Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats

Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats
© Greg Nash

Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerHouse Dems introduce bill to fight social media disinformation Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision' Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Va.) and five other bipartisan House members on Tuesday introduced a bill meant to protect U.S. telecommunications networks from national security threats from companies such as the Chinese firm Huawei.

The proposal calls for the creation of a national strategy to protect 5G wireless technology from security threats.

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The Secure 5G and Beyond Act would require the administration to create an “unclassified national strategy” to protect the U.S. consumers and allies from threats to 5G systems. This strategy would include language on ways to encourage research and development by U.S. companies around maintaining access to 5G for all Americans, and on protecting the “competitiveness” of U.S. companies, along with the privacy of American consumers, against foreign political influence.

Spanberger is spearheading the bill with co-sponsors that include Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers MORE (R-Ind.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyMomentum is growing to fight climate change by pricing carbon Bill Weld on climate change: Let the market decide Overnight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe MORE (R-Fla.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinHouse Dems introduce bill to fight social media disinformation Polls flash warning signs for Trump on impeachment Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Mich.), and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikCheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey Conservative lawmakers demand Schiff's recusal from Trump impeachment inquiry Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision' MORE (R-N.Y.). 

“The United States has long been responsible for the groundbreaking achievements of the digital age,” Spanberger said in a statement. “However, the growing prominence of 5G telecommunications systems in China and abroad, particularly through Huawei, should concern all Americans. To protect our national security and maintain our economic strength, we must build a nationwide gameplan to strengthen our mobile networks and protect the privacy of American families.”

A Senate version of the bill was introduced in March by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynTrying to kick tobacco again This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington GOP braces for impeachment brawl MORE (R-Texas), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerYang compares U.S. election tampering to Russia's election interference efforts Mark Warner nominates Bryan Cranston to play him in a movie Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits MORE (D-Va.), and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrJuan Williams: Trump, the conspiracy theory president Blood cancer patients deserve equal access to the cure Senate Intelligence report triggers new calls for action on election security MORE (R-N.C.). This legislation was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, where it has not yet seen action.

The introduction of the House version of the bill comes during a week when potential Chinese threats to 5G networks have been the focus of attention, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE signing an executive order banning U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment from any company deemed a national security risk.

The Commerce Department also formally added Huawei to its list of blacklisted trade groups last week, although issued a temporary license on Monday allowing U.S. companies to have “limited engagements” with Huawei for 90 days.