Pallone and Doyle on House Passage of Four Bipartisan Bills to Strengthen Nation’s Telecommunications Infrastructure
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) released the following joint statement after the House of Representatives passed four communications and technology bills today:
“Today the House continued its work to strengthen our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure for the future by overwhelmingly passing four bipartisan bills. Together, these bills will boost network reliability, protect against suspect equipment that poses a risk to our national security, support small communications network providers, and bolster the economic competitiveness of our technology supply chains. We commend the bipartisan work that went into these bills that advanced out of our Committee in July and hope that the Senate will take action soon.”
The House of Representatives passed the following four bills:
H.R. 4067, the “Communications Security Advisory Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Tim Walberg (R-MI). The bill would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make permanent a recently recharted council to make recommendations on ways to increase the security, reliability, and interoperability of communications networks. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 397-29.
H.R. 3919, the “Secure Equipment Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The bill would prohibit the FCC from reviewing or approving any authorization for wireless equipment from a provider that is on the list of those that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 420-4.
H.R. 4032, the “Open RAN Outreach Act,” was introduced by Reps. Colin Allred (D-TX), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Richard Hudson (R-NC). The bill would require the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, acting through the head of the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to small communications network providers to raise awareness of the benefits, uses, and challenges of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) networks and other open network architectures. The legislation also requires the Assistant Secretary to raise awareness about, and participation in, the Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Grant Program. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 410-17
H.R. 4028, the “Information and Communication Technology Strategy Act,” was introduced by Reps. Billy Long (R-MO), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Jerry McNerney (D-CA). The bill would require the Secretary of Commerce to report on and develop a whole-of-government strategy with respect to the economic competitiveness of the information and communication technology supply chain, and for other purposes. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 413-14.
All four of these bills advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by a voice vote during a full Committee markup in July.