WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on Friday after securing increased transparency and critical protections against the government purchase of foreign-made unmanned aerial systems, or drones. Despite evidence from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Chinese-made drones spied on the United States and provided the Chinese government with critical infrastructure and law enforcement data, the U.S. government continued to purchase these Chinese drones. Murphy authored provisions in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2019, which passed the committee on Thursday, that direct the U.S. government to purchase drones made in America. Murphy also secured provisions to increase the transparency and accountability around drone purchasing, including an investigation into whether any of the Chinese drones are still in use by the U.S. government.
Previously, Murphy urged Defense Secretary James Mattis to consider banning the use of foreign-made drones until further threat-assessments have been completed.
“It’s absolutely outrageous that even though we found out Chinese drones were spying on us, the U.S. government continued to buy Chinese drones. I’ve been on a crusade to fix our broken Buy American laws because it’s a national security issue, and clearly that’s the case with these foreign drones. My provisions will make sure we’re buying drones made in America and will launch an investigation into whether any of these Chinese drones are still in use. Let’s make sure we’re putting our national security and local manufacturing jobs first,” said Murphy.