Sending Office: Honorable Eric Swalwell
Sent By:
Jonathan.Miller@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

 

September 18, 2019

Dear Colleague:

I write to ask you to sign the letter below to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees urging them to include Senate-passed language protecting bus security in the final Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization
Act (NDAA).

While the Senate-passed NDAA included language would prohibit states and localities from using federal money to purchase rail cars and buses made by companies owned or subsidized by China, the comparable provision in the NDAA passed by the House only applies
to rail cars.  It is important that the Senate provision be included because the threats from China as applied to rail cars and buses are the same.

The interconnected nature of modern buses, for example through the use of surveillance cameras and GPS, makes them vulnerable to malware or other cyber intrusions just like rail cars.  China’s willingness to engage spying or hostile acts using such electronic
means is clear and allowing Chinese owned companies to make buses and rail cars may present them with additional means to attack. 

Further, China’s willingness to subsidize the manufacture of both buses and rail cars threatens the viability of domestic manufacturers.  Losing the ability to make both transit options domestically would put us at the mercy of potentially unfriendly foreign
actors, thus threatening our national security.

If you have any questions or would like to sign on, please contact Jonathan Miller (Jonathan.Miller@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Swalwell and XXXXXX.

 

Sincerely,

 

September XX, 2019

 

The Honorable Adam Smith                          
            The Honorable James Inhofe

Chairman                                                                    
Chairman

Committee on Armed Services                                  
Committee on Armed Services

United States House of Representatives                    
United States Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                 
            Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Mac Thornberry                                
The Honorable Jack Reed

Ranking Member                                                       
Ranking Member

Committee on Armed Services                                  
Committee on Armed Services

United States House of Representatives                    
United States Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                             
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Thornberry, Chairman Inhofe, and Ranking Member Reed:

As you finalize the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we urge you to include a key provision from the Senate-passed bill that would best protect the safety and security of U.S. commuters and support domestic bus and rail car manufacturers.

Section 6015 of the Senate-passed NDAA would prevent the use of federal funds by states or localities from being used in the procurement of rail cars and buses made by an entity that is owned or subsidized by a specified class of foreign countries; as of
now that limit would only apply to China.  Section 896 of the House’s version of NDAA has the same limit, but it only applies to rail cars.  The more comprehensive Senate provision better protects against malicious foreign interference in our public transportation
system and supports American job growth.

As you know, China’s continuing efforts to undermine U.S. cybersecurity present evolving and complex challenges.  We should not make this easier for the Chinese government by importing technology, which could be on both buses and rail cars, that make them
more vulnerable to manipulation or surveillance.  The ubiquity of cameras on both modern rail cars and buses means that imported equipment could provide Chinese authorities with facial recognition data of everyday Americans, made worse by the potential to
link that data with personal information gained by increasingly-available public Wi-Fi during commutes.

Additionally, opportunities to disrupt traffic or endanger travelers present public safety concerns.  For example, a malicious actor gaining access to operating systems through regular software updates has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to human
life, property, and the environment; this applies to both rail cars and buses.  A major incident involving public transportation could have a sustained chilling effect on commuters, posing an economic threat at the regional or even national level.

Finally, China’s heavily subsidized manufacturing sector puts domestic producers at a severe disadvantage.  With its thumb on the scale, the Chinese government weakens the ability for domestic producers to compete.  By supporting American workers making
American goods, we communicate to China that it cannot play by its own set of rules without repercussions.  This also us helps avoid being at the mercy of a foreign adversarial competitor for key elements of our mass transit infrastructure.

As you work to develop defense priorities for the coming fiscal year with a final NDAA, we urge you to include Section 6015 of the Senate-passed NDAA so we can protect our national security and domestic manufacturing infrastructure with respect to both buses
and rail cars.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Transportation

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