Senator Josh Hawley announced his plans to introduce a bill that would ban TikTok in the United States on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Hawley tweeted that the popular social media app is “China’s backdoor to Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide.”
In a separate tweet, Hawley said he plans to unveil the measure on Wednesday, but the bill will most likely fail to pass due to the current divide in Congress.
The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending Bill, which includes banning TikTok on some government devices, has already been enacted. President Joe Biden signed the provision into law last month, excluding the app and other applications by TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company. However, the ban did not apply to members of Congress and their staff.
TikTok has proven to be one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, so it’s hard to say if the nationwide ban will have public support.
In December, Senator Marco Rubio introduced a Senate bill to ban TikTok in the US, and Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis, introduced a companion measure in the House.
At the time, lawmakers explained that their bill aimed to protect Americans from foreign adversaries who might use certain social media footage to watch Americans, spread influence campaigns or propaganda, and learn sensitive data about them.
FBI Director Christopher Wray also warned congressional lawmakers that the Chinese government could use the popular social media app to control users’ devices for influence or espionage purposes.
In recent months, several states have taken steps to prohibit using TikTok on government devices, and many public universities have restricted access to the app on mobile phones, computers, and Wi-Fi.