WASHINGTON–(KFOR/AP Apr. 23)–U.S. Senators on Tuesday passed a bill that would force Tik Tok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, to sell the social media platform or be banned in the United States.

Nebraska Republican Senator Pete Ricketts was one of the supporting votes of the bill, who said Tik Tok videos are being major influencers in the world, including demonstrations and protests with the situation between Hamas and Israel.

“The Chinese Communist Party is doing this on purpose,” Ricketts added.  “They are pushing this racist agenda with the intention of undermining our democratic values.”

The TikTok legislation was included as part of a larger $95 billion package that provides foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel and was passed 79-18.  The passage of the legislation is a culmination of long-held bipartisan fears in Washington over Chinese threats and the ownership of TikTok, which is used by 170 million Americans.

For years, lawmakers and administration officials have expressed concerns that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over U.S. user data, or influence Americans by suppressing or promoting certain content on TikTok.

The bill would need the signature of President Joe Biden for it to take effect.

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