Funding proposals for 5G projects abroad put aside by House lawmakers

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Written by John Hewitt Jones

Legislative proposals to support the construction of 5G infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe have been dismissed by House lawmakers, according to FedScoop.

The Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act was referred to the House foreign affairs committee in August, but has since been suspended due to disagreements over the cost of the proposals, sources said.

The invoice text aimed to incent investment in non-Huawei 5G equipment in the region and to help federal agencies improve the security of telecommunications systems abroad. The text included a provision for projects to be financed by the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund.

Senate lawmakers continue to consider accompanying legislation, which was introduced late last month by Senator Portman.

The text of the House bill, which was proposed by Rep. Kaptur, D-OH., Aimed to provide political and financial support to countries like Albania, Greece, Hungary and Kosovo that would counter the influence of China.

It was reintroduced in May, having already faltered in the last legislative session in December 2020, when it was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee but was never picked up.

Representative Kaptur, D-OH., Said: “By providing national security funding for secure digital infrastructure and diplomatic support – including for the Three Seas Initiative – the United States will further protect our allies from Central and Eastern Europe from the malicious influence of those who seek to undermine security, stability and democracy.

“The proposals put forward in both chambers are an important step in the right direction, and with bipartite and bicameral support – we remain optimistic that these investments will be rolled out soon,” she added.

Had it been passed, the text of the proposed bill would have required the Secretary of Commerce and heads of agencies, including the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, to issue the priority and to provide political and diplomatic support to European countries seeking to build 5G Infrastructures.

A spokesperson for the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee did not respond to a request for comment.


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