A Bipartisan Effort to Protect National Security
A groundbreaking bipartisan initiative in the House aims to safeguard the United States from potential threats posed by Chinese drones. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) have joined forces to introduce the Securing Our Airspace from Reconnaissance Act. This move comes as Congress seeks to distance itself from the hostile nation and protect the nation’s interests.
Concerns Over Chinese Intelligence Gathering
The lawmakers are deeply concerned that the Chinese Communist Party could exploit intelligence and data collected from unsuspecting drone users across the country for unfriendly purposes. “They may seem innocent, surveilling traffic, or another machine could be programmed, for all we know, to be looking at other things, as well as sending that information back to China. We still know nothing,” Joyce emphasized in an interview with the Washington Examiner, referring to Chinese drones as nothing more than a “modern-day Trojan horse.”
Heightened Calls for Vigilance
There is a growing chorus of voices in both parties urging the United States to reevaluate its relationship with China. This sentiment has been further fueled by incidents such as the blimp that was caught flying over the U.S. earlier this year. Auchincloss argues that Chinese-made drones pose a significant threat to national security, as they grant foreign companies access to sensitive data. This concern is particularly relevant when local, state, and federal agencies employ these drones for critical infrastructure and law enforcement purposes.
Expanding the Ban on Chinese Drones
Currently, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security are the only federal entities with bans on the purchase of Chinese-made drones. However, Joyce believes that China’s long-term vision of becoming the world’s most powerful nation necessitates a comprehensive approach to counter their actions. The proposed bill would prohibit all levels of the U.S. government from using official funds to acquire drones made in China or any other country of concern. Agencies seeking an exemption from the ban would face additional oversight, and Congress would be notified of all approved or renewed requests.
“The SOAR Act will eliminate that vulnerability and instead spur U.S. manufacturing for drones,” Auchincloss stated, emphasizing the importance of protecting national interests and promoting domestic drone production. The bill also mandates the expansion of partnerships between private-sector drone manufacturers in the U.S. and public agencies, further bolstering American capabilities in this critical field.
Support for the Initiative
Reps. Lance Gooden (R-TX) and Max Miller (R-OH) have already signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, demonstrating the broad support for this bipartisan effort to protect national security. The lawmakers believe that the best solution lies in purchasing drones and other technology from American companies, ensuring the nation’s interests are safeguarded.
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