January 12, 2018
Conaway Chronicle: Introducing Legislation to Protect America from Chinese Spyware, Department of Defense Audit Officially Underway, Town Hall in Stanton
Thank you for reading The Conaway Chronicle, a review of my activities in Congress and the 11th District.
Introducing Legislation to Protect America from Chinese Spyware
This week, I introduced H.R. 4747, The Defending U.S. Government Communications Act. This bill prohibits the U.S. government from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and/or services from Huawei, ZTE, or any subsidiaries/affiliates thereof.
Chinese commercial technology is a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on United States federal agencies, posing a severe national security threat. Allowing Huawei, ZTE, and other related entities access to U.S. government communications would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives. This legislation falls directly in line with President Trump’s policy of putting American national security interests first, a policy I’m proud to support.
This is an issue we’ve followed for years at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The threat receded after the release of an incriminating HPSCI report, but is now reemerging as the Chinese government is reattempting to embed themselves into U.S. technology. This is extremely dangerous because the Chinese government is trying to compromise the integrity of U.S. businesses and spy on our closely held national security secrets.
Department of Defense Audit Officially Underway
Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing entitled, “Department of Defense Update on the Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation (FIAR) Plan." Full auditability of the Department of Defense (DoD) has remained a top priority for me since I came to Congress in 2005. As a CPA, I understand the importance of an organization’s accountability through a full audit. Even more important is the responsibility of a government department, funded by taxpayers, to track every dollar spent.
It’s been a long time since I took my first meeting on DoD auditability, but I’m proud to say this hearing delivered the news that a full audit is official underway. For years, the DoD could only say they were getting ready to audit, but after dogged oversight, the DoD is now auditing and we are already seeing results after just a few months. For instance, Army leadership discovered 39 helicopters that it was previously unaware of at command level and the Air Force discovered nearly 500 structures across all its property that was unknown to command level.
Town Hall in Stanton
Thanks to all who came out to my town hall this morning in Stanton, Texas, including a group of students from a Stanton High School government class! It's always great to see students engaged in the political process outside of school. I'm grateful for the opportunity this morning to discuss all that the House of Representatives has accomplished, and what we're working on next.
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Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District