Chair Rodgers: Our C&T Bills Will Unleash American Innovation and Help us Beat China
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee markup of 13 bills.
Excerpts and highlights below:
THE BIPARTISAN SAT STREAMLINING ACT
“We are marking up 13 bipartisan bills that will unleash innovation in the satellite industry and ensure more secure communications networks.
“All these bills are bipartisan. As others have noted, this committee has a rich history of working across the aisle, and the solutions we are considering today show what we can accomplish when we work together.
“I want to begin by highlighting the Satellite and Telecommunications (SAT) Streamlining Act, which I introduced with Ranking Member Pallone.
“This is the first legislation in decades to update our laws governing how satellites are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“We heard from witnesses at two separate hearings about the exciting new developments taking place in the satellite industry, how satellites are helping to close the digital divide, providing faster lifesaving emergency services, and helping our farmers feed the world and bring food to our tables with precision agriculture.
“We also heard about the need to update our regulatory framework to keep up with these advancements or risk losing U.S. leadership in this industry.
“This legislation would reform the FCC’s satellite licensing process by requiring the FCC to establish a new framework for granting satellite licenses, modernize its rules to encourage operators to base their operations in the United States, and incentivize operators to be responsible stewards of space and spectrum in a global marketplace.
“These are important changes that will help U.S. companies compete globally and help us stay ahead of our adversaries, like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who seek to overtake our lead.
“Thank you, Ranking Member Pallone, for working with me on this legislation.”
FOUR ADDITIONAL BIPARTISAN SATELLITE SOLUTIONS
“We are also considering four more bills related to advancing and securing the U.S. satellite industry.
“The first is the Secure Space Act, which Ranking Member Pallone and I are also partners on.
“This committee has a taken a number of steps in recent years to secure our communications networks from untrusted vendors that threaten our national security, like Huawei and ZTE, which are controlled by the CCP.
“In 2020, we passed the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, which prohibited federal funds from being used to buy hardware from these companies and created the rip-and-replace program to remove this equipment from our networks.
“Last Congress, we passed the Secure Equipment Act, which prohibited the FCC from licensing equipment from companies posing a national security threat.
“Today’s legislation continues that work. The Secure Space Act would prohibit the FCC from licensing satellite services owned by untrusted vendors, and will further protect our networks from the growing threat posed by the CCP.
“We are also considering legislation that will help us launch satellites into space more efficiently, promote the use of new technology to provide emergency alerts and access to 9-1-1, and promote the use of satellites in precision agriculture.
“I want to thank the sponsors of those bills for their hard work.”
“Finally, we are considering 8 bills that will further secure our communications networks and address cybersecurity issues in U.S. networks.
“These bills promote policies to help guide the development of future generations of wireless technology and trusted supply chains, making sure the federal government has the right cybersecurity policies in place and helping people understand cybersecurity risks and steps they can take to prevent cyberattacks and protect their data.
“These bills passed the House last Congress under suspension, and I am pleased that we are considering them again this Congress.
“We have a full agenda of bills to consider today, and I’m especially proud that each one of these bills is bipartisan.
“These bills will help unleash American innovation and make our country more secure.”