BREAKING: O’Halleran-led Bill to Secure Telecommunications Infrastructure Passes out of Energy and Commerce Committee

November 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to pass the Secure 5G and Beyond Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) to protect next-generation telecommunications systems and mobile infrastructure in the United States to the full House of Representatives for a vote.

“As our telecommunications infrastructure continues to evolve and more families in rural areas are able to access quality, high-speed internet, we must make sure that we continue to prioritize the security and privacy of Americans,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “I’m pleased that my colleagues on the committee voted to pass this bipartisan bill that will allow our systems to expand while protecting our national security from potential foreign threats.”

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act would require the administration to develop an unclassified, national strategy to protect U.S. consumers and assist our allies in maximizing the security of their 5G telecommunications systems. The strategy would also identify additional ways to spur research and development by U.S. companies in a way that preserves access for all Americans.

The legislation was introduced by Representatives Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Susan W. Brooks (R-IN-05), Francis Rooney (R-FL-19), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), and passed as part of a package of 14 bills the committee advanced today.

During this week’s two-day markup, Rep. O’Halleran also discussed several important legislative initiatives he has championed this Congress, including the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, a bill to expand maternal care to rural and underserved areas, and the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, legislation to extend comprehensive broadband coverage to rural America.

O’Halleran also spoke in support of his amendment to the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Environmentally Responsible (SAFER) Pipelines Act, which clarifies the difference between transmission and distribution pipelines, ensuring that small, local distributions companies are not needlessly burdened. 

BACKGROUND

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act was introduced earlier this year in response to a 2018 report from the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence that warned that integration of Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company and leading supplier of 5G technology, could create long-term negative consequences for the United States. To combat the potential cyber threats associated with a Huawei 5G monopoly, the report recommended that non-Chinese companies invest in 5G research and development and called on U.S. and European companies to reconsider the integration of Huawei technology into their 5G infrastructure.

WATCH: O’Halleran speak on the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, here, the Broadband DATA Act, here, and his amendment to the SAFER Pipelines Act, here.

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