Sasse Statement on Final Passage of United States Innovation and Competition Act

(KFOR NEWS  June 9, 2021)   On Tuesday, the Senate passed the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (formerly the Endless Frontiers Act), a bill aimed at boosting America’s competitive edge against the Chinese Communist Party.  The final legislation included amendments proposed by Nebraska U.S. Republican Senator, Ben Sasse:

  •  Doubling DARPA: Senator Sasse’s amendment to authorize an additional $3.5 billion per year in funding for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was included in the final bill. DARPA is the Department of Defense’s innovation and research arm responsible for cutting-edge national security achievements.
  • Protecting American Intellectual Property Act: Senator Sasse’s amendment along with Senator Van Hollen (D-MD) combats China’s IP theft by giving the U.S. government economic tools to combat the threat to American ingenuity. This bill requires mandatory sanctions, consistent with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, be imposed on foreign individuals and firms that steal or benefit from stolen U.S. trade secrets.
  • The National Risk Management Act: The amendment proposed by Senators Ben Sasse and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) helps ensure that the Department of Homeland Security identifies and addresses risks to critical infrastructure. This amendment implements a Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendation to enhance the resiliency of our most critical industries.

I’m glad we won big victories by doubling DARPA’s budget and developing new sanction authorities to go after China for stealing American intellectual property.  As a China hawk and a fiscal hawk, I would have liked for this bill to take a more focused and aggressive approach to the China threat – but this is a strong start. The Chinese Communist Party is working overtime on cyber, AI, and machine learning so that they can become the world’s preeminent super power. We can’t let our foot off the gas.

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