Republican Megadonor Threatens to Cut Off Funds to GOP Lawmakers Unless They Support the TikTok Ban Bill

By Thea Felicity

Mar 13, 2024 06:10 AM EDT

Tech venture capitalist Keith Rabois has issued a warning against Republican lawmakers who will not support a bill that could ban TikTok in the US. 

In a post on X, Rabois, a GOP megadonor, said he would cut off campaign contributions to Republicans in Congress or affiliated committees who would vote against the bill. 

"Will never fund any Republican candidates or leadership PACs (or the NRSC) run by Republicans who vote against the TikTok legislation," Rabois wrote.

Republican Senators John Barrasso from Wyoming (L) and John Thune from South Dakota (C) sit next to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in the House of Representatives ahead of US President Joe Biden's third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 7, 2024.
(Photo : Photo by SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Keith Rabois Threatens Republican Lawmakers With Funding Halt Ahead of House Vote on TikTok Ban

According to CNBC, the House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill on Wednesday that would require TikTok to sell off the social media platform or cut ties with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, within six months or face being banned from apps and web hosting sites across the US.

Supporters of the bill emphasized that the goal is not to eliminate TikTok but to prevent a Chinese firm from having access to a large amount of American data, thus posing a national security threat to the US.

Rabois told CNBC that "support for the TikTok bill is an IQ test" for lawmakers. Last month, a Federal Election Commission filing showed Rabois donated $500,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee supporting House GOP candidates.

Rabois, the managing director at Khosla Ventures, also donated $41,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) last year and $120,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House counterpart of NRSC.

READ NEXT: Donald Trump Thinks TikTok Ban Will Give Facebook More Power, Condemning it as 'Enemy of the People'

TikTok Ban: Fate Uncertain in Senate

Reuters reported that the House plans to vote on the bill at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. For the measure to pass, it requires support by at least two-thirds of House members.

The vote comes almost a week since lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted 50-0 to advance the bill, setting it up for a vote before the full House.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the bill's prospects in the Senate were still uncertain. Rabois told CNBC that in the Senate, "it will be up to the Democrat Leader [Chuck Schumer] to bring it to the floor. If he does, we will have a clear voting record" of where each senator stands on the issue.

He added that his decision to support Republican-associated committees will partly depend on how GOP leadership handles the upcoming vote.

CNBC reported that Rabois' threat could sway undecided Republican lawmakers who are still thinking about whether to support the bill.

READ MORE: Former Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Eyes TikTok Acquisition Amid ByteDance Inquiry

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