Senate Backs Measures Tackling China Tech Investments, CCP Farmland Purchases

Authored by John Haughey via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks throughout a press convention within the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 11, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

The U.S. Senate on July 25 overwhelmingly adopted two amendments to the proposed protection finances that may require American tech corporations to inform the Treasury Department of any dealings with China-based corporations and to stop entities and people from 4 nations, together with China, from buying agricultural land anyplace within the nation.

The “Protection of Covered Sectors” modification sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and 5 bipartisan sponsors was adopted in a 91–6 vote whereas the agriculture land preemption modification, filed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), additionally with bipartisan backing, was accredited in an 89–8 tally.

Both measures are among the many 872 potential amendments filed by senators because the proposed $886.3 billion Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), or annual protection finances, superior in a 24–1 June 23 vote.

The Democrat-majority Senate began FY24 NDAA floor deliberations on July 18 with at the very least 90—together with 51 submitted by Republicans—amendments set for flooring debate.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (L) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (R) communicate to the press after assembly President Joe Biden and different leaders on the White House in Washington on May 16, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

No ‘Culture War’ Amendments

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) goals to have the Senate’s NDAA adopted by July 28 earlier than the higher chamber adjourns, because the House did final week, for August recess. Neither chamber convenes once more till Sept. 5.

Mr. Schumer, in remarks earlier than the considerably languorous votes on July 25, mentioned he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), amongst different chamber leaders, are growing “a second round of amendments” for flooring dialogue within the coming days.

The GOP-majority House on July 14 approved its preliminary version of the proposed protection finances in a 219–210 near-total partisan vote with an hooked up raft of “culture war” amendments unlikely to go muster within the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Those measures embrace repealing the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) abortion travel policy, prohibiting DOD well being care applications from offering gender transition procedures, a DOD “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” and a bunch of different proposed add-ons eliminating variety, fairness, and inclusion (DEI) applications to the must-pass protection finances that’s usually accredited in bipartisan accord.

None of these amendments have been more likely to go within the Senate so it’s no shock that the higher chamber’s proposed protection finances doesn’t embrace the House’s “culture war” add-ons.

Those variations between the adopted House protection finances and the model the Senate approves will likely be resolved in closely-tracked (if not watched) backroom conferences between the chambers. The purpose is to current one NDAA for remaining adoption to each chambers ideally earlier than the brand new fiscal yr begins on Oct. 1.

None of these House “culture war” elements are within the proposed Senate NDAA, nor have any Senate variations of the House amendments to this point made it to the chamber flooring.

Mr. Schumer harassed the necessity for pace in getting the “must pass” protection finances adopted by the top of the week for conferencing to start and the ultimate finances to be in place at first of the fiscal yr.

We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of good,” he mentioned, praising what has been a clean course of thus far that reveals “the Senate can work productively on national defense in stark contrast to the race to the bottom we saw in the House.”

Both preliminary protection spending plans high out on the identical $886.3 billion top-line determine submitted by President Joe Biden in March however differ in how that cash is spent throughout the NDAA’s large appropriations bundle. It is roughly $28 billion greater than the FY23 NDAA.

Protecting American Tech, Farmland

In introducing Mr. Cornyn’s proposed modification, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) mentioned the measure would set up a requirement that corporations notify the Treasury and Commerce departments of intent to “invest in technology sectors in countries of concern.”

The NDAA displays “the toughest challenges that face the nation and the technological competition with China is on top of the list. The Chinese communist government doesn’t play by the rules,” Mr. Casey mentioned.

These “outbound investments” usually imperil U.S. strategic pursuits and primarily quantity to “technology transfers” that result in “under-investment in domestic capabilities,” he mentioned.

Mr. Casey mentioned in 2020 alone, American corporations invested $200 billion in China for analysis and improvement into synthetic intelligence applications.

“That’s just in AI,” he mentioned, noting U.S.-based entities invested $2 billion in semi-conductor manufacturing and $50 billion in biotech. “We need a targeted response to these threats to our national security.”

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