowing the USSR to buy the New York Times, the Washington Post and major broadcast networks during the Cold War.”
“It’s time to stop TikTok from becoming the most powerful media company in America,” Gallagher told Brian Kilmead.
Gimenez warned that TikTok poses a risk to America’s youth by not only collecting personal information, but also through exposure.
“The Chinese Communist Party is collecting data on millions of teenagers, even younger than teenagers,” he warned. “They also control what content our kids look at and so they make up their minds.
“I think it’s time to ban TikTok entirely, not just on government devices.”
At the state level, Texas governors Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem and Kevin Stitt have joined other Republican leaders in voicing concerns about the platform and calling for government device bans in their states.
The number of states that have banned the app from government devices has reached 11.
Fox News’ Jeffrey Clarke contributed to this report.