WASHINGTON, D.C., October 27, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) today announced that she recently joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and four additional colleagues in introducing the Protect Our Bases Act. This legislation would ensure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) can review foreign land purchases near sensitive military, intelligence, and national laboratory sites by requiring member agencies to annually update and review their lists of these sites.
“Whether it is the Chinese Communist Party, Iran, or Russia, we must do everything in our power to prevent foreign adversaries from gaining access to intelligence that threatens our national security or strategic advantage,” said Senator Britt. “It is common sense that we safeguard critical military and government sites, and I’m proud to support this legislation that would help CFIUS conduct thorough oversight over foreign land purchases.”
“The Chinese Communist Party can’t be allowed to compromise the security of military and government facilities on our home turf,”Ranking Member Scott said. “By enhancing the review of foreign real estate transactions near sites that are vital to U.S. national security, this legislation will increase accountability to help ensure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States can take proper action to push back on Communist China and keep our nation safe.”
In addition to Senator Britt and Ranking Member Scott, cosponsors of the bill include Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).
The full text of the bill can be found here.
In 2022, Fufeng Group, a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, announced it would purchase land near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) determined that it could not evaluate the transaction for national security risks because the Department of Defense had not listed the base as a sensitive site for national security purposes. Although the City of Grand Forks ultimately blocked the transaction, the incident demonstrated a significant flaw in the review process of foreign land purchases. CFIUS relies on its member agencies to provide updated information on sensitive military, intelligence, and national laboratory sites in order to properly assess the security risk of foreign investment in our country. If CFIUS member agencies do not appropriately update their site lists, CFIUS cannot ensure an accurate review.
The Protect Our Bases Act requires agencies represented on CFIUS to provide updated records of the military, intelligence, and national laboratory facilities that should be sensitive sites for national security purposes to CFIUS on an annual basis. Additionally, the legislation requires CFIUS to submit an annual report to Congress certifying the completion of such reviews and the accuracy of its real estate listings.
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. Most recently, Senator Britt and Senator Rounds introduced the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, which passed as part of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).