Ro Khanna Dishes on His Opposition to the TikTok Bill

AP Photo/Reed Saxon, FILE

Of all the issues Congress wrestles with, who would have thought that the one garnering bipartisan consensus would be TikTok? As RedState reported, on Wednesday, the House passed a bill to force the sale of the app (or, alternatively, a ban of the social media juggernaut). 

The bill passed overwhelmingly — 352 to 65. But not only was the support for the measure bipartisan; so was the opposition. While 197 Republicans and 155 Democrats voted in favor of the bill, 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats opposed it. (Fourteen members did not vote, and Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) voted “present.”) 

One of the Democrats who opposed the measure was Ro Khanna (D-CA), who joined Martha Raddatz on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday to elaborate on his reasons for voting “Nay.” 

From their exchange: 

Raddatz then drilled down on Khanna’s stance a bit.

I’m no huge Khanna fan, but what he’s saying here seems to make some sense. I’ll confess to being ambivalent on the issue myself. I don’t use the app and don’t intend to — for some of the very reasons cited by those who support this measure. At the same time, I use other social media apps and am well aware of both the data collection and algorithm manipulation perils of even domestically owned platforms — not to mention the censorship issues. More importantly, the cynic in me is more than a little perplexed at why this is the seemingly unifying issue it appears to be amongst Congress critters who often can’t even agree what day it is. 

Lastly, I’m puzzled as to why the current measure places the determination as to what constitutes a “foreign adversary controlled application” and “qualified divestiture” in the hands of the President rather than Congress. Something about that strikes me as ill-advised (and ripe for abuse). In any event, it seems like legislation that is more narrowly tailored to directly address the concerns of data collection and algorithm manipulation would be the better way to go.  


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