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June 06, 2018

Republicans Reject ZTE Resolution

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement after Committee Republicans rejected H.Res. 898, a Resolution of Inquiry sponsored by Ranking Member Thompson which would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide all information and documentation it possesses related to the cybersecurity threats posed by the Chinese telecom corporation ZTE.  ZTE has been considered a significant security and surveillance threat for years and has illegally sold its products to Iran and North Korea, despite sanctions.

“I introduced this resolution to drive urgent action by the Committee on a timely national and cybersecurity threat. There is a very real prospect that President Trump will go soft on ZTE, a habitual sanctions violator and bad actor.  Unfortunately, the Republicans, in lock-step, refused to demand critical information that we need to understand whether or not the President conducted a national security review to determine if the potential risks posed by ZTE products are tolerable or could be mitigated.  Without aggressive oversight, we may never know what actually informed the President's May 13th twitter directive that the Commerce Department help ZTE 'get back into business fast' when the Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, and our allies have all issued stark warnings and cautions about ZTE.”

BACKGROUND: A Resolution of Inquiry is a legislative tool that has privileged parliamentary status, meaning it can be brought to the floor for immediate consideration if the relevant Committee has not reported it within 14 legislative days, even if the Majority has not scheduled it for a vote.  Once introduced, the Committee must schedule a markup in that period to consider and debate the measure and vote on whether to report it to the house favorably or unfavorably.  If the Committee fails to act, it can be called up on the House floor and voted upon by the full House of Representatives.

More info on today’s markup

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978