Senate passes Scalise’s Secure Equipment Act to protect telecom systems from national security risks

The U.S. Senate on Oct. 28 unanimously approved a bill from U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from issuing new communications equipment licenses to companies that pose a risk to national security.

Prior to Senate passage of the legislation, the Secure Equipment Act of 2021, H.R. 3919, the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 20. The measure will soon be sent to the president to be signed into law.

The bill would prevent equipment manufactured by Chinese state-backed companies such as Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua from being further marketed in the United States, the congressman’s office said. Specifically, the measure prohibits the FCC from issuing new equipment licenses on the FCC’s “Covered Equipment or Services List” that pose a national security threat. 

“The Secure Equipment Act forcefully signals to the Chinese Communist Party that America is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our citizens, and I look forward to this legislation becoming law,” Rep. Scalise said.

In June, Rep. Scalise sponsored the Secure Equipment Act with U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) as the lead original cosponsor. U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the Senate version of the bill (S.1790). 

“I applaud the Senate for unanimously passing the Secure Equipment Act that I authored with Rep. Anna Eshoo. Our bipartisan legislation will prevent China from infiltrating America’s telecommunications networks and compromising our national security,” Rep. Scalise said.