Committee Clears Republican Bills to Protect CBP Frontline Personnel & Push Back Against China’s Influence
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security advanced two Republican bills to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) frontline personnel when handling illicit drugs and to prevent the Chinese Government from infiltrating and influencing our universities to advance their agenda.
“As our nation grapples with a drug overdose crisis of epic proportions from illicit drugs pouring across the border, our CBP personnel are the first line of defense,” said Ranking Member Katko. “As they carry out this critical homeland security mission, we must ensure their utmost safety when handling illicit, deadly drugs. As China plays an active role in providing the cartels the precursor chemicals and equipment to fuel the drug trade in Mexico, the CCP is simultaneously working to subvert U.S. academic intuitions by utilizing Confucius Institutes. DHS should not be providing funding to universities that maintain relationships with these clandestine Chinese entities. I thank Rep. Joyce and Rep. Pfluger for their leadership on these significant homeland security priorities.”
“We know that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is utilizing Confucius Institutes to infiltrate American university campuses to engage in espionage, steal our intellectual property, intimidate Chinese dissidents, promote communist propaganda, and funnel information back to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” said Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. “Under no circumstances should American taxpayer dollars be used to enrich the CCP or the PLA. Congress must ensure taxpayer dollars are cut off from these programs for good. I am grateful for my colleagues’ support on my bill, and appreciate Chairman Thompson and Ranking Member Katko for bringing this important measure before the committee.”
“Tragically, as the crisis at the southern border continues to spiral out of control, so does the flow of deadly drugs into our country,” said Congressman Dave Joyce. “In Fiscal Year 2021 alone, more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized during failed attempts to smuggle it across the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s critical that we provide our CBP officers with the tools and training necessary to do their jobs as safely as possible amid this record-breaking surge of drug trafficking. The PREVENT Act would do just that. I thank my colleagues on the House Homeland Security Committee for passing this important legislation and urge leadership to put it on the floor for a vote so that we can protect our CBP officers as they work to defend and maintain our borders.”
- The Prevent Exposure to Narcotics and Toxics (PREVENT) Act (H.R. 5274), introduced by Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), requires the CBP Commissioner to issue containment devices to all CBP personnel and provide training on their use. Containment devices are a critical tool that provide protection against secondary exposure to fentanyl, lethal powders, and unknown chemical substances seized or otherwise encountered by law enforcement officers and first responders, while also better preserving these chemical substances for forensic analysis to improve the efficacy of investigations.
- The DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern Act (H.R. 7779), introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), prohibits certain DHS funds from flowing to American universities that host a Confucius Institute or maintain a relationship with a Chinese entity of concern. This bill holds American universities accountable and ensures they prioritize their students’ education above partnerships with Confucius Institutes or Chinese entities of concern.
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Author: Mya Methe