The Protect Our Bases Act will ensure land purchases near critical military and government sites are properly scrutinized
WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Senators Katie Britt (R-AL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Mike Rounds (R-SD), in introducing the Protect Our Bases Act, legislation to ensure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) can review foreign land purchases near sensitive military, intelligence, and national laboratory sites by requiring member agencies to annually update and review their lists of these sites.
“It’s critical to U.S. national security to ensure that U.S. military bases and other sensitive facilities on American soil are not subject unduly to the risks of foreign surveillance,” said Senator Hagerty. “Allowing CFIUS to review sensitive purchases of land near U.S. military and research sites is an important step in combating threats from our adversaries.”
“The Chinese Communist Party can’t be allowed to compromise the security of military and government facilities on our home turf,” said Senator Scott. “By enhancing the review of foreign real estate transactions near sites that are vital to U.S. national security, this legislation will increase accountability to help ensure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States can take proper action to push back on Communist China and keep our nation safe.”
In 2022, Fufeng Group, a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, announced it would purchase land near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) determined that it could not evaluate the transaction for national security risks because the Department of Defense had not listed the base as a sensitive site for national security purposes. Although the City of Grand Forks ultimately blocked the transaction, the incident demonstrated a significant flaw in the review process of foreign land purchases. CFIUS relies on its member agencies to provide updated information on sensitive military, intelligence, and national laboratory sites in order to properly assess the security risk of foreign investment in our country. If CFIUS member agencies do not appropriately update their site lists, CFIUS cannot ensure an accurate review.
The Protect Our Bases Act requires agencies represented on CFIUS to provide updated records of the military, intelligence, and national laboratory facilities that should be sensitive sites for national security purposes to CFIUS on an annual basis. Additionally, the legislation requires CFIUS to submit an annual report to Congress certifying the completion of such reviews and the accuracy of its real estate listings.
Full text of the Protect Our Bases Act can be found here.