May 31, 2023

Senator Ted Cruz is among a handful of US lawmakers preparing another attempt to squash TikTok — and Apple and Google could play a role in the plans, sources told On The Money.

While some TikTok bans have been slammed as a “Patriot Act” for the digital age, the Texan Republican wants to introduce legislation that will keep Apple and Google on their feet — and ban the tech giants from selling or using devices that contain TikTok. allow.

In addition to Cruz, U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is drafting a similar bill and others may be in the works, sources said.

Cruz wants to lean on “Apple and Google… to update software and not allow TikTok,” according to a source briefed on the legislation, noting that Cruz and lawmakers appear to be working on their bills separately. work, although they are aware of each other’s attempts.

Cruz representatives vehemently denied that the Republican legislature is working on a TikTok law.

“There is no legislation from Senator Cruz on this issue,” Cruz spokesman Christian McMullen told The Post. “There are, in fact, other legislators who have TikTok legislation — Senator Cruz is not one of them.”

A McMorris-Rodgers spokesperson declined to comment.

Several bills are already circulating through Congress that want to end TikTok in the US.

Montana became the first state in the US to ban TikTok.
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Meanwhile, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte’s decision to ban the app last week may have helped push Congress back into action and could mark an important step toward a nationwide ban, sources said.

“The fact that Montana pushed it over the line opens the door for other states to push it through. It only took a few states to push through the federal ban,” a source who lobbied against the bill told On The Money.

“The fact that it was adopted as is with no carve-outs indicates that you can basically copy and paste the same legislation.”

While the law could be struck down, these people claim the damage to TikTok has already been done.

“If this doesn’t work, another state will come up with a different law. TikTok could push back the Montana law, but the reality is that another state, like Florida, could come up with a creative way to go after TikTok,” a source told The Post.

“TikTok has to pitch a perfect game to win this, but people who want to ban it only need one kill shot,” the source added.

Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Ted Cruz wants to lean on “Apple and Google… to update software and disallow TikTok,” a source said.
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States including Texas, Utah and Alabama were the first to ban TikTok on government devices.

After enough states enacted that ban, the federal government decided it would ban the app on government devices as well.

Still, some sources note that the legal basis is shakier when it comes to a nationwide ban as opposed to a ban on federal devices.

The Montana ban prohibits TikTok from operating in the state and makes it illegal for Google or Apple to carry the app. Just days later, TikTok sued Montana, arguing that the state ban was illegal and violated both the First Amendment and constitutional protections of interstate commerce.

“There was a wait-and-see attitude in Congress,” another political source told The Post.

“But it can give them cover … and help people see the momentum.”

A state ban could also be the perfect opportunity for people to experience life without TikTok, another source noted.

“Once people realize it’s not the end of the world, it takes away a lot of TIkTok’s talking points,” another insider notes.

Others are more cautious: “Everything is a step … but I wouldn’t give a eulogy just yet.”

“Montana is a further indication that the tide is moving away from TikTok,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told On The Money. “The trajectory is against TikTok.”