Back in July, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced legislation entitled the "American Telecommunications Security Act" to "prohibit federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act from being used to purchase Chinese telecommunications equipment, including from Huawei and ZTE." Now two members of the House of Representatives, Steve Womack (R-AR) and Elaine Luria (D-VA), have introduced their own version of this legislation, H.R.5871.

A press release from Congresswoman Luria explains that "[i]n June 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats due to their ties to the Chinese government and Chinese law requiring them to assist in espionage activities," and thus "no funds from the FCC’s Universal Fund can be used to purchase equipment from these two suppliers." However, the American Rescue Plan "did not include language prohibiting this, allowing states and local governments to purchase telecommunications equipment that poses a national security risk." This new bill "ensures that state and local governments across the country purchase equipment that maintains our national security against foreign threats."