President Biden Signs Foreign Aid Bill That Could Lead To TikTok Ban

By iHeartRadio

April 24, 2024

Photo: JIM WATSON / AFP / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has signed a $95 billion aid package into law, providing crucial military assistance to Ukraine and Israel. The package, which was passed by the Senate on Tuesday (April 23), includes nearly $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel, and $8 billion for the Indo-Pacific region. The legislation also includes a provision that could lead to the banning of TikTok in the United States.

Speaking from the White House after signing the bill, Biden described it as a "good day for America, a good day for Ukraine and a good day for world peace." He added that the aid package is "going to make America safer. It's going to make the world safer. And it continues America's leadership in the world."

The signing of the aid package follows months of negotiations and personal lobbying from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The aid package will provide immediate military supplies to Ukraine, including air-defense equipment, munitions for artillery and rocket systems, and armored vehicles. The Pentagon announced a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine shortly after Biden signed the bill into law.

The bill also includes a mandate that ByteDance, TikTok's China-based parent company, sell the social media platform within nine months, with a possible three-month extension if a sale is in progress. Failure to comply could result in TikTok being banned from U.S. app stores and internet hosting services, effectively restricting new downloads and interaction with its content.

The legislation is a response to long-standing bipartisan concerns in Washington over potential Chinese threats and the ownership of TikTok, which is used by 170 million Americans. Lawmakers and administration officials have expressed concerns that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over U.S. user data or influence Americans by suppressing or promoting certain content on TikTok.

However, TikTok is preparing to challenge the legislation in court. 

"At the stage that the bill is signed, we will move to the courts for a legal challenge," Michael Beckerman, TikTok's head of public policy for the Americas, wrote in a memo sent to employees on Saturday and obtained by The Associated Press.

Despite the potential legal battle, TikTok users can continue using the app as before. However, they might begin to see more creators, or the company itself, speaking out in the app to oppose the legislation.

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