Tracker: What US Senators Are Saying About TikTok Legislation

Gabby Miller, Justin Hendrix / Apr 11, 2024

Closeup of the US Capitol.

On March 13, the US House of Representatives passed an effective ban on TikTok by an overwhelming 352-65 vote. The bill, called the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” (HR 7521), would force TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, to divest from the video app within six months or face a ban from app stores in the US. While the bill was fast-tracked in the House, similar legislation appears to be moving slowly in the Senate.

Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said little about whether the Senate would take up a companion bill. While he stated that there “may be a path forward on TikTok legislation,” nearly three weeks after the House bill’s passage, other senators are pushing proposals that range from alternative TikTok “ban” bills to pivoting entirely towards comprehensive data privacy and online safety legislation.

Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) says she'd prefer to bring serious legislation to the floor that could withstand legal challenge. The Senate Intelligence Committee also plays a central role, given that it hosted a closed-door briefing for lawmakers in early March about national security concerns related to TikTok.

In their statements, Senators raise a number of concerns about TikTok and its foreign ownership, including around national security, data privacy, child online safety, disinformation and propaganda, and mental health. But others worry about possible legislation that cuts the other way, such as around impacts on speech and free expression, economic implications, and concerns over executive power.

While some think referring a possible Senate bill to committee would kill any possibility of the bill passing this Congress, many more senators would only consider a marked up Senate bill. Sen. Cantwell and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) are expected to meet with Sen. Schumer on Friday.

Tech Policy Press has rounded up public statements made by senators that are relevant to the prospects for a companion version of the House legislation. Most are from recent weeks, but some statements are from earlier, like during the period when the RESTRICT Act was up for consideration in March 2023, as they may indicate Senators’ posture on TikTok generally.

This tracker will be updated as more information becomes available.

Senate leadership

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

After weeks of remaining noncommittal as to whether the Senate would take up a companion bill, Schumer indicated that there may be “a path forward on TikTok legislation.” -Associated Press (4/5/24)

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Indicated on the Senate floor that he would “support common sense bipartisan steps to take one of Beijing's favorite tools of coercion and espionage off the table.” He further described TikTok as a "a tool of surveillance and of propaganda,” and declared the platform a “matter that deserves Congress' urgent attention.” Sen. McConnell added that "requiring the divestment of Beijing-influenced entities from TikTok would land squarely within established constitutional precedent." -CBS (4/8/24)

Senate Intelligence Committee


Mark Warner (D-VA), Chairman

"If you don't think the Chinese Communist Party can twist that algorithm to make it the news that they see reflective of their views, then I don't think you appreciate the nature of the threat.” He added that TikTok is perhaps "the most powerful propaganda tool ever." -CBS News' Face the Nation (3/10/24)

Sen. Warner also told reporters that he supported declassifying some of the analysis included in the Committee’s classified intelligence briefing in March. "We've still got some education to do — to members and, frankly, the public," he said. -NPR (3/21/24)

Marco Rubio (R-TX), Vice Chairman

"Whoever owns the algorithm will have access to the data, no matter who the name on the door is," Sen. Rubio said. "It doesn't work without the data." -CBS' Face the Nation (3/10/24)

“In 2021, Rubio urged President Joe Biden to block TikTok completely in light of the Chinese government taking an ownership stake in the company, an ‘extension of the party-state.” -Florida Politics (3/13/24)

Senators Rubio and Warner urged Senate action: “We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok – a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party. We were encouraged by today’s strong bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives, and look forward to working together to get this bill passed through the Senate and signed into law,” wrote Senators Rubio and Warner in a joint statement urging Senate action -Joint statement (3/13/24)


Michael Bennet (D-CO)

“[China is] now hypnotizing us with TikTok, which the average American spends three weeks a year on. I think we can do better than that as a nation, I think we can do better than that as a country, and the sooner we ban this, the better.” -Morning Joe (03/23/2023)

Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA)

“I’m concerned about the national security implications of TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party,” Casey said. “As I review the House bill, my top priority remains US national security and protecting Americans from influence by an adversarial government.” -Philadelphia Inquirer (3/28/2024)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

“As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I am deeply concerned about the national security concerns posed by TikTok, whose parent company, ByteDance, is under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party,” Gillibrand told The Post. “I am encouraged that the House passed this bill with overwhelming bipartisan support and I hope we can pass it in the Senate,” she added. Gillibrand noted that the app posed “serious concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s ability to influence and divide the American people.” -New York Post (3/16/2024)

Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Position unknown. However, Sen. Heinrich co-sponsored the Protecting Americans’ Data From Foreign Surveillance Act of 2023. While the bill does not directly reference TikTok, it was widely considered to be targeted at protecting user data from China’s government and other foreign adversaries.

