Legislation from a freshman House Democrat and senior Republican senator would bar the use of federal funds to buy Chinese buses and rail cars.
Freshman Rep. Harley Rouda, a Democrat from California, got one step closer to banning the federal government from buying Chinese buses and railcars Wednesday after the House passed a major defense policy bill.
The legislation, known as the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA, now faces a vote in the Senate before heading to the president’s desk. The House vote to support the bill was 377 to 48.
Included in the massive defense policy bill is language from legislation that Rouda proposed along with Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, banning federal funds from being used to purchase Chinese buses and rail cars. The Wall Street Journal reports that CRRC Corp., a company run by the Chinese government, has made “significant inroads” into the $18 billion U.S. market for railcars.
In a statement, Rouda said including his proposal was “a win for American companies, workers, and our national security.”
“Some Chinese companies misrepresent themselves as benevolent actors, but let’s be clear: this is an attack on our economy and a potential threat to our national security. I thank Senator Cornyn for working with me on this legislation and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to stop the flow of Americans’ taxpayer dollars to Chinese state-owned or state-controlled companies,” Rouda said.
Rouda represents California’s 48th congressional district, which has over 30,000 veterans and nearly 40,000 constituents working in the manufacturing and construction industries, according to the Census Bureau.
In addition to the rail cars measure, Rouda also cheered the NDAA for ending the “widow’s tax,” which reduced how much Gold Star families could receive in survivor benefits, and for extending 12 weeks paid leave to the entire federal workforce.
The NDAA is known as “must pass” legislation, because it establishes how much money the military will receive from the federal government and sets policies for national security programs. The House passed its first version of the NDAA in July; however, it took months of negotiations with the Senate to reach bipartisan agreement.