A TikTok ban is wrapped in Speaker Johnson's foreign aid package: What happens next?

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(WASHINGTON) -- A ban on the popular social media app TikTok in the United States is now lumped in with Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans' $95 billion foreign aid package, which would provide funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

House Republican leaders late Wednesday posted legislative text on a fourth and final bill -- the "21st Century Peace Through Strength Act" -- that's part of the proposed aid package. The bill includes a modified version of the TikTok ban that passed the House earlier this year, as well as the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act, mandatory sanctions on Iran and more.

The new bill would give TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance 270 days from the date of enactment to divest from the app or face a U.S. ban, according to the proposed legislation. It would also give the president flexibility to offer a one-time extension of 90 days, ultimately possibly providing ByteDance up to a year to divest from the app, according to the bill.

The previous TikTok bill that passed in the House in March gave ByteDance 180 days to divest from the app or face a ban.

Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell endorsed the changes to the proposed TikTok ban and said Wednesday in a statement: "I'm very happy that Speaker Johnson and House leaders incorporated my recommendation to extend the ByteDance divestment period from six months to a year. As I've said, extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done. I support this updated legislation."

In a post on X Wednesday night, TikTok said: "It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy, annually."

What happens next?

In its latest guidance, House GOP leadership advised that votes on the four bills in the aid package are expected in the House on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the last votes for the week expected late Saturday. The aid package includes $26.4 billion for Israel aid, including $4 billion to replenish Israel's Iron Dome defense system; $60.8 billion for Ukraine aid, including $23 billion for replenishing weapons, and $8.1 billion for Indo-Pacific aid.

If each of the four bills passes and Johnson sends them to the Senate as one package -- as he's indicated he would do, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wouldn't be able to take up the issue of foreign aid without the fourth bill that includes the proposed TikTok ban.

While senators could strip out the TikTok portion of the fourth bill, that would require sending the legislation back to the House for another vote.

While Schumer on Wednesday expressed overall support for the House foreign aid package -- although not bringing up TikTok, he said he hasn't looked closely at the text yet.

Sources at TikTok told ABC News they were alarmed by how quickly this legislation is moving and were still trying to formulate their response late Wednesday.

TikTok, which has more than 170 million American users, has said the legislation passed in the House in March amounts to a "total ban."

In response to ABC News' request for comment in March, TikTok condemned the proposed bill as an infringement on the right to express oneself freely.

"This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States. The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country," a TikTok spokesperson said at the time.

Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 7:18PM by Jay O'Brien, Lauren Peller, John Parkinson, and Rachel Scott, ABC News Permalink