The White House strongly supports the Senate bill that could give the Commerce Department the authority to either ban TikTok or force its sale, a co-sponsor of the proposed legislation said Sunday.
“I think the White House is very in favor of this bill,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.” “We give the secretary of Commerce the tools to ban, to force a sale, other tools.”
Warner, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced the bipartisan bill with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) that would enable the federal government to “ban or prohibit” foreign technology such as the China-owned TikTok over concerns that such online platforms can be used to garner intelligence or spread propaganda.
Warner said the proposed RESTRICT Act — which targets technology connected to foreign governments that pose a threat to national security but does not single out TikTok — has the support of 22 senators, with a breakdown of 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans.
The legislation would pertain to technology from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba
TikTok, with 150 million users in the US, is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance.
While the White House came out earlier this month in support of the RESTRICT Act, Warner did not say whether the administration plans to ban TikTok or force its sale.
He only said he has had conversations with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo about the app.