ICYMI: Congressman Guest’s Drone Bill Approved in House

October 5, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – In case you missed it, H.R. 4682 - The Unmanned Aerial Security (UAS) Act, introduced by Vice Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-MS), passed the United States House of Representatives last week by voice vote. The UAS Act would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from entering into or renewing a contract for any unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, manufactured in China or other adversaries. This bill aims to safeguard the sensitive data collected by these drones for homeland security purposes and combat Chinese aggression towards the U.S.

“We know that drones made by our adversaries can be manipulated to undermine American security – a security risk that we cannot tolerate as the Chinese Communist Party presents a continuous threat against our nation and our allies,” said Vice Ranking Member Guest. “The Department of Homeland Security utilizes drones for critical missions, and it is imperative that we trust the technology we are using. It is well known that the Chinese Communist Party has stolen our technology and information in the past. That’s why this legislation is so important. It would help mitigate security risks by ensuring our drones are not manufactured by our adversaries – including those manufacturers influenced by the CCP. I’m honored to have worked closely with Ranking Member Katko and other Members on the Committee on Homeland Security on this bill, and I’d like to thank my colleagues in the House for supporting this important piece of legislation.”

Vice Ranking Member Guest also explained the importance of this bill in an audio recording for release. You can listen to/download the Congressman’s statement here and find a transcript of the recording below.

“Of the top drone manufacturers that supply the United States market, a single Chinese manufacturer has nearly 77% of the market share. The Department of Homeland Security has issued warnings about Chinese made drones, specifically citing concerns that data collected by the drones can be accessed by the Chinese government. This legislation is vital to protect our sensitive information from the Chinese Communist Party.”

This bill would require DHS to provide a threat assessment report to Congress on whether DHS has analyzed the threat of its drones from ‘covered foreign countries,’ the number of these drones the Department has in operation, and the extent to which the information gathered by these drones may be a threat to the homeland or economic security of the United States. The report is required not later than 180 days after enactment.

In addition, this bill would:

  • Prohibit DHS from buying or using drones made in a ‘covered foreign country,’ which is a country officially identified as a foreign adversary by the intelligence community.
  • Allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive the prohibition on using or purchasing drones from covered foreign countries after certifying in writing to Congress that the drone is in the national interest of the U.S., is needed for counter-UAS research and training, or for intelligence and warfare information testing and analysis.
  • Require DHS to notify relevant Congressional Committees within 14 days of any waiver granted.
  • Require DHS to specify the DHS Component receiving a waiver.

Congressman Michael Guest represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District. Currently serving his second term, Congressman Guest serves as the Vice Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, as a Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and as a Member of the Committee on Ethics.

 

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