Biden says first weapons will be sent to Ukraine in HOURS as he signs bill sending $95 billion in aid to Kyiv, Israel and Taiwan and forcing TikTok to be banned if Chinese owner doesn’t sell

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a $95.3 billion foreign aid package that sends much needed weapons to the Ukraine and includes a ban on TikTok if its parent company doesn’t divest its Chinese ownership within a year. 

‘This is a good day for America. It’s a good day Europe,’ Biden said. ‘It’s going to make America safer. It’s going to make the world safer.’ 

The bill includes $60.8 billion for Ukraine; $26.4 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific region, particularly Taiwan. It also includes sanctions against Iranian and Russian officials. 

‘I’m making sure the shipment start right away,’ Biden said of the aid to Ukraine. ‘In the next few hours, literally, a few hours.’

President Joe Biden argued the foreign aid bill will keep America safer

Its passage capped a fraught and tense six months to get the bill into law.  Speaker Mike Johnson pulled together a bipartisan coalition to approve the legislation as several members of his conservative wing opposed it. 

Biden’s Republican rival for president, Donald Trump, came out against the aid package, setting up a showdown between Johnson and Trump’s loyal MAGA followers on Capitol Hill. 

In his remarks, Biden blasted ‘MAGA Republicans’ for blocking the aid as Ukraine ran out of ammunition.

‘At the end of the day most of us, whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, or independents, believe that America must stand up for what we think is right,’ he said.

‘We don’t walk away from our allies. We stand with them, we don’t let tyrants win, we oppose them. We don’t really watch global events unfold. We shape them. That’s what it means to be the indispensable nation. That’s it means to be the world’s superpower and the world’s leading democracy.’ 

‘Some of our MAGA Republicans reject that vision but this vote makes it clear: there is a bipartisan consensus for that kind of American leadership. That’s exactly what we’ll continue to deliver.’

House Democrats came to Johnson’s aid on Saturday night to get the bill over the finish line. The Senate passed it on Tuesday.

‘It was a difficult path. It should have been easier and should have gotten there quickerb but in the end, we do what America always does. We rose to the moment came together and we got it done,’ Biden said.

It is the first aid package to the Ukraine in more than a year.  

The adminsitration is preparing a massive $1 billion military weapons package – including long-range missiles, ammunition, drones and vehicles – to send the Ukraine now that Congress has approved the funding.

‘Getting this done is one of the greatest achievements of the Senate in years, perhaps decades,’ Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

‘Today the Senate sends a unified message to the entire world,’ he noted. ‘America will always defend democracy in its hour of need.’ 

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, who is trying to steer the Republican Party away from its isolationist trend, celebrated the bill’s passing and blamed anti-Ukraine sentiment on Tucker Carlson ‘who, in my opinion, ended up where he should have been all along, which is interviewing Vladimir Putin,’ he said. 

McConnell said that Carlson’s ‘enormous audience’ convinced ‘a lot of rank and file Republicans’ that helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia is not important. 

The Senate measure also would force TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance to sell off the social media site or face a ban.

TikTok has one year to separate itself from China – or else be banned in the U.S.

But fans of TikTok are watching with acute concern as the legislation could lead to the outlaw of their favorite video-sharing platform

But fans of TikTok are watching with acute concern as the legislation could lead to the outlaw of their favorite video-sharing platform

Package gives billions to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and could potentially ban TikTok

Package gives billions to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and could potentially ban TikTok

TikTok has suggested the legislation amounts to a ‘total ban in the United States,’ hinting that ByteDance isn’t interested in selling.  

‘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,’ a TikTok spokesperson told Saturday. 

Attaching the measure to the foreign aid forced the Senate to vote on it after Schumer dragged his feet at putting it on the floor. 

The Israel portion of the bill will offer $4 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense system and billions more for weapons systems, artillery and munitions, as well as an additional $2.4 billion for U.S. operations in the region.

Nine billion dollars in that bill goes to humanitarian relief for Palestinians in Gaza.

‘I will always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran,’ Biden said.

He also pointed out the aid to Gaza. 

‘Israel must make sure all this aid reaches a Palestinians in Gaza without delay,’ he said. ‘And everything we do is guided by the ultimate  goal of bringing this hostages home and securing a ceasefire.’

Democrats remain divided on Biden’s Israel strategy and support for Palestine but most of the president’s party supported the legislation.  

This picture taken from Israel's southern border with the Gaza Strip shows destruction in the Palestinian territory

This picture taken from Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip shows destruction in the Palestinian territory

The breakdown of what is in the bill:

$61 billion for Ukraine

About $23 billion would be used to replenish US weapons, stockpiles and facilities, and more than $11 billion would fund current US military operations in the region.

Nearly $14 billion included in the bill would help Ukraine buy advanced weapons systems and other defense equipment.

The first tranche of aid – about $1 billion worth – is expected to reach Kyiv within days. 

$26 billion for Israel 

The package would provide $26.4 billion to aid Israel, which includes $4 billion for the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems and $1.2 billion for the Iron Beam defense system.

It also includes $9.2 billion in humanitarian assistance – including emergency food, shelter and basic services – to populations suffering crises.

$8 billion for Indo-Pacific

The package includes $8.1 billion to counter China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific region.

It includes $3.3 billion to develop submarine infrastructure, $2 billion in foreign military financing for Taiwan and $1.9 billion to replenish defense items and services provided to Taiwan and regional partners. 

Possible TikTok Ban

The legislation outlines a nine-month timeframe for the app’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to sell the social media company. 

If it misses the deadline, TikTok would be banned from US app stores. 

Iran and Russia Sanctions

The bill puts sanctions on ports and refineries that receive and process Iranian oil. 

It also restricts the export of goods and technology of US origin to Iran.