The Senate unanimously passed a law on Thursday to take action to further crack down on the use of telecommunications products by companies deemed a threat to national security, such as those based in China.
The Secure Equipment Act would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from considering or licensing products from companies on the agency’s “covered list”.
Companies on this list include Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE, which Congress and the Trump administration have taken action to block the United States from over national security and espionage concerns. The FCC last year officially designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats.
The invoice was approved by the House last week by a 420-4 vote, and is now heading to President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet with House Dems ahead of trip to Europe: Report 21 House Democrats are calling for removing IRS banking reporting proposal from overnight health care expense bill – Brought to you by Altria – The Vulnerables House Dems push the PLUS drug pricing plansignature office.
The legislation was sponsored in the upper house by the deputy chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Marco rubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley – TikTok and Snapchat Seek to Distance themselves from Facebook Rubio calls for federal investigation into Amazon benefits. (R-Fla.) And Sen. Ed markeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment – Brought to you by American Clean Power – Democrats Prepare to Toast Oil Executives Merkley, Warren and Markey Sound the Alarm Over Supply of ‘Dirty’ Hydrogen in the Overnight Energy & Climate Agreement Environment – Presented by American Clean Power – Democrats see the way ahead on climate provisions MORE (D-Mass.). In the House, the bill was sponsored by Home minority whip Steve scaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise Anti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise and other leading Tories (R-La.) And Rep. Anna eshooAnna Georges EshooHillicon Valley – Presented by Xerox – US Crackdown on Overseas Hacking Tools House Passes Bills to Secure Telecommunications Infrastructure Hillicon Valley – Presented by LookingGlass – Congress Moves Tech Policy MORE (D-California).
The four lawmakers celebrated the passage of the Secure Equipment Act on Thursday, highlighting threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies.
“Chinese state-run companies like Huawei and ZTE are known threats to national security and have no place in our telecommunications network,” Rubio said in a statement. “I am grateful that the Senate and House have passed this bill, which will help prevent compromised equipment from bad actors from entering critical US infrastructure. Now President Biden must quickly enact it so that the Chinese Communist Party can no longer exploit this dangerous loophole. ”
Markey underlined the need to “bring our technology to life with our values”.
“Our bipartisan legislation will keep compromised equipment out of US telecommunications networks and ensure that our technology is safe for consumers and secure for the United States,” Markey said in a separate statement.
“I am proud to have helped lead this effort and thank my colleagues in both houses of Congress for passing our bill. I am ready to work now with the Biden administration and the FCC to implement this critical national security measure. “
Scalise said the bill “is a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that America is determined to protect the privacy and security of our citizens,” while Eshoo separately said she was “anxious to see this bill promulgated soon by the president ”.