The people's voice of reason

Aderholt says that if Tik Tok is unwilling to divest itself of Chinese ownership that would be a red flag

On Friday, Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) spoke with Capitol Journal's Todd Stacy about his work in Congress representing Alabama's Fourth Congressional District.

Last week Aderholt voted in support of legislation that would require the social media platform, Tik Tok, to find new ownership within six months or be shut down. A majority stake in Tik Tok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese owned corporation with alleged ties to the Chinese military and Chinese Intelligence.

Aderholt voted in favor of the bipartisan Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. Sponsors of the legislation are concerned that the application gives the company too much personal information about its American users and that that data is being shared with Chinese intelligence.

"Well as I mentioned in my press release if you have thousands of spy balloons all over the U.S. it would be troubling, that is the concern with Tik Tok. I don't think any of us have any problem with Tik Tok," Aderholt stated. "For this company to be tied into the Chinese government," is Aderholt's concern.

The legislation does not shut down Tik Tok it just requires them to become owned by a U.S. corporation.

"If they are not willing to do it then there is more here than meets the eye," Aderholt explained.

Tik Tok organized its users to lobby Congress on its behalf.

"We got a lot of calls," Aderholt said. "They didn't even know what they were calling about, just that Tik Tok had told them to call."

Aderholt said that the users typically, "Don't read all the details and all of the information they are allowing ticktock to have."

"I know a lot of people like Tik Tok," Aderholt state. "I just don't want the Chinese government getting all of this information."

Aderholt is optimistic that the bill will pass.

"It was a bipartisan bill that passed unanimously out of committee," Aderholt said. It passed with over 300 votes on the House floor. I am hopeful that the Senate will take it up and that the President will sign it."

Even though the 2024 fiscal year began on October 1, Congress is still working on passing a budget for 2024.

Aderholt said that six of the 12 appropriations bills have passed and that negotiations are underway to pass the remaining six bills.

Aderholt said that those remaining six bills, "Need to pass by the 22nd of March."

"Right now, we are in negotiations with the Senate and the Democrats," Aderholt said. "The goal is to pass all 12 so the government can continue on."

Once that is done the appropriations committees in each house can begin work preparing for the next fiscal year which begins on October 1.

"My hope is that before we start the process next year that we can sit down and set our parameters," for the next budget Aderholt said.

Aderholt suggested that the process has been delayed by members of Congress, "Basically coming from the Senate" putting earmarks in the appropriations that are "basically poison pills."

Aderholt said that the narrow margin of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives combined with the 51 to 49 Democratic control of the Senate has made this congress particularly difficult.

"It has been very difficult to get legislation through," Aderholt said.

Aderholt defended U.S. Senator Katie Britt's (R-Alabama) Republican response to the State of the Union.

"I think every Alabamian who heard what Katie Said or read it agree with everything she said," Aderholt said. "Katie is very sincere and speaks from the heart."

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