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The tech items in the House foreign aid package

Apr 18, 2024
Illustration of hands fighting over the Tik Tok logo.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The House is gearing up to pass a package of foreign aid bills Saturday with key tech measures tucked in.

Why it matters: Tech legislation rarely gets through Congress, but lawmakers are poised to get key privacy and social media bills on President Biden's desk.

  • The package is on a fast track to Biden, with potentially limited debate when it reaches the Senate.

Data brokers: A bill to stop data brokers from selling sensitive personal information to foreign adversaries made it into the package.

  • The Protecting Americans' Data from Foreign Adversaries Act was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Ranking Member Frank Pallone.

Our thought bubble: The bill would address the fact that U.S. companies, not just those with ties to China, also pose a threat to Americans' data.

TikTok: The package includes legislation to require Chinese-based ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a ban in the U.S.

  • This version of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act extends the amount of time ByteDance has to sell TikTok, as first reported by Axios.
  • ByteDance has 270 days to divest, after which the president may grant the company a one-time extension of no more than 90 days.

What they're saying: Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell welcomed the change. Her backing is key for getting the package through the Senate.

  • "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," Cantwell said in a statement.
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