Reps. Eshoo, Scalise and Senators Markey, Rubio Release Bipartisan Statement on FCC Vote to Advance Update to Equipment Authorization Rules

June 17, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Representative Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Representative Steve Scalise (LA-01), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) released the following statement today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to protect our communications networks and supply chains from equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. Today’s NPRM mirrors the goals of the lawmakers’ legislation, the Secure Equipment Act.

“We applaud the FCC’s vote to put national security first by keeping compromised Chinese equipment out of U.S. telecommunications networks. We introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to make this action permanent, blocking technology manufactured by companies that pose a threat to our national security. We thank Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel and Commissioner Carr for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with the Commission to protect our nation’s networks from foreign adversaries,” said the lawmakers in a joint statement.

Representatives Eshoo and Scalise and Senators Markey and Rubio previously introduced the Secure Equipment Act to direct the FCC to clarify that it will no longer review, or approve, applications from companies on the Commission’s “Covered List.” The bill would prevent further integration and sales of Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua – all Chinese state-backed or directed firms – in the U.S. regardless of whether federal funds are involved.

In 2020, the FCC adopted new rules to require U.S. telecommunications carriers to rip and replace equipment provided by Huawei, ZTE, and other covered companies that pose a risk to U.S. national security. While that was an important step, those rules only apply to equipment purchased with federal funding. The very same equipment can still be used if purchased with private or non-federal government dollars. The Secure Equipment Act adds an extra layer of safety that slams the door on identified security threats from having a presence in the U.S. telecommunications network.