The House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that will bar the Department of Homeland Security from using drones made in countries designated as foreign adversaries, amid concerns of national security threats from foes such as China.
The Unmanned Aerial Security Act was one of a number of bills passed in the House ahead of the August recess and had been introduced by House Homeland Security Committee Vice Chairman Michael Guest.
The bill would bar DHS from “operating or procuring foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems.” Specifically, it would block the use of drones made in a foreign country that had been identified as a foreign adversary by the intelligence community or a corporation domiciled in such a country.
Drones are used for a variety of purposes, but have been used for years to monitor the southern border. In 2020, Customs and Border Protection said it was planning to deploy 460 drones across the border.
The legislation’s passage comes amid widespread concern about growing Chinese efforts to spy on the U.S. The communist regime deployed a spy balloon across the U.S. earlier this year, although it claims it was accidental.
Meanwhile, the federal government has confirmed that the Chinese have been trying to build spy bases in Cuba, describing it as an ongoing problem.
“We know that drones made by our foreign adversaries can be manipulated to undermine American security – a security risk that we cannot tolerate as the Chinese Communist Party presents a continuous threat against our nation and our allies,” Guest said in a statement.
“The Department of Homeland Security utilizes drones for critical missions, and it is imperative that we trust the technology we are using. It is well known that the Chinese Communist Party has stolen our technology and information in the past. That’s why this legislation is so important. It would help mitigate security risks by ensuring our drones are not manufactured by our adversaries – including those manufacturers influenced by the CCP,” he said.
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green praised the bill’s passage, saying that the U.S. “cannot allow adversaries in Beijing to infiltrate a supply chain for critical homeland security technology that is used by Border Patrol agents and other federal law enforcement to accomplish their missions in the field.”
The bill marks part of a broader effort by Republican lawmakers to push for tougher action against what they view as a growing and aggressive threat from China. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, recently told Fox News Digital that China is trying to get a “foothold” in Latin American countries.
This week in the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a bill to block the Biden administration’s rule easing electric vehicle charging requirements — warning that it could empower China.