On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he was supporting the “Protecting Military Installations and Ranges Act” from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
The bill would “prohibit adversaries from acquiring land near military bases, which they could use to monitor U.S. armed forces activities and put military installations at risk” and “would restrict any effort by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea to buy U.S. land within 100 miles of a U.S. military installation, or 50 miles from military areas.” The bill would also “allow the U.S. Department of Defense to prevent construction on any site under investigation.”
“America will not tolerate espionage and is empowered to counter the widespread nefarious actions of adversarial regimes,” Cruz said. “I am proud to introduce this commonsense bill to defend our national security interests and ensure regimes that threaten the United States – such as the Chinese Communist Party – don’t have the ability to purchase land in order to intercept and disrupt military activities.”
“The Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries should not be able to purchase land close to our military bases,” Rubio said. “If the United States is going to get serious about combatting China and other foreign adversaries, our government must prevent them from acquiring U.S. property without scrutiny. This legislation would address this national security threat by expanding government oversight and security around military installations. I am proud to join Senator Cruz in introducing this bill, and I urge my colleagues to support its advancement.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Wednesday. So far, Rubio is the only co-sponsor.
Over in the U.S. House, Texas Republican U.S. Reps. Ronny Jackson, Tony Gonzales and Pat Fallon are championing the companion measure.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.