Gallagher, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan American Security Drone Act
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), alongside Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Mark Green (R-TN), and Jackie Speier (D-CA), today introduced the American Security Drone Act of 2019. This bill would prohibit the federal government from purchasing drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats, such as China. Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced companion legislation the U.S. Senate. Click here for bill text.
“Drones manufactured by foreign adversaries should be nowhere near the federal government,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Purchasing this equipment from countries like China uses taxpayer dollars to support the Chinese Communist Party’s near-monopoly on this critical market, while also posing a serious national security threat. It is imperative that Congress pass this bipartisan bill to protect U.S. interests, our communities, and our national security supply-chain.”
“I’m proud to join my colleague Rep. Gallagher in introducing this important legislation, which would reduce our Defense and Homeland Security Departments’ reliance on foreign-manufactured drone technology. It’s clear that the continued use of this technology by the federal government poses a security risk, as evidenced by the Department of Interior’s announcement on October 30 that it was grounding all non-emergency use of drones it purchased from DJI, a Chinese drone manufacturer, until a security review is completed. While the needs of these departments with regard to unmanned surveillance capabilities are clear, we cannot subvert our national security imperatives for the sake of expediency, particularly when American manufacturers have the ability to fill this need,” said Rep. Courtney.
“Drones are an integral part of US military strategy and maintaining US superiority in the drone market is critical. However, China is actively stealing our drone technology and intellectual property in order to undercut the US drone market. Which is why I am proud to support the American Drone Security Act, which bans the federal acquisition of drones from China or other US adversaries. Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to purchase vital military equipment that can be compromised by our adversaries,” said Rep. Yoho.
“We live in an uncertain world where there are serious threats to our country, our data security and our democracy. We must ensure our military, homeland security officials and other government agencies have the tools needed to defend our nation,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “This bill ensures that our government is protected against Chinese-developed technologies that pose a risk to data security, undercut American intellectual property and put our national security at risk.”
The American Security Drone Act:
- Prohibits federal departments and agencies from procuring any foreign commercial off-the-shelf drone or covered unmanned aircraft system manufactured or assembled in countries identified as national security threats, and provides a timeline to end current use of these drones.
- Prohibits the use of federal funds awarded through contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to state or local governments from being used to purchase foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones or covered unmanned aircraft systems manufactured or assembled in a country identified as a national security threat.
- Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing the amount of foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones and covered unmanned aircraft systems procured by federal departments and agencies from countries identified as national security threats.