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Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
April 24, 2024

President Biden signs a $95 billion war aid bill, boosting support for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and impacting TikTok's future in the U.S. (AP/Evan Vucci)

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed into law on Wednesday a $95 billion war aid measure that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and that also has a provision that would force social media site TikTok to be sold or be banned in the U.S.

The announcement marks an end to the long, painful battle with Republicans in Congress over urgently needed assistance for Ukraine.

“We rose to the moment, we came together, and we got it done,” Biden said at White House event to announce the signing. “Now we need to move fast, and we are.”

Impact on Ukraine

But significant damage has been done to the Biden administration’s effort to help Ukraine repel Russia’s invasion during the funding impasse that dates back to August, when the Democratic president made his first emergency spending request for Ukraine aid. Even with a burst of new weapons and ammunition, it’s unlikely Ukraine will immediately recover after months of setbacks.

Biden approved immediately sending Ukraine $1 billion in military assistance and said the shipment would begin arriving in the “next few hours” — the first tranche from about $61 billion allocated for Ukraine. The package includes air defense capabilities, artillery rounds, armored vehicles and other weapons to shore up Ukrainian forces who have seen morale sink as Russian President Vladimir Putin has racked up win after win.

Future Uncertainties

But longer term, it remains uncertain if Ukraine — after months of losses in Eastern Ukraine and sustaining massive damage to its infrastructure — can make enough progress to sustain American political support before burning through the latest influx of money.

“It’s not going in the Ukrainians’ favor in the Donbas, certainly not elsewhere in the country,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby, referring to the eastern industrial heartland where Ukraine has suffered setbacks. “Mr. Putin thinks he can play for time. So we’ve got to try to make up some of that time.”

ByteDance Given Nine Months to Sell TikTok

Tucked into the measure is a provision that gives TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, nine months to sell it or face a nationwide prohibition in the United States. The president can grant a one-time extension of 90 days, bringing the timeline to sell to one year, if he certifies that there’s a path to divestiture and “significant progress” toward executing it.

The administration and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have called the social media site a growing national security concern.

Aid for Israel and Palestinians

The bill also includes about $26 billion in aid for Israel and a surge of about $1 billion in humanitarian relief for Palestinians in Gaza suffering as the Israel-Hamas war continues. Biden said Israel must ensure the humanitarian aid for Palestinians in bill reaches Gaza “without delay.”

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