Biden signs $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid bill that includes TikTok sell-or-ban law

WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden signed a $95.3 billion foreign aid package Wednesday morning that overcame strong divisions in Congress to deliver long-sought security aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, while forcing the social media app TikTok to sell the company or face a ban in the United States.

Moments after the signing, the Pentagon announced a $1 billion military aid drawdown for Ukraine that includes air defense missiles, ammunition to shoot down drones, artillery shells and other equipment.

“It’s a good day for America, it’s a good day for Europe, and it’s a good day for world peace," Biden said in remarks from the White House Dining Room. "For real. This is consequential."

Biden says US 'rose to the moment' after 'difficult path'

Biden's signature came after the Senate, in a 79-18 bipartisan vote Tuesday night, approved the package of bills − which authorized $61 billion to support Ukraine, $17 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza and elsewhere, and $8 billion for allies in the Indo-Pacific.

More: Grandpa, please don't ban TikTok

"When our allies are stronger, we are stronger," Biden said, thanking Congress members of both parties for taking action despite their differences. "It was a difficult path. It should have been easier. And it should have gotten there sooner, but in the end, we did what America always does: We rose to the moment."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought the aid for months after exhausting billions of dollars in previous U.S. aid to defend itself against Russia in a war that has raged for more than two years. The measure was resisted by hardline Republicans but finally advanced after House Speaker Mike Johnson, who initially blocked the package, risked his speakership by backing it.

The U.S. expects the newly authorized funding to supply Ukraine through 2024, said Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks after signing legislation giving $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in the State Dining Room at the White House on April 24, 2024 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks after signing legislation giving $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in the State Dining Room at the White House on April 24, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Calling the its passage a "historical moment," Biden touted steps taken over the past two years to unify, strengthen and expand NATO, warning that if Russian President Vladimir Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will next target a NATO ally.

"Imagine if instead we had failed to step up now and to support Ukraine. All of those gains would have begun to unravel, the cohesion of NATO would have been weakened and our national security would have been undermined, without any question," Biden said.

TikTok must divest from parent company or face ban

With the aid package's inclusion of the TikTok provision − which Biden supported but did not mention in his remarks − the wildly popular TikTok will have to sever ties with its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, within nine months, or be blocked U.S.-based web hosting services.

"This is not about a ban. This is about a divestment − selling, being sold," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. "This is about our national security. This is not concerns about Americans using TikTok, this is about PRC ownership."

TikTok, used by more than 170 million people in the U.S., has drawn scrutiny in Washington over concerns that the Chinese government could use the app to gain access to private user data or spread misinformation.

Despite his administration's security concerns, Biden's reelection campaign has continued to use TikTok in its outreach to young voters.

The nine-month deadline punts any TikTok ban past the 2024 presidential election. Biden also has the option to invoke a three-month extension to the deadline. TikTok has vowed to fight the measure in court.

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook and Riley Beggin

Reach Joey Garrison on X @joeygarrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden signs Ukraine, Israel aid bill with sell-or-ban TikTok law