WASHINGTON, D.C., August 7, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, recently joined her colleagues in passing the bipartisan, bicameral Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act. This legislation is aimed at preventing China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from investing in, purchasing, leasing, or otherwise acquiring U.S. farmland.
The bill was introduced by Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and is cosponsored by Senator Britt and nine of her Senate colleagues. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
The PASS Act would add the Secretary of Agriculture as a standing member to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to consider agricultural needs when making determinations affecting national security. Additionally, it would require a CFIUS review of agricultural land and business transactions by foreign individuals or entities, and would also direct the President to prohibit any agricultural land transaction in the U.S. made by a foreign adversary.
“I believe that one acre of American farmland owned by our adversaries is one acre too many,” said Senator Britt. “I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation and grateful for Senator Rounds’ leadership on this critical issue. Food security is national security, and we must prevent threats to the U.S. agricultural community that feeds and clothes our state, nation, and world. I’ll always fight to defend hardworking Americans while protecting our homeland.”
Earlier this year, Senator Britt participated in a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs where she questioned Clay Lowery, the former chairman of CFIUS, who affirmed that the Secretary of Agriculture should likely be involved in CFIUS in “a systematic way.”
Over the past few months, Senator Britt has supported several pieces of legislation holding foreign adversaries accountable and standing up for hardworking Americans. The first piece of cosponsored legislation is the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act, which was introduced by Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Additionally, Senator Britt introduced the Not One More Inch or Acre Act with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), legislation to prevent any Chinese national or entity from owning American land.
The PASS Act passed as part of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The full bill text of the PASS Act is available here.