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Florida’s Senators Want to Stop Drones Made by Countries Opposed to the U.S.

This week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., showcased his proposal “to prohibit the purchase of drones from countries identified as national security threats, such as China.”

Scott introduced the “American Security Drone Act” last week with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., as the main co-sponsor. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is one of the four other co-sponsors of the bill.

“I’ve been clear for years: the United States should never spend taxpayer dollars on anything made in Communist China, especially drones which pose a significant threat to our national security,” Scott said this week. “Xi and the Communist Party of China are on a quest for global domination and whether it’s with spy balloons, TikTok or drones, they will stop at nothing to infiltrate our society and steal our data. I’m proud to join my colleagues to reintroduce the bipartisan American Security Drone Act to STOP the U.S. from buying drones manufactured in nations identified as national security threats. This important bill is critical to our national security and should be passed by the Senate, House and signed into law immediately.”

“I am a staunch supporter of unmanned systems and drone investment here in the United States, and I wholeheartedly believe that we must continue to invest in domestic production of drones,” said Warner. “But the purchase of drones from foreign countries, especially those that have been deemed a national security threat, is dangerous. I am glad to introduce legislation that takes logical steps to protect our data from foreign adversaries and meanwhile supports American manufacturers.”

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The bill “prohibits federal departments and agencies from procuring certain foreign commercial off-the-shelf drone or covered unmanned aircraft system manufactured or assembled in countries identified as national security threats, and provides a timeline to end current use of these drones;prohibits the use of federal funds awarded through certain contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to state or local governments from being used to purchase foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones or covered unmanned aircraft systems manufactured or assembled in a country identified as a national security threat;” and “requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing the amount of foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones and covered unmanned aircraft systems procured by federal departments and agencies from countries identified as national security threats.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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