Mark Kelly (D-AZ)

At Axios’ What’s Next Summit, Sen. Kelly said he recognizes the power of TikTok for businesses and marketing, but is concerned about the Chinese government having “on demand access” to American’s data. "There are some things we can do to still allow this capability [TikTok] as…social media, but at the same time still protect the national security of the United States," he said. -Axios (3/29/2023)

Angus King (I-ME)

Believes that “the problem is not TikTok, it is the control by China,” according to remarks during this year’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the annual worldwide threat assessment. -Axios (3/12/24)

Sen. King and Sen. Rubio introduced bipartisan legislation to “ban social media platforms like TikTok if they are owned, wholly or in part, by adversarial foreign regimes” in February 2023. ​​The bill, referred to as the “Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act,” did not advance.

Jon Ossoff (D-GA)

Position unknown.

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“These fields are evolving and changing so rapidly, that you can do a lot of damage by moving too quickly or without the facts.” -Washington Post (3/15/24)


Susan Collins (R-ME)

Position unknown.

John Cornyn (R-TX)

“The Senate should take up and pass the TikTok divestment bill asap.” -Statement via X (3/21/24)

Sen. Cornyn indicated that the Senate may not act as quickly as the House. “We do things slowly over here, and this takes time,” he said. -NBC News (3/13/24)

Tom Cotton (R-AK)

Sen. Cotton says publicly available information already demonstrates the threats TikTok poses to US national security and users’ personal data, but believes more could be released. Sen. Cotton also pointed to TikTok’s lobbying effort to stop the House bill by tapping into its hundreds of millions of users as proof that TikTok, ByteDance, and Chinese leaders are trying to influence American political debate. -NPR (3/21/24)

(In a January hearing, Sen. Cotton engaged TikTok CEO Shou Chew in a line of questioning regarded as xenophobic at best.)

James Lankford (R-OK)

“I’ve not had time to be able to go through all the bill, but I would say that the concept is accurate. They are a very real threat to not only just our basic functioning of our democracy, but the authority that they have…the data they’re harvesting on Americans is significant, and we should pay attention.” -Axios (3/12/2024)=

Jerry Moran (R-MO)

“TikTok is a problem…something needs to happen.” -Kansas City Star (3/13/2024)

Jim Risch (R-ID)

“Given its connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the way it collects and controls sensitive personal information, TikTok poses one of the greatest long-term threats to the health, safety, and privacy of millions of Americans,” Risch wrote in a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan. “. . . TikTok is built like an indoctrination machine, and its user base is comprised of one of the most impressionable and vulnerable populations: children. The nature of TikTok’s application and its content are tailor-made to appeal to younger generations. While some of its content is benign, many users—as young as 13—are fed a constant diet of content linked to dangerous behaviors like eating disorders and self-harm.” -Risch.Senate.Gov (7/23/2023)

Mike Rounds (R-SD)

“I’m aware of what the House did, and I actually support the process or the direction that they are trying to go. TikTok does have national defense complications for us. A good example is the fact that using zip codes they were able to basically harness about 170 million Americans and tell them look if you want to get on TikTok you’re going to have to make contact with your House members and tell them not to ban us. That type of approach is something that we’re concerned with, but even more importantly is the amount of information that is available at their request to the Chinese Communist Party should they need it in terms of access to people and information about individuals, who they’re connected with, where they live, who their family is, and so forth. That’s the kind of stuff that China wants. The other thing they want is to learn how people in the West talk, how we respond, because that’s part of what they want to learn when they try to influence us with the type of propaganda when it comes to elections and so forth. So, yeah, it would be best if they would divest and we’d have American ownership on that particular platform…. I think it is something that we are going to have to do something about. The best approach would be if they were to divest and allow for American ownership. If not, then we’re going to have to eliminate it from the platforms.” -CNN (3/27/2024)

Senate Commerce Committee


Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair

On April 8, Sen. Cantwell told reporters that the House measure could be better. "If you’re doing something deleterious to US citizens or the military, that was like a big bright line to put into statute. And guess what? Legal people think you can really uphold that in court,” Cantwell said, referencing her own TikTok proposal, the GUARD Act. "But the House, in this world of Trumpisms and everything else, is worried about giving anybody [the White House, the Commerce Department] that authority. But you also can’t, as a Congress, just decide one day, ‘Ah!’ And pass a law. Well, you can, I just don’t know if it’ll hold up in court… Let’s get something that can be upheld.” -Punchbowl News (4/9/24)

She is expected to lead talks on potential changes to the bill and wants to hold at least one Committee hearing. -Wall Street Journal (3/31/24)

Sen. Cantwell wants to move on legislation “soon” but would prefer it to be “more robust.” "We were trying something a little more robust and long term, but we'll consider this and hopefully we'll figure out how to get the American people something that minimizes data collection and protects them.” -Politico (3/14/24)

Last year, Sen. Cantwell unsuccessfully tried to add an alternative proposal to a defensive spending bill. Her draft legislation, or the GUARD Act, is an alternative to the RESTRICT Act and would give the Commerce Department more oversight over social media apps like TikTok without outright banning them. -Washington Post (7/27/23)

Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ranking Member

Believes the Senate should “examine” the bill but declined to endorse the existing proposal. -Washington Post (3/15/24)


Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Sen. Baldwin supports the House's effort to eliminate the national security threat. -Spectrum News (3/13/2024)

She also told WisPolitics that the issue with TikTok is not the platform itself, but who owns it and has control of TikTok users’ personal data. “I support the House’s effort to eliminate the national security threat that China poses and better keep Wisconsinites safe, while giving TikTok’s owners the option to do the right thing and keep the platform available for the millions of Americans.” -WisPolitics (3/14/2024)

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

“I’m certainly sympathetic to it. Let’s see how it goes through the Senate process. But yes, I think we need to put guardrails in regards to the ownership of TikTok,” Sen. Cardinhe said on NBC News’ Meet the Press. -The Hill (3/17/2024)

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Position unknown.

Chris Coons (D-CT)

“There was a lot of talk in the House about the urgency of passing a TikTok ban in order to secure the United States from the CCP,” Coons said. “I think the most pressing challenge we face in terms of the world viewing the United States as a reliable security partner is whether or not we keep our commitment to Ukraine. Whether or not we keep our commitment to Israel, whether or not we keep our commitment to Taiwan.” -Washington Examiner (3/14/2024)

Tammy Duckworth (IL-D)

Position unknown.

John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

Believes TikTok legislation is "something we [Congress] should move faster on, not slower." -Axios (3/21/24)

After the classified Senate intelligence committee briefing, Sen. Hickenlooper also said he was “very concerned” and that the hard information he saw was “incontrovertible.” -USA Today (3/21/24)

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Position unknown.

Ed Markey (D-MA)

Sen. Markey says he would rather focus on child online safety legislation alongside Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). “Any discussion about TikTok has to involve all the other companies who are targeting all these teenagers and causing the biggest mental health crisis in our country’s history.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

Gary Peters (D-MI)

Position unknown.

Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)

“I know how strong of a chair Maria is, and when the chair wants to lean in on something, the chair has support from the caucus to lean in. I support Chair Cantwell. She is the chair of the committee of jurisdiction. And she is smart and capable, and she has an incredible team,” Sen. Luján said after the classified Senate intelligence briefing. -NBC News (3/20/24)

Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

Sen. Rosen is currently reviewing the House legislation as well as other bipartisan proposals and believes that, although the app has become a popular and widely used platform across the country, “we must do more to protect Nevadans’ data from undue influence by the Chinese government and intrusion from foreign adversaries,” according to his office. -8NewsNow (3/14/2024)

Brian Schatz (D-HI)

“I am no longer undecided. I think we have to go through with this, whether that’s the House version or we have to conference like grown-ups,” he told reporters after the classified Senate intelligence briefing. Sen. Schatz added that he is “satisfied that this is a real national security concern and not a cooked up one.” -Washington Post (3/21/2024)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

Supports the measure to ban TikTok on government devices last year, but is currently reviewing the House legislation while fielding feedback from Montanans, according to his office. “Defending Montanans’ freedom of privacy from foreign adversaries like China is one of Senator Tester's top priorities, and he is deeply concerned about ongoing Chinese surveillance efforts.” -NonStop Local (3/15/24)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Sen. Van Hollen is currently reviewing the legislation ‘closely,’ according to a staffer. -WJLA (3/14/24)

Raphael Warnock (D-GA)

Position unknown.

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

"We need curbs on social media, but we need those curbs to apply across the board.” -Axios (3/13/2024)

Peter Welch (D-VT)

“We’ve got a ways to go,” said Sen. Welch, who believes the Commerce Committee will produce its own bill. -NBC (3/20/2024)


Ted Budd (R-NC)

Position unknown. However, last year, Sen. Budd cosponsored the No TikTok on United States Devices Act.

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

“I am so pleased that the House moved their legislation forward. 352 ‘aye’ votes. That is a very good sign. And I think it shows that TikTok has overstepped. People realize, you know, with all of these people calling offices last week saying, ‘don't do this. I'll do something to myself.’ People saw firsthand how the Chinese Communist Party can use TikTok and weaponize it. So it helped prove the point. It has pushed it across the finish line. Now it will come to the Senate, and whether it's the House bill or a companion Senate bill, the good thing is this, people realize this is spyware. It is soft propaganda. It is coming from TikTok and ByteDance, which is owned in part by the Chinese Communist Party. China has a national security law. We saw this with Hong Kong. We know it with TikTok. And they have access to every bit of data that a TikTok user generates. So the Chinese Communist Party wants to own the ‘virtual you’ of 170 million American users. People are waking up to that threat.” -Fox News (3/13/2024)

Deb Fischer (R-NE)

“TikTok negatively influences an entire generation of young Americans, affecting how they act, think, and even vote. We would have never allowed the Soviet Union to have that sort of direct link to the American population.” -Statement via X (3/14/2024)

Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

“I am concerned by any social media company that collects large amounts of data on Americans, but I’m particularly concerned when that data has the potential to be weaponized by the CCP,” Lummis said. “If TikTok wants to continue operating in the U.S., it must sever ties with companies under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.” -Cowboy State Daily (3/13/24)

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

“We’re not trying to stop TikTok,” she said, referencing her West Virginia colleague, Sen. Manchin (D-WV), who is also “just trying to make sure it [the app] is safe.” Sen. Capito added that she will vote for the bill and believes it will be sold. -The Dominion Post (3/28/24)

Eric Schmitt (R-MO)

Called the closed door Senate intelligence briefing “disturbing.” "Their ability to track, their ability to spy, is shocking... I think we have to come to the realization that China – this is a brutal dictatorial regime that has concentration camps in their country, and they're hell bent on world domination.” -USA Today (3/21/2024)

John Thune (R-SD)

“The parent company of TikTok is a company called ByteDance, and they are a wholly owned subsidiary of the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party, which any company in that country operating of the government asks them for information they have to turn over.” -KELO (2/5/2024)

Last year, Senators John Thune and Mark Warner published an op-ed about their bipartisan legislation, the RESTRICT Act, which they co-sponsored and introduced to the Senate on Mar. 7, 2023. They argued the Act is “the best way to counter the TikTok threat.” -Wall Street Journal (4/5/23)

J.D. Vance (R-OH)

"Yes, you want to make sure that TikTok can't steal people's data and give it to the Chinese Communist Party…You also want to make sure the First Amendment is protected in how we do this." -10TV (3/14/2024)

Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Position unknown. However, in June 2022, Sen. Wicker joined a letter with eight of his Senate colleagues to the CEO of TikTok following reports that the company “gave Beijing backdoor access to private user data.”

Todd Young (R-IN)

"You don't want to establish a precedent on naming an individual company.” -Axios (3/12/2024)

Other senators


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Endorsed the House bill and believes all of the evidence presented at the classified Senate Intelligence Committee briefing should be made public. "My reaction to this briefing is that TikTok is a gun aimed at Americans' heads,” he said. “The Chinese Communists are weaponizing information that they are constantly, surreptitiously collecting from 170 million Americans and potentially aiming that information, using it through algorithms at the core of American democracy." -NPR (3/20/24)

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Sen. Booker is concerned “about targeting one company for violating standards that other apps and social-media companies have done as well.” -New York Post (4/6/24)

Last year, Sen. Booker said that China poses a threat to US “safety, security, and national secrets” and Congress must take the issue seriously. “It is an issue for American companies who have their secrets stolen. It is an issue that we have to have around our military.” -CBS’ Face the Nation (2/5/23)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

“We must protect Ohioans’ personal information from the Chinese Communist Party. I have serious concerns with this company’s ties to the Chinese government, and will continue to work with members of both parties to look at how we can best protect Ohioans’ privacy and our national security.” -WTOL (3/24/2023)

Laphonza Butler (D-CA)

“It depends on what’s in it…. I’ll be looking for how are we protecting first of all national security, how are we ensuring that applications can’t be used by other countries to influence our elections and the spread of mis and disinformation. I’ll be looking for how the industry writ large is being impacted as opposed to just looking at one company itself.” –@annalisaroy via Tiktok (3/21/24)

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

Currently reviewing the House legislation but believes TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party are deeply concerning and that we need more information about how the app is distributing the large amounts of data it collects. -8NewsNow (3/14/2024)

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

“Cutting out a large group of young voters is not the best-known strategy for re-election…“They love TikTok; I know that from my own grandkids and others. And it’s part of their lifestyle and they don’t want to lose it.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

John Fetterman (D-PA)

Sen. Fetterman called TikTok “trash” and joked with reporters about the app’s influence on his spending habits. “I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on Drunk Elephant at Sephora because of my tween, and that’s annoying.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Currently reviewing the House legislation, but previously supported legislation to ban TikTok on state-issued devices. -WMUR (3/13/24)

Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Position unknown.

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

“We need to take steps to better protect Americans’ data and privacy, and I’ve cosponsored legislation in the past to do so. But the devil is in the details, and I’m still digging into the specifics of the House bill.” -7 News (3/14/2024)

"The capacity of the operators of TikTok to extract - unknowingly extract personal data from those who use it - is a very significant threat," Kaine said. "And I think that suggests that people should have a great deal of caution in using TikTok." -WSET (12/9/2022)

Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“We’re not getting rid of TikTok,” he said. “We’re just getting rid of China’s ownership and control of TikTok.” -The Dominion Post (3/28/24)

Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Sen. Menendez believes the TikTok bill and accompanying national security concerns should be part of a larger discussion on mental well being and big tech regulation. “If you scope back, there’s an important conversation that we have to have about big tech companies and the role that they play in our country,” Sen. Menendez told NJ Spotlight News. “Obviously ones that are domiciled here are regulated here, you can have a different say about how their algorithms are impacting our youth.” -NJ Spotlight News (3/14/24)

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

“My instinct is this: There’s always going to be something like TikTok in the social media world,” Sen. Merkley said. “But foreign ownership raises security concerns…I have just been reading about a number of those abnormalities that have occurred in TikTok that suggest that China may be involved in changing the protocols for how messages are distributed or using TikTok for propaganda…Or, to make American communities angry with each other, so create domestic discord.”

“You want to make sure there’s not a foreign government owning it that is manipulating how information is spread…Even if they’re not collecting information and exporting it outside the United States, if [they have] any control over the protocol on how information is shared, what information is accentuated and what gets to whom, they can really change what America is thinking about [regarding] a particular issue: A power you don’t want a foreign nation to have to try to manipulate Americans.” -KOIN (3/15/2024)

Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Sen. Murphy would rather focus on child online safety legislation alongside Sen. Markey. TikTok has “some great things for kids and it’s got some really terrible things for kids…I would much rather regulate the social media industry to protect kids rather than ban one particular technology.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

“I want to be certain we are weighing the merits of alternative proposals that would deal with the larger issues at hand in a systematic way…rather than singling out one company.” -New York Post (4/6/2024)

Alex Padilla (D-CA)

Sen. Padilla says that antitrust “would certainly be a consideration” as the Senate reviews the bill. -Axios (03/14/2024)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

Sen. Reed told reporters that lawmakers are getting “some indication” that TikTok’s algorithm is being used to shape US public discourse. “And I must say, I'm not a frequent user of TikTok…we're talking about a generational issue here. But the concerns about China having a device that is wildly popular—particularly for young people—and having the ability at some time to start inputting comment that is designed to be disinformation and upset into our political process, our social processes. So we have to think about this.” Transferring control comes with additional questions, though. “If we're talking about transferring control of TikTok, we just simply don't want to pass it on to another group of people whose idea and goal is to control information in the United States. So I would think we'd have to start looking seriously at what conditions and what rules we would place on a TikTok…if it was sold by the Chinese to another party.” -DefenseOne (3/18/2024)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Position unknown, but Sen. Sanders did memorably walk into a TikTok dance video being filmed in 2023.

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Sen. Shaheen is currently reviewing the House legislation, but remains committed to limiting China's "troubling influence on the American public." -WMUR (3/13/24)

Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)

Position unknown.

Tina Smith (D-MN)

Position unknown.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Position unknown.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

The Senator "is taking a close look at the legislation." -Providence Journal (4/1/2024)


John Barrasso (R-WY)

Sen. Barrasso sees TikTok as “a national security threat” and wants to make sure that the relationship with China is severable. -Fox News Business (3/15/24)

John Boozman (R-AR)

Position unknown.

Mike Braun (R-IN)

“I can’t see a good reason not to bring it to the floor. I’m torn between First Amendment, civil liberties, and national security on the other side, but when China forces all of their companies to interface with their intelligence agencies, I would not trust that a non-handshake business partner would do something other than nefarious if it continues as is.” -Fox News Business (3/14/2024)

Katie Britt (R-AL)

“As long as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has any type of control over algorithms or data, then it is not good for the safety and security of our country and our youth.” -WHNT (3/18/24)

Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

“I’d like to see the final language, but I’m certainly predisposed to vote for it. Anyone that doesn’t think that the Chinese Communist Party would like to influence how we think and our country just doesn’t understand what they do…I think this is consistent with what we’ve done in the past, and, by and large, I support it.” -The Hill (3/17/2024)

Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

“The concept has momentum; I expect we will do something similar in the Senate, if not identical. At some point we will have to reconcile the differences between those two bills.” -KFYRTV (3/13/2024)

Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Position unknown.

Steve Daines (R-MT)

Position unknown.

Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Sen. Ernst supports forcing TikTok to divest from ByteDance: “We shouldn't have those ties with Communist China.” -Fox News Business (3/15/24)

Lindsay Graham (R-SC)

“I am hell-bent and determined to give the American consumer a better deal when it comes to social media, not just disconnect TikTok from Communist China,” Sen. Graham said. “From a conservative’s point of view, social media has proven not to be our friend,” he said. “I think that taking TikTok down will create a monopoly that is not good for the country. So let's keep TikTok, but take Communist China out.” -The Post and Courier (3/15/24)

Is “very conflicted” about a TikTok ban. -NBC News’ Meet the Press (3/10/24)

“To fans and users of #TikTok I understand your concerns. However President Trump is right to want to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t own TikTok and most importantly — all of your private data.” -Statement via X (8/1/20)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Sen. Grassley says he is “getting closer to say a firm 'yes' to vote for” a Senate bill. “The major problem is that I think anything that's connected to the Chinese Communist Party must be suspect, and that's why I'm telling you I'm leaning towards it…But I'm going to reserve just a little bit of judgment till I get the briefings that we ought to have before we pass it.” -Des Moines Register (3/13/24)

While Sen. Grassley doesn’t think a Senate bill would move as quickly as it did in the House, he’s “not that pessimistic about it” passing. -Radio Iowa (3/19/24)

Bill Hagerty (R-TN)

“I think the first thing to do is to make clear to our audience what this exposure and what this risk is—that’s of great concern—and I think it’s a great bipartisan concern here. You saw the vote coming out of the House [of Representatives], and the National Security laws in China require any Chinese-owned or controlled company—as long as the data resides on their servers somewhere, doesn’t matter where it originates, it could originate in the United States—but that data is susceptible to Chinese Communist Party surveillance. That’s the concern here that we’re trying to get at. We don’t want Americans' data subjected to Chinese Communist party surveillance. I backed legislation that would stop the Chinese Communist Party from having access to Americans’ genomic data, DNA data. So, this is the concern that we’re trying to get at here. What we don’t want to do though, by the same token, I don’t think we want to see more power go to the hands of companies like Meta, Google, etc. What we want to see is the users of TikTok to have an option here in America, but just one that doesn’t expose their data to the Chinese Communist Party. That’s the needle that we’re trying to thread right here […] I think that it’s got to be very specific as it’s crafted, and it’s got to get through the Senate here. But I think it has to be very specific that it is entities that are foreign adversary controlled entities like the CCP in China, like Russia, like Iran, like North Korea. Those types of entities are what we should be focused on.” -Fox News Business (3/14/2024)

Josh Hawley (R-MO)

Despite being one of the first senators to endorse the House bill, Sen. Hawley doesn’t expect a similar proposal to reach a Senate floor vote. “My observation is that people say: 'I agree with the idea in principle but have concerns.' That basically means we should never do anything. What we're likely to see happen in the Senate is people will nickel-and-dime it, a death by a thousand cuts. Nothing that Big Tech doesn't want moves across the Senate floor.” Sen. Hawley welcomed a Senate Bill that’s verbatim to the one that passed the House, but thinks referring it to committee would kill any possibility of it passing this Congress. -Axios (3/14/24)

John Hoeven (R-ND)

“Essentially, what’s going on with the Senate right now is we are trying to figure out if there are some changes or improvements that should be made to the House bill…People will still have their TikTok, it’s just that it should not be owned and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. They need to sell it to an entity that we know is not spying on Americans and using their information…But at the end of the day, if we pass the law, they’ll have to sell, and of course, they will because they will make billions and billions of dollars when they sell it. They will, it’s just that if they can make a lot of money and push their propaganda they’re going to do it.” -KFYR TV (3/31/24)

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)

Position unknown.

Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Says he will review the bill but doesn’t like bans. –Spectrum News (3/13/2024)

Sen. Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it was “probably something I would support” because it called for ByteDance’s divestiture from TikTok and was not simply a ban. -Milwaukee Sentinel Journal (3/13/2024)

John Kennedy (R-LA)

Wants a classified intelligence briefing before making a decision on where he stands: “I’m not there yet.” -CBS News (3/14/24)

Mike Lee (R-UT)

“I have always been concerned by big tech companies, whether American or otherwise, collecting the data of American citizens. I’m also against the current bill to ban TikTok…As written, the bill gives the president the authority to unilaterally determine which foreign-owned companies present a “national security threat,” and can unilaterally order these companies to be divested from their foreign owners…We already have the CFIUS process in law to require divestment when national security risks arise with the foreign ownership of a company. It has been used 558 times to make declarations related to potential divestitures since 2018…The current bill does not impose new restrictions on social media and tech companies from harvesting and selling our data. Nothing in it prevents an American company that buys TikTok from selling user data to the Chinese Government, for example…This TikTok ban would, however, give broad new powers to the Executive Branch at the expense of the Legislative Branch—and one can only imagine how Joe Biden or future presidents like him could abuse them…Why do all the domestic spying hawks—politicians fighting against FISA reform who want to continue unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens—support forcing the sale of TikTok? Simple: they want your data for themselves. I’m open to legislation preventing the CCP from using TikTok to collect our data. But not this bill. Always be suspicious when anyone in Washington declares they need special powers because of an emergency—especially if both parties are cheerleading it…Let’s not forget that one of the most egregious perpetrators of the misuse of our data is our own government.” -Statement via X (3/13/2024)

Roger Marshall (R-KS)

Sen. Marshall supports banning TikTok because his “number one priority” is the safety and security of families. -Fox News Business (3/12/24)

Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)

“I think it’s the right step forward. I was on the Intel Committee in the House, sit on the Senate Arms committee now. So we’ve been briefed, a lot more than maybe most on TikTok on the way the CCP uses to TikTok to influence their audience, a lot of it has to do with subtle messages about anti-American or anti-trust of the government to bring up dissent against the American government. So we know that we want to get rid of China in this, any time that we have an opportunity to throw China underneath the bus and cut their legs from underneath them, we want to do that, there’s no reason to give them a platform in the United States for the propaganda.” -Fox News Business (3/13/2024)

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

“A decision of this magnitude on legislation, which has implications beyond TikTok, cannot be made hastily. I believe the committees of jurisdiction should review this legislation — as I will — before the full Senate is asked to vote on it,” according to a statement. -Anchorage Daily News (3/18/2024)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

The lengths some in Congress will go to for more authority and control over Americans’ freedom of speech never ceases to amaze me. The TikTok bill recently advanced by the House would endanger the 1st amendment and empower the federal govt to ban social media platforms…” -Statement via X (3/19/24)

“180 million Americans use it [TikTok]; you can’t just take away the right to express themselves because you don’t like a company,” Sen. Paul said. “Fifth Amendment says you can’t take someone’s property without due process. And a bill of attainder says you can’t write legislation against one person or one company. Those are pretty strong arguments.” He added that TikTok bans are “based on a hysteria of banning everything China, which I think isn’t good.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

Pete Ricketts (R-NE)

“I was the first Governor to ban TikTok on our state devices… we’re not going to allow the Chinese government to spy on us, there are good national security reasons for it…. This is an important national security issue.” -Fox News (3/14/2024)

Mitt Romney (R-UT)

“Yeah, I'm very much in favor. The reality is we're not going to see TikTok close down. It's a very valuable property. It can be owned by American investors. It could be owned by the public, but it shouldn't be owned by the Chinese government. We've seen how they've used it in other elections, particularly in Taiwan, to send propaganda before the elections to gather information about the users. That's not something we want the Chinese Communist Party to be able to do…. Well, the good news is the legislation is pretty broad in the way it was described, which is it says that the president of the United States could determine whether a hostile entity owns not just TikTok, but any social media site. A foreign hostile government is controlling it, and in a circumstance like that, there can be a prohibition or a requirement to sell.” -KUTV (3/13/2024)

Rick Scott (R-FL)

Supports a full-on TikTok ban. “They [TikTok] shouldn’t be on our phones, period, it's toxic — it's communist China propaganda and it's toxic,” he said. “How they present things that impact our young people is toxic and it should stop.” -10TampaBay (8/11/2023)

Tim Scott (R-SC)

"The fact of the matter is, here in America, TikTok seems to be one of the ways to have the Chinese Communist Party spy on our kids and to collect more information. I think we don't know where that information goes. We don't know who has it. We have very serious concerns about the security of it. In China, TikTok is an educational tool to talk about math, science and reading. In America, it seems to be more of an indoctrination tool. So, we have to be very careful on these new tools, so to speak, that we have for our kids when they actually turn out not to be tools at all.

“I think parents are going to have to make that decision ultimately [whether children should have access to TikTok]. I would not allow my kids to have access to TikTok without any question. I think we should seriously have that conversation in the public forums so parents have all the information about the challenges that are happening, because their kids are on the devices too much, and let them be the final arbiter in that conversation.” -Fox News (3/23/2023)

Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

Sen. Sullivan wants Sen. Schumer to bring the bill to a floor vote. “I am strongly inclined to support legislative action,” Sullivan said in a statement. He added that TikTok is a “serious example of the national security threat to America” posed by the Chinese Communist Party. -Anchorage Daily News (3/18/2024)

Thom Tillis (R-NC)

“I’m sympathetic to what they’re trying to accomplish. I think my main concern is to make sure that we think it through…We have to keep in mind that some of the true giants in this space are U.S.-based firms. And we can think about China’s retaliation; that’s one thing I worry about.” -NBC News (3/13/24)

Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

“It’s time to ban TikTok. China’s ability to access Americans’ personal data is a serious national security threat.” -Statement via X (3/9/23)


Gabby Miller
Gabby Miller is a staff writer at Tech Policy Press. She was previously a senior reporting fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, where she used investigative techniques to uncover the ways Big Tech companies invested in the news industry to advance their own policy interests. She’s an alu...
Justin Hendrix
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & ...