In House’s OK of aid to Israel, Ukraine, TikTok’s fate gets murky.

Critical aid for Israel’s fight against Hamas and Ukraine’s war with Russia also tees up a legal war with Chinese-backed TikTok.

The House of Representatives approved a sweeping foreign aid package with a key provision that could alter America’s social media landscape.

An overwhelming, bi-partisan vote on the House floor could lead to a ban on TikTok in the U.S. if its China-based owner, ByteDance Ltd., does not sell its stake within a year, amidst national security concerns voiced by both Democrats and Republicans.


Driving the news: The TikTok provision, approved by a 360-58 vote, is part of a larger foreign aid package aimed at aiding Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan amid hostilities in the Middle East and Russia.

  • It now moves to the Senate with virtual certainty of passage.

Inside the Tik-ing time bomb: The legislation sets the deadline to sell at to nine months, with a possible additional three months if a sale is in progress, amid potential legal challenges that could further delay the process.

  • TikTok, with its 170 million U.S. users, including many young individuals, has extensively lobbied against the legislation, prompting pushback from lawmakers. The company has indicated it may challenge the law in court to protect users’ First Amendment rights.
  • The bill’s focus on one company and the fast tracking of the ban is notable, reflecting widespread concerns about Chinese influence. Lawmakers have worried about potential Chinese government influence over American user data and the app’s content, although the U.S. government has not publicly provided evidence of this.
  • TikTok has had previous success in legal challenges, including blocking a Montana law banning TikTok’s use and a federal court’s block of an executive order by former President Donald Trump to ban TikTok, which was challenged on free speech and due process grounds.
  • The company has spent $5 million on TV ads opposing the legislation and has garnered the support of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

How they voted: Here’s how Valley lawmakers voted on the foreign aid package.

  • Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove): Yes
  • Rep. Josh Harder (D–Tracy): Yes
  • Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto): Yes
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno): Yes
  • Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford): Yes

What they’re saying: Local lawmakers celebrated the approval of the aid package for delivering on critical needs for a pair of American allies.

  • “My most important duty in Congress is ensuring the safety of all Americans, and it is in America’s national security interest to help our allies defend themselves,” said Rep. David Valada (R–Hanford). “These bills will replenish our own defense stockpiles, require greater oversight of aid, and ensure our allies have the means to counter terror and aggression. America cannot sit by while Russia, Iran and its terrorist proxies, and the Chinese Communist Party commit direct assaults on freedom and democracy.”
  • “Now more than ever, our allies, Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan are looking to the United States for leadership in their darkest times of need. Democracies around the world are under attack by autocratic enemies of the free world,” Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) said. “Families are fleeing their homes, civilian casualties are mounting, and millions are caught in the crossfire. These crises go beyond their borders, it endangers our national security, our economic prosperity, and the stability of the free world.”
  • “After six months of dysfunctional Republican chaos, the House overcame divisions, and we are sending a strong, unified message to our adversaries and the rest of the world: We will not abandon our allies. This bipartisan National Security Package supports our allies and addresses the humanitarian crises in Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and other conflict zones.”
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