House Passes New Bill To Force TikTok Sale; Lawmakers Also Pass $95 Billion National Security Package For Aid To Ukraine, Israel And Taiwan

The fate of TikTok in the United States is even more uncertain as the House today voted on a package that requires that parent ByteDance divest its popular social media platform or face a ban on app stores.

Lawmakers passed the bill 360-58, part of a series of votes to break a six-month standoff over a $95 billion aid package to Ukraine as well as to Israel and to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific. House members overwhelming passed the additional funding to those countries and regions, including $60.8 billion to Ukraine. That cleared the House 311-112.

The TikTok portion of the legislative package revises previous legislation by extending the time by which China’s ByteDance could sell the platform. A previous bill that cleared the House earlier this year gave ByteDance less than six months to do so.

The potential TikTok ban was part of a bill that included a long list of national security priorities, including the authorization of the sale of Russian assets and mandatory sanctions of Hamas.

The Senate is expected to take up the package of bills, including Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan aid, next week, perhaps as soon as Tuesday. Prospects appear to be good for passage, and it is unclear what TikTok will do next. The company said in a statement earlier this week, “It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy, annually.”

But revisions to the previous legislation helped convince a key lawmaker, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), to support the new legislation. She said in a statement that “extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done.”

The $60.8 billion in aid to Ukraine has been held up since last year, as a group of hard-right Republicans oppose further funding of the country’s war with Russia. In February, the Senate passed a $95 billion national security package that included aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but has languished in the House as Speaker Mike Johnson faced a revolt from members of the Republican caucus. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), an opponent of the Ukraine aid, has filed a motion to vacate Johnson from the speaker’s chair, but she has not yet forced a vote on his removal.

Greene told CNN’s Manu Raju said that she was not moving forward yet on whether to remove Johnson, and instead wanted lawmakers to go back home during a recess next week to hear from their constituents.

“This is the sellout of America today,” she said, cursing once on air as she talked to Raju and other reporters live from the steps of the Capitol.

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