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Homeland Security Committee Advances Bills to Restrict Confucius Institutes, Improve Biodefense Technology, Family Travel

November 8, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green (R-TN) released the following statement after the Committee advanced legislation to prohibit Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds from flowing to American universities that host Chinese Communist Party-supported (CCP) Confucius Institutes or Chinese Entities of Concern, as well as legislation improving DHS’s biodefense technologies, global travel for families, the Securing the Cities Initiative, and DHS’s policy issuance review process: 

“I am proud of this Committee’s work to advance Subcommittee Chairman Pfluger’s legislation protecting American taxpayer dollars from being used to advance the CCP’s sinister ambitions in our own country and on the campuses of our universities. This crucial legislation aims to mitigate the threats that the CCP poses to U.S. national security and academia by restricting federal funding to institutions of higher education that maintain links with the CCP.

“I am also proud of our Committee for advancing other important legislation, including improving DHS’s biodetection technologies and capabilities amid the ever-changing threats we face. I’m also pleased that the Committee advanced legislation to streamline global travel for pre-approved young families while ensuring effective security measures remain focused on protecting the flying public, as well as legislation to ensure more high-risk communities across the country have the necessary resources to prepare for large-scale threats, and legislation to improve the Department’s informal and out-of-date process for issuing internal policy.”

On the advancement of the DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern Act, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX) said: 

“We know that the Chinese Communist Party is utilizing Confucius Institutes to infiltrate American university campuses to engage in espionage, steal our intellectual property, intimidate Chinese dissidents, promote communist propaganda, and funnel information back to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Under no circumstances should American taxpayer dollars be used to enrich the CCP or the PLA. Congress must ensure taxpayer dollars are cut off from these programs for good. I am grateful for my colleagues’ support on my bill and appreciate Chairman Green for bringing this important measure before the committee.”

On the advancement of the DHS Biodetection Improvement Act, Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL) said: 

“Threats from America’s enemies have continually evolved and become more complex – the anthrax attacks of 2001 opened our eyes to a new threat landscape which included acts of bioterrorism. Since then, we have worked across all levels of government to improve prevention, detection, and response capabilities, but there remains work to be done. I was proud to lead legislation to ensure DHS is fully leveraging every tool at its disposal to protect Americans against bioweapons.”

On the advancement of the Improving Travel for Families Act, Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) said: 

“As the holiday season approaches, I’m proud to see the Improving Travel for Families Act advance through committee markup. This legislation will provide more flexibility for families traveling with children internationally. While TSA PreCheck has adopted measures to allow children to join their parents in the fast lanes, Global Entry has fallen behind, creating a burden for families with young children. This common-sense legislation will improve travel time and consolidate appointments for those with children seeking Global Entry, simplifying the process for families, especially during busy travel seasons.”   

A full list of bills passed by the Committee is below:

  • H.R. 1516, The “DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern Act,” introduced by Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX). 
  • H.R. 6174The “DHS Biodetection Improvement Act,” introduced by Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL).
  • H.R. 5969,The “Improving Travel for Families Act,” introduced by Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX).
  • H.R. 4403, The “Securing the Cities Improvement Act,” introduced by Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA).
  • H.R. 6231The “Department of Homeland Security Policy Issuance Review Act,” introduced by Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD).