Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s Political Influence Operations Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to combat China’s political influence operations in the United States and elsewhere globally. Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to organize an interagency task force to compile an unclassified report on China’s disinformation, press manipulation, economic coercion and influence operations campaigns in the United States and not more than five allies and partners most impacted by their influence operations in their countries. The report is also required to include recommendations for the President and Congress, including whether a permanent office to monitor and respond to China’s political influence operations is needed.
“Given evidence of growing efforts by the Chinese government to undermine democratic institutions in the U.S. and abroad, it is incumbent on the United States government to protect our national security and our democracy from any foreign, political influence,” Cortez Masto said. “This bipartisan bill sets necessary requirements for the government to investigate and report on potential Chinese government influence, and allow the United States to create a strategy that will counter threats to our democracy.”
“To effectively combat the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s political influence operations, we must better understand the full scope and breadth of their efforts,” Rubio said. “This bill, which requires an unclassified interagency report, aims to do just that, not only for policymakers, but for the American people, media, academia and other impacted sectors.”
Joining Cortez Masto and Rubio as original cosponsors of the legislation are Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).