Scalise Highlights His Legislation Preventing China from Threatening U.S. Telecom Networks

June 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) discussed his Secure Equipment Act of 2021, legislation he introduced with Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), to block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reviewing or issuing equipment licenses to companies backed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that have been identified by the FCC as national security threats. The Subcommittee considered Whip Scalise’s bill at today’s hearing.

Click here or on the image above to watch Whip Scalise’s remarks.   

On his legislation to prevent the CCP from infiltrating America’s telecom networks:

“Our bill, H.R. 3919, which is the Secure Equipment Act, stops the threat of China from infiltrating our networks by prohibiting the FCC from issuing equipment licenses to Chinese companies that are identified as national security threats — not all companies, but companies that have made that distinction that the FCC’s now identified as national security threats.
“In 2019, our Committee worked in a bipartisan manner to help address the threat of China by passing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. That landmark act instructed the FCC to do a few things, among those:
  • publish a list of telecommunication equipment deemed to be a national security threat;
  • prohibit the use of federal funds for purchasing equipment made by those companies;
  • authorize funding for U.S. carriers to rip and replace equipment that was made by those companies. 
“So earlier this year, the FCC did what they were instructed to do, and in fact, published [a list of five companies posing a threat to national security.] Every company on this list has ties to the Chinese Communist Party, with the Chinese government having ownership in many of them. Clearly, you can see why that was a concern that the FCC identified.
“We also know all too well that the CCP wastes no opportunity to expose our vulnerabilities and to undermine our national security.
“While the 2019 law took a major step in getting compromised tech out of U.S. networks, U.S. carriers can still privately purchase equipment from these listed companies on the open market. So, these companies can still sell to American companies where that data can be controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
“Since all [of] those companies are subject to Chinese national security laws, at any point the Chinese government can choose to exploit them for espionage tapping into their access in U.S. networks to gain critical information on individuals and sensitive government information. 
“As we expand our 5G networks [with] heavy data flows and the critical technologies that rely on these networks such as driverless cars and the Internet of Things, any existence of compromised technology poses a grave threat to our national security. 
“Our bill seeks to further improve on the 2019 law. By prohibiting the FCC from issuing any equipment licenses to these companies, our bill adds an extra layer of security and puts a full stop to Chinese equipment from [threatening our networks.]
“I look forward to having a full markup on this bill and moving it to the Floor so we can better protect our networks.”

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