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Biden signs massive aid package for Ukraine and Israel, in addition to TikTok ban

Tucked away in the $95 billion aid package was a bill to ban TikTok in the U.S. if its Chinese-owned parent company doesn't sell the platform.
President Joe Biden
Posted at 9:43 AM, Apr 24, 2024

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a $95 billion aid package — that will also provide military support — to allies in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Backed with massive bipartisan support, the package comes after months of delays. The Senate passed the package on Tuesday, sending it to President Biden to sign the next day.

“We rose to the moment, we came together, and we got it done," President Biden said at a White House event Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. "Now we need to move fast — and we are.”

Of the $95 billion aid package, $61 billion is being designated to Ukraine.

President Biden also urged Israel to ensure that humanitarian aid designated for Palestinians gets to Gaza “without delay,” AP said.

Tucked away in that larger package was also a bill to ban TikTok if Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance does not sell the platform.

ByteDance now faces an ultimatum: Sell TikTok within nine months, with a possible extension of three more months, or be banned from operating in the U.S. It's a decision that has support from both sides of the political aisle, as lawmakers say the app puts Americans' data at risk of being in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, who may use it for nefarious purposes against the U.S.

In a briefing with reporters Tuesday, Sen. Tim Kaine was confident that the app, with more than 150 million American users, will find a buyer.

"From the user experience you're not going to see TikTok banned, you're not going to see TikTok go away. The user will have a greater comfort level that their information is not going to be misused by a foreign adversary to mislead them," he said.

But others, like Daniel Castro, the vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation foundation, think a sale in that timeframe will be hard to get.

In response to President Biden signing the bill, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew alluded to taking legal action.

"Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere," he said in a video posted on X. "We are confident, and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts."