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TikTok “Ban” Is Reignited After Getting Wedged Into Ukraine and Israel Funding Bill

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A bill targeting popular Chinese social media app TikTok has once again been approved by the US House of Representatives, this time shoe-horned into a comprehensive package addressing international affairs and foreign adversaries, including Russia.

These broader repercussions make it difficult for the Senate to delay its assessment of the proposal. The bill, which came with an overwhelming support of 360-58 votes, along with other foreign aid propositions aims to address various international flashpoints, such as providing military assistance to Ukraine and Israel and sending relief aid to Gaza.

Related: The Dangerous Language and First Amendment Challenges of the Rushed Anti-TikTok Bill

Previously, a standalone version of the TikTok bill that won the House’s approval 352-65 last month had been languishing in the limbo of the Senate without a clear path forward. Its future appeared uncertain amid undecided sentiments from many senators. However, the shift in attitudes became palpable once the bill was strategically wedged into the foreign aid bundle.

A contributing factor towards the change in attitude could be the updated language within the new bill that offers ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, a more flexible deadline to finalize the sale of TikTok.

While the previous proposal only provided a six-month window, the fresh legislation stretches the divestment period to up to nine months, with a potential extension of an additional three months at the President’s discretion.

President Joe Biden has pledged to sign off on the TikTok legislation, provided it gets that far.

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