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Senate passes bill to force sale TikTok


The U.S. Senate passed a bill on bill that would send billions of dollars to overseas allies and force the sale of TikTok from its parent company.

The bill passed the Senate on an overwhelming 79-18 vote late Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The package passed the House of Representatives on Saturday.

This package sends a total of $95 billion to several American allies. In that is $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for other overseas allies.

Under the bill, TikTok's parent company ByteDance has nine months to sell to an American company or the app would be banned in the U.S. The president has the option to extend that grace period to a year if a sale is in the works.

"The Communist Party of China, having access to that level of information on American citizens, especially our kids, is scary," said Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Missouri).

Schmitt and Missouri's senior senator, Sen. Josh Hawley (R), have both openly supported the ban of TikTok due to its ties to the Chinese government. Both of which did not support the bill and voted against it.

"This is really about China owning TikTok, essentially forcing the sale, which is completely within our national security interest as a country," Schmitt said.

Schmitt went on the record against combining foreign aid for different countries together.

"Whether it's Taiwan or whether it's Israel or whether it's Ukraine, all of them have different political coalitions, levels of support, definitions of victory, a lot of different factors," Schmitt said. "America's fundamental interests or not. And so I think jamming all this stuff together is something I've been consistent in opposing."

Schmitt elaborated on his "no" vote in a statement later on Tuesday.

"“Missourians sent me to Washington to fight for them, not to just go along with the failed Washington way of doing things, like spending billions we don’t have to defend the Ukrainian border while nothing is done to secure our own border. Moreover, there was no opportunity to properly amend this bill - that’s insane. It is time to put America’s strategic interests and the interests of the American people first. Washington’s priorities are out of touch with real America. Therefore, I voted no,” Schmitt said in the statement.

In a Truth Social post, former President Donald Trump said the ban of TikTok would be "election interference" from President Biden, that post was specifically addressed to young people. Trump did ban some business with TikTok in 2020.

Under this bill, if ByteDance doesn't sell, the TikTok ban would not go into effect until after the presidential election in November.

ABC 17 asked young voters in Downtown Columbia if a TikTok ban would affect the way they vote in the upcoming presidential election.

"I think it would be a small factor in the way that I vote, because there are other issues, obviously, that I feel more strongly about," University of Missouri student Emma Zawacki said.

ByteDance claims this bill is a violation of the First Amendment, and a lawsuit is expected. Constitutional Attorney Dave Roland said the clause giving ByteDance the chance to sell, it makes the case less cut and dry than a Montana TikTok ban that was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

"Because the government, arguably, is going to claim national security as part of its basis, it's not clear at the outset that courts are going to require the government to actually put on the proof that there are risks to the American people," Roland said.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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