Bipartisan E&C Leaders Urge Congress to Fund FCC’s Rip and Replace Program to Secure U.S. Communication’s Networks from China

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Doris Matsui (D-CA), released a statement following the deadline for carriers to choose to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rip and replace program, which provides funds to American communications providers to remove equipment that poses a national security threat: 

“We are extremely disappointed that the FCC’S rip and replace program has still not been fully funded by Congress. This program provides funding to American communications providers to remove suspect equipment like Huawei and ZTE from our communications infrastructure. The longer Congress waits to address the funding shortfall in this program, the more we jeopardize America’s national security by leaving our networks vulnerable to espionage by adversaries like China. We continue to work with our colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and in House leadership to bring H.R. 3565, the Spectrum Auction Reauthorization Act to the floor, which fully funds this program. It’s critical that we find a path forward as soon as possible to finish securing our networks and strengthening our national defense.” 

NOTE: On May 24, 2023, the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced H.R. 3565, the Spectrum Auction Reauthorization Act of 2023 out of committee and to the House floor by a bipartisan vote of 50-0. The bill would extend spectrum auction authority, make important changes to existing spectrum auction processes, and direct spectrum auction proceeds to fund critical programs. Additionally, it would promote national security and public safety by providing $3.08 billion for small communications providers to remove Huawei and ZTE from their networks, as well as authorize and fund Next Generation 9-1-1 technology.