TikTok Ban-or-Sell Bill Is Now Bundled With Military Aid

TikTok divest-or-ban legislation gets bundled in fast-tracked foreign aid package, pressuring Senate
TikTok Ban Senate Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock rarrarorro/Shutterstock

There are three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes, and the House of Representatives pushing legislation that could ban TikTok in the United States.

The Senate thus far has stalled the pending legislation against TikTok, taking its time to address a March 2024 bill passed in the House that might ban the app.

But as of April 20, the House has passed new TikTok legislation. This time, it has attempted to fast-track a new version of the bill. How? By bundling it with a foreign aid package that the Senate needs to urgently address.

What is the latest update to the potential TikTok ban?

Like its predecessors, the new bill, titled the “21st Century Peace through Strength Act,” mandates TikTok to sever ties with Chinese parent company ByteDance — or face a nationwide ban.

This new legislation gives the short-form video app nine months to divest, aka sell, its assets to a U.S. buyer. There’s also the potential to extend it for another three months if a sale is in progress. Meanwhile, previous iterations of this bill gave TikTok a six-month deadline to make the sale.

But the bizarre thing about this bill, which passed 360-58, is how it came into the House in the first place. It was essentially bundled as part of a larger foreign aid bill, which seeks to provide humanitarian aid in Gaza and military aid to Israel and Ukraine. 

When will the Senate respond to the TikTok ban legislation?

Due to the urgent nature of these military conflicts, the Senate is expected to determine the foreign aid bill more quickly than it usually would. It could be voted on as soon as this week.

Given that previous iterations of the TikTok bill stagnated in the Senate stage, this bill slipping through with these more urgent items was no accident.

President Joe Biden has already said he’d sign the legislation if passed in the Senate. So now, this ban feels a hell of a lot closer than it has in a while. 

